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28 Month Old WILL NOT Let Me Trim Her Nails, Any Suggestions for Calming Her?

My 28 month old FREAKS out anytime I try to trim her nails. I can get to her fingernails when she sleeps, but her toes are a different scenario. Even in her sleep, she kicks and cries when I touch her feet. She has always been sensitive about her nails. He dad clipped one really short when she was a newborn and sometimes I think she is traumatized..Is it possible?? A couple of times her nails have gotten caught on her pajamas, socks, etc. and caused her pain which isn't helping the situation at all. I'm hoping she'll grow out of it, but in the meantime, I don't want her toenails clicking when she walks across the floor!! lol...any suggestions, besides wresting??

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I've been trying to come up with a solution to this lately because I have the same issue with my 22 month old daughter. Her grandma is always talking about painting her nails, which I so far have put off, since I'm worried about the chemicals in the nail polish. But she loves my painted toes, so I thought this might be a way to "persuade" her to let me clip her nails. I did a little searching online last week, and there is nontoxic nail polish for kids called "Piggy Paints." They even have nontoxic remover. My daughter recently started biting her thumb nails, so I think this is the only way I would be comfortable putting paint on them. The website is www.piggypaint.com, and they even have gift sets where you can pick 2 colors of paint and a bottle of remover and get free shipping. Thought you might find this interesting!

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That natural consequences of her not letting you trim her nails are that she gets hurt when they catch on things. Use that. When she comes crying next time use love and logic..."oh bummer (said with honest empathy). I bet that really hurts. It is too bad you won't let me cut your toe nails. I bet that wouldn't happen if your nails were short. Hmmm. You are so smart. You'll figure out what to do. (smile)" Then turn and walk away. It really is HER problem, not yours. And you have a solution to help her, but you can't force her to accept it. But you can let her live with the slight discomfort of her choices.

check out www.loveandlogic.com for more info on this parenting model. We LOVE it!

My son is 16 months and he is starting the same thing. I started cutting them about 1/2 hour after he falls asleep. This way, I know I can get them done. I do the hardest ones first. Same with the toes. Do them when she is sleeping---you will have a lot less stress--trust me!

My son was also like this when he was younger, although he didn't have a problem with me trimming while he was asleep...I would just use a flashlight to get in and out quickly. My daughter is just fine since she can see her older brother getting it done first. Maybe you could try having her see you do your own first (or you do your husbands) and maybe paint your nails. My 21 month old daughter likes getting the attention and has sat twice now for me to paint her finger and toenails. It could become a fun thing girl task instead of a chore.

Good luck!

I can't offer any help, but I can sympathize with you on this one. My 2.5 year old son is the same way. It's a huge deal to even get ONE nail clipped, much less all 20 of them! Sometimes I can get the finger nails, too, if I'm lucky and he's fast asleep. I can never get the toes, though. Anyone who saw his feet would wonder what kind of parents this kid had because his nails are so long. Even when he's in a deep sleep, he pulls his feet away, kicks and cries. I know exactly what you mean!

do it when shes sound asleep.


I have the same problem with both of my kids. My daughter (6) now is pretty easy. We started doing it as a fun manicure, pedicure time when she was little. I always trim the nails first, then paint them her choice of color. She knows that she can not have her fingernails or toenails painted unless they get trimmed first. This has worked very well for her. My son on the other hand is just like your daughter. I can't really bribe him with polish - so we have tried cartoons and a treat afterward - that sometimes works. Good Luck - you are not alone!


My son gave me a hard time as well. Since he just adores his grandpa, I asked him to do it. That was fine for a little while. Then I told him that I had Grandpa's Magic Clippers. That also worked for a little bit. Now, since he loves to play in the bathtub so much, I tell him that he can take an extra bath if i can cut his nails. Sometimes I play around with him and only cut every other nail...telling him that not all of his nails are long enough yet. He loves that he is "getting away" with another bath...without getting all of his nails cut!
Good luck!

A few things we have tried that seem to work...
1. Let her play with the nail clipper. This seemed to make it not so scary for our daughter. And it was cute watching her 'try' to clip her own nails!
2. Clip your nails (or a sibling's nails) first. Our oldest loves watching us clip the baby's nails
3. I like to count, "one, two, three," (clip) and make it seem like fun! Then say, "your turn. one, two, three," (clip).
4. Clip nails one or two at a time at each diaper change. It takes all day, but you get the job done.
Good Luck!

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