What age can you put nail polish on a child: When Can You Paint Baby Nails

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When Can You Paint Baby Nails

Buying Guides and Reviews



Painting your baby’s toenails is often thought of as harmless joy. Kids adore bright nail polish colors and have a great chance to express themselves through them. It may even make them feel a little more mature on special occasions.

However, before choosing standard nail polish, you might need to be aware of a few safety issues. Many well-known brands of nail polish contain ingredients that could affect how you think.

When can I paint my baby’s toenails?

When it comes to applying baby nail polish to your baby, the main possible problem is that they will be exposed to hazardous chemicals in polish designed for adults. Babies frequently put their fingers and toes in their mouths, so it’s easy to see how they can expose themselves.

Generally, as your baby stops putting their fingers or toes in their mouths, you can begin painting their nails. Every child will experience this differently, but it’s likely that your baby will suck on his or her fingers more frequently and for a more extended period of time than on their toes.

Fortunately, there are several nail polish options available on the market that are developed specifically for kids and infants and don’t contain harmful chemicals. While not ideal, it does make the decision regarding when you might begin painting your baby’s nails a little simpler to navigate due to the significantly lower risk.

Babies often start sucking on their hands and fingers at about 3 months old and end by 18 to 24 months. In order to limit your baby’s exposure to the polish, it is probably better to start painting their nails when they turn two.

Painting your baby’s fingernails before they have grown out of this tendency is usually a good idea because this is one of the first things that babies learn to put in their mouths. By month 8, if your baby doesn’t seem interested in putting her toes in her mouth, you can begin painting her toenails because it’s unlikely that she will form the habit.

Harmful or toxic chemicals found in nail polish

That attractive nail polish container can contain a combination of chemicals that some studies believe to be hazardous and potentially harmful. However, it is debatable how much of a threat they actually are. Some nail polish brands contain four main chemicals.


Paint thinner, synthetic scents, cleaning goods, and other home items all contain toluene. It has been demonstrated that prolonged and repetitive exposure to toluene can harm the liver and kidneys, as well as cause difficulties with the nervous system and upper respiratory tract (including exposure at work or persistently breathing it on purpose).

Triphenyl phosphate (TPHP):

This is used to produce plastics and as a fire retardant, has the ability to interfere with the endocrine system. Many of today’s leading nail polish brands contain TPHP. A 2015 investigation by the Environmental Working Group and researchers at Duke University discovered a substantial rise in the amounts of TPHP in the urine of 26 women who were examined.


Many household items and building materials contain formaldehyde. In order to keep nail polish from flaking, it works as a hardener. Long-term exposure can worsen respiratory conditions and raise the chance of developing certain cancers. According to a 2015 study, exposure to formaldehyde during pregnancy is associated with spontaneous abortion, congenital defects, and premature birth.


Phthalates are lubricants and fragrance carriers found in nail paint and other personal care products. These chemicals are recognized as minor androgen blockers and endocrine disruptors. According to certain studies, exposure to phthalates during pregnancy and childhood is linked to developmental delays and allergy conditions.

What are some safe baby nail painting options?

In response to parents’ growing worries, some companies have developed safer polish options for little fingernails and toes. There are non-toxic polish or water-based nail polish and polish removers available from nail polish manufacturers like Hopscotch Kids and Piggy Paint.

You can also search the Environmental Working Group’s nail polish database to learn how safe a certain product is. Each is rated in sequence from 0 to 10 (0 being the safest).

Nontoxic Infant nail painting

Disney Princess – Townley Girl Non-Toxic Peel-Off Water-Based Natural Safe Quick Dry Nail Polish

All of Townley Girl’s non-toxic, reasonably priced, and character-themed kid-friendly beauty products are available.

The 15 colors in this Disney Princess traditional nail polish collection are water-based, quick-drying, and peelable and come in sparkly and opaque hues. They also smell mildly good.

Airdom Kids Nail Paint Set

The composition for Airdom is odorless, quick-drying, and simple to peel off; as a result, it won’t stain if spilled on clothing or furniture. It is also made without chemicals or heavy metals so it’s safe nail polish for kids. It’s also simple to use.

Suncoat Non-Toxic Peelable Children’s Nail Paint Set

You can trust that Suncoat’s natural, nontoxic nail paints are genuine kid-safe products because they were developed by a Canadian chemist and mother of two. These polishes can stay for days on tiny fingernails and even longer on toes! They are water-based, chemical solvent-free, odorless, and easy to peel off (no remover necessary).

Do’s and Don’ts

Keep the following things in mind if you choose to paint your child’s nails:


  • Try your best to replicate how your youngster applies nail paint on their fingernails. When you’re painting your delicate nails, if she asks for some, dry the tip and fake-paint it.
  • Start out by using colors that are lighter or more transparent colors.
  • Paint your baby’s toenails rather than their fingernails since toes are more difficult to reach and chew on.
  • Make sure you do it outside so they can’t breathe in the solvent fumes for an extended period of time.
  • Anything that needs to be kept clean should be taken off. Take them away from your child because he will probably paint them.


  • Keep your child’s access to all standard nail polish restricted.
  • To prevent the nail color from touching the flesh, merely paint the nail’s edges.
  • Don’t reveal where you store your colors to him.

Final thoughts

You may have a general concept now of when you can paint the toenails of your child. Although applying nail color may seem simple, there is much more in store for them. If you’re unsure whether to paint your baby’s fingernails or toenails, you should ask your doctor. If they agree, you can go ahead and do it. But avoid making it a routine to paint your baby’s delicate nails!


What Is the Best Age for Nail Polish? Kids, Toddlers, and Babies

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Katie Dillon

Katie Dillon

Katie Dillon

Katie Dillon

Last Updated:

My daughter started asking for nail polish at age three. As I was picking up some organic lipstick at a boutique in San Diego, my daughter spied the beautifully-displayed tub of non-toxic Piggy Paint kids’ nail polish. She wanted some so I agreed.

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

She picked green Piggy Paint and was so jazzed that she asked me to paint her toes right away. I brushed the four toes peeking out of her sandals green and we proceeded to go to lunch with our friends. No big deal.

Then, she fell while walking out of the restaurant, skinning her elbow, knee, and hand. To calm her down enough to get into the car, I bribed offered to paint her fingernails, too.

She was instantaneously silent and happy. I told her that if she was the slightest bit fussy about anything for the rest of the day… I would take it off her new toddler nail polish. The end result was dream behavior.

She’s been wearing kids nail polish on and off since then.

Whatever you do, don’t put traditional nail polish made for adults on young kids, especially if they’re still in the habit of thumb or finger sucking.

Some adult nail polishes have formaldehyde, toluene, and phthalates, which can be toxic if they’re ingested.

Kids are best with nontoxic, water-based nail polishes which also happen to be much easier to clean up if they choose to apply it themselves.

Even with nontoxic kids nail polishes, it’s not ideal for kids to ingest them (with one exception mentioned below).

Piggy Paint is all-natural, water-based, eco-friendly, nontoxic kids nail polish so I wasn’t expecting it to have the staying power of normal nail polish.

She took a long bath and a little wore off and, to be honest, I’m glad to know it does.

Here are other nontoxic brands to try:

  • Piggy Paint
  • Keeki
  • Priti NYC
  • Kid Licks (yes, it’s edible.)
  • ella + mila
  • Zoya

You may also want to try removing with a natural nail polish remover. Piggy Paint, at least, soaks off after a while in a bath. I’ve personally worn both Priti NYC and Zoya and feel that they need nail polish remover.

Since then, I’ve seen kids of almost all ages wearing nail polish. Though, I’ve heard that some preschools have rules about whether or not kids can wear it.

What age do you think is appropriate to start painting a child’s nails? Do you let them wear it to school? Please share.


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Is it possible for a child to paint his nails — and from what age

Already in kindergarten you can meet young fashionistas with painted nails, in rhinestones and stickers. Is it worth using varnish at this age? And what if your child wants it too? The teacher-psychologist of school No. 2120 Akatova Kristina answers.

Question: In my daughter’s kindergarten, many girls paint their nails. And mine also asks. I explain to her that it is very harmful and not according to her age. She is in tears. But after all, at 4 years old, it’s really too early. Or am I not right?

Answer: When answering this question, it is always important to take into account the position of the parent. And at the same time, do not forget about the nuances of child psychology at 4-5 years old.

As a mother of a 5-year-old daughter, I adhere to a very democratic approach to the child’s hobbies — of course, within reasonable limits. Moreover, her little girlfriends are already trying to «watch themselves», imitating adults in this. There is nothing scary or dangerous in such a game, it is part of child development.

For a parent who doesn’t know how to answer the question about cosmetics being acceptable at this age, it’s important to weigh the need for a ban. To do this, you need to honestly answer yourself the questions: “Why not?”, “Why prohibit this?”

True, if we talk about a demonstration of a bright manicure in a kindergarten group, it is important to take into account that the educators will most likely be against it. If so, you can simply indicate the rules, for example: “We have a beauty day with you on Saturdays or Sundays, on a day off. On this day, we can paint our nails, try on bright outfits, wigs — in a word, look for ways of self-expression. But we don’t go to kindergarten like that, because there are certain rules that we must follow.”

A child at this age performs his main function — explores the world and begins to learn it

Including through the prism of creativity and self-expression in any of its possible manifestations. In the future, this will provide a good basis for the formation of healthy emancipation. The most important thing is to teach to distinguish: where you can express yourself, and where it is necessary to comply with approved or generally accepted social standards of behavior.

As for children’s varnishes, there is now a fairly large selection of such products. Basically, these are water-based varnishes that are completely safe for health — they are sold in toy stores.

If you are suspicious of the quality of such varnishes, you can try using various stickers and rhinestones for nails, which will easily help to satisfy the child’s need to demonstrate his bright appearance in front of his girlfriends, and also establish a certain level of trust with his mother.

It is very important for a child to understand that his mother supports him, since support in such a situation is perceived as a sense of security and safety, which helps to form a correct and adequate self-esteem.

Ask your question to Mel, and the editors will find someone who can answer it. Write to our social networks — we read all the messages on the pages in VKontakte and Odnoklassniki. Answers will be published in order of priority in the «Question — Answer» section. By the way, we do not disclose names, so questions can be anything (feel free!).

Cover image: marigo20 / Shutterstock / Fotodom

Can children paint their nails? • EstPortal

Manicure is an integral part of the manifestation of femininity. Often mothers want to emphasize the beauty of a little princess or simply cannot refuse a child’s request to paint her nails. It may look very cute, but first you need to make sure it is safe for your daughter?

Peculiarities of children’s nails

The formation of the nail plate occurs in the mother’s womb and already at the 9th month of pregnancy the child has full nails. From that moment on, they will continue to grow throughout their lives. Despite the appearance of the nail, which is not much different from an adult, except for the size, its anatomical and physiological structure is different.

At an early age, the nail plate does not even completely cover the nail bed. The nails are much thinner and more elastic than those of an adult. The elasticity of the nail is so high due to the large amount of moisture in their composition.

The cuticle on children’s nails is softer, it cannot be trimmed and it is better not to touch it at all until adolescence. It is believed that only at the age of 14-15 does a teenager’s nail become full-fledged.

This vulnerable structure of a child’s nail increases the risk of infection of the nail plate. This is aggravated by the fact that children do not really like to wash their hands, but touch everything. Many mothers are concerned about the appearance of hangnails on the hands of children. Experts do not recommend cutting them, because this increases the risk of infection.

Is nail polish harmful?

Recent research focuses on the harmful effects of varnish on the human body in general. And their results, unfortunately, are not so comforting. Scientists from the USA tried to analyze the blood and urine of women who constantly use nail polishes and the results confirmed their hypothesis about the harmfulness of this tool.

The results of the analyzes of the examined women showed the presence of harmful substances. Scientists have suggested that triphenyl phosphate enters the body and internal organs of women through the capillaries of the cuticle and nail plate. In just 10-15 hours after applying nail polish, the amount of this harmful substance in the human body increases by 7 times. Animal experiments have shown that this substance negatively affects the endocrine system. Triphenyl phosphate is found in almost all nail polishes. Of at least 1,500 samples studied, scientists have not been able to find a single safe one. If varnish is so harmful to adult women, is it necessary to talk about harm to a child?

The negative effect of the varnish coating is difficult to notice visually, but you can see how the nail plate changes with regular staining. Thin children’s nails can begin to exfoliate, they become more dry due to the loss of moisture necessary for their normal health. Increases the likelihood of white spots.

Due to the presence of a large amount of water in children’s nails, the varnish peels off faster. Polish particles can get into the eyes when the child rubs them with their hands, as well as into the digestive system if the girl has a habit of biting her nails. This can cause local irritation and increase the concentration of harmful substances in the body. In addition, varnish is a strong allergen. If your child is prone to an allergic reaction, varnish can activate it.

Correct children’s manicure

Considering the danger of nail polishes for children’s nails and health in general, it is better to refrain from using them. But sometimes it is very difficult for mothers to refuse their daughter, and some parents want to instill the habit of taking care of themselves from early childhood. For such cases, there is a way out — children’s varnishes. They are made safe and do not last long. Children can lubricate their nails with nail oil, which may well replace the application of varnish.

Children’s nails should be trimmed regularly. This should not be done too often: once a week on the hands and once every two weeks on the legs. You can not use a nail file, the nails are too thin for filing. For such a manicure, use special rounded scissors. Do not cut your hair too short, as this can cause discomfort. Keep an eye on the length of your nails, because dirt collects under strongly regrown nails. Do not forget to sterilize the instruments, you can wipe them with herbal tinctures. Each child in the family should have their own individual nail scissors.

In case of severe impact and injury to the nail, put it under cold water. Over time, the bruise will come down, and the injured part will be cut off. Don’t worry, if the nail is completely broken, it will grow back. Pay special attention to the appearance of white spots on the nails, they can say a lot about the state of health. What white spots mean, you can read in the corresponding article of the Aesthetic Portal.

By alexxlab

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