Tiny Toes Corner

How To Clean Under Baby Nails?

I certainly believe that “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. ” It is evident that doctors lay much emphasis on newborn’s hygiene as it is directly related to their health. Hygiene of a newborn includes regular washing and keeping them clean throughout.

While grooming their children, moms often forget to clean finger and toe nails of the babies. This habit leads to accumulation of a number of bacteria under nails which can later sicken the baby.

 If you are curious about ways of cleaning your baby’s nails and things to avoid while doing so, keep reading till the end.

how to clean under baby nails

Maintain Baby’s Hygiene

When it comes to maintaining a newborn’s health, nail care holds much importance. While trimming  nails of a baby, you should make use of the right techniques and try to avoid any scratches.

Previous Ways of Cutting Baby Nails

It’s a famous old wives’ tail that we should keep baby’s nails in rice and rub them off to get them removed. Baby’s skin is softer and raw rice is hard so I don’t think we should do this, it might cause irritation to his skin and the dust in rice might be infectious for the baby.

Another way of cutting baby nails is that mothers peel them off with their hands as they are very soft. We should avoid this too because sometimes the nails are cut more than required and it may start bleeding.

Correct Way of Cutting and Cleaning Baby Nails

Nail clippers or rounded scissors are the best way to cut baby nails. Various nail clipping kits are available in markets and online so we can grab them easily from anywhere. Baby Nail kits include clippers, rounded scissors, and a soft nail filer.

When you Should Cut Baby Nails?

It is advised that you should trim you child’s nails once a week but some babies have higher nail growth rate so you might need to cut them twice a week.   

You should trim his nails when he is sleeping as he’ll be at peace and there are less chances of any accidental scratches due to movements.

You can cut his nails after a meal as he’ll be satisfied and calm. Moreover, you can also trim his nails after a bath because they’ll be softer at that time.

How to Clean Under Baby Nails?

Babies are often seen putting their fingers in their mouth and researches show that we don’t really need to stop them as this habit builds hand-mouth coordination and aids the baby eating meals with his own hands when he gets older.

For this practice, finger nails should be kept clean and germ free. So you need to take special care of the under nail cleaning. The purpose of nails is to protect the fingertips so they should be at least that long to meet this purpose.

For cleaning under nails, we can use a soft brush or piece of cloth ( a wet cloth will do better). Run it thoroughly through the finger and toe nails and the dirt goes away.

When talking about cleaning or maintaining nails, you shouldn’t forget toe nails. Although the baby doesn’t directly put them in their mouth and they do not causes diseases yet long and dirty nails look unsightly and give a bad impression about your child.  

Problems Due to Longer Nails

Longer nails don’t only look ugly but they come along with a lot of health problems. Studies have indicated that the bacteria that cause vomiting and diarrhea in young babies often reside under their nails.

If a child has longer nails and he has a habit of nail biting, it is obvious that it’s providing home for the bacteria to grow and affect his health.

Furthermore, If you trim your toenails too short, particularly on the sides of your big toes, you may set the stage for an ingrown toenail which is quite painful.

Things to Keep in Mind During Nail Grooming

  • Do not trim or clean baby nails in the dark rather choose a lit area and avoid cutting them closer to the skin.
  • Gently hold baby’s hand and press the finger tip to get good grip of the hand to clean them perfectly.
  • Avoid scratches while cutting or cleaning his nails, for this you can wait for the baby to sleep and then do the job.
  • Prefer cutting wet nails (after a bath) as they are softer at that time.
  • If you prefer to use an emery board, gently file the nails in one direction to avoid rough edges.
  •  Avoid using sharp objects like a toothpick, a key or and adult nail clipper to clean his under nails. Always use a damp cloth or a soft brush to do so.
  • Be patient and gentle, take your time and ensure that the baby is calm and comfortable during the process.


 If you are a new parent you must know that nail care is as important as cleaning other body parts. Use a soft brush or damp cloth for cleaning finger and toenails.

 Avoid cutting them too short or keeping them too long. Be gentle while cutting baby’s nails to avoid any scratches.

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