My Toddler Won’t Let Me Cut Nails: What Should I Do?

What to do if my toddler won’t let me cut nails? Continue reading this article and explore the useful tips that help cut toddler’s nails without difficulty.

Besides, knowing why a toddler doesn’t want you to trim the nails is helpful.

After identifying the reasons and learning the effective tricks, you can help your baby stay hygienic without hassle.

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Toddler Won’t Let Me Cut Nails: What To Do? 

toddler won't let me cut nails

Choose the right time, change the trimming tools, or use nail files to check if you may cut your toddler.

If your baby is stubborn, try pampering, hugging, using toys, or distraction. Besides, soften the nails with water for easier trimming.

Change Different Tools

Use trimming tools, such as a nail file or clipper, instead of normal scissors to help your toddler feel more comfortable cutting nails.

It’s best to seek and try different tools until you find the suitable one that matches the preferences of your little one.

In addition, you may choose a buffing kit that is softer and safer for a toddler’s nails with moderate electric motion to file small nails.

This trimming tool looks like an interesting toy without scary clipping sounds to help your baby feel more at ease.

Use Extra Toys

Use sensory toys with interesting sounds or shapes if your toddler is scared when you cut the nails. It’s up to your child to decide which extra toy is suitable.

Give your children who love vibrations vibrating toys such as bugs and let them hold these toys in their hands to regulate and balance the sensory system during nail trimming.

Besides, placing a weighted pillow or other heavy objects on a toddler’s lap also makes trimming nails faster and easier.

Plus, let your kid hug a stuffed animal, bite chewing gum or a necklace, or squeeze a stress ball to forget the fear of nail trimming.

Use Battery-Operated Nail Files

If scissors or clippers freak out your kid, use battery-operated nail files as an alternative. This powerful and effective tool helps you trim the child’s nails effortlessly.

The battery-operated nail file also generates gentle motion during nail cutting to make your kid feel interested and more comfortable.

Choose The Right Time

Choose The Right Time

Choosing the right time helps you cut a toddler’s nails successfully.

When your little one shows signs of hunger, irritability, or sleepiness, he or she is more sensitive or uncomfortable with nail clipping.

It’s better to find a time when your toddler feels relaxed and ready to get the nail trimming, and so do you.

When you cut your nails at this time, the manicure session will go smoother, as no other factors are out of your control.

Apply this simple tip if you don’t know how to cut toddlers nails when they won’t let you.

Bribe Your Toddler

Bribing your child is one of the smart tricks for faster and easier nail clipping.

You can promise to give your children a great reward, a gift, or a trip when they let you trim their nails.

Yet, don’t apply this method frequently because your child may gradually get accustomed to it and snivel for anything they want.

Try Pampering

This tip is effective and advisable when trimming your kid’s nails. Before trimming nails, tell your child that you will give them a friendly manicure and pedicure.

Also, massage the toddler’s feet and hands using fragrant lotion or apply a water-based and harsh chemical-free nail polish that is safe for young children.

Tell the Benefits of Nail Trimming

You can explain the great benefits of nail cutting for your toddlers to help them fight off their fear and anxiety.

Trimming the nails is beneficial to keep young children’s nails shorter and cleaner for optimal safety.

It will help toddlers avoid scratching or hurting the skin while playing or waving feet or hands.

My 2-year-old baby’s toenails are curling, so I have to trim them more often to stay hygienic.

Distract Your Toddlers

Applying simple distractions such as singing funny songs with your babies can distract them from trimming nails.

Besides, you can talk with your kids by asking them good questions, telling an amazing story, or playing with them.

If these distractions are ineffective, try other methods, such as watching TV or tablet, to divert your child’s attention while trimming the nails.

Using distractions is simple and efficient if you don’t know how to cut toddlers nails without hassle.

Give Your Child A Hug

A hug will help your toddler feel more secure and less scared when getting the manicure and pedicure. You can put your child in front of you and snuggle your kid close to you.

To avoid the pressure on toddlers’ bodies, you may let them sit opposite you on a stool, beanbag, or chair.

Allow Toddler To Control

This trick is helpful if your children feel like a boss who may control everything they wear or eat, even nail trimming.

Thus, give your child a sense of control in trimming nails by providing them with a nail file.

This trick may be effective as you may make your toddlers feel more excited when observing your actions.

Thus, if you don’t know how to clip toddler nails, try applying this useful trick.

Use Water to Soften Nails

How to cut baby nails when they won’t let you? You should soften the nails with water before trimming them to avoid making your toddlers feel painful and scared.

This tip makes sensitive children feel bearable during the entire nail-trimming process. Thus, you can complete this process quickly and easily.

It’s better to try this tip while bathing your toddler in the running tap’s sound, which will mask the sound of nail clipping.

Why Won’t Your Toddler Let You Trim The Nails?

Why Won't Your Toddler Let You Trim The Nails

Many toddlers avoid nail clipping because it may be painful or uncomfortable before or after the process.

Also, trimming nails can make sensitive kids feel stressed and terrible. Thus, they often feel scared when they see the nail-trimming tools you will use to remove their nails.

How Can You Trim Toddler Nails?

Follow the below guide to learn how to trim toddler nails properly: 

  1. Hold your toddler on a flat surface or lap in a well-lit area.
  2. Hold your kid’s foot or hand firmly and cut the nails.
  3. Cut each nail on each finger and toe one by one.
  4. Pull the fingertip or toe’s skin away from the nails gently.
  5. Use nail clippers or rounded scissors to trim the nails straight.
  6. Smooth the sharp edges of the toddler’s nails using a nail file or emery board.


How To Make My Toddler Stay Still While Trimming Nails?

Let your children giggle and run around before you start trimming their nails. This way is simple and useful to help your toddler stay calm and peaceful during nail clipping.

What Happens If You Don’t Trim Your Toddler’s Nails?

The sharp and long nails may hurt your toddlers when they scratch the skin while playing, waving their feet or hands, or even hitting their head with their hands.

Your kids can still be too young to control their movements, arms, or legs.

Thus, trimming the nails is necessary to prevent the danger and the regrettable injuries.


The above are useful tricks that have helped me when my toddler won’t let me cut nails. Also, I hope these tips are effective and helpful for you in the same situation.

If your toddler is stubborn and refuses nail trimming, identify the root causes and apply simple tips such as changing cutting tools and choosing the right time.

Besides, trying pampering or softening nails with water, pushing a hug, a bribe, or distraction also helps the nail trimming for your toddlers easier and faster.

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