A newborn has little control over his flailing limbs and can easily end up scratching his own face or yours. You may need to cut your baby's nails several times a week. Toenails require less frequent trimming.

Caring for your baby's umbilical stump

  • Use a pair of baby scissors or clippers made especially for the purpose
  • Press the finger pad away from the nail to avoid nicking the skin, and keep a firm hold on your baby's hand as you clip
  • Cut fingernails along the curve of the finger, and toenails straight across
  • Use an emery board to smooth out any rough edges
  • If you nick a fingertip don't be too hard on yourself, wrap a tissue around the finger and hold it with a little pressure, the bleeding should stop within a couple of minutes
  • Do not put a plaster or a bandage on your baby's finger, he or she could end up choking on it