16 answers

Can I Paint My 2 Year Old's Nails?

Hi! My daugter turned 2 back in July. I like painting my finger nails and toe nails at home and so my daughter thinks she should have her nails done too. Is 2 to young? Or do you think i could use a lite pink color or something bold? Are they too toxic for her? Thats my main concern.... Please Help! Thanks

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I've decided not to paint her nails. I tell her when she gets a little bigger like mommy she can have hers done. now i just wait until naptime or bedtime to paint my nails.

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i would love to know this answer too. my daughter eats it sometimes off her nails so I do not like that.

Hi H.,

I remember seeing a post about this a few months ago. One mom pointed out, a 2 year old will frequently put her fingers in her mouth. Remember polish tends to flake off... do you really want her to have it in her mouth?

Another thing I was told is that the "quick drying" type is very toxic and should not be used with children.

Something else you may want to consider... finger nail polish smells, do you want her breathing in those fumes?

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I think the age is a personal choice, I think it is too young. Yes, nailpolish just like, soap, toothpaste, cleaners and everything else you buy from the store is toxic. Unless you buy a non-toxic water based brand from a health food store (be prepared to pay about $8) for a safe version. The water based only stays on for a day or two but at least you can have peace of mind.

If you are looking for personal care or other non-toxic items, let me know. My house is toxic free!

Once in a while if I took my daughter to nail salon with me (if no sitter, for instance), I'd let her get her nails done too at that age. Typically, I'd let her get a bright pink color. Like hot pink. It's cute. Just stay away from red, which looks tacky at that age. My daughter is now 6. She picked out blue the other day!!

Does your daughter put her hands (or toes) in her mouth? Or chew on her nails? If not, then go ahead and paint them. If you aren't sure, then try it once and see how she does with it. If you see her chewing the polish off then tell her she has to wait till she gets older and doesn't do that anymore. Or get a more "child friendly" polish just for her.

My 2 year olds toe nails were painted the entire summer...I just didn't let her do her finger nails yet because I still see her put her hands in her mouth...but if your child doesn't why not? ANd you can always take it off if there's a problem.

I think if it is a special occasion, like her birthday, etc it's ok, but it should not be a regular occurence. You don't want a young child to become focused on her appearance. As far as the toxins, there are nail polishes out there that are natural. One that is good is from Priti Organic Spa in Manhattan. The spa has since closed but they sell the polish online. http://pritinyc.3dcartstores.com/index.html

Hi - check out piggypaints.com. no harsh chemicals. my girls love them!

Mamasita has the correct response...It is NOT something that a 2yr old should be exposed...

K.

I've been painting my daughter's toe nails since she was 18 months. Since I have funky patterns on my toes (different colors per toe or such) and change them often, everyone was surprised I hadn't done hers sooner. And I've never done muted colors unless she asked for it .... letting her decide makes for amusing 'pamper' sessions.

Good luck and enjoy being a girl with your girl ...

I did it.. my daughter loved having her nails and toes done... go for it.. enjoy!!! If you want they sell nail polish with out chemicals.. you have to look in the stores.. I use the regular kind... have fun... also the book store sells a nail book for kids.. you can do lady bugs, stars... and fun stuff on their nails.. its a cute book.. I think KLUTZ makes it.. look on line..

Hi H.,

I remember seeing a post about this a few months ago. One mom pointed out, a 2 year old will frequently put her fingers in her mouth. Remember polish tends to flake off... do you really want her to have it in her mouth?

Another thing I was told is that the "quick drying" type is very toxic and should not be used with children.

Something else you may want to consider... finger nail polish smells, do you want her breathing in those fumes?

I would suggest you look at the polishes made for children - I have seen them but personally I think 2 is young. Regular polish chips easy and can end up being eaten by a little one!

Dear H.,
I disagree completely about painting your child's nails. I am a doctor with special training in pediatric environmental health, which is the study of how environmental pollution affects children's health. Nail polish and nail polish remover have high concentrations of solvents and other chemicals such as phthalates that are known to be toxic, especially to developing brains and endocrine systems.
Like you, I also have a two year old girly girl who likes to try to do everything that mommy does, especially anything related to make-up. I do paint my nails at home and she, of course, wants to try it too. Like with so many other things, I just explain that this is only for mommy and she is OK with siting there and saying how "pretty" it looks. You are the MOM here, just use this moment to teach your daughter that there are things that are OK for mommies and things that are just for her.

I've been painting my daughters toe nails and finger nails since before she was 2. I guess it depends on the child. My daughter never put her toes or fingers in her mouth, so I didnt really worry about it. She loves it. :)

Just wanted to chime in in support of Mamasita's comments -- from both a health and a developmental perspective, 2 years is too young to be wearing nail polish, in my opinion. In addition to the risks she mentioned from phthalates, many nail polishes also contain formaldehyde, which has been banned in cosmetics in European countries and is considered a "probable" carcinogen by the EPA.

But even if you were to use "safe" polish, girls are sexualized so young these days, and nail polish seems to be another sign of that. When I was little we wore children's clothing... now kids wear clothing in adult styles that is just made in smaller sizes. I think that kids need all the time they can get these days to just be kids, not to try to look, act, or feel like mini-adults. My 3-year-old girly girl has asked to wear nail polish, and I tell her that is something that she can do when she's bigger. It's perfectly okay for there to be things that you, as the mother and adult, do that your daughter does not. And it's easier to try to start setting these limits now than when she's older.

A.

P.S. If you do decide to paint your daughter's nails, I wouldn't trust that products marketed for children are free of toxic chemicals. It's important to read the labels and see if it says "formaldehyde-free" and/or "phthalate-free." And, yes, the safer products are usually more expensive.

i would love to know this answer too. my daughter eats it sometimes off her nails so I do not like that.

I don't think 2 is too young. I would just be sure she is not putting her fingers in her mouth before you paint her finger nails. My 3 1/2 year old loves to have her nails done. I had to stop painting her finger nails as she bites them and I am afraid it might make her sick. But painting her toe nails should be just fine. There are kid friendly nail polishes that might work well. You can find them in the toy section of Walmart or Target.

C.

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