Thing 3

Infant Scratch Fever

Waking up

I know this is my third kid and all…but what is UP with the scratches that are perpetually on my child’s face?

Let’s start by discussing infant nail clippers. The first time I cut his nails? I cut SEVEN of his fingers. SEVEN. As in – SEVEN of his fingers were covered in blood. It was AWFUL. Was I using safety clippers? Yes. Did it help? I don’t know…would I have cut all 10 using regular clippers? I’d hope not. So – why did I cut the fingers with the safety clippers? Because I could NOT see what I was doing! The safety piece was actually blocking the nail so I couldn’t tell how far I was cutting down. I was essentially doing it blind. Of course I cut his fingers! I’m a blind woman!

So, I switched to normal clippers. Seriously. For five months now I’ve been cutting his nails with regular clippers. I hope Children’s Services doesn’t come hunt me down for this – but I have not cut his skin on his fingers ONCE since that first time. Why? Because I can actually see what I’m doing. Which helps immensely.

But – the scratches are still there! Every day! You can look at AndyZ’s fingers and see – all of his nails are very short. Maybe even dangerously short because I like to cut them as short as possible since he scratches himself constantly. Short. Short. Short. So, where are the scratches coming from? SERIOUSLY? I’d say that maybe it’s kids at school, but none of the kids in his class are mobile. How could they even get over there? They can’t. My child is finding ways to scratch his face with the shortest nails ever in the history of man.

Just to torture me.

28 thoughts on “Infant Scratch Fever”

  1. I like the new design Zoot! The only problem? The eight red dots at the bottom of each post remind me of that birth control/period commercial LOL.

  2. i won’t even cut my cat’s nails because I am afraid of hurting her. I can’t imagine what I will do when I have a baby!!!

  3. One of my boys once scratched himself in the middle of the night while swaddled. I have no idea how this happened. I would blame the cat if we had one.

  4. Sarah Lena – Huntsville, AL – Sarah Lena has been writing online since the internet was born, or at least since it was cruising around living room furniture and drooling on everything. Her personal blog, The Anvil Tree, is where she basically moans and kvetches on a regular basis. Sarah Lena's deep love of pop culture knows no bounds, and there is no reality show she won't touch, no child-star she won't coax into rehab, and no Gosselin she won't awkwardly try and defend a little.
    Sarah Lena says:

    A) LOVE the new design. Very, dare I say it, democratic.

    B) You are a braver woman than I. I, because of likening it to cutting a dog’s nails, have never ever cut my child’s nails. That is my husband’s job.

    Also, my mother suggested you just “chew the nails off”. Which skeeved me out to no end.

  5. I know! Plus they grow back so quickly. What’s up with that? Lately I find a tiny little edge or something on the corner that explains the scratch. So now I try to round the edges out really well. Doesn’t always work though.

    I think AndyZ is just messing with you. As in “let’s see how crazy mom gets over this!” Ha,ha.

  6. Perhaps you could take a nail file after you trim them to smooth any sharp edges? That may help.

  7. Our best solution was clipping every day or every other day and using a nail file every day at least once (sometimes we’d do it morning and night). We tried the mittens, but my child would *not* allow that…he’d throw a fit until either we removed them or he managed to fling them across the room himself.

  8. I love the new design, too! I can’t handle stories of baby fingers bloodied. When I have kids is it okay to just throw some mittens on them?

  9. Those safety clippers are not safe. I cut my son’s finger while cutting his nails the first time (with safety clippers)….oh how I cried (he is my first) so now I use regular clippers and haven’t cut him since. He doesn’t scratch his face much (I file any jagged edges after clipping) but he definitely lets you know when they are too long by closing his fist around the back of your arm…yikes!

  10. I’m a terrible nail trimmer. To this day my oldest daugher recoils in horror if I break out the clippers…and SHE’S SIX.

    p.s. Missed meeting you Saturday in Nashville at BlissDom…I was all “yea I get to meet Zoot in person!” 🙁

  11. I was going to recommend filing too. Sometimes the nail can be super-short, but the corners end up even sharper. I waited until my son was asleep then went at it with a very fine nail file. Good luck!

  12. This is probably the grossest idea ever but I bit my children’s nails. My mom and husband would cut them, but if they were no where around, I would bite them.

    Hindsight, I got a staff infection in one of my own fingers from biting my cuticles because as the doctor said, “your mouth is nasty, didn’t you know that?”

    Either way, I suppose it isn’t the best idea to bite them but I did to keep from cutting their tiny fingers.

  13. My daughter is the same way. In fact, just today, she scratched the scab off a previous scratch she had given herself, making it bigger and much worse looking. I don’t think there’s anything to be done except grinning and bearing it.

  14. i agree with a couple of the other posters about biting the nails down. sounds gross but you’re able to feel better that way, so you can get them short & make sure they’re not jagged or sharp.
    also, love the new design!
    also also, i made a screwy error a couple of posts back & referred to AndyZ as LilZ, which makes me look dumb, which i might be. but here i am to fix it. so many cute kids, i can’t keep them straight!

  15. I use an emery board on my little one’s nails after I clip them. It seems to help a little, although it does require massive distraction (in the form of my husband dancing around like an idiot) since the process takes a while.

    AndyZ is so cute!

  16. Oh, I SO hear you – Madeline has had talons from the beginning. Literally, in the elevator on the way to my room after my c-section, she scratched herself so deeply that there is a tiny scar on her cheek. I was introduced to Mommy Guilt early. 🙂

    I second the biting in a pinch – I know it’s gross, but I am not all that steady handed and if Jimmy isn’t around, it works. I just wash her hands afterward to rid any “yuckiness.”

    I always file afterward, too, to get rid of sharp edges – but I leave that for when she’s fallen asleep. They make teeny baby files for it so you’re not waving something the length of his arm in his face – lessens the grabbing for sure.

    LOVE THE DESIGN!!

  17. I think when you cut them it actually makes them sharper. try a nail file to get the edges smooth 🙂 I do a metal file with my dog lol

  18. Rachael1013 – Bellingham, WA USA – Sassy, fiery, tattooed bookworm, kinda-geek-girl, big heart, movie buff, mama to 2 crazy boys, photographer, windows down car singer following the thread of hope into a new phase of life. The written word is in my blood.
    Rachael says:

    Why are their nails always so sharp? no matter how long or short. Sigh…

  19. I don’t have children so feel free to ignore me.

    Perhaps the edges are too sharp. A quick buff with a nail file would round out the edges.

  20. I filed my kids’ nails every day or two with an emery board until they were a few months old, whereupon I switched to regular clippers. So far I’ve never drawn blood.

  21. my daughter doesn’t really scratch herself anymore, but does enjoy scratching anything else that’s new to her. or not so new, cause she likes to scratch MY face when we’re laying on the bed
    she’s almost a year old now, and since i pinched her when she was very young with those crappy baby clippers (B/C I COULDN’T SEE WHAT THE HELL I WAS DOING! – no blood drawn, thankfully…although i will NEVER forget the cry she let out), i still do it when she’s sleeping. with my nail clippers, and my nail file. and they are still – SOMEHOW – sharp, even when they are short short short. i think it’s b/c they are so much thinner than our nails.

    either way, i feel your pain.

  22. Meghan was just the same when she was little. I just left her to it. I got fed up of trying to stop her and she stopped on her own eventually.

  23. Ohmygod, I cut my baby’s fingers for the first time last week and I sobbed! More than she did! I try to keep her nails short and she ends up with scratches all over, too. It’s ridiculous.

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