Yes, Your 3-Month-Old Baby IS Old Enough to Wear Nail Polish

Mom Moment 75

nail polishI think I may have repeated the phrase "stop moving" at least 27 times while painting my daughter's toenails this past weekend. She's 8 years old, and she's a wiggleworm. It would be easier to put nail polish on a baby.

Trust me; I know what I'm talking about. I put nail polish on my baby girl a few times when she was itty bitty.

Somehow this seems to shock people. Maybe because I'm one of those moms who didn't get her baby's ears pierced? That's a pretty classic beauty move for parents. It's certainly more classic than polishing a baby's toe nails.

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In fact, putting polish on a baby's tootsies is a surprisingly controversial topics among moms.

Some moms find it garish and inappropriate. These are typically the moms who think any sort of beauty regime should be held off until the teen years (and the later ones at that).

I disagree wholeheartedly. Nail polish is not going to turn a baby into a harlot when she is actually old enough to learn what the word means. It's just a splash of color! It's temporary! 

And of course, it's adorable. Maybe that's a wee bit vain, but we can all use a little bit of pretty in our lives.

Nor do I really put stock in the idea that it's spoiling kids. If you're taking them in for professional salon pedicures, you are wandering into helicopter territory, but a mom slapping a dash of polish on a piggy is not going for the salon treatment.

Then there are the moms who say it's unsafe.

That's a concern that holds a bit more weight. Babies put everything in their mouths, even their toes (once they can!), and you don't want your baby swallowing something toxic. If you're using most drugstore polishes on a baby's toes, they could be ingesting something pretty awful. 

But this is where today's moms are lucky. The push toward organic and "natural" beauty items has opened up a world of safe alternatives for parents who love colored piggy toes on their babes.

You can check out the Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep guide to safe cosmetics to find products that are pretty safe for your infant. There's even safe nail polish remover these days (I swear by the Piggy Paint remover that is acetone-free and doesn't have that awful chemical smell of the stuff I grew up using).

So what are you waiting for?

Grab your polish and start painting. Maybe if you start early enough, they'll be better at holding still by 8 years old than my wiggleworm.

Would you put nail polish on a newborn?


Image via Hey Danielle/Flickr

baby health, safety


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Shandi80 Shandi80

Probably not, no matter how "organic" or "natural" the product claims to be. A baby's pH tends to be more neutral than acidic (unlike adults), causing it to be more sensitive to irritation. A 2 year old would probably be fine, however.

Zenezzy Zenezzy

I thought some parents twins and triplets used different color nail polish  to help tell them apart, I never heard of any ot them becoming sick b/c of the nail polish.

kckcm2 kckcm2

My mother in law started putting nail polish on my daughter's piggies at 11 months old. We never used np remover but she frequently came home sporting a new neon color once a week.

sassy... sassykat122

Mine is 18 months and have begun putting 'pretties' on her toes. Spazzed out at first but now is fascinated by it. I don't think there is anything wrong with younger babies either.

nonmember avatar FarmersWife

No, 3 months old is not old enough. Those tender new nails need to breathe and you could risk a nail infection. My vote is on waiting 6 months to a year at least... On occasion past 6 months I don't think much of. But I personally wouldn't until probably 2+

Amanda Solita Shovlin

My 2.5 year old LOVES her nails painted. I think I started when she was around 15 months old when it was warming up outside enough to wear sandles. she will give me her feet and hands and will sit absolutly still while I paint them. I use the quick dry stuff so it's dry by the time I'm done. She never really put her hands in her mouth or her feet and the paint chips off in a day on her anyway


LadyM... LadyMinni

Once the nail is out, it's dead. Just like hair. I never really thought of painting Fi's nails, but I see nothing wrong with it. Maybe I'll do it for her birthdays.

Sarah Flores

Maybe it's just me but I don't think it's that bad and this is coming from a mom whose daughter had a very high lead level at under a year (not from nail polish). I've never worried about it and they make polish for younger children. Even if they chip it and eat it I thin kthere are alot of other things that are much worse that a kid can swallow. Now if they get into the bottle and ingest it that's another story because I'd be concerned about them swallowing the liquid because of the amount and consistancy. I don't know. I guess I'm one of those moms who knows that germs are everywhere and kids have to be exposed to gain a defence so I don't see nail polish being a concern.

nonmember avatar Lupe

I thought painting my daughters nails at 6 months using a well known brand wouldn't harm either, until all and I mean all her nails started coming off, toes and finger nails. I took her to the Dr. And he recommended that until she is a year old I should not paint her nails. She is 4 now and loves purple nails and I haven't had a problem since. So just becareful on what type of nail polish you are using.

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