My Toddler Refuses To Trim Her Nail. What Should I Do?

Nail trimming is a scary thing for young children who tend to associate the cutting of body part with “hurt”.  Nail trimming can be a scary thing for parents too who usually have trouble getting their kids to keep their hand or food motionless. But nail trimming is important, so the show must go on. Here are some tips to make nail trimming experience less stressful for both you and your toddler.

Explain why nail trimming is important.  Tell your kid that dirt, fungi, germs and bacteria can accumulate underneath their nails (in the form of some blackish stuff), so

it is important to keep them short and clean. Explain to your kid that hand washing is not enough to get rid of the germs. You can also tell them that long nails tend to crack and split and can inadvertently cause harm. In addition, proper toenails trimming is needed to avoid ingrown toenail which can be very painful and can cause infections. So in short, nail trimming is important for the children’s health.

Soften the nail. Soak the nails in soapy lukewarm water first for about five minutes before trimming. It helps in making the nails softer and easier to clip. If this is not possible, cut your kid’s nail just right after he takes a nice warm bath.

Choose the right instrument. To avoid accidental nicking of the skin, use small nail clipper or baby scissors with rounded blunt edges. To eliminate fear of scissor or nail clipper, let your kid hold it and examine it (of course under your close supervision). Explain how the scissor or clipper works.

Let them watch others do it. Your child may fail to understand

that nails grow back or that nail cutting is not hurt. So, cut your own nails or older sibling or other family members first in front of your toddler to show her that it will not do her any harm. She most likely couldn’t wait for her turn too.

Make it fun. Singing a “Five Little Pigs” song and pretend that your kid’s finger are family of five little piggies or rhyming while trimming can distract your toddler during the process. After you cut nail of one finger, offer your kid to put on a finger puppet on that particular finger as a reward. Do this until all ten fingers are covered. Not only cooperation is guaranteed, your toddler may end up having some good time.

Wait until she sleeps. If none of the above steps works for your toddler, then do the trimming when she is asleep. Wait until your kid is really fast asleep and do it as quickly and as quietly as possible.

Do it regularly. Set a nail trimming schedule with your kid, maybe once or twice a week. If your kid struggles a lot, do not push her to trim all ten fingers in one sitting. Let her dash off and try again later.

Source : What to Expect the Toddler Years, author : Arlene Eisenberg  , Heidi Eisenberg Murkoff, Sandee E. Hathaway

Article Written By Yovita Siswati

Yovita Siswati is a blogger at

Last updated on 24-07-2016 621 0

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