How to cut toddler nails


trimming-kids-nails

Trimming kids Nails

And you thought cutting the tiny nails of your baby was difficult.

Now with an actively protestingTODDLER, it can become a complete nightmare, aaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhh!

So here are some tips for cutting toddler nails that worked for me:

Tip 1: Find a time of the day when your tot is calm.

This can be before or after sleep, better after than before meals, etc. Even if cutting is extremely urgent, resist the temptation to force it on your kid when active, and wanting to play independently: that can backfire in her resisting even when originally calm.

Tip 2: Ask for his/her permission.

Yes, you heard it right. Your toddler is an independent being, and this is just the age when they begin to realize this. Their bodyparts are, well, theirs – and you need to respect it. Before getting the scissors or nailclip out, ask if you may cut their fingernails! They may surprise you by actually becoming interested and wanting their nails cut 🙂

Tip 3: Make her cosy, but trim the nails quickly!

You need to make your tot feel comfortable and safe while parts of her body are being cut off (sound scary? – well it could really scare her too!). What worked best for me is to have her in my lap turned out. This way my body is holding her, and I can still move the sharp scissor away from both our bodies in a second.
Don’t spend too much time getting comfortable, though: toddlers loose patience quickly, so get as much done as possible before she wants to move on.

Tip 4: Show him what you are doing.

Times are past when simply distracting him was enough: he’ll notice something is happening and will be distrustful if he doesn’t know what. So show him how biiiiig his nails are, and how mommy cuts it. „See how that bit falls off? Oooooh, and that other finger..” – tell him the story of what you are doing, make it interesting (daddy finger, mommy finger, sound a note?).

Tip 5: Keep her occupied.

Once she becomes comfortable with her nails being cut, and looses interest in the activity, you’ll need something to keep her occupied – but not her hands, you need those. Best if someone is around: have them read a book, tell a story. If no-one is there to help, you can have her watch a cartoon, or tell her a story yourself (have a book close, so her eyes are also occupied).

Tip 6: Cut the important nails first.

Always be prepared that you might not be able to all 10 fingers at once. It’s best to take a look at your toddler’s nails long before you start cutting, and check which nails need to be trimmed first.

Tip 7: If nothing helps – postpone the action.

There’s no point in getting a cranky, protesting, widgeting toddler (or yourself) hurt, so if you can’t get him to keep still, just stop and go do something else.

Tip 8: If nothing ever helps – do one nail per day.

This one became our solution for toenails. It is so much more difficult to show what’s happening when you’re cutting toenails, and for some reason my tot likes to keep her feet to herself more than her hands. So I always cut one toenail in the morning before we put on her socks. By the time she can start protesting, it’s done. You might have to start all over as soon as all 10 nails are cut, but it does take the stress off of both of you.

Good luck!

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