Baby nail clippers are one of the necessities we parents often forget about when preparing for the birth of a new child. However, when the time comes for the first trim, we suddenly realize what an essential item they are.
Regular nail clippers are far too wide for a newborn’s tiny fingers, and it’s very easy to end up snipping more than you intended, shedding your sweet baby’s first drops of blood and invoking that heart-breaking newborn wail. Even some baby nail clippers do a poor job.
Having the right tool will prevent unnecessary injury and tears.
Baby nail clippers have come a long way. There are so many styles to choose from, including basic tiny clippers, scissors-style trimmers, electronic clippers, and more. We’ve experimented with all these styles, researching their pros and cons and asking parents for their recommendations.
We’ve rounded up the best baby nail clippers for every situation to get the job done without tears and help protect your baby’s delicate skin.
- Highly affordable
- Easy and straightforward to operate
- Comfortable handle
- Gives clear view of nails
- Easy to maneuver
- Comes with a safety cover
- Protects nail bed
- Easy to grip
- Bottom safety ledge
- Gentle on nails
- Used for babies and adults
- Quiet operation
- Great choice for preemies
- Includes nail clipper and nail file
- Patented spy hole
- Ergonomic soft-touch handle
- Built in light at tip
- Compact size
- Includes 4 cushioned pads
- Safely files tiny fingernails
- Can be used by adults
- With fold-away 4x magnifier
- Ergonomic sure-grip shape
Why Do I Need Baby Nail Clippers?
Babies are constantly touching their faces and have little control over their hands when they’re newborns. If you don’t stay on top of trimming their nails, they may end up with some awful-looking scratches.
It’s best to clip your baby’s nails about once a week. If you try to wait any longer than that, you may end up with some serious mom guilt when you notice a new scratch on your little one’s face.
It may seem unnecessary and even wasteful to have to buy a second pair of nail clippers when you already have a perfectly good one at home. But a newborn’s fingers are far smaller than yours, and you’ll quickly see how wiggly they become when you try to cut your baby’s nails. Adult-sized clippers may result in injury.
Even with the correctly sized tool, it can be challenging to avoid nicking your baby.
Types of Baby Nail Clippers
You have a few options when it comes to the type of nail clippers you choose. You may prefer the traditional style you likely use for yourself, but nail scissors are sometimes a good option. You may even opt for a battery-powered unit that files and trims those tiny nails.
Nail scissors work well when your baby is younger because their nails are so thin. You can cut the edge and peel the nail off like you would tear a piece of paper. You’ll also get better visibility when you use scissors instead of clippers.
The big drawback to nail scissors is that they aren’t a great option as your baby gets older. You can continue to use clippers for years, while nail scissors might give you just a few months of service.
When it comes time to cut your baby’s toenails, you might prefer clippers since toenails are thicker than fingernails. Plus, they’ll be a bit older before you cut their toenails since they grow slower and aren’t a safety concern like their fingernails are.
How to Choose Baby Nail Clippers
In this high-tech world, baby clippers have more extras than they did in your mom’s day. Here are some optional features to consider.
- LED light: A light can help you see if you’re about to cut skin. It also lets you cut your baby’s nails in a dark room, which is nice because it’s much easier to cut the nails of a sleeping baby than an angry, squirming one.
- Battery power: If you don’t want to do anything except hold your baby’s finger up against a trimmer, you can go for a battery-powered unit to file their nails.
- Magnifying glasses: A small magnifying glass can help you get a closer look at what you’re doing and prevent you from accidentally nicking your baby’s skin. Any tool that cuts down on parental guilt is all right with us.
- Fun designs: Cheerful characters and colors on the handles can lower your baby’s anxiety about nail trimming as they get older.
- Emery boards: Some trimmers come with emery boards to smooth any jagged edges that clipping leaves behind. That’s a nice touch because sometimes your baby will still find a way to scratch themselves with those jagged edges. You might find it tricky to use an emery board on your baby’s nails in the early weeks, but if you’re patient, you’ll get the hang of it.
- Spy holes: A spy hole is a small hole behind the sharp edge of the nail clipper. It enables you to see the piece of nail that’s inside the clipper before you snip it off, sparing you a possible accident.
- Curved edges: Curved edges make it a lot easier to avoid cutting something you shouldn’t and leave the nail with a smooth, rounded finish that is less likely to scratch your baby or snag on fabrics.
The Best Baby Nail Clippers of 2021
Here are our favorite baby nail clippers currently on the market.
1. Safety 1st Steady Grip Clipper
To give your toddler’s claws a good trim, you don’t have to have all the bells and whistles of fancy trimmers. This product has a simple, curved edge that will do an excellent job of safeguarding the corners of your child’s fingertips.
It also has a large soft-touch handle, so you’ll be comfortable while clipping. The non-slip gripper is essential when every slight movement counts, and one wrong move could mean a screaming toddler and a guilty conscience.
When you use these, you’ll be able to see precisely where you’re positioning the blade on your child’s nails, which leads to great cutting accuracy.
- Highly affordable.
- Straightforward to operate.
- Comfortable handle is easy to grip.
- Some parents had problems with them not holding up well after months of use.
- They could be a bit sharper to get a cleaner cut.
2. Piyo Piyo Baby Nail Scissors
If you want to give baby scissors a whirl, consider this pair. They come with a safety cover, so you can rest assured your little one won’t be able to hurt themselves with the scissors when they’re not in use.
The handle fits well in either hand, so it’s also an option for left-handed people. Many find that scissors like these are just more maneuverable and easier to glide in an arc around the edge of your baby’s nails.
The rounded tips are safer than the sharp points ordinary scissors have, so you won’t stab anyone when your baby suddenly decides to jerk their hand or fidget.
- Easy-to-operate scissor design gives you a clear view of the nails.
- The rounded tips prevent pokes.
- The safety cover lets you securely stash these in a diaper bag.
- They’re a bit pricey.
- Only work in the early months when fingernails are soft and pliable.
3. Baby Comfy Care Safety Nail Clipper
This safety clipper uses a single-blade design that gives you foolproof control when it comes to cutting tiny nails. The ledge under the blade will help keep your baby’s skin out of the line of fire when you press down on the clipper.
If you want a shorter cut for your baby’s nail, you have to press their fingertip closer against the ledge.
It’s large, sturdy, and easy to hold for adults, plus the bright colors are a bonus, making the clippers easy to find in a diaper bag.
- Prevents finger snips, relieving some of your stress.
- The bright color is easy to spot in a cluttered drawer.
- It makes the chore of trimming nails a much faster process.
- It’s pricier than a basic model.
- Tiny clipper is only useful for baby or toddler nails.
4. Little Martin’s Drawer Electronic Baby Nail Clippers
Electronic nail clippers are a great option for moms worried about hurting those precious little fingers. The automation gives you more control and helps speed up the entire process. We love this set in particular for many reasons.
It’s a versatile tool with your choice of three round, cushioned “sandpaper” nail files designed just for children. With an LED front light and an ultra-quiet motor, you can even use it when your child is sleeping. They won’t notice, and you don’t have to worry about a squirming, screaming baby.
You operate it with a push of a button, and it’s powered by two AA batteries. Choose from multiple speed and rotation settings to ensure you get the perfect trim for your baby’s needs.
We also love that it comes with a shaving disc, a polishing disk, and a point polisher for adult use, making this an excellent tool for the whole family and saving money on additional purchases.
- Cushioned sandpaper is gentle against your baby’s nails.
- Can be used on babies and adults, saving you money.
- Operates so quietly you can use it while your baby sleeps.
- Unique design may require practice before you can use it safely.
5. Fridababy SnipperClipper Set
The smallest babies have the smallest fingernails. If you’re feeling anxious about trimming them, you may want to check out this clipper set created with newborns in mind. It has many valuable features to put your mind at ease.
With a patented spy hole, you see exactly what and where you’re clipping to prevent nicks and cuts. It also has curved, overlapping blades for a smooth cut every time.
Alongside the nail clipper, you get a special nail file as well. Its S-shape design was created just for newborns and follows the natural curve of their small nails. Buff away sharp edges or file them down between trimmings to prevent scratches.
If you’re the mom to a preemie or a very small newborn, you can use this nail clipping set from the very first day. Plus, it works on anyone of any age, so you’ll be able to use it as your child grows.
- The design was made for the smallest babies, so it’s a great choice for preemies.
- Includes a nail clipper and a nail file in the set.
- Spyhole allows you to see where you’re clipping.
- The heavy, bulky clipper can be awkward to hold.
6. Safety 1st Sleepy Baby Clipper
This clipper has a light that shines clearly at the blade area. It helps you see what you’re doing, especially if you want to use these clippers in a dark room while your baby is sleeping.
As you’re clipping, nail trimmings are contained because the plastic casing near the cutting edge traps them in place.
It comes with an emery board in its storage slot, so you’ll be able to file down any jagged edges that remain after you’ve cut your baby’s nails.
- They’re affordable.
- The handle has a grippy coating to make it more comfortable to hold.
- Bright light helps you see exactly what you’re doing.
- The battery lasts a long time but isn’t replaceable.
- The automatic light isn’t optional but eventually turns off if you wait for it.
7. ZoLi BUZZ B Electric Nail Trimmer
Whether you’re going on a family vacation or running daily errands, you never know when you might need to trim your baby’s nails. A broken or jagged nail can end up doing a lot of damage if you’re not careful. Always be prepared by keeping this set with you on the go.
Because it’s smaller and includes a compact storage case, it fits easily in a car, diaper bag, or purse. You get four cushioned pads of varying grits to match each stage of your baby’s development. The softest pad is designed for newborns, with harder grits for when they get older.
Choose from two different power settings, and turn on the trimmer with the click of a button. It’s powered by the included battery, but it’s a good idea to keep an extra battery on hand so you can still operate it whenever you need to.
- Compact size and the traveling case make it great to take on the road.
- Includes four different cushioned pads of varying grits.
- Filing nails takes longer than simply clipping them.
8. The First Years American Red Cross Clipper
The magnifying glass attached to this clipper increases the size of your baby’s nails by four times, so you’ll be able to get a better view of the situation.
It folds away when you aren’t using the magnifying portion, which is great because you don’t want it constantly in your way.
The size of the clipper head is ideal for tiny baby nails, and you can use it with a newborn if necessary.
The blades are stainless steel, and the big handle feels comfortable in your hand.
- You won’t have to toss these after your baby grows up — adults can use them too.
- Sharp blades won’t leave rough edges.
- Ergonomic handle is easy to use and prevents hand cramping.
- Some parents reported that the magnifying glass was too distracting to use.
- The magnifying glass can be hard to focus on a squirming baby.
The Bottom Line
Safety 1st Steady Grip clippers get our vote as the best baby nail clippers. We like simple, straightforward baby gear that isn’t complicated to use and lasts a long time. When we can use something for years instead of months, we feel like we’re getting our money’s worth.
The curved edge of these clippers protects your baby’s delicate skin, and the handle won’t cause any discomfort or fatigue for the parents operating it. For the money, it’s hard to beat this clipper.
As you try to master this new skill of trimming a baby’s fingers, remember not to beat yourself up too much if you accidentally nick the skin. It’s a difficult job, and in a day or two, your baby will be just fine!