Making Tooth Brushing Fun (AKA Getting Them To Brush For Themselves)

We’re lucky in that our little guy never really had an aversion to having his teeth brushed. I can’t say that he enjoyed it, but once it was established that we brushed teeth after meals he would consistently endure the process. That said, he would NOT take the initiative and work the brush on his own. It was definitely a task for Mom or Dad to initiate and perform.

How did we get past this? We bought him an electric toothbrush.

Actually, we bought ourselves electric toothbrushes first so he could see that it was the way we brushed our teeth and established it as something adults do, whereas the non-electric brushing was something for kids. Next we bought him his own and just set it down in front of him. He’d already seen how ours worked, so he was interested to see if this new brush would work the same way. Note as well that the brush we chose prominently featured characters from the movie Cars.

Surprise, surprise, by that evening he was turning it on and off and actually doing a pretty good job of brushing his teeth. At this point he takes the first stab after each meal and either Mom or Dad will bat clean-up and make sure that all areas are scrubbed. Best of all, if WE forget to get his toothbrush he’s sure to remind us!

We ended up getting him an Oral B Stages toothbrush for those interested.

Good luck all :)

Potty Training. An Update On Our Toddler

Last post I referenced an article that suggested one should not push potty training given that toddlers are generally fully capable of using the toilet, but for whatever reason choose not to. Further, that pushing them to use the potty rather than diaper can lead to issues like constipation now and later in life. We opted to follow this counsel in part due to the readings we found, and in part given the feedback from our daycare provider who has seen many, many children over the years of all personalities and schedules. I’m glad we did.

About four weeks ago our little one began to use the toilet much more frequently. Today it is the exception for him to soil is diaper vs. tell us that he has to use the potty and walk upstairs on his own to do so. Initially it was progress at home only, with reliance on diapers whenever we were traveling, or at someone else’s home. Roughly three weeks ago he decided that using the potty at his Grandfather’s place was ok, and earlier this week this willingness was extended to his Grandmother’s as well.

We’ve taken potty training / toilet related books out of rotation so as to remove any additional stress and it seems to be working well. We do asks occasinally if we’re at a time that typically would have seen toilet use, but otherwise leave him to tell us when he needs to go. We do cheer him on whenever he says he needs to go, and accompany him to the bathroom cheering all the way.

Now, granted we still use incentives as part of the exercise and have no immediate plans to remove these, but progress is progress and we’re thrilled, as is he! It’s been several days since the last time he woke up with #2 in his diaper, or didn’t make it to the toilet in time in the morning. Number 1 remains an issue, but its improving as well.

Next steps? Pull-ups and underwear when he’s ready, and having him wipe on his own.

Progress!