Wednesday, November 08, 2006

It's a nail biter

Do you know about those mitten-thingies that parents put on newborns to keep them from scratching the holy jeebus out of their sweet new faces? Do you think they make them in toddler size? With double sided sticky tape to keep them from being pulled off? Heavy duty sticky tape?

Because I really need a pair of those for Chicky Baby. She wakes up at least two mornings a week with bloody scratches on and around her nose. Chicky scratched herself so badly a few weeks ago that a scar still remains on her cute little button nose. Her perfect porcelain skin has been marred, people. This is serious shit.

You might be asking yourself "Why the hell doesn't this woman just cut her damn kid's nails instead of spending all her time on the internet?".

And therein lies the rub.

Not the internet thing, because we've already established that I have a problem. No, the nail cutting issue. I hate it, she hates it. She hits, bites, screams. She fights me like a rabid dog. Actually, I would rather trim the nails of a rabid Rottweiler because at least then I could use restraints and a muzzle. And possibly sedatives.

I've tried pinning her arms. I've tried bribing. I've tried anesthitizing her with episodes of Sesame Street and Elmo's World DVDs and though this works sometimes when trimming her fingernails (heavy stress on the word "Sometimes") if I try to clip her toenails she turns into Cujo, complete with foaming of the mouth and growling. I've even tried sitting on her.

Just kidding about that last one. Maybe.

Her nails are getting close to breaking world records and I'm at my wits end. It's not healthy. Do you know what kind of crap can get caught under there? Yeah, that kind of crap. The real kind. And her toenails are starting to curl under her toes and that can't be good. Worse yet, I'm going to be judged by all the other playgroup moms. So please, help a Mama out. Do you have any tricky methods for cutting your kid's nails? At the very least share your war wound stories with me because misery, and post traumatic stress, loves company.

As a bonus, I'll teach you how to cut your dog's nails if you help me cut my kid's.

35 comments:

Lawyer Mama said...

Bribery. Works great - now.

But since it doesn't sound like Chicky Baby is up for a rational discussion about candy rewards, here's a technique I've had to use in the past. It's a two man operation. I sit on the couch and put Big H in my lap. My arms go up & over his shoulders and behind his back, pinning the arms. My legs go around and over his little legs, pinning those as well. Husband swoops in with clippers while Big H screams his head off and attempts to thrash away. We could usually get at least a hand or foot done before he breaks away.

Good luck!

Avalon said...

Wait until she's really asleep. like asleep with some cherry flavored Benadryl. just don't cut her by accident cause' then not only will she have really long, scary nails, she'll be an insomniac too!

Birdsword said...

I always cut their nails when they are asleep. It is way easier. The baby (14mo)is lite sleeper so I wait until he falls asleep on top of me. Also, now that my older one is three I occasionally resort to the bribe method (TV, Milk, or worse case chocolate)

Dana said...

Dawson still scratches himself and he's two. I think he does it in his sleep and he really scratches hard!

I'm sorry about my "liberal" crack. I've replied in my comments. :) You can be my favorite liberal, only because I like you a lot. And you have baby -- she's adorable!

PunditMom said...

Seconds on the try it when she's sleeping advice. We had a similar problem, and when R. was sleeping deeply enough, we snuck in like Tom Cruise in the first Mission Impossible movie!

Good luck!

carrie said...

Ditto the sleeping advice and wait until she's a little older, then you can bribe her with pretty nail polish if she lets you give her a "manicure"!

Carrie

Dana said...

Doh! You hate me now don't you!! :)

meno said...

I heard that lady in the picture interviewed on the radio recently. Creepy.
No advice from me, my child had other issues, but not this one.

ali said...

i'll send over my nanny. she cuts my kids nails because i refuse to do it!

IAI said...

Nail file. Seriously. Filing worked better than cutting here - but it was usually a two-person effort: I would file while KAATN would distract with a book. That and songs. Lotsa singing. Now we use the nail scissor with no problem, so it DOES get better ... eventually.

SJ said...

Try clipping the nails while they are asleep, and or file them. I've been successful with both methods.

I'll suggest this too, however I personally think it's gross, but I read somewhere that biting them is an option too, meaning you bite their nails with your teeth......ewww.

petite gourmand said...

I have no advice,
but know that you are not alone sister.
Lulu goes ape-shit when I try to cut her nails.
I was thinking of dropping her off at the local Nail Salon and making a run for it..

beth said...

You can try getting her while she's asleep. I let Sam play with a separate set of clippers while I do it and that helps. And while I hesitate to admit this, I've also been known to bite his nails, which he thought was great fun. Me, not so much. But it got the job done.

radioactive girl said...

My kids have always loved to get their nails cut. I use the "nail crocodile" (just a regular clipper) and make funny noises about how delicious the nails are to the crocodile while cutting them. The only time I ever had a problem was when I told me oldest that I was going to cut her FINGERS, assuming she would know I meant nails. She did not. Lots of screaming happened until I finally asked her what was wrong and she explained it. We all had a good laugh about it. Good luck!

Aimee said...

I used to wrap my cats up in a towel - securing all their limbs to their bodies - pulling out just one paw at a time, while I layed over them on a flat surface. Maybe you could try that? :)

Pattie said...

I second the suggestions about cutting her nails while she sleeps. Another one that works great is to try to cut them while her hands are underwater in the tub. A small pair of nail scissors work better than those clipper things.

gorillabuns said...

my older one would bite, scratch, hit, foam at the mouth when i pretty much tried to do anything resembling maintenance. did? hell, she still does.

so, i clipped her nails while she slept. who cares that stray nails found their way into her open slumbering mouth, the fact that no one was harmed during the process was good enough for me.

s@bd said...

I don't have a dog.

Thanks for the offer, though.

ewe are here said...

If you can't get them while she's asleep, I can point to a friend who faced this problem with her baby boy. She actually ended up nibbling his nails off for him because he didn't seem to mind putting his fingers in her mouth but would freak when the nail clippers came out. It got her through this tough stage. Might be worth a shot?

Janet a.k.a. "Wonder Mom" said...

We pretend to have a Mani-Pedi day...I do my toes, then Lily's I do her nails then mine...We have fun. I say: "Monsthers are such innnnntersting peeeeeeoplle!" (from bugs bunny) And she cracks up wildly...It took a while for me to get her to enjoy it, but it works now...Patience and creativity paid off...

Good luck.

We used to have an Avon Lady "Vera" who had crazy long-curlie que nails...It was so creepy.

ECR said...

The Boss used to scratch her eyeballs all the time. It made me a nervous wreck. But I have no advice for you on the nail cutting aspect, as that is about the only baby-related thing my husband handles all on his lonesome.

J said...

I have had success with doing the nail cutting while my girls were sleeping too. My 17mth old is better now awake but it depends on her mood. Good luck.

Kristi said...

My oldest child is seven years old. It was just THIS YEAR that I realize all of my children bite their nails because I never offer to cut them. Oh well...less work for me.

kittenpie said...

I did it while she slept as a baby. Then I'd hold her while Mistepie did the toenails. And then she saw me doing the cats' claws and my own nails. I showed her what I was doing, with a little spoken "clip!" on each nail. And it was never a problem again... Apparently, getting treated like one of the kitties is cool.

MrsFortune said...

I second the filing thing. Or third it. Or however many people have said it so far. And my dog ... oh god, I will never, ever cut her nails. The vet told me she has long veins so I shouldn't do it cuz I might hit one, which is probably BS, but I'll latch on to it and just pay the damn $10 to have them do it at the vet.

Christina said...

Cordy really fights her nail clipping, too. We do it right when she wakes up from her nap, when she's still kinda out-of-it. We put something she likes on TV, to keep her zoned out, and clip her nails quickly.

penelopeto said...

i used to bite them off, but that was when she was a tiny mushball. now, bee won't let me get near her, though it is my face she likes to rip off with her talons.

Mommy off the Record said...

Is Chicky Baby still on a bottle or breastfeeding? The only thing that has worked so far for me is to cut Little Guy's nails while we are feeding him his milk.

Mamacita Tina said...

I totally need therapy after trimming Laurel's nails, she squirms, I accidently snip some skin. Blood, oh the blood, and TEARS, both hers and mine. With Ian, he's old enough to have a lolli, so lovely lolli in one hand, Teletubbies on the screen, and I can trim the other hand. To do the feet, he holds a lolli in both hands. Once I'm done trimming, TV goes off, lollis go in trash. Good luck!

T. said...

Have you tried getting someone else to trim her nails? Sounds weird I know, but sometimes the kiddies react differently with another grown up. And I'm not talking dad. An aunt, grandma, friend who the little missus likes.

Good luck. Beyond that, the only thing I've got to offer is to drug her.

Not that I will admit to that in the adoption interviews though...

melanie said...

it sounds like a two person job! i told my son its just going to take longer if you fight me... of course i had him in a leg hold at the time...

;-)

Binkytown said...

Try after bath time- when the nails are nice and soft and they tend to be a bit more relaxed! Good luck!

Amber said...

The only time I can ever do my daughter's nails is when she's zoned out on Dora and when I appeal to her vanity. I.e. she's really into fingernail polish and I won't put it on until we trim them!

sweatpantsmom said...

When my daughter was small I accidentally cut her finger while cutting her nails. After that, nail cutting became my husband's job and it continues to be to this day.

So my advice - get someone else to do it!

something blue said...

Sorry no advice. It seems when we do manage to cut her nails, we are somehow making them sharper. We've even pulled out the nail file to avoid her from getting severe scratches on her face. Poor Chicky Baby. Smooches to her button nose.