Yes, it’s a bit of a strange topic, but until I had a baby, I’d significantly underestimated just how useful having long – or longish – fingernails can be.
I don’t have particularly strong fingernails, so when they get a tad long they sometimes break along the side, close to where the nail joins the skin. It hurts! When this happens, obviously I clip the broken nail, and then inevitably trim them all to avoid any others breaking. Simple, right? Wrong. When you have short nails, so many things become that much more difficult.
Something as simple as picking a piece of lint off your baby’s clothing or an eyelash off their face becomes a tricky endeavour. I find it nerve-wracking when I’m changing my baby’s nappy and I can’t open a new packet of baby wipes, because I have no nails to use to grasp the edge of the (ridiculously) adhesive seal. The same goes for the Velcro tabs on your baby’s nappy – it’s so hard undo them when you’re trying to fasten the nappy in a hurry. It’s bad enough when your baby is calm, or even a bit wriggly, but when they’re crying because they’re hungry, or for some other reason don’t want their nappy changed, this can send you into a desperate panic. At least, that’s what happens to me! When my little man is crying, I just want to comfort him, and anything fiddly tends to feel like it’s taking twice as long without nails as it usually does.
Speaking of fiddly, this brings me to baby fingernails. Hands up anyone who has freaked out simply at the thought of cutting your baby’s nails? We were so nervous about cutting our son’s fingernails – even when there were two of us – that it took us several weeks after he was born to even try!
In the end, my desire to stop him from scratching his face (not to mention my chest and neck) outweighed my fear of accidentally nicking his finger. I sat him on the floor in front of me, facing away, and used baby nail clippers rather than scissors. I held each tiny finger in my hand and positioned the clippers at the section of nail I want to cut. I waited until he was still for a moment and then quickly pressed down on the clippers. Many times, I had to reposition the clippers and try again. It took me about half an hour to do them all!
He’s become quite a Mr Grabby recently, including (and most often) people’s faces, so I cut his nails again yesterday for probably only the third or fourth time in his life! It feels like such an ordeal – I’m sure many parents can relate! But in the end, you don’t want them to scratch themselves, so you’ve just got to take a deep breath and go for it.
In the meantime, I’ll keep fighting with those Velcro tabs while I wait for my own to grow back …
Mini Mummi Blogger 🌺
Mini Mummi Blogger is a first time mummy to a beautiful baby boy. Currently on maternity leave, she is looking to put her writing/publishing experience to good use through her blog, helping other mummies navigate through the wealth of often conflicting (and, sometimes, even discouraging) information out there about pregnancy and motherhood. She believes that every mummy knows what’s best for her own baby – even first time mums!
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