It can be difficult and very stressful for all involved when trying to care for a baby or child’s nails if they suffer from sensory processing issues or sensitivities. Many will find it difficult to cope with having their nails cut.
Listed below are some tips and tricks that can assist in making this activity less stressful for both parent and child and how Baby Nails – The Thumble® can help.
- Please don’t avoid it! If nail care is an unpleasant event then it’s understandable why it is often left until it becomes avoidable. Rare events are almost always seen as unwelcome or even threatening, therefore make it more familiar, try to make nail care something you do on a daily basis.
- Massage the baby’s or toddler’s hands before cutting their nails, this can help with sensitivity and be relaxing before you start. Or you might find nail care easier when the nails are soft after a bath or shower.
- Use the right tool! Scissors and clippers can be scary. They create noise which can be distracting and intolerable to some baby’s or toddlers. Daily nail filing can be less scary and can keep the nails well groomed. A nail file is also safe and if your baby or toddler does suddenly become agitated then there will be no accidents. Yes, filing can take longer but it works, surely it is better to have a calm baby or toddler that can handle having their nails filed daily than one who squirms and screams and becomes fearful of other nail care routines. In the long run it will be less stressful for all involved.
- The Thumble® was designed to be worn so you can keep your baby or toddler close whilst caring for their nails, so if tolerated your baby or child can be cradled or sat on your lap whilst having their nails filed so they feel more comfortable. You can even lay down and use the Thumble® to file their nails.
- Our nail files are foam filed so are cushioned and follow the contour of the nail, preventing you from filing your baby’s or toddler’s nails too short which can increase sensitivity in their fingertips.
- Distract them by playing some soothing music or let them watch their favourite TV show or film whilst you file their nails.
- The Thumble® itself is a great distraction and it is very visual. We have reports that babies or toddlers can be mesmerised by the purple Thumble®. The other great thing about the Thumble® is that as it’s wearable you can keep your baby or toddler focused and distracted with a toy or a book whilst you file.
- If you decide to use scissors you might find using a pair of round edged baby scissors work well as these can be less irritating. When you cut the nails always make sure that you leave a white edge rather than cutting them right up to the skin. If they are cut too short this can increase sensitivity in fingertips. Nail scissors can leave a sharp edge, so the Thumble® can then be used to neaten up the nail leaving it smooth and shaped.
- What about cutting their nails as they sleep? If your baby or toddler have a low tolerance to nail care then the Thumble® is perfect to use whilst they sleep.
- If your child is older you may consider letting them care for their own nails, being in control of the situation may ease their sensory discomfort. The Thumble® is a great safe tool for them to use independently.
- Most of all keep them comfortable. It is important to stay happy and calm during nail care time. Your baby or toddler may pick up on your emotions if you are feeling frustrated or upset, which in turn will trigger a negative response from them too. You don’t want to associate nail care with a negative feeling. So, remember to keep a calm and caring voice and keep your movements steady and controlled. If your baby or toddler does get distressed, stop the activity and try again tomorrow.