Aug 4, 2010

How to Paint a Toddler's Nails: the Do's and Don'ts

Have you ever looked at your tiny daughter's nails and thought, "wow, those could really use a coat of hot pink?" Yeah, me neither. The few times in the last 3 or so years that I have painted my nails I have tried to do so in private. For a reason. Or two. But the time came recently when my toddler wanted her nails painted and I thought why the heck not?

So, if you just have to do it...

The Do's
1. Do it outside or your kitchen floor might look like a scene from a slasher film (if you chose red naively as I did)
2. Do bring newspaper.
3. Do take off any clothes that you care at all about. Take them off you, your toddler and any innocent bystanders
4. For gosh sakes do have some nail polish remover and cotton balls and or paper towel an arm's reach away.
5. In the beginning, do chose LIGHT colors, like clear or invisible
6. If you are still reading and your little dear doesn't notice, do not put any nail polish on them at all. Do fake it. Dry off the tip and fake paint their nails. You will not be sorry.
7. Do try to get them to stay still. Hahahaha.

The Don'ts
1. Let them anywhere near the polish bottle.
2. Don't get mad at them because their nails are so small or because they move while you are painting or when they sit on their freshly painted toes.
3. Don't try to paint the whole toe nail or finger edge to edge unless you have a pin size brush. Their nails are just too teeny not to make a mess.
4. Don't use a dark color, at least not the first time. Maybe see how it goes with light before you go tangerine or magenta.
5. Don't play head, shoulder's, knees and toes while you are waiting for the paint to dry.
6. Don't let them see where you store the nail polish

*The safer and natural way: try Piggy Paint they list stores and online retailers that carry their product. I am definitely ordering some. Cute.


  1. well it might help if you paint at an earlier age. I started painting my baby sister's nails when she was 14 months. Now she's 2 and she's used to it. she doesn't squirm and she sits and blows on her nails until I say it's dry.

  2. I paint my toddlers toes while she is eating breakfast in high chair! Feed her cereal like rice lrispies bc she must get every piece lol I set up my junk first then get her settled to eat and paint away first spoonful in lol gives her at least some time to dry and (usually) not smudge so much. Also found quick dry drops they help as well

  3. Cutting a child’s nails can be a nerve-wracking experience for most parents. Convincing your child to get her nails cut can be a daunting experience. So, how do you go about it without hurting her?


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