Newborn - Face Scratching + Nail Clipping

Updated on December 18, 2007
K.B. asks from Chazy, NY
5 answers

My newborn is now 4 months old and has razor sharp little nails! He is constantly scratching his face - sometimes even cutting himself - his forehead and cheeks are full of little scapes and cuts - I have tried nail clippers and nail filing which don't prove very effective - he is strong and always wants to rub his face and eyes -
we have tried putting little mits on his hands but are worried about his dexterity development - we also tried putting them on at night but he almost always pulls them off - any advice on how to stop him from scratching up his face?

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L.B.

answers from Boston on

My daughter is 2 weeks old and I have nightgowns and one piece outfits that she cant get her hands through, the sleeve pulls over the opening for the hand. They work so good, she cant get her hand out unless i fold it for her.

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M.P.

answers from Boston on

my son is three months old and I find it impossible to clip those tiny little nails.....so, I bite them! it's easiest to do while he is nursing....if there are any ragged edges I just use a very fine nail file. If I don't do this, he tears his face to shreads, poor little guy :(

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J.G.

answers from Hartford on

Mine too! Those things are SHARP! One thing that I found that helps is after I clip the nail across, I go back and make another tiny clip on each corner just to get rid of that sharp corner and she seems to be scratching herself a lot less... good luck! J.

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C.D.

answers from Providence on

Unfortunately, this is a fact of life. Babies this age don't have complete control over their limbs and frequently cut their faces and heads. The only thing to do is keep the nails clipped and filed as best you can. (I find my sons' nails grew twice as fast as my daughters'!) The mittens will not make his dexterity suffer any at this stage but as you found he will pull them off. Give him toys that engage hand play - rattles, textured toys, etc. and wait it out. Good luck! - C. (mom of 4 who all scratched themselves)

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N.S.

answers from Providence on

My son used to scratch his face up when he was an infant. I would cut his nails as short as I could possibly get them and then I had a fine file (sand turtle, purple back - they sell them at Sally's Beauty Supply) the file is very soft and will not hurt the baby. It helped us out alot. Just enough to get the nails nice and smooth.
I also had the best little mittens from babies r us. They were made by Wendy Bellismo, that was 2 yrs ago, not sure if they still sell them but they were awesome. Made very well and always stayed on! The other thing that you can try for nightime is the swaddle me. We loved them and had many! Good luck!!

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