three baby images - crying, getting nails clipped

Is Your Baby Scratching Their Face? – What You Can Do To Prevent And Heal The Scratches

Is your baby scratching their face when they are upset? Or is your baby scratching their face at night?   Are you worried they will scar? Read on for tips and tricks to keep nails short, baby happy and scratches to a minimum.

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Why is my baby scratching his face?

There can be a few reasons why your baby scratches their face.

1.   They lack control of their hands because they are so young.  

This is totally normal.  Babies just haven’t mastered their own little bodies yet. With time they will know that they control their hands and fingers and it doesn’t feel good to scratch themselves.

What you can do:

Keep reading for my favorite, non-clipper method of trimming baby’s nails if the thought of clippers doesn’t appeal to you.

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Baby having nails clipped by parent with yellow baby nail clippers

2.   They are suffering from baby Eczema

Some unlucky little ones suffer from eczema and are scratching because they are legitimately itchy.

What you can do:

See your pediatrician before applying anything.

In the meantime put on baby mittens to prevent them from scratching their sensitive skin. Mittens should be used as a temporary measure as babies need to use their hands to explore.  But if they are hurting themselves until you can get a doctor’s opinion then try mittens.

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3.   They Are Upset

Many babies will scratch themselves or hit themselves when they are upset.  

This is usually a normal act as they don’t have the ability to express themselves in more conventional ways. 

Baby crying laying on bed

What can I do?

  1. Look for signs of hunger and feed them before they get thatupset
  2. Keep an eye on other things that may be causing your baby discomfort. Are they cold? Too hot? Too tired? The older they get, the more experience you will have and the easier it will be to identify what’s bugging your little one.  Until then, a little trial and error will do the trick.
  3. Again, keep nails short
  4. If you are concerned there is a deeper issue, consult your pediatrician.

I HATE Cutting My Baby’s Nails – What Can I do?

I have never cut my baby’s nails.

The thought of putting nail clippers up to my daughter’s baby skin freaked me out too much.

One day when still pregnant I was walking through a baby store looking to buy a pair of clippers that were dummy proof when the sales woman pointed out these little emery boards.    

I picked them up immediately and exclusively used them until my daughter’s nails hardened up in her toddler years and now I just use a regular emery board (I tell her she’s visiting mom’s spa now).

They were gentle enough to do while she was sleeping and lasted a long time. I think I only repurchased one or two times.  

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When Do Babies Stop Scratching Their Face?

As mentioned earlier, newborns lack control over their hands and fingers and they unintentionally scratch themselves because of this.   The older they get the more intentional movements they make.  

Of course all babies develop at different times, but you should stop seeing the scratching between 4-6 months.  

Conclusion: Baby Scratching Face at Night

Whether you have a newborn or older baby, seeing your baby scratching their face at night is distressing.   You may be wondering if they will scar. The answer is, unlikely. A surface scratch should not lead to a scar.    

Remember to keep their nails short, look out for signs of hunger and distress and if you are concerned it’s eczema or another skin condition see your pediatrician right away so you can offer your baby relief.    

Related Newborn Baby Posts:

5 Baby Activities to Stimulate Your Newborn

5 Tips For Buying Newborn Baby Clothes

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