How to Stop Eczema Babies Scratching: Keeping finger nails short

Keep eczema baby's nails short to minimise scratches

Keeping your baby’s nails short can help to reduce the damage they can do when scratching at their itchy eczema

One of the most obvious ways to stop eczema babies scratching is to keep their nails as short as possible – but that can be easier said than done! Cutting the tiny nails of a wildly flailing baby can be nerve-racking and the newly cut nails are often razor sharp. We’ve experimented with a number of approaches to keep our scratchy baby’s nail under control …

Choose your weapon

There are a number of different views on the best way to keep a baby’s nails short. For newborns, some people recommend biting the nails yourself. This has the advantage of not leaving sharp edges. Some health professionals are against this approach citing the risk of infection, but others recommend it. Personally, we weren’t keen on having sharp little nails near our faces so didn’t get on with this approach.

Nail clippers are also popular but leave the freshly cut nails razor sharp, which really isn’t great for scratchy eczema babies.  There’s also the risk that you’ll catch the top of your little one’s finger (which will bleed for ages). Another option is using a fine emery board – for scratchy babies this has the great advantage of not leaving sharp edges but does take a lot longer than using nail clippers. After much experimentation we have settled on using nail clippers to start with then baby emery boards to smooth the edges. A mini-manicure! We find the nail-clippers with the extended handles are much easier to use but, although they sounded like a good idea, we found that the ones with magnifying glasses attached only really work if your little one doesn’t thrash about.

Pick your time

It’s much easier to cut the nails of a calm or sleeping child. If you’re going for cutting your little one’s nails while they’re asleep you’ll need to wait until they are deeply asleep so that their fists can be uncurled without waking them up and make sure that the light is good. One friend uses a head torch! We find that trimming nails after breakfast works well, the kids are too busy feeling full to complain too much (and the TV also acts as a good distraction) and the light is good. We also only aim to trim one or two nails at a time, the challenge is getting around all the nails before the first ones need trimming again! If you have older children around who want to help, they can both make a great distraction while you cut your baby’s nails and for older babies a brilliant role  model.

What works for you?

Visit Daily Life: Living with Eczema for more ways to stop eczema babies scratching.

Here at ScratchSleeves we don’t just share our experiences of bringing up an eczema child and favourite allergy friendly recipes, we also manufacturer and sell our unique stay-on scratch mitts and PJs for itchy babies, toddlers and children. We now stock sizes from 0-10 years in a range of colours. Visit www.ScratchSleeves.co.uk for more information.