Good nail hygiene is an important part in rearing your toddler. Despite having tiny adorable fingers, the nails on them do grow fast, and can easily scratch. There is also the risk of infection that they introduce as fingernails, which are known to hide dirt. Caring for your toddler’s nails is an easy part of parenting, and one that is easy to learn for those who have had their first child.
Some Key Points
There are some points that are worth highlighting beforehand
- Trimming nails is essential in the best method of preventing in-grown nails. These are as uncomfortable for toddlers as they are for adults, and prevention is always the best.
- Nails are easiest to cut or trim right after a bath. Warm water does make the nails a little less rigid and a little more flexible so that they are easier to deal with.
- You should not bite your toddler’s nails down. It might seem the road of least resistance when it comes to nail care, but this carries its own set of risks.
- Nail care, if for no other reason, should be done because its results are aesthetic.
Toddler Nail Trimming Tips
It is important to have some kind of frequency for trimming their nails- once a week is considered as ideal by most of the parents. Nails grow at some predetermined rate, and after a week, there is enough new growth on them to necessitate trimming. This is for fingernails. Toenails grow more slowly so once every two weeks should suffice.
A nail clipper is the ideal tool for trimming nails. It should be blunt, and have rounded edges. Clippers with sharp edges and scissors are riskier to use if you have a child that cannot sit still. Forego the use of these until the toddler is no longer in infancy, and has the patience to allow you to trim without moving around.
Nail clippers might be a bit intimidating to your toddler at first, so allow them to watch you use them on yourself and other members of the family. This will wear down any worries they have, and they will become more receptive to their use.
If you have to play games with them as they eat, bath or relax, there is no need to stop now. Invent a silly game that will trick them into letting you trim the nails, each finger at a time. This is not manipulation, it’s simply good parenting.
Good nail care extends past the trimming. There are a few more things you can do to ensure your toddler’s nails remain strong and healthy.
- Wash your toddler’s hands often especially if they grab things, or interact with a lot of people.
- Some lotion or moisturizer applied to the nails following a bath goes a long way in maintaining healthy cuticles.
- Hangnails should be cut with a clean clipper.
- Any infected nails should warrant a visit to the doctor. The affected hand should be soaked warm salty water as it will reduce the number of germs before treatment becomes available.