A cut in his finger. The broad smile on his face gave into wailing and tears. The barely 6 month old baby suffered from pain when his dad accidentally cut his finger with a nail clipper instead of his nail on the left thumb.

This was LG's first wound and I certainly didn't feel good about it. While he writhed in pain, I SCREAMED at The Seniol knowing fully well it wasn't his mistake and who would do something like intentionally to a kid. I was angry at myself for asking him to cut LG's nails. His nails had grown long enough that he was not only scratching himself but my face and The Seniol's as well. I had been postponing his clipping for a couple of days now as he had been sleeping light and today while feeding it seemed like an opportune moment. Anyways, it was all over after 5 mins of action packed drama, race to the kitchen to fetch ice, applying antiseptic, LG turning his face away from The Seniol for 30 mins out of fear every time he approached him and clinging to me. The boy was smart enough to suck his right finger through the rest of the day instead of his favorite left thumb.

It helps to always stick to the rules. These have been my rules for how to trim a kid's nails:

  1. I have been trimming his nails once a week and sometimes more than once ever since he was born. LG was born with full grown nails - one distinctive feature I remember.Toe nails don't grow that fast so it is once in 3 weeks. I was advised to just pull of the nails after the kid's bath as they are soft. But I've never done that.

  2. I always use baby scissors. Feeling confident over the past few weeks, I've been using nail clippers too.

  3. For the first 2 months, I used to cut when he was fast asleep which was usually 15-20 mins after he went to sleep. Later on, it is during feeding. Distracting him like The Seniol making his favorite sound has helped.

  4. Golden rule : Never entrust the kid's father with an activity he is not confident about doing. Fathers are OK carrying and comforting the baby. But when it comes to preparing the formula or feeding or bathing or cutting nails, it is best done by moms


Anonymous said...

You shouldn't generalize like you have. I am a new father and I actually do the nail cutting and many other tasks as my wife (who is great with our baby girl) cannot cut our baby's nails because she is not confident and actually cut our baby's thumb this morning.

The attitude of women and mothers that the father is merely a sperm donor who should keep their hands off after the birth "because they can't possibly know what they're doing" is simply wrong and will always make Dads feel like they shouldn't be involved at all.

I suggest you become more enlightened.

Rajan said...

Rajan says,
Dexterity is not a woman's exclusive skill. There are many highly skilled male surgeons who cut and stitch human tissues much better than women with 'ladies fingers'. No generalization please, for baby's sake.
In case the mother learns that she is not so confident of nail trimming only after hurting the baby it is wore.
It is tragic to note that an injured baby distancing the mother or retaining that scare for a life time keeping that 'fear'.
Let the fathers face the risk. It is tolerable.
The moms keep the guilt feeling for longer, time than the fathers who can excuse themselves and keep away from such skilled experiments as nail trimming or may improve over a time.
Give them a chance if the mother has too much work on hand. Men don't mind sharing this activity.
Happy moms....be happy.