Thursday, June 7, 2012

Advice from other toddler moms

Two questions requiring advice, please.

1) For those of you in the NE, what do you do to make sure your kids are tick free after playing outside?  For my in-laws who have the house with the lawn, the solution is just to keep the kid indoors, but that seems absurd.

2) What have you done/ are you doing about teeth brushing?  B has 7 teeth and he uses a toothbrush every day or so, but it's not real "brush for 2 minutes" brushing.  Instead, he likes to hold it and chew on it and is not a fan at ALL of mommy brushing his teeth for him. Am I supposed to be doing something else?  (And no, I cannot use a finger brush.  He bites. Hard.)

Obviously I am not working very hard today.


  1. Funny you should mention this...
    Hen was just diagnosed with Lyme this week despite our (what I thought were) exceedingly paranoid body checks. We never saw the tick(!) and were told that it was probably IN his ear. Oi.

    We've started treating our yard professionally. He now has to wear long pants, socks to tuck the pants into, and really? I'm just keeping him indoors because it's so awful this year. No bare feet, no helping me in the garden, and I plan to give him a bath whenever he's outside for longer than to-the-car-and-back.

    Hate ticks. Good luck & I'll be checking back to see what other readers suggest.

  2. We do a bath and a pretty extensive check-over in the tub, giving extra attention to all the, erm, crevices. We've only ever found one crawling on him--never one attached and getting down to business. Must remember to always check those ears now...yikes!(Poor lil' fella, Sprogblogger! So sorry to hear about the Lyme disease dx!)

    Arlo does the same with his toothbrush--chewing on it and biting on the bristles, even pulling some of the bristles out with his teeth. (We have a natural fiber one, so I feel a little less bothered by his likely ingesting a bristle or two..or three.) And then, one day, he swished it in the toilet (see, he is a very concentrated toothbrusher) so I threw it away. Soooo, I have been giving him one of our extra electric toothbrushes, and he runs it all around his mouth, happily entertained by it. I also started holding him on my hip in front of the mirror, and we brush our teeth together. I think he enjoys looking at himself while brushing, and it also keeps him from trying to clean the toilet with it. ;) It's hard, though! I swear, my patience has been m-f'ing tested during these toddler times, hahaha. :)

  3. we're going up to country soon and this question has been top of mind for me also. We were told - long sleeves (white cotton), tucking pants in to socks, no sandals. Lemon oil is supposed to be effective on bare skin or better yet the deer tick spray(haven't researched this yet). At the end of the day dunk the kids in the bath and the rest is luck.

  4. Oh yikes. Despite the thousands of deer in my yard I've totally failed to worry about this one. So I'm useless, but interested to see what others do. Ditto the brushing. I only recently realized that we needed to get on it, and I confess we're still pretty casual (you know, like 30 seconds or so...) Anyway, while I can't help, at least I can show you what negligence looks like!

  5. Nothing to offer about the ticks (I'm midwest) other than, yuck. Gives me the heebie-jeebies just thinking about it.

    As for brushing, at this point, it is more about teaching them to brush, get used to a brush in their mouth, etc - rather than actual dental hygiene. A friend of a friend is a pediatric dentist, and her take is you are trying to teach a life skill, not actually getting them very clean. They are baby teeth, they will fall out anyway, so as long as by the time he gets his big teeth he is comfortable with brushing, then you'v done your job.

    My daughter does the same thing, biting on the brush, sucking on it, and we do it every night, part of the bedtime routine. We are also using non-fluoride paste/gel with her (weleda brand?) to get her used to the minty flavor of toothpaste. The tiniest amount, and we don't even bother with "rinsing" at this point. Again, using the paste to teach her to associate mint flavor with brushing, not because the paste itself does anything.

    So I think if you approach brushing not as getting clean but as working towards learning a new skill over time, it will be less frustrating. That's my take at least!

  6. This is so funny, because I just posted a video on Facebook of the J-dog "brushing" his teeth today. He only has 2 teeth on the bottom, and 2 coming in on the top, but we have been trying to brush anyway. He doesn't let me get in there for too long, but in his independent phase lately, I have discovered that letting him do it himself works pretty well, then I finish up (or I start him off...) But what works best is for me to brush my teeth at the same time. So we do it after breakfast and after dinner, in his high chair. He watches me and imitates what I do, sort of. As others said above, at this point it is more about learning the habit.

    As for ticks, I have to say I haven't given it much thought. I know that we live near each other, and I have to say that since I live in the city, I sometimes forget about such things, since they seem like a country thing. Have you heard of ticks being a problem in Central Park, or are you talking about outside of the city?

    1. Oh no -- the city is fine. It's just upstate that I worry about, since we will be up there for much of the summer. Ah nature!

  7. Surprisingly ticks aren't a big thing up here in Alaska. But, E is totally convinced that brushing teeth is the best thing ever. The first brush I got for him was shaped like a banana which he looved. He also takes great pleasure in watching me brush my teeth. I put him up on the counter with me so he can check it out....entranced! We start with me brushing his teeth and then he knows he gets to do it next....I don't worry too much about how great he is at as long as he gets some brushing movement in for practice. I sing him a little brush brush song when he gets distracted....honestly, I think I just lucked out that he likes it.

  8. We use a few drops of geranium oil essential oil mixed with coconut oil on Isaac as bug/tick repellent. From what I read online, it was tested with live ticks, and made them RUN every time...and it's safe for little ones, which makes me happy.
    As far as tooth brushing goes, I let Isaac play with his tooth brush while I'm changing his diaper and putting his pj's on, and I'll show him how to brush, then let him play (he basically just chews on it).

  9. Not to say that we are very good about actually doing the brushing all that often (particularly pathetic since the bean dont even hate it), but sugar and I have both worked on a pediatric dentistry project, so here are a couple of ideas from that. Some kids will let you finish if they ge to brush/chew first. Sme kids will let you brush them if they get to brush you. Some will go for it if otherwise engaged (video, for instance). My friend's kid got distracted enough to go with it if she was turned upside down.

    It is only sort of true that baby teeth don't matter in this regard. If your family has a history of or high risk of caries infections, then what goes on in this period dos matter for adult teeth. Probably you would already know if you were in this category, but it's worth getting familiar with warning signs, just in case.

    And then I can tell you this weird story I got paid to write in which having a mouth with an active caries infection is compared to living in a house that is on fire. It's for kids!

  10. No advice whatsoever on the ticks. They really scare me. And we're in that particular part of the city which has been overrun with a mosquito-in-the-sewers problem and I'm terrified of weird things from that.

    As for teeth, the sad truth is that some kids have a genetic pre-disposition to cavities and others don't. I have never had a cavity. My husband has cavities in the majority of his teeth. Definitely let your little guy chew on the toothbrush, try brushing your own teeth right along with him, and consider pinning him down and brushing if he's had a particular lot of sugar or hasn't brushed in a while (our pediatric dentist says just getting your kid to lie down so you can see their molars makes all the difference).

  11. Nothing to offer on either front, but am taking notes for future reference:)