Skip to main content


Beginnings: Pregnancy, Birth & Beyond

Skip section navigation

Your newborn: Nail care

closeup of baby's fingernails

Use an emery board to smooth out rough edges.

Babies are born with soft nails. However, they soon dry out, and babies can easily scratch themselves.

  • When your baby is a few days old, smooth any rough edges with an emery board.
  • After a few weeks, use a small nail clipper or baby nail scissors.

It may be easiest to trim fingernails when your baby is napping.


Source: Allina Health's Patient Education Department, Beginnings: Pregnancy, Birth and Beyond, sixth edition, preg-ahc-90026, ISBN 1-931876-25-8

First published: 04/01/2002
Last updated: 08/22/2011

Reviewed by: Allina Health's Patient Education Department experts