4 Tips on Caring for a Baby’s Toenails

  • Tips

As a new mom, one of the many things you have to learn quickly is how to take care of your baby’s nails. This means their fingernails, along with their toenails. If not cared for properly, you might notice that your infant develops ingrown nails. When you start to take care of your infant’s nails at an early age, they will learn over time that it is a healthy routine.

When a baby is born, the nails are very delicate and very thin. You must be cautious at this age to make sure that they are growing properly and in the proper direction to avoid any ingrown nails. The proper length for the toenail should be to the tip of the toe. Once it reaches this length, the nail should be trimmed.

Some parents have asked if it would be appropriate at this young age to paint their infants or babies nails and the solution is simple, would you want to put chemicals into your baby and to remove the nail polish, you would have to use nail polish remover, therefore, placing chemicals into your babies delicate system.

How short can I cut my baby’s nails?

You should only cut the nails on the baby when they are long enough to do so and not before. You will want to cut the nail straight across the toe and not at an angle. This will help to ensure that you are teaching the nail to grow in the right direction. It will discourage the nail from growing into the sides of the nail leading to an ingrown nail. Always use baby clippers to cut the infant nails instead of adult clippers.

Once you have cut the nails, you will want to make the nail smooth by filing the nail slightly to make the nail smooth and not rough to avoid catching on anything. You will only need to file the edges slightly. Some moms will even trim the nails down on their little ones while they are sleeping to make the task even easier. You will want to try during the day rather than at night to ensure that you have plenty enough light to see what you are doing.

Are there special toenail clippers for babies?

If you look around, you will notice that there are many different types of baby clippers. Some clippers will have cool gadgets to help make sure that you are clipping properly. One set of nail clippers will even have a magnifying glass attached to them to make sure that you are cutting the nails properly. Make sure that you are looking at the cuticle of the nail as well to ensure that it is healthy and receiving oxygen to the nail. If you notice that the cuticle is rough or thicker than it should be, try pushing the cuticle back with your thumbnail, but be careful doing this as you do not want to harm the baby at all.

How to spot an ingrown toenail on your baby:

Ingrown nails can be a big deal and can be a bigger problem for babies with small feet. Many parents might be surprised to learn that this is a common problem for babies and toddlers. There are some symptoms and signs to look for when trying to determine if the baby has an ingrown nail.

An ingrown toenail will grow in a manner in which one or both sides of the nail grows into the sides of the bed of the nail. It may show up on one toe more than another or may appear on more than one toe. It can occur in infants, toddlers, and even adults.

You may notice that the nail is red or swollen, it may appear with white pus or even fluid which will tell you that the ingrown nail is infected. When this happens, you will need to see a doctor to be given antibiotics either to be administered orally or to be placed onto the nail in the form of a cream. When a baby has this problem, you might notice that socks are a bit more difficult to keep on or put on. Your baby or toddler may walk differently than normal as the toe may hurt to bear weight on, therefore causing the baby to walk differently than usual.

How do babies develop ingrown toenails?

An ingrown toenail may develop from the improper cutting of the toenails. If the nails are not cut in the right direction or the right shape, the baby can develop an ingrown nail. You should never cut the nails in the shape of a curve but rather across the nail bed. It will also be advised that at an early age, the babies do not have their cuticles clipped either.

You will also want to make sure that you do not place tight-fitting shoes on your baby, as this can also lead to ingrown nails. A pair of shoes should never be too tight, regardless of age. A pair of shoes that pinches on the feet can lead to more than just ingrown toenails.

To treat an ingrown toenail properly, you will want to soak your baby’s foot 3 times per day in a soap, warm water mixture for 15 minutes. This might be difficult to do, and if you discover that your baby does not like soaking their foot in water directly, wrap a warm washcloth around your baby’s foot to help soak the foot and loosen the pus.

This soak will make the pus come to the top of the ingrown nail, therefore, making it easier to drain. You will never want to pop or puncture the blister around the nail but rather allow it to pop or drain on its own. You will want to continue soaking the toe for a couple more days following the draining of the blister to ensure that your baby’s blister remains gone and the infection cleared.