Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Backwards Works-for-me-Wednesdays: Cutting your toddlers nails?

Love Bug is 16 months old and hates when I cut her nails. I have to work on it all day when I can catch her or wait until my husband gets home and have him hold her while I do it. I do it quickly and have never cut her, so I don't understand why she would hate it so much.

Does anyone have any advice for cutting her nails? A way to get her to sit still? A game so she'll think it's fun? Anything would help!
Need some help yourself? Stop by Rocks in my Dryer, hosted by Shannon, to get some advice!

16 comments:

Amy said...

I take my daughter out to sit on the front porch so she can she what's going on in the neighborhood. She LOVES it, and is usually too distracted to care what I'm doing to her. PLUS, the nail clippings can go where ever they want, and I don't have to worry about cleaning them up.

Hope this helps!

~ Amy @ Memoirs of a Mommy

*carrie* said...

Abbey,

I clip N's nails while he watches Baby Einstein, but I know that won't work for you at this point. I agree with the above--something for Love Bug to watch that will keep her mind off what's happening!

Edi said...

When my kids were babies I would do it when they were asleep or almost sleeping (just after milk time)...

Cheri said...

We used to wait until The Boy was asleep. He was a really sound sleeper, and it wasn't traumatic.

Have you tried rewards at all? Maybe a fruit snack for each nail?

Erica said...

With my daughter, I used to let her hold her own pair of nail clippers. That would often distract her enough.

This sounds silly, but I also sometimes would have to pretend that the clippers are a bee. They will "buzz" around and finally land on her finger and cut a nail quickly. Cate thought this was hilarious!

Some people I know that have daughters a little older than yours will bribe them with letting them paint their nails when they're finished, but I've never really wanted to put makeup on Cate so I haven't used that one myself.

TracyMichele said...

I have used treats and also given my kids their own pair of clippers to play with. It never seemed to work. Then I realized one day that although I wasn't cutting them, it WAS still hurting. They were "lucky" to inherit my fingers. We all have skin that grows high on the nail (underneath) so when we clip their nails at a "normal" length, it actually DOES hurt. Just thought I would throw that out there. She might just be antsy but it might also be hurting.

Best of luck!

The Wade's said...

I do my best to wait until our son Jackson (19 months) is asleep, or getting that way. That way he wouldn't flinch as much, and I don't have to be as terrified as nicking his skin.

Kristen M. said...

My son is four and I still have to wait until he is asleep to cut his toe nails. It is not worth the struggle to try to do it while he is awake.

Melonie said...

With my daughter I waited til she fell asleep. My son is too light of a sleeper, so I just use the same hold on his hand that the groomer uses on my dog's foot - I keep the trimmers in my dominant hand and use the other hand to firmly hold his hand and fingers in place. He can still sort of move his arm, but not wiggle his fingers. If nothing else it allays the screaming I'd get if I woke him up..... ;-)

When my daughter got older, toddler age, I offered to "play beauty parlor" with her - which meant getting a nail trim and buff. It worked - but only if your child likes to play pretend.

Little Piddles said...

I did it when they napped. When I first started to trim their bangs at hoem I'd give them a dum dum lolly pop which would occupy them and also do that when they were watchign a cartoon.

Dawn said...

I was going to post this exact question on my blog! My daughter is almost 12 months and she hates it! Like you, I've never cut her so I don't know why. My son used to not care when I'd trim them while he nursed but my daughter refuses! She pulls her hand away every time!

So far, I've either had to cut them while she's SOUND asleep or while my husband holds her still (not fun). I'm going to try some of these other suggestions given. Thanks everyone!

Susan said...

Hmmm, very good suggestions. The only time I can cut JR's toenails is right when he wakes up. I don't know why he is so calm then, but he doesn't mind it. Any other time, forget it! But these other ladies offered very good advice, distraction!

Mom2fur said...

I agree, it's easier if you can do it when she's asleep. Another alternative is to do it after her bath, when her nails are softer.
My son used to freak out and scream every time I clipped his nails. When he was old enough, I showed him how to do it himself. Problem solved! (Then again, I'm sure you don't want to wait 10 years, LOL!)

TracyMichele said...

I'm just going to say it.. I was just watching Super Nanny (gasp!) but she actually had a great idea adn I thought of your situation immediately. She suggested buying 10 finger puppets. After one nail is clipped, put a puppet on that finger. After all are done, they have 10 finger puppets to play with. I thought that was an idea worth sharing.

Anonymous said...

It looks like waiting until they are asleep is the way to go.
I've done it...I even cut my son's a few times when he feel asleep in his carseat. I parked the car, ran inside, got the clippers, and DONE!
With my daughter, I'd do while she watched cartoons. With limited TV time, it had her full attention. I got to the point that I'd bribe her with painting her nails. She pick the color, and would be super-still because she wanted her nails painted!
I also got to the point where I'd keep nail clippers in every room. When the opportunity arose for convenient nail clippings, they'd be right there, and I would have to go across the house looking for some.

Erin K. said...

Another thought... Could you model this for her by having mom/dad cut the other's nails? We don't have trouble with nails anymore (thank you PBS and Curious George!) but we are taking my daughter (18 months) for her first haircut on Saturday. I was worried how she would do with getting her hair sprayed with water (we aren't even messing with a shampoo!) so yesterday I got a spray bottle for us to have at home. I showed it to her, and we sprayed her baby's head, and then my husband and I each took a turn getting our hair sprayed with water. Then we sprayed her head. At first she jumped back and wasn't too sure about it, but then she reacted with a squeal. (The good kind.) She ended up loving it, and today she has requested (several times) for us to spray her. In fact, the plan may have backfired - I forsee having to hide the spray bottle from her!

Maybe your little one would have the same reaction if she could see that mom and dad have to get their nails cut too, and it could become something that she wants to be a part of, instead of something that is done to her.

Good luck!