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Any advice on making clipping finger/toe nails easier?

My daughter is 2 1/2 and it has always been mass hysteria to clip her nails. She starts hollering owwwwww, when she sees the clippers in my hands. I have never nipped her or made her bleed or nothing. I DO NOT understand why she acts this way. It is an act of congress to get them clipped, it's like approaching a grizzly bear. By the time, I'm finished, we are both usually sweating and wore out. My hand gets wore out from just trying to hold hers. You would think an adult would be stronger than a child.....NOT, she can always wiggle out of my hold. I try not to hold her too tight but you can't do it any other way. We've tried several different things. We've tried doing it while she watches TV. We've tried doing it while someone reads or looks through a book with her. My hubby usually has to help us. Sometimes it has taken 3 people. One to cut, one to hold and one to distract her. I'm at my wits end. It's chore that I DREAD.

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Asked by foofoomommy at 3:45 PM on Mar. 11, 2009 in Toddlers (1-2)

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Answers (13)
  • Have you tried doing it while she is sleeping? Of course that depends on how good of a sleeper she is.

    Answer by NAT24ROXY24 at 3:48 PM on Mar. 11, 2009

  • If you can't get it done while she is asleep, then try doing just ONE finger/toenail every other day until she chills out about it. Or offer her a bribe: she can have pink toenail polish but ONLY if her nails get clipped first. (You can find kid-friendly peel-off nail polish) Or, just stick it out because in another year you'll probably be able to get her to do it without much struggle.

    Answer by laadeedah at 3:51 PM on Mar. 11, 2009

  • Duct tape.

    Kidding, I do it while she is sleeping. It works some of the time.

    Answer by jspy72 at 3:53 PM on Mar. 11, 2009

  • I used to pretend like the clippers were hungry and needed to eat my kids nails... made funny eating noises and burps, the works. They thought it was hilarious.

    Answer by CaseyErin at 3:53 PM on Mar. 11, 2009

  • Does she have sensory issues? The reason I ask is all 3 of my sons have sensory issues and nail clipping is torture for them. I tried clipping when they were watching tv-- that did not work so well. I used to have my husband hold while I clipped, that was draining. One thing that seemed to make it a bit easier was clipping them after a bath. The nails are softer and easier to clip then. You might try doing it when she is asleep--- if she is a good sleeper.

    Answer by MizLee at 3:57 PM on Mar. 11, 2009

  • try making it a game. clip your nail, then one of hers then back to yours. Let her do some of the clipping (assisted of course). My dd likes to hold it and push down. She'll fight with me until she can get her hands on it too. I"ve been cutting her nails since 2 weeks old so sh'es used to it. Not sure if this will even help you much.

    Answer by Anonymous at 4:04 PM on Mar. 11, 2009

  • I suggest...

    1.) Playing "Where is Thumbkin" (pointer, tall man, ring man, pinky) while clipping AFTER she's taken a bath, and her nail are soft/flexible and easy to cut.

    2.) While she is sleeping

    3.) Have her cut YOUR nails first, then hers.

    4.) Set a every Sunday we cut our fingernails/toenails. Put it on the calendar, remind her, and let he pick when you can cut them. Maybe if she gets to be in control of the situation she'll be more willing.

    Answer by LoriKeet at 4:50 PM on Mar. 11, 2009

  • Try while sleeping or in the high chair

    Answer by ZachsMom325 at 6:38 PM on Mar. 11, 2009

  • Maybe try using a fingernail file instead. That may not freak her out at much. Perhaps use it on your nails, saying that you're making your nails pretty and ask her if she wants her nails pretty, too.

    Answer by nwdeserangel at 6:38 PM on Mar. 11, 2009

  • I agree with trying when she is sleeping. niece was like that, and she would only let me.,..why? Well, because I let her sit at my prety vanity chaor that she could ONLY sit at for that and then she got to stay and make herself pretty.
    GOod luck!

    Answer by cesarpup at 9:39 PM on Mar. 11, 2009

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