Parkview Health Logo

Tips for trimming baby’s nails

Last Modified: July 18, 2022

Family Medicine


This post was written by Ashley M. Bojrab, DPM, FACFAS, ABPM, CWS, PPG – Podiatry.

Having a baby brings an overwhelming sense of joy, but there’s also so much for new parents to learn about taking care of their sweet arrival. When it comes to nail care for little ones, it’s important to pay close attention and practice a few precautions in order to prevent injury or future damage.

Baby nail trimming basics

During a nap or while the baby is sleeping is a great time to trim their toenails. This will help prevent any sudden movements and allow parents to position them correctly so they can safely trim the nails.

It’s best to use a pediatric nail clipper for your infant only to prevent spreading or sharing germs. Hold your baby’s toe with your thumb and index finger in the opposite hand of the clipper to help stabilize the toe.


When trimming the baby’s toenails, it’s important to trim straight across. It may take a couple of small cuts , especially as your little one grows, and the nail gets larger. Gently pull down the fat pad under the toenail to avoid accidentally clipping the skin.

Never pick or bite your child’s toenails, as this could lead to injury of the skin or potentially leave a portion of toenail in the skin. It can also introduce unwanted germs. Don’t forget to clean your clippers thoroughly after usage.

Infant toenails can grow very fast and might require more frequent trimmings, perhaps even on a weekly basis. If you find the toenails are too short or sharp to get with nail clippers, you can use a nail file to buff the nails. Doing this frequently can keep nails smooth and prevent them from growing back so quickly.

Other concerns

Your provider is available to help you! If you still have questions or concerns about how to properly trim your baby’s nails or suspect a potential issue, contact your pediatrician or podiatrist for guidance.

Related Blog Posts

View all posts