My four year old is good at brushing; I give her teeth a quick brush myself if she's had lots of sweets, but mostly she does it on her own. My concern now is flossing. Her mouth is too small for me to stick my fingers in there and really teach her how to do it; I give her a piece of floss to play with and run between her front teeth just to get her used to the idea of flossing. Any suggestions for how or when I should go about teaching flossing? Am I waiting too long? Also, can anyone recommend a good mouthwash for children? Any advice on children's dental hygiene would be appreciated. Thank you!
Quick, hide the iPhone! What started out as mom and dad's little toy is quickly becoming their favorite tool for avoiding unwanted meltdowns. For every Pandora and Shazam that keeps parents occupied there are equally entertaining apps for the junior set. Last year we showed you some of our favorite apps for the toddler set, and now we've rounded up our top choices for preschoolers.
Afternoons in many preschoolers' households often sound like this:
Mom: "What did you do in school today?"
Child: "I don't remember."
Mom: "What books did the teachers read?"
Child: Silence and a blank stare.
Though many schools provide parents with a preview of the week's activities – or a wrap-up at the end of the week – trying to get your lil one to open up to you about what they did on a particular day can be compared to pulling teeth.
To get the conversation started, try these tips at the end of the next school day.
- Don't ask, just tell. Rather than pepper your lil one with questions about her day, tell her about something new or different that you did today. Present it in a way that she can relate to so that she can share about her day, too.
- Shake up the routine. Don't ask the same questions in the same order every day. Rotate the questions you ask and how they are presented.
- Make it funny. Try telling them about their day by substituting out-of-place details at key points. This should get them talking about what really happened.
To see the rest of our suggestions, read more
My daughter doesn't have a swank pair of custom-made high-heeled slippers like Suri Cruise, but she was gifted a bag of plastic princess ones a few years ago. Though my girl only wore them around the house to play dress up, her feet are not strangers to an arch. While shopping for dress shoes at Nordstrom, there were several wedge and tiny kitten-heel styles available in her size! Even my son has managed to tear down our hall in a pair of pumps he found in my closet. Sure, some parents encourage their tots to wear fabulous footwear starting with sassy crib heels, but most kiddos are just drawn to trying on (and wobbling around) in their mama's shoes. Have your tots strutted in shoes that gave them an extra inch or two?
My husband's parents' 50th anniversary is coming up in December and they offered to take the entire family on a trip to celebrate. They selected a cruise that does not return until the 5th of January. While the trip works for the rest of the family, it means my preschooler and kindergartener will miss the first two days back to school after Winter break. My mother-in-law says that I shouldn't worry because the children are young. Though I am grateful for the vacation, I am wary of the kids missing class. Should we skip the trip?
– Cruisin' in Lieu of School Mama
To see the response from Mommy Dearest, read more
When a baby boy discovers his penis, parents like to joke that he takes after dad. Unlike past generations, lots of today's moms and pops received sex education and talk openly about the subject without blushing. Many families use the correct names for body parts and initiate conversations with their kids at an early age.
The American Academy of Pediatrics just released a report about children's sexual behaviors, listing those that are age appropriate. According to the guide, it is completely normal for children between two and six to do any of the following on an infrequent basis:
- Touch/masturbate genitals in public or private
- Look at or touching a peer's or new sibling's genitals
- Show genitals to peers
- Stand or sit too close to someone
- Try to see peers or adults naked
If you want to chat with your children about sex and their bodies, consider some of the following texts.
When is it time to give up or cut down on a nap? My three-year-old son has always been a great snoozer and stills takes a two-to-three hour nap every day. My issue is that every evening he fights us so hard when it is time to go to bed that he ends up staying up well-past a reasonable bedtime. On the one or two occasions that we have had to skip his nap (due to birthday parties or the like) he is so overtired that he becomes a nightmare in the early evening hours. How would you handle this situation?
– Tired of Fighting About Sleep
To see the response from Mommy Dearest, read more
First day jitters are nothing new. As adults we experience them when we start a new job, move to a new city or go on a first date. For children who don't know any better, nerves can be scary.
Whether they are going to school for the very first time, attending a new school or even veterans of the back-to-school process, your lil one may be bottling up some trepidation for their first day. Before heading off to class, be sure to spend some time addressing their fears and seeking out the ones that they are too shy to discuss aloud. Take a look at our tips for reassuring your child.
- Plan a visit. If your child's school offers it, see if her teacher can drop in for a visit and introduce herself to your tot. In doing so, your child will make a connection between the person who visited their home and the person in their classroom.
- Go on a field trip. If the teacher can't visit your home, visit the teacher at the school. Show your child where his classroom will be, who his teacher is and where he can find the bathroom. One kiddo concern is the possibility of having an accident in school. By mapping out their route to the potty, you will alleviate that stress.
- Schedule some dates. If your child is new to the school experience, or attending a new school, peruse the class list and arrange a few playdates prior to the first day. This way, when she enters her classroom, she will recognize some faces.
- Set your clocks. The lazy days of Summer may have your lil one (and you) used to sleeping in and lounging around. Ease the shock of an early morning alarm by gradually pushing the clock back in the days leading up to the first day.
For more tips for easing back-to-school jitters, read more
I never could stomach letting my children cry it out. Despite friends who swear by the method and have logged enviable amounts of sleep, I can't imagine hitting the hay while my infant whimpers.
In working staggered schedules, my husband and I came up with our own method — tire them out. It wasn't something we discussed, it just happened. Before going to work in the afternoon, he'd take our tots on outdoor adventures to museums, exhibits, parks, and playgrounds. Then, when I leave the office, I run errands, meet up with friends, and plan play dates with the kids in tow. Our arrangement exposes our children to lots of places and people, and they get shut-eye in the car. Sometimes it means late nights and other times early mornings, but we have never had a real schedule.
Until now. This week my daughter started kindergarten and we had to bid our go-where-the-day-takes-you attitude goodbye (well, it's tabled until the weekend). The 6:30 a.m. wake-up call has gotten our best rester out of bed before the sun comes up and back between her sheets by 8:30 p.m. Our son is about to begin preschool, and already the lil wild child is tucking himself under the covers at a reasonable hour. I suppose we've discovered a new sleep method — enroll your kids in school. At night in the moment of peace I have before I crash, I savor it, knowing that it will be a distant memory when our new baby arrives next month.
Have you used any unconventional sleep methods?
Source: Flickr User lovelypetal
Our girl Bella may not have a baby, but that doesn't stop her from buying goodies from the kiddie aisle. She says it saves her a couple of bucks on beauty treatments, but lots of moms are guilty of borrowing an item or two from their tots. Baby wipes are great stain removers, mild detergents work wonders on hand wash adult apparel and calendula cream cures even mommy's skin issues. Tell us from gummy vitamins to fuel a tired parent to fine tooth combs for the perfect part, what do you use from your child's closet or medicine cabinet?