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Can you have long nails when you have a baby?

"Long nails until I die," Khloe Kardashian declares.
Khole Kardashian holding her baby with long nails
Mom of two Khloe Kardashian has been criticized for her long nails, but an expert says it's really not a big deal.@kholekardashian via Instagram
/ Source: TODAY

Khloé Kardashian's long nails don't get in the way of diaper changing.

“Long nails until I die,” Kardashian, a mother of two, proclaimed this week in a video interview with Refinery29. "Well, my nails are medium right now and it's killing me!"

"How do you change a diaper with those nails?" an Instagram follower commented.

It's a question that comes up frequently for many moms with long nails. People have harped on Kardashian's long, sharp nails since she became a mom to daughter True, 5, and son Tatum, 11 months.

"Everyone is so fascinated by the length of my nails," she told James Corden in 2021.

"How do you change a diaper?" he asked.

"The same way I can groom myself, I can groom another person," Kardashian answered, clarifying that when True was an infant, she filed her nails into a square shape.

Can you take care of a newborn when you have long nails?

Kardashian also challenged nail haters in a 2019 tweet: "It’s annoying when people talk about my nails. Trust me, I manage just fine. The same way I take care of myself, I take care of my baby. There are more serious things to discuss. At least I would hope."

And when Kylie Jenner's daughter Stormi was born in 2018, people asked how she bathed or changed her diaper with long nails.

In 2022, Cardi B, who faced similar questions, posted a video tutorial using a teddy bear to demonstrate how she changed her son Wave's diaper with long nails.

"It's never difficult, it's never hard," she explained, while stuffing the bear's legs into a pair of pants.

Cardi B and the Kardashians are right, according to science.

Expert advice on long nails and babies

According to Brian Labus, an assistant professor in the School of Public Health at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, long nails are not cause for concern.

"People make a bigger deal out of this topic than necessary," Labus tells "It really comes down to proper hand washing — a mom with (short) nails who doesn't wash her hands is a much bigger risk than any theoretical risk from what could be under those nails."

According to Labus, while bacteria can get trapped under or around nail beds, "It's something we're more concerned about in food service or healthcare, especially when around patients with contagious infections."

Wearing bracelets or rings, he says, is an even tinier concern.

"It depends what the jewelry is made of and if they are cleanable surfaces, but typically metals do a good job of killing whatever bacteria is on them," Labus explains.

Yes, a mom with long nails could accidentally poke their baby, but as Labus explains, “Having short nails doesn’t guarantee that you wont poke or scrape the baby either, so you have to be careful no matter what.”

"It's easy to criticize and there are lots of things that could pose real risk to babies," says Labus. "A new mom with long nails isn't one of them."