Fear of Fingernail/toenail Trimming

Updated on December 18, 2010
B.M. asks from Marietta, GA
11 answers

My daughter, who is almost 6, has this crazy fear about getting her nails trimmed. If we want to trim her nails we have to hold her down while she screams -- and I do mean screamed! Screaming, yelling, shouting! I don't know what to do. I wish she would just bite her nails! (Never thought I would say that). Any suggestions to calm her, because I am not willing to hold her down to trim nails!

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So What Happened?

Thanks for all the ideas. I have tried the sleeping approach -- but she wakes up. We have done the manicure too. That was the last time I was able to do them successfully. Maybe I will let her try them herself....it is getting to be gross, so we have to do something! :) THANKS!

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M.M.

answers from Atlanta on

Hi B.,
I had the same issue with my son and to this day he hates it and he's 11yrs old. What I did was teach him how to do it himself. He's not scarred to do it himself. Granted it takes 3 times as long but at least it gets done. I taught him to use the large toenail clippers because it's easier for him to handle. Somehow doing it himself took the fear out of it. Hope this helps.

M.

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V.W.

answers from Atlanta on

wait till she is asleep and then do it! That's what I do with my three year old and it works great.

2 moms found this helpful
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J.H.

answers from Atlanta on

Hey B.! I just saw a great tip that said that if you are having the trouble you are to try buying 10 finger puppets and as you trim each nail replace the nail with a puppet. Then you get the job done and your daughter gets some puppets to play with for a while. Don't let her keep them to play too long and then store them for the next trim. Hope this helps! Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful
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M.

answers from Atlanta on

Have you tried to do it while she is sleeping? My aunt would do that to her girls, and actually paint the nails too! The girls would think it was great fun when they woke up to find their nails done.

1 mom found this helpful
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M.T.

answers from Atlanta on

Trim her nails while she is asleep.
Would she go for a manicure with you? Sometimes if someone other than mom does it, it works.

1 mom found this helpful
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M.M.

answers from Atlanta on

Hi B.,
I had the same issue with my son and to this day he hates it and he's 11yrs old. What I did was teach him how to do it himself. He's not scarred to do it himself. Granted it takes 3 times as long but at least it gets done. I taught him to use the large toenail clippers because it's easier for him to handle. Somehow doing it himself took the fear out of it. Hope this helps.

M.

1 mom found this helpful
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C.S.

answers from Atlanta on

Have you tried using a nail file instead? I know some kids are really terrified of those clippers that look like jaws and make noise, but they are ok with files that don't have the potential to hurt.

1 mom found this helpful
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B.S.

answers from Atlanta on

Cutting & painting them while she sleeps is the best way. Another thought is to file them...it feels funny on the fingertips, so she might enjoy it. Don't make a big deal about it because she'll feed off your frustration and only make matters worse. Good Luck!

1 mom found this helpful
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M.G.

answers from Atlanta on

Trim her nails while she is sleeping.

1 mom found this helpful
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A.F.

answers from Atlanta on

My 2.5 year old son is the same way. We have to do it while he's sleeping. I tell him the "nail fairy" is coming tonight :). I wish there was a different way, but nothing else has worked.

1 mom found this helpful
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L.S.

answers from Atlanta on

She's old enough to let her try it herself. Use the baby clippers and supervise after giving instructions about the white versus the nail bed, etc. Do fun nail polish or a treat as in incentive.

1 mom found this helpful
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K.S.

answers from Lake Charles on

I really think trimming a childs nails when they are sleeping if they have this fear is a bad idea. I had this phobia when I was young and my mom tried to trim mine when I was sleeping. She said I woke up and freaked out and now I have a really bad phobia about anybody touching my fingernails, fingernail files, or seeing people touch their fingernails, and its miserable. I don't know if that's actually what caused it, but it'd probably be better if you let her trim them herself. I hope this helps.

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