Saturday, March 21, 2009

Saturday, Bloody Saturday

Well, it happened.

I cut the Girl's fingernails today for only about the 5th time since she was born. I tore her little nails as long as I could because I was afraid I would cut her, but eventually her nails got strong enough that it wasn't so easy.

I have little baby nail clippers that seem to work OK. The first time, I tried cutting her nails just after she woke up and was drowsy. I propped her in the boppy in my lap, but she just got mad because she was hungry. After that, I cut them after she ate and was in a food coma and pretty content to lay in my lap in the boppy for a few minutes.

Her nails were so long today that she was scratching me, so out came the clippers. I was even getting full of myself thinking, "I'm so good - I haven't ever cut her finger!" Should have known better ...

Little baby thumbs bleed. A lot. She didn't even notice that her finger was cut and only squawked when I held her thumb in a kleenex to try to stop the bleeding. No luck. At that point I was trying to problem solve with a bleeding baby in my lap and a husband in Las Vegas. Awesome.

It was just a little blood, granted, but because it was on her thumb and her hands are constantly going to her mouth, she left little blood streaks all over her face. Nothing like that to make you feel like a crappy parent.

At first I tried a little bandaid. 1) Ha! What was I thinking? NO WAY will bandaids stick on baby fingers. 2) Even if a bandaid would stick on a baby finger, I'm sure it's a choking hazard.

My next attempt worked pretty well to buy me free hands to try something else ... She still grasps whatever is placed in her hands, so I wrapped a kleenex around the tip of her thumb and tucked it into her fist so she would hold it in place. If the bleeding would have stopped faster, this might have solved the problem.


Back to my original point that baby thumbs bleed a lot! It wouldn't stop, so a call to my mom ended with the suggestion of cornstarch. Luckily I had some and, let me tell you, it was like Three Stooges around here. Trying to put cornstarch on a baby's thumb and holding it in place until it stops bleeding is comical. Despite the fact that there is now powdery white stuff everywhere, it did seem to do the trick. My last ditch effort was going to be wrapping her thumb in kleenex and swaddling her to keep it in place until the bleeding stopped.

After she fell asleep, I searched on Parent Hacks for any other tips. I didn't find any about bleeding fingers, but several about clipping nails.
- I have friends who have their husbands cut fingernails while the baby is nursing. Might work for you, but Erik isn't interested in participating.
- Other friends find that baby scissors with rounded tips work better than clippers, but they are hard to find and I didn't want to buy a whole First Aid kit just for those.
- Lots of friends say they cut nails while baby is sleeping, but the Girl is always swaddled, so I can't get to her hands.
- Other suggestions from the website include cutting nails in the tub (softens the nails and makes for easy cleanup), using a lint roller to pick up the little baby nail shards from your furniture, cutting nails while baby is in the carseat or Bjorn, and just foregoing nail clippers and using an emery board instead.

Any other tips?


Nichole said...

Might sound gross and I have never tried it. But I've had friends that swear by biting. They bite their baby's nails.

Marie Hooker said...

I tried the clippers and did the same thing to P's finger. So I only use the tiny scissors now, and they are SO worth getting the whole first aid kit! Just put all of the extra first aid stuff in the trunk of your car or something so you don't feel like it is wasted money.