32 answers

Painting Toenails?

My daughter is 27 months old and I was wondering about at what age is it ok to paint her toenails (or fingernails for that matter). She's very interested in my painting my toes and I'm not thinking of doing hers anytime soon, as just trimming her nails and toes is a complicated process, so I can only imagine how hard it would be to have her sit still to use polish. What do all of you mom's do? Wait until she's much older? I also wonder about organic or all natural polish being a better way to go?

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There are harsh chemical solvents in the polish and especially the polish remover, and babies and kids don't need to be exposed to this stuff. Personally, even if it were organic polish, I would never use that stuff on my child. But then again, I'm the mom who worries about the pesticides in produce, preservatives in packaged food, and the toxic ingredients in plastics, soaps and lotions (even in a lot of products made for babies).

I was so excited to have a little girl I painted her toenails when she was 9 months old by sitting her in the high chair while she munched on some cheerios, she did not even know I was doing it. They look so cute with little pink toenails!! I agree with some of the other Mom's that fingernails are a different story because you don't want them eating the polish when they put their fingers in their mouth, so I'd wait on that for a while longer. Have fun!!!

Does she put her fingers in her mouth all the time still? If so avoid polish on her fingers and good luck getting it on her toe nails and not all over her feet!!!! A.

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Personally, she is to young. I would wait till she is a teenager. She want to grow to fast.

A.,

Last week, my husband painted my daughter's nails for the first time! It was so funny as he is a blue collared worker and I got him just a bit later from work then he did. She comes in running to the front door telling me daddy painted my nails!!! she is 34 months old! She loves it. The nail polish was given to us from a goody bag from a little girls party. It has been a week and all the polish has dissapeared. I can't really tell you when is the right time except I would ensure she is not a thumb sucker or contstantly putting her finger in her mouth.
I think it's fine as long as you tell her not to lick it, or scrap it off and eat it. I guess you would know her maturity level.
good luck mom!

Hi A.
I am a 58 year old soon to be grandmother. When I was pregnant with my twins, they had articles in twin magazines that one way to tell your identical twins apart was to paint their toenails. No one ever mentioned fingernails. Nothing was ever said about babies who chew/suck their toes, but many things were written about painting toenails to tell them apart.
Your question brought back some fond fun memories of all those articles I read to prepare myself for our twins. By the way, they didn't help. Our twins were fraternal, and although they were much alike, we could tell them apart, even though others could not.
God bless you and your daughter.
SAHM of 4 grown children 2 boys and twin girls

Paint them! It's so much fun! I think I started at about 2 with my oldest (now 5). Pink with white polka dots was always her fave...or alternating colors...pink, purple, pink, purple...they love it and it's just as much fun for mom!! Even my son (3) likes to have his done, so I'll do his toenails blue...he hates to be left out! My husband just groans! I've taken lots of pictures so we can tease him when he's a teenager!!

poisons and other chemicals can be absorbed through the skin and YES nail beds...

'm not a "green" or "organic" mom, but I know enough about poison prevention to skip the pretty toenails till your kid weighs enough that the toxins her body will absorb will be diluted in a larger blood stream.

I personally didn't let my girls paint their nails on a regular basis till they were 13. But I did occasionally paint their fingernails with child-safe "Barbie" polish when they were toddlers.

I have two little girls, one almost five and one almost two, and I would wait until she expresses a desire to have them painted. It is a pain painting them, as you have guessed, and why go through all that trouble and torture on someone who doesn't even want it done? Wait till she seems to want to do it, then go for it!

Nail polish has ptthalates in it which can disrupt her natural hormones and lead to breast cancer.

My daughter is 20 months, and we have been painting her toes for quite sometime. She doesnt put her toes in her mouth, so I dont really worry about it. And her nails are so tiny, there is only a small amount of polish on them.

She loves to get her toes painted. She sits very still while I do it. It only takes a minute or two. And it makes for a great reward for getting her toes nails clipped. Something she isnt really a fan of. :)

I have done her fingernails a few times, but I find it chips off very easily. We will stick to just her toes for now.

I would think it would be okay to go ahead and paint her toenails arround age 3. However, I would be careful about painting her fingernails as the polish chips more easily on the fingers. I would be afraid she'd get some in her mouth.

I don't think the "non-toxic" is truly non-toxic. It still contains chemicals, however, it probably is safer.

My girlfriend, who is a nurse, told me NEVER USE SPEED DRY NAILPOLISH. It should not be used for children or adults.

I think its ok at any age.... just be sure to buy NON-TOXIC nailpolish that you can get at any shopping center - Walmart, Kmart, Target-- that way if she does put her toes or fingers in her mouth, it won't hurt her any... hope this helps.

I think that is a very personal decision. While I agree that we don't want our girls growing up faster than they already do today, painting toenails once in a while is ok. Girls are girls and many girls like painted toenails. And, if Mommy has them painted, it is good to have your daughter identify with you and with good grooming. I do object, however, to the "hoochie mama" approach (as we call it), allowing girls wearing makeup, suggestive clothing or too much jewelry until they are MUCH older. But again, that is my opinion and many moms disagree OR, it is a cultural thing, like piercing the ears which is totally acceptable in many cultures at birth. I wasnt allowed to get my ears pierced until I was 16. Try using it as a reward system. Get something out of it for both of you in addition to just being pretty! I know I use a mani/pedi as a reward for myself! Use your judgement, as a Mom of a girl in today's society, it should be the BIGGEST challenge you have! Best of luck!

I was so excited to have a little girl I painted her toenails when she was 9 months old by sitting her in the high chair while she munched on some cheerios, she did not even know I was doing it. They look so cute with little pink toenails!! I agree with some of the other Mom's that fingernails are a different story because you don't want them eating the polish when they put their fingers in their mouth, so I'd wait on that for a while longer. Have fun!!!

Hi A., I have three girls 8, 6 and 3 and have always felt the age I allowed them to wear nail polish was a personal choice. They usually show an interest around 2-3 years old. I took either clear polish or a sheer pink and used that b/c it didn't make a mess, and since they don't sit still and wait for it to dry you cant really notice the smudges on them. They were just excited to be having their nails painted. I tried to wait until 3 to use an actual color, but if they are persistent they want a color you can do their toes.

After reading all the responses, I am very surprised at how many people have said that they paint their toddler's toenails. I had to make the decision of whether to let my 3 year old to use nail polish, lip gloss, & perfume just recently and I decided that it's not in her best interest. I mean, she's only 3 years old! Why would you want her to grow up faster than the speed at which she is naturally growing. It all goes by so fast, why would you want to speed this up? I don't get it. We should preserve their innocense and keep them the way God designed them for as long as possible. If not, it will be nail polish today, make-up tomorrow, and piercings the next day. Be careful!

If you can get her to sit still, now's a perfect time to start! My mom is a nurse practitioner who worked in pediatrics for a long time, and she's been painting my daughter's toenails since she was an infant (she's now on the verge of turning 3). Only Oma could get her to sit still like that! But I point out my mom's medical credentials only to show that the polish is pretty safe on their nails! My daughter is a little princess - she loves pretty pink polish. Oh, and don't forget to work on blowing them dry with her - it's hilarious to watch my daughter puff up her little cheeks!

Why start something like this at such a young age? My daughter is 9 and we have never did it for her. There are so many chemicals in this world and they are often inescapable. Why add to that burden? Is there a need to apply them directly to our fingernails? Especially to our young children's fingernails or toenails? Please do your own research.

All the best

C.

Go ahead and paint them and don't worry so much! You can paint them while she's sleeping, but she may be so fascinated by the process that she sits still for you. I wouldn't do it all the time, but now and then won't hurt anything. Use a speed dry nail polish - by the time you've painted the second hand or foot, the first one's almost dry. Most brands like this will chip off fairly easily on the hands, so I've usually used paler colors. Obviously, polish on the toes stays on longer. I also have my girls sit a few minutes afterward to make sure the polish is set, so using a little timer or buzzer on the oven works great for that.

My girlfriend used it as a potty training tool. Everytime she goes on the potty, they paint one toe nail. It has worked wonders for potty training. I have an 8 yo, and I would paint her nails every once in a while at 4yo. Have fun! C.

Does she put her fingers in her mouth all the time still? If so avoid polish on her fingers and good luck getting it on her toe nails and not all over her feet!!!! A.

hello, i once was told by my ped. that as long as the child is healthy i could start painting my girls nails after they turned a year. it was also recommended to me to not paint fingernails if your daughter is a nail biter or likes putting her hands in her mouth.

have fun, the 1st time is such a memory!

I paint my daughters toes, she's 28 months. I would wait on the fingernails only because they still put their fingers in their mouths a lot.

i have two girls and i started painting toe nails at age two. if your kids suck on thumb or any other finger do not paint fingernails. nail polishes of all kinds leak poison, like the plastic bottles etc.! so unless you kid is good about not having her hands in her mouth i wouldnt paint fingers, so the toes are pretty save, though i am not sure how much the body absorbs nailpolish through the nail? my girls do wear nailpolish mainly in the summer time

They actually sell kids nail polish and make up thats non toxic, and safe, Check walmart, and Target.

M

A.,

A few weeks ago I watched my niece's and I painted both of their toenails. Rowan is only 10 months months and her sister mackenzie 7. My sister sid she got so many compliments on how cute her toenails looked. She was very good and stayed quite still when they were being painted. Then I put her in her walker afterwards so they wouldn't get smudged until they dried. I personally think it would be absolutely fine painting your 27 month olds toenails. My daughter is 20 years old now and she survived all the toenail polishing. I think regular toenail polish is fine.

T.

Unless you find a relialbe company go with natural polish. There are so many toxins in nailpolish and other personal care items. Children also are affected by them more then adults.
T.

Hi,

It looks cute on little girls, but I would be very hesitant to do it on one so young - except maybe once a year, for a wedding, or her birthday, or something. Bear in mind that you are putting chemicals on her body, and then more chemicals to remove the unsightly chipped and peeling nail varnish a few weeks down the line.

If you do paint her nails, please be aware that A. allergy to nail varnish will manifest itself near the EYES - ie a long way away from where the nail varnish is! Not many people seem to know that, so if she does complain of discomfort in or around her eyes, you know it might be the nail varnish.

Enjoy your girlie girl : )

A.

We started at 18 months - while my daughter was learning to use the potty! 1 nail each time she sat on it. We'd read a story while the nail dried. To this day, she loves nail polish, and is very good at sitting still while we work on it. Use a blow dryer to speed drying.

Always remember that toddlers and kids are, ounce for ounce, pound for pound exquisitely more vulnerable to toxic chemicals than we adults are.
I wouldn't reccomend nail poilish for your daughter OR for you for that matter! Why not get a nail buffer system? Totally safe, totally non toxic.

Read the book, Green Babies, Green Mommies by Linda Fassa

Here's the deal with "non toxic" nail polish. Number one, I'm not 100% convinced it's "non toxic". #2 You are still getting your child in the habit of nail polish, so you're paving the way for the toxic nail polish in the future!

We live in an overly toxic environment, no need to add more insult to the daily injury.

The nail buffer works really well to create clear shiny nails!
Better safe than sorry.

There are harsh chemical solvents in the polish and especially the polish remover, and babies and kids don't need to be exposed to this stuff. Personally, even if it were organic polish, I would never use that stuff on my child. But then again, I'm the mom who worries about the pesticides in produce, preservatives in packaged food, and the toxic ingredients in plastics, soaps and lotions (even in a lot of products made for babies).

I have painted both of my kids finger and toe nails before. My kids are 4 and 22 months told. firs of all, on the little one, the polish doesn't last very long. There are kids nail polish's out there. I can't say that I tell the difference with any polish out there. My husband was really against the idea because he doesn't want his kids looking like "little hookers". But it doesn't have to be that way either. Pretty soft pink is what we use on our girls. We don't have them painted all the time, but once in a while we will go through the "i like to be pretty" stage. I don't see any harm in it, as long as my kids aren't wearing bright pink or red polish.

You are never too young to paint those toenails ;)
There are non toxic nail polishes available at target and toys r us, and you can start with her toes and not her fingers if you are truly concerned. And you can most certainly go organic if you can find it. I started my daughter at 18 months. She was always fascinated by the colors and presently at the age of 11 is a very girlie girl and loves nail polish. You can paint her nails, until she get a little older, while she sleeps.

Painting toenails is so cute on a little girl. As long as she doesn't put her feet in her mouth (like lots of other babies)i don't see the harm. My girls are 3 1/2 now and they love it. Painting them while they are sleeping is always easier at that age because they stay still and have time to dry :). Have fun and enjoy your little princess!

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