How to File Baby Nails with Emery Board

How to File Baby Nails with Emery Board

A baby comes with a lot of firsts. Most are anticipated, but some cause anxiety for new parents. And cutting an infant’s nails falls into the latter. Most babies are fussy and rarely sit still, making it arduous to use baby scissors or clippers. Luckily, there’s a viable solution- an emery board. But, do you know how to file baby nails with emery board?

Emery boards are best for smoothening the baby nails and keeping them short. You use fluid motions to file down and round the tot’s nails until they’re the desired length and have smooth edges.

This guide is everything you need to know about filing your baby’s nails using an emery board.

Benefits of Using Emery Board on Baby Nails

Many baby nail care kits come with emery boards, but not many can use it to trim baby nails. For the sake of newbies in the house, the emery board is a small flat long object, typically made from cardboard or plastic, coated with powdered emery, or a strip of emery paper is glued on.

Its purpose is to smooth or trim your baby’s nails. This easy tool, has sturdy (yet gentle) filing or grinding surfaces for these reasons:

  • Minimized risk of injuries from cutting your baby with sharp nail clippers or scissors.
  • The emery surface is refined to ensure good baby nail health.
  • Guarantee a smooth finish with no sharp edges.
  • Perfect for small or pliable baby nails.

One of the best things is that emery boards are lightweight, compact, and convenient. This means you can fit it in a small pocket in your baby’s carrier bag or in your hand purse, which allows you to use it anytime and anywhere. 

Guide on How to File Baby Nails with Emery Board

Long nails on the fingers of newborns with little to no control of their hands unsurprisingly contribute to stray scratches. After a month or so, you’ll notice that your munchkin’s nails begin to harden, and you can easily see the separation between nail and flesh. 

Using Emery Board to Reduce Baby Nails

  1. Clean the baby’s hands, and yours too. Use soap and water to eliminate any dirt on and under the nails.
  2. Pat dry with a clean towel. Filing wet nails is a disaster—the wetter the nails, the more pliable and prone to breaking during filing.                                             
  3. Hold the emery board firmly between the thumb and index finger.
  4. With your other hand, hold the baby’s finger or toe gently by the tip and gently press the pa down to reveal the nail.
  5. Work the nail file from the side towards the center in one fluid motion. Never use a sawing action (moving back and forth continuously) when filing a baby’s nails.
  6. Use the same motion on the opposite edge. Be careful not to leave squared edges as they are a hazard for the baby.
  7. File down to the desired length.
  8. Wash away any residue on her nails and dry with a clean cloth.

Give it a break and allow your infant an opportunity to calm down if they become tense. Acting forcefully will only aggravate the situation, making it even harder to complete an otherwise simple task. I found that singing a favorite song might be beneficial. Better yet, pick a time when your munchkin is relaxed, such as after bathtime or when drowsy after nursing.

Using Emery Board with Clippers or Baby Scissors

Once the child is a bit older and it’s no longer a hassle giving them mani-pedis, you can introduce clippers or baby scissors.

Pediatricians suggest that scissors are a better choice, but it’s about what works for you and your little one at the end of the day.

  1. Clean and dry the baby’s hands or feet.
  2. Hold his fingers (or toes) facing away from you. 
  3. Press down gently on the fingertip and move your hand to get the clipper or scissors around both sides of the nail.
  4. Smoothen out any sharp corners or jagged edges using a baby emery board.

Can You Use a Regular File on Baby Nails?

No, you cannot – and neither should you. You might be tempted to use your nail file when you don’t have a baby emery board handy, but please refrain from doing so. The grit on regular nail files is a bit too harsh for your baby’s delicate nails. Even the one that seems smooth on your nail is not suitable for newborns. Metallic nail files are a big no.

More so, if you have used the nail file before, there might be residue from your nail on the file’s surface. This is not bad per se, but if certain products were on your nails, you risk them coming into contact with your munchkin. 

Alternatives of Baby Emery Boards

Even though emery boards are widely available and easily accessible, the local or online store may have low stock. So does this mean that baby’s nails will remain untended until you find an emery board? Not necessarily. There’s a fantastic invention made of a micro emery surface that’s crystallized to gently file baby nails without boo-boos from cuts or abrasions: The glass nail file.

Also known as crystal nail files. They are recommended as an excellent alternative to the traditional emery road due to several advantages they offer, including:

  • A fine grit that makes them extra gentle on baby nails and fingertips.
  • Since they’re made from glass, they don’t wear down. Unless a crystal nail file breaks, you can use it for many years.
  • You can clean them with water to remove any nail fillings, unlike emery boards made of cardboard.

In Summary

The assurance that you will not harm or hurt your infant amid the essential nail trimming makes the entire process more pleasant and effortless. This is why doctors endorse emery boards. They’re gentle and turn mani-pedi sessions into bonding sessions with their young child. I hope you now know how to file baby nails with emery board.