Guthrie surprised her co-anchors at The Today Show with a visit from her 7-week-old baby, Vale, but viewers wondered why the baby girl was still wearing newborn mittens. Guthrie took time to write up an explanation — basically, she's afraid to cut her baby's fingernails, so she gloves her kid's hands so she doesn't have to.
In her blog, Guthrie describes what will likely happen if she tries to trim her daughter's nails. "I start to sweat," she writes. "Nightmare scenarios run through my head. I imagine accidentally cutting into her skin. Drawing blood. Causing wails. Ruining her life."
I'm sure she's being silly and over-dramatic with that last statement (please tell me I'm right), but the same fears, to an extent, have gone through my head too as I surveyed my child's tiny claws the first time we met.
She's definitely not alone, either.
Nothing can prepare you for the anxiety that accompanies clipping a baby's nails for the first time.— Jules (@jdjules) September 22, 2014
Nothing is more stressful than clipping your baby's finger nails.— s a m i (@samira) June 14, 2013
It's 7:14 am. I just finished clipping my sleeping baby's nails. If I accomplish nothing else today, I'm ok with that. #sharpbabyclaws— Stacey Dickens (@staceydickens) July 25, 2011
Each one of my babies also wasted no time and gouged their own faces, which was followed by wails of despair and waves of guilt from my end. They did wear newborn mittens (or, more accurately, baby socks) on their hands for a bit, but after a baby has been around for awhile, you realize the excess nail growth just comes right off. Newborn baby nails are not hard at all. In fact, after a bath, I found they were so soft you can peel them without even needing to look at baby nail clippers. A little filing after they're dry and they're good to go.
Some moms also nibble them off with their own teeth.
TIL the recommended way to cut a baby's nails is by biting them off. Safer than using nail clippers or scissors.— Kiran Jonnalagadda (@jackerhack) March 18, 2014
Motherhood is...biting off your baby's nails while nursing, as it's the only time the little squirmer will hold still for a quick trim.— Mia Riverton (@Motherhoodisms) February 7, 2012
I know the prospect of cutting a baby's fingernails is a scary one, but someone needs to tell Guthrie that she can most likely peel them down herself after her little one has had a good soaking in a baby tub, or gnaw them off during a quiet moment. She at least needs to try, because keeping Vale's hands under wraps for most of the day is likely detrimental to her normal development. Babies need their hands to explore, to put into their own mouths, and to learn how to use — and not just during scheduled "supervised hand freedom" times.
Yes, the idea of approaching a jerky newborn's paw with a cutting instrument is daunting to say the least. But don't cover your kid's hands because you can't deal with her fingernails. Face your fear, Mama, and trim those tiny nails.
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