How to Be a Dad

How to Be a Dad

Baby Fingernails & Other Deadly Edged Weapons


Baby Fingernails the Deadliest Edged Weapons

[ click the image to enlarge ]

Baby fingernails are so sharp they make razor blades seem like warm gummy bears in comparison. If you’ve got kids, you’ve probably experienced the sudden sizzling pain of your baby’s nails accidentally giving you inexpert plastic surgery. You’ve probably heard this phrase before, “Ooooo. What happened to your face?” Or, my fave, “What did you do to yourself?” It takes a great deal of effort for me not to answer with something about taking a power drill with the trigger duct taped on full-blast and trying to balance it on the tip of my nose.

Okay. Maybe this Instructional Diagram has something to do with the fact that my toddler son went all Wolverine on my nose and lip a couple of days ago, and I’ve had to endure a sting every time I smile (which is a lot) and every time I talk (which is even more). Baby nails are sharp (fingers AND toes), and trimming the little edged weapons is easier said than done.


Can you get a paper cut on Facebook?
No. The was just a dumb, humorous question to get you to Like us on Facebook.

FUNstructional Diagrams!
Yeah. That was dumb, too. Sorry.


107 Responses to “Baby Fingernails & Other Deadly Edged Weapons”

  1. Cosby says:

    ha ha we just trimmed our 10 month old’s yesterday. What a battle it was! I said to the wife we should just get a scratching post…

  2. Jessica Ferg says:

    I thought this was just my kid. You mean to tell me there is an army of babies out there armed with these razor Sharp finger nails ready to attack at a moments notice. Why aren’t there more warnings of this danger?

    • Erich says:

      This is truly one of the more important things that we as parents need to be warned about.

    • Andy says:

      There aren’t more warnings because there are only two of us here doing the warning! Charlie and I are trying to cover all bases, but in the ball game of parenting, there are hundreds of thousands of bases! ๐Ÿ˜‰

      • Jessica Ferg says:

        Its a conspiracy i tell you. they are trying to keep the truth from us. Well thank you for all your hard work exposing the truth ๐Ÿ˜‰ ๐Ÿ˜€

  3. Brian says:

    We call our daughters nails Talons.

  4. Monica says:

    Trying to trim said baby nails is a workout all on its own and the stress that comes with it is horrible. Baby fingernails definately deserve to be in the Deadly Edged Weapons category. Good Job for catching that.
    ****They need to do an episode of Deadliest Warrior using a baby. The baby would win everytime cuz the cuteness factory would mean the other Warrior would not understand how deadly those nails can be.****

  5. Don’t forget the teeth. Dear God, the teeth…

  6. David Barchas says:

    Its funny because it’s true. Light sabers cut through droids like butta.

    My kid had to wear mitts for months. She did so much damage to her face. 3 permanent scars. I’ve had b
    Old drawn many times.
    There was a time we called her blades.

    • Andy says:

      We tried the mitts. No go. We also had trouble with trimming. We actually used a nail file from time to time to hold the wolves of his fingernails at bay.

  7. Kelly says:

    I cut them when he is asleep, otherwise, no deal.

    • Andy says:

      Yeah, we’ve got the baby nail clippers with the flashlight built into the handle. Someone’s got the right idea.

      • Josh says:

        I gotta get me some of those! Never seen them in the UK before, but that’s an ingenious idea.

        I forgot about the fingernails when I agreed we’d have another baby. Now she’s six months gone and I fear baby will be slicing her way out very soon…

        • Andy says:

          WARNING: These have HELPED us avoid accidental nips, but it still happens.

          Safety 1st Sleepy Baby Nail Clippers

          • Stiku says:

            I would have needed these three months ago, when I went to breastfeed my baby in the middle of the night and she sunk her talons to my breast and slashed long welts to my boobs. So I took the baby nail scissors and cut her nails then and there, in a nearly pitch dark room, without my glasses on (bad myopia), with the baby struggling the whole time.

            I still consider it a miracle that only her nails got cut by the scissors.

  8. Elizabeth says:

    They sure are scary sharp, and inflict injury in a matter of seconds. I remember when my daughter was one day old, and I wanted to snap a photo of her peacefully sleeping in her bassinet. I walked into the other room, which took not even two minutes, and when I came back, she had a HUGE laceration on her face, that she gave herself. I snapped the photo to document it. They don’t make those little baby mittens for nothing!!!!

    • Andy says:

      Oh man! Tell me about it. First time I saw baby mittens I thought it was for people dressing their kids and babies up like dolls or putting clothes on their pets. Later I understood well why they are made.

  9. Mark says:

    Whenever I need to clip my kid’s fingernails, I just put him in an armbar.

  10. Manda says:

    Ugh! Cutting them just makes it worse! It’s like taking a knife sharpener to a Ginsu!

    So they tell you to file them. Riiiiight. Because my kid is going to peacefully sit there while I rub a sand-covered piece of cardboard across the tip of their finger. I tried that with my youngest and it took five minutes to get a single nail done.

    Screw it. Eventually, they’ll have teeth and can take care of it themselves.

    • Andy says:

      It’s one of the worst things. Nail trimming. People who don’t have kids think the horrors that await in Parentlandia are all about poop. WRONG.

  11. Kristin says:

    Just this morning I pinned down my child to cut his “daggers”.

    @ Manda you are so right1 File them?! Not since he was less that 3 months old and passed out cold after eating have I been able to file them!

    • Andy says:

      Recently I ran up the stairs to the master bathroom because Lucas was screaming as he was under the Harry Potter Cruciatus curse only to find the Lizzie was just trying to trim his nails. Crazy!

  12. Asher says:

    My friend’s daughter took off 20% of her cornea last month when she was begging for her mommy in the middle of the night. The doc said it was like she’d had lasik surgery. Deadly. Precise. Cute. Marketable?

  13. The worst is that they don’t let go! Babies tend to squeeze their fists closed no matter what obstacle might be in it: your cheek, eyelid, nostril or boob. Ouch indeed!

    • Yolanda says:

      To open their hands you need to fold their wrists and the fingers will automatically loose the tight grip ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Josh says:

        Yeah, there’s a little button in the middle of their bellies which causes them to let go (because holding and giggling are too hard to do all at once) ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. Taylor says:

    What!? No banana added for scale?

  15. kitty says:

    Yes they do say baby rattle snakes have such fine fangs they go right through the snakeproof gloves, and they also don’t portion out their venom so you get the full hit…coincidence? I suppose if you get through an angry mama, you deserve the worst!

  16. Nickie says:

    And they are lightning fast and scratch your eyeballs before reflex can even flinch,

    • Andy says:

      So true. Babies defy the laws of time and space. It’s like the Matrix or something. We must look like marshmallows sinking in honey to them.

  17. Yolanda says:

    The worst is that you have only managed to cut them properly and then less than a week later the nails are very sharp again!!! :s

  18. Desiree says:


    Because I’m a stickler: There is no edge on a light saber. It’s as wide as it is thick and deadly from all directions, requiring no edge to face forward.

    • Andy says:

      WRONG! And sort of right. Here’s the deal: the philosophy that was engineered around the lightsaber is that it is “all edge” and this spun off into it being a sort of an allegory for a Jedi, who suffers from the contradiction of delivering death to save life. Blah blah blahยฎ

  19. Maybe I should borrow a baby next time I need to open something that’s in shrink wrap.

    • Andy says:

      Why “maybe”? Definitely! Just make sure whatever’s under the shrink wrap you wouldn’t mind tossing into a tree branch chipper-shredder. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  20. Pete G says:

    Our kids have razor sharp talons.

  21. Seb says:

    YOu should include their teeth ad toenails as well.

  22. Monzie says:

    Baby nails are also known for slicing through the child’s own face the day before any scheduled professional photo session or pediatrician appointment. Baby foreheads, their second sinister defensive weapon, are also known for contacting the edge of the coffee table before ped visits. Because, if they don’t kill you with their claws or well-placed headbutt to the bridge of your nose, then they’ll make damned sure CPS comes to haul you away for all those suspicious looking bruises and lacerations on their innocent little faces…

    • stacey says:

      If this occurs down the road I will report my daughter for all the perfectly timed junk shots while trying to get her in the shopping cart. I almost feel like they are perpetually bruised…

  23. Lindsay says:

    Ugh, so true!! They try to tell you that when babies come out, their nails are paper thin, part of the skin, etc…WHATEVER!!! Just another lie they tell you, to lull you in. My son came out with long, perfectly formed nails! We had to trim them the day we got home. Still, no matter how well I think I trim them, I always leave a sharp-beyond-belief edge that I can never seem to find. That is until he uses it.

  24. Yeah, baby nails are tough… but try PUPPY CLAWS! They don’t understand not to scratch, and they enjoy jumping on adults and children. They also box with their paws when they’re playing, causing raised red scratches on your face.
    So I just got a puppy. What’s up with you?

  25. di says:

    I bite my son’s nails when he’s nursing to keep them under control. I worked on the theory that he was wanting to scratch up my face anyway so I could restrain the top hand and keep his nails under control at the same time.
    This still works on him and he’s 2.

  26. Gale says:

    Oh man, I gotta share what my 3 year old said while sitting in my lap looking at your page. Keep in mind that the ad for your “7 rules for Non-Parent Etiquette” is up on the sidebar, the one with with the man with the lazers coming out of his eyes.

    It starts out with my three year old naming the things he sees.


    (Yes, he says lightsaber fine..we’ve trained him well)

    “Grumpy man!…Man lazers!”

    “Man fight baby lazers! (PAUSE) Baby need sword.”

    Seriously…I did not make this up! The things I wish I had on film!

  27. LisaW says:

    Obviously, I’m up for the “mother of the year” award…while attempting to trim back the razor blades others call baby nails, I accidentally clipped off the top of my 6 week old baby’s thumb! There was more blood than I care to remember, and I had to call hubby home to stop the crying (mine, that is). Thankfully, bub was too young to hold it against me, and the evidence healed real nice!

    • Andy says:

      Lizzie did that the first try and cried until forever or the end of the day, whichever seemed to come first. I feel your vicarious pain. ๐Ÿ™

    • Gale says:

      I know how you feel. I’vm thankful they don’t remember too. And if my “mis-clips” weren’t enough, my second had to deal with an older brother (age 2 at the time), who saw me clipping baby brother’s nails and found the scizzors and tried to do it himself. I heard my littlest crying, and turned around to see my oldest with nail scizzors in hand and baby bro with blood all over his toes. Luckily once the toes were clean it was only a few small cuts…but still.

  28. Christina says:

    I thought my baby was teething this morning. Nope, fingernails.

    I think the only thing sharper is new baby teeth.

  29. Evonne says:

    My father likes to tell the story of when my older sisters were little how they’d come and hop into bed with them in the mornings. Apparantly mum and dad would pretend to still be asleep in the hope that they’d go away. Didn’t work. First they pried their eyelids open and then when that failed to work finger up nose did. Dad descibes it as finger went up, bent over and ripped out. Can only imagine the agony of a little kids claws up the nose! (of course you’ll note I wasn’t there so am therefore innocent ;o) – on this occasion at least)

    my own solution to baby razor-sharp-impossible-to-cut claws, was to do them progessively. I’d bite one or two off as I was able to get a hold of them. there’s no way they’d sit still for the whole lot.

  30. Ruth says:

    Sometimes I think I have had a baby velociraptor when she does the ‘climb Mummy’ thing, digging her big toe in my tummy and utilising her talon like nail to disembowel me. Also, I liken her to a fighting Kangaroo and how they gouge at each others belly with powerful ninja kicks in order to win supremacy over their herd… OMG, is that what it’s all about! I thought I had years up my sleeve before the power struggle over who rules the roost – Argh!!!

  31. I swear I just had this conversation this morning with my wife. We have a five month old I’m going to start calling “Garrett Scissorhands.” Each morning, I pick him up from his crib and I swear it looks like he was attacked by a dingo!! Well – this may be my new blog topic at!

  32. Hahaha. Love this. I know the feeling. Being clawed so early in the morning and right before going to bed is one of the things a father must endure. But they’re worth every scratch and scar.

  33. Asher says:

    Lisa W:
    I think all parents commit this horror at least once…few will admit it. Worst/best part? Kid’s like “whatevs” and you are scarred for life.

    And a follow up to allll of this, what is up with their old man-looking toe nails? My beautiful baby girl has the gnarly toes of a 90-year-old when I’m behind on her “mani/pedi” (which she now says and that’s hilarious).

  34. Haha on the vacationing teens ๐Ÿ™‚ I don’t miss the baby nail stage! Stay safe!

  35. Colin says:

    Until my daughter was about 2 years old I would sneak into her room after she had fallen asleep and use the lighted nail clippers (shown above). It was the only way we could ever get it done!

  36. I am pretty sure that I am going to make bananas an official unit of measurement in my house.

    The next time someone asks me how tall my son is, I was simply say, “He is twelve bananas tall.”

  37. Pedro says:

    I just wonder why do their fingernails outgrow our attempts to trim them!
    For as much as you try they always have claws!!! And my face has the scars to prove it!!!

  38. Jen says:

    I have two lines of 2″ scratch marks on my face from my 10 month old this week. DH is calling her wolverine. We also had discussed how we could get her to use the cat’s scratchy post.

  39. Elena says:

    My kids have never gotten me, but they get themselves, as everyone says, always right before the photo shoots ๐Ÿ˜› It doesn’t seem to matter if I just trimmed them 2 days before that either. I have to catch them sleeping to get it done most of the time anymore, or very very distracted by something… maybe.

    • Andy says:

      Isn’t that the way!?! ALWAYS! Right before a holiday when the cameras are going to all be set to full auto, right? MAN! I love the looks we’ll occasionally get from strangers who see us, look at Lucas with a long line on his face and then look at us, there faces say, “razor blade mobile, or do you let him eat with a machete?”

  40. Regina says:

    Oh heavens, the worst is the ear grab. It looks cute to on-lookers but he digs his little hooks in. I swear I had to summon my inner Buddha not to toss him across the room. He likes to kneed like the cats O.o He is evil I tell you, evil.

  41. Kelly says:

    I just choked on my own tears… and freaked out my coworkers. Sleep deprivation and a banana for scale… jesus it kills me every freaking time.

  42. Jennifer says:

    My 1 year old is part wookiee. Except her claws are always out, and she has no problem fighting with them.

    Sorry, my inner geek is showing.

  43. Josh says:

    Dude, I am so upset that I just found this site, but now I am life long subscriber! I have two toddler boys and man I know firsthand about the fingernails. One of my sons is blessed with an iron grip along with THE sharpest, diamond-tipped nails I’ve ever encountered. All that milk and formula goes straight to the fingernails and diapers!

  44. Diarmuid says:

    I love the diagram and that is my daughter on the far right! I spent this morning in A&E getting a bandage type contact lenses inserted into my eye as my daughter decided to slice her nail across my cornea as I was passing her to my wife, it feels like somebody is throwing sand in my face every 10 seconds, thanks

  45. This is awesome. My little one regularly destroys my face. Whether on purpose or not, she slices the heck out of my face with those suckers. Ha, nice post.

  46. Natalia says:

    When our daughter was born, she came with nails longer than mine, with a look that she had been in the manicurist just before birth. I always guessed how my womb looked from the inside (as her face was a scratch collection already). Not knowing how I would handle that, I was very lucky the nurse in the hospital thought it would be a good idea to cut them, so I was saved for the first two weeks (God bless that woman!). After seeing her do it so easy and precisely, I was fully convinced it will be piece of cake… wriong I was! But that injection of confidence (and the fact my baby slept like Sleeping Beauty) helped me believe I could handle it by myself and I managed to keep them at bay

  47. The Dude says:

    The INSIDE of my lip is split and slowly healing after my son NINJA-Kung-Fu swiped me in my sleep. I’m worried he could pluck my eye ball out now…

    • Andy says:

      I’d stay away from the Kill Bill movies for a while if I were you. Eyeball snatching nightmares are apparently not very conducive to a good night’s rest. .) <- snatched eyeball smiley emoticon

  48. Benjamin says:

    My wife let’s our daughter use her phone with one hand while trimming the fingers on her other hand. We have a set of games specifically for this…things she can do with one hand.

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