Babies are so small and fragile, it can be surprising (and painful) to find out their fingernails are quite dangerous. Personally, I could not believe how sharp they got and how fast they grew, and they always seemed to get in the way of little exploring fingers and soft cheeks. I couldn’t seem to stay on top of them, and it was never an easy task, so I decided to look it up. It turns out; there is no other time in human existence when cells are multiplying so quickly as when the body finishes the initial stages of growing. These rapid changes will be evident in many parts of a baby’s body. His or her hair will be growing at a shocking pace, and you’ll have trouble keeping track of height. Fingernails are another part of the body that will quickly grow, and it’s important to monitor this part of growth closely. If the nails get too long, a baby might accidentally cut someone, or worse yet, himself. Arbitrary arm-flails probably aren’t out of the ordinary, so it’s best to be prepared by keeping the nails smooth and short- but how?

Obviously, your baby can’t make a quick trip to the nail salon, so it will be your job to keep them trim. If your baby falls asleep easily in the car, have your baby nail clippers handy on your next road trip and trim them while he or she is asleep in the car seat. You’ll have easy access and your baby won’t even know what happened by the time it’s over. If he or she wakes up and starts thrashing, there’s always the risk that you might accidentally snip the skin on the finger. If this happens, you’ll probably never forget the debilitating guilt, but apply pressure to the wound and rest assured your baby will never remember. It happens to even the most careful parents. However, you should avoid using a Band-Aid on the injury because it could end up in your baby’s mouth eventually and pose a serious choking hazard. If you’re to nervous about approaching your baby with sharp nail clippers, a nail file will also do the job. Just make sure you smooth out any sharp edges on the nail.

Trimming your baby’s nails will be difficult, but it’s important that you do it often so that he or she doesn’t leave a trail of blood like Edward Scissorhands every time excitement transpires. As long as you have the right tools and can work on nail-trims when your baby is especially groggy or sleeping, they won’t be difficult at all. Eventually, nail growth will slow down, and at some point you’ll even be able to pass the nail trimmers on. Of course, by then, you’ll have other rabid changes to worry about, but unfortunately, there are no quick tips for controlling teenage hormones.

Source: Fertleman, Caroline. Your Baby Week By Week: The Ultimate Guide to Caring for Your New Baby. Chatham, UK: Random House 2008