What are ways or ideas for clipping nails?

Stacy - posted on 03/07/2010 ( 40 moms have responded )

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My son is a very active 17 month old and it is very difficult clipping his finger and toe nails. I try doing them when he is sleeping but as soon as i try he wakes up because he is a very light sleeper. So if anyone has an ideas please let me know.

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Ashley - posted on 03/09/2010

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I have 3 suggestions. They all seem to work with my 16 month old, but since I have to clip his nails every 3-4 days, I rotate them so he doesn't get sick of them.
1. Sit them in your lap, and turn on the TV to cartoons. Let's face it, at this age, they're amazed by the TV, and will stare at it while you do their nails.
2. I sit him in my lap, and sing different songs to my little guy so he doesn't get bored. Gotta be quick with this one though, because of the short attention span....
3. Draw two hands on paper with fingernails. On each fingernail, put a snack. Let them pick which snack they want to eat first, but they have to let you cut the corresponding nail before they can have the snack.

Hannah - posted on 03/07/2010

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I just read in the PARENT magazine a GREAT idea to try, let them put their hands under water while you do it, b/c the water will also, soften the nail and it won't bother them as much. Ava is 17mts. also, I FINALLY figured out that if i let her sit in her bean bag, and put on Mickey Mouse clubhouse, she doesn't pay me too much attention so I CAN clip them. I hope you figure something out!! It's frustrating I know! good luck!

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Nkanyezi - posted on 03/20/2010

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Try to put your child in his high chair to cut his nails that usually helps. You may have to give him something to play with so his attention will not be on what your doing.

Paula - posted on 03/19/2010

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I use a nail file. My daughter is enthralled by the file. If I need to use the clippers, I clip while she is sleeping or have daddy hold her and read her a story or play with her while I clip. I find that she is more tolerant of the file.

Kianne - posted on 03/18/2010

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i do it in the bath, they don't then, they won't let me do it any other time

Becky - posted on 03/17/2010

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Lots of great suggestions! I, too, struggled with this, but now I do it in his highchair where he is strapped in and can't escape! Good luck!

Jessica - posted on 03/16/2010

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with my daughter i just give her a sippy cup and while she hold it with one hand i do it to the other hane vice versa...

Sara - posted on 03/16/2010

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I usually do all 3 of my kids right in a row, and they're all different on wiggliness/tolerance. My 3-year-old finally likes it and comments, "don't cut them too short!" while my 17-month-old boys usually start out fine and then get very difficult for the last 2 to 7 nails. ARGH. I do a lot of different tactics depending on the kids and their mood-- usually it's a combination of getting them to think about their other hand with a toy, singing a counting song as I go, and goofing off to make them laugh (i.e. pretending their fingers are cookies and I'm Cookie Monster). They are just starting to sit still to videos in the last week or 2, so I may try that next time.

Lynnsae - posted on 03/16/2010

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i for surely know it's not easy cutting nail weither they're hand or feet. my son is 17 months also and very over active and hates to stay still. i use to do it while he was sleeping and then realized that i can't always cut his nails while he sleeps so i started to do it while he was awake. so what i did was sit him in my lap and it seems to we working out. i guess it's just comforting.

Tiffany - posted on 03/16/2010

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I bite my daughter's off. Just hold her fingers still when we read a book or somethong, works like a charm.
Works way better and I never cut her! :)

Elise - posted on 03/16/2010

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my daughter is 16 1/2 months old and i find that if i sing her a song about cutting her nails and say "Clip!" loud or in a funny way when im doing the cutting she actually enjoys it when i cut her nails. she thinks its a great game and laughs the whole time.

Jessi - posted on 03/16/2010

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Wow, i'm amazed at a lot of the responses. I'm surprised so many people are having this problem still. I was having the same problem with my 17mo daughter quite a few months back. I spoke to her pediatrician about it, because I thought it was quite ridiculous having to be sneaky while she was sleeping. I knew there was an easier way.



I do my own nails in front of her. When she seems intrigued, I ask her if she wants me to clip her nails. When she says yes (which is most of the time) I sit her in my lap, show her every nail as I clip them and count. She learns to sit still for a few moments, that it doesn't hurt, and she's pretty good at counting to 10 already. We do the same thing with her toes.



Same thing with painting her finger and toenails now. She is by no means an easy or laid back child. She is off the walls crazy most of the time. And, since her nails grow REALLY fast, I have to clip them at least twice a week.



When I started this, I could only get a few nails at a time, but after a week or two I was able to do all her nails at once, while she watched and counted. It's gotten to where I don't even need to do my own nails to get her interested anymore. I just ask her if I can clip her nails and she climbs into my lap nodding yes.



Hope I helped. Good luck everyone

[deleted account]

I usually do it in the morning first thing or evening right before bed after the bath when she's kind of drowsy. I put Curious George on for her and she get's so into it that she doesn't realize what I'm doing. I don't like her watching too much TV but it does help sometimes! Usually I can get through one or both hands no problem, otherwise it would be impossible the way she moves around!

Kelly - posted on 03/16/2010

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I play this little piggy went to the market.... she also looks at a book. I usually end up doing it before a nap or betime because that is when I remember. then it is my 4yo son's turn. she used to struggle alot. it may sound wierd to compare the 2, but just like w/clipping my cat's claws, they get used to it like a routine.

Dawn Van - posted on 03/15/2010

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I usually cut my daughters when she's breastfeeding before bed. Very docile already and really only fusses if she breaks her latch!

Sara - posted on 03/15/2010

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We have a Youtube video we watch every time we cut his nails. I tell him "it's time to watch the penguin video and trim your nails!" and he climbs into my lap and puts his hands up on the edge of the desk. We've been doing this with the same video every time (search for Disco Pinguins on Youtube if you want to see it), and it's worked great so far! I'm able to get all his fingers and toes done in one showing, and if for some reason I don't get them all done we just play the video again. After that if he still wants to sit at the computer, we go to kneebouncers.com and let him play for a few more minutes :)

Stephanie - posted on 03/15/2010

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With my 17 month old son I have to wait until snack time. This is literaly the only time he will sit still for anything. While he is munching away at his apple slices or grape halves I do what ever hand he is not using then I switch the bowel to the other side of him so that he has to use the hand I have finished so that I can clip the other fingers. I have tried to put a cartoon on for him but that hasn't worked so far. He is too interested in playing while watching the show.

Christina - posted on 03/15/2010

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Oh man me too! My son is 16 months and I sneak into his room at night with a flashlight in my mouth armed with nail clippers. His feet are so ticklish, so thats hard and most times I end up waking him up when I try to clip them! :o(

Ingrid - posted on 03/14/2010

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Toes are a problem - like other moms have said, tv or bath or some other form of distraction will usually allow you to get at least a couple done at a time. I definitely can't get them all done:) Fingernails, I've figured out that while she's nursing I can just bite her fingernails. She has always HATED having her hands confined - even as a newborn - so that's the only time she'll let me hold them for even a few seconds.

Kelly - posted on 03/13/2010

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I put on a show my 17 mo old likes, and have her watch the show sitting in my lap while I cut her nails. I usually do this just before I put her to bed, so she's pretty sleepy and doesn't usually fight it.

Sondra - posted on 03/13/2010

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Looks like you already have a ton of great suggestions. I'm going to try the one of doing it during bathtime. I've found that my daughter will only let me do one or two nails at a time, so instead of clipping her nails all at the same time, I just cut the longest ones I see every day or two.

Blair - posted on 03/13/2010

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Me too! We get two pairs of clippers and once he tries to grab the ones I'm, using I just trade him for the ones in his hands... not that any of my strategies really work all that well, he still goes around looking a bit like Howard Hughes...

[deleted account]

I showed my daughter how I cut my nails and told her it doesn't hurt.

And I put on a kid's tv show while cut her nails. Works like a charm:-)



best wishes:-)

Rebecca - posted on 03/11/2010

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I have found that my 16 month old daughter wants to do whatever I do... So I clip one of my nails, then one of hers. Now whenever I cut my nails, she runs over and holds out her hand!

Liberty - posted on 03/11/2010

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With my 17-month-old, I've tried getting my husband to distract my daughter, doing it while she's in her high chair or car seat, anything I can think of. In order to do her toes, the only thing I can do that works is to lock her knees down by resting my arm over them while she's laying down. I use that arm to hold her foot and spread her toes and my other to actually clip her nails. She's extremely ticklish, so a distraction technique doesn't work with her. Her hands, I just try to get them when I can--especially when she's cuddly towards naptime or bedtime.

Ellen - posted on 03/11/2010

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Do it while he's in the bathtub! It works well because his fingernails are soft from the water and you can make a game out of in the tub! Hope that helps. Both my kids LOVE doing that :-)

Tiffany - posted on 03/11/2010

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I give my 16 month old a toothbrush with infant toothpaste and let him just chew on it while I am cutting his nails. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesnt.

Amanda - posted on 03/11/2010

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i started doing Aidan's in the tub until he started just letting me do it (mostly), so now i just have him sit on my lap and do them as quickly as i safely can.

[deleted account]

I think all of the above suggestions are great and I have a suggestion about what to cut them nails with, in conjunction with trying to focus their attention elsewhere while you cut them. I use La Crosse cuticle clippers, which cut at an angle. You can get them at Wal-Mart for about $1.99. They grab the actual nail without getting too close to the skin. I've never cut my 16 month old while using these; even if she is wiggling around.

Katherine - posted on 03/10/2010

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My second son is amazing. He's so fascinated with the clipping he actually hold still! With my first, I would do it one of two times. First: while he was eating. It's a bit messy, but give them one of their favorite foods in one hand and clip the other. They are so busy with chewing and the other hand that they are more receptive to the clippers. and second: for light sleepers, there's a sweet spot about ten minutes after they fall asleep where they are in deeper. That's when you need to catch them to clip. If you wait much longer they get past the deeper sleep stage and that's when they'll wake up.

Nicole - posted on 03/10/2010

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I have always clipped my daughter's (now an active 17 month old) nails while she is in the tub. She is so distracted by having fun in the water that she barely pays attention to me, though toenails are a bit harder. She is so used to it that before we ran out of the door this morning, I noticed her nails were getting a bit long and she let me clip them no problem! Hope that helps...

[deleted account]

I hear you, Active 17 month olds can make it a challenge, from the beginning what we did was count our fingers and toes, after one nail was cut we said one, then on and on. She has been great with it

Claire - posted on 03/09/2010

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My daughter will agree to a beauty shop nail clipping, especially if she gets her toenails painted as a reward for sitting still the whole time.
My son, on the other hand will not let me clip fingers or toes unless he's engrossed in a show. Our best bet has been while he's watching Chica on Sprout.

Stephanie - posted on 03/09/2010

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My baby sits in her high chair and we play beauty shop! She loves it! She even sits still enough to paint her nails! She's a bit of a girly girl! Daddy making faces always helped before we found this though! We do usually do ours after bath so they're nice and soft!

[deleted account]

I give my son a pair of nail clippers of his own to play with while I work. I also get my husband to make funny faces at him. It's a challenge. Sometimes I give up halfway through and try again another day.

Lena - posted on 03/07/2010

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I do it while they are in their high chairs after a meal or unfortunately, while the tv is on.

Corinne - posted on 03/07/2010

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since my baby was itty bitty i had to clip her nails when she would nap!! its the only way she would stay still! otherwise she would wiggle so much i accidently cut her twice! :(:( i had to wait till iknew she was in her deep sleep cycle and take my time with it! moving very slowely...grabbing her foot...wait till she stops moving...put the cutters on...wait...then clip! took a lot more time but it worked for me! now if i need to cut them and shes awake i just use my hands and peel the nail! it sucks to do that but its easier to hold her down and do that then use a sharp object!

[deleted account]

my son is 16 months and also VERY active. he never has liked having his nails clipped but now i put on one of his favorite shows and while he's in his zone i am able to generally get the job done

Penny - posted on 03/07/2010

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i have the same sought of problem he is very ticklish on his feet aswell. he just doesnt want to keep still. the 1 day i was filing my nails n he was looking curious so i was able to do some of his nails this way aswell. the feet are still a bit of a prob though

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