Brushing Baby’s Teeth- When Should You Begin?

It is indeed a joy for all parents to see baby’s first tooth appear. It is an indication that your baby can slowly start chewing food. However, as joyful it may sound, teething can be a painful experience for both babies and parents. Maintaining healthy teeth is also a challenging task. Questions like, “what kind of a brush to use?”, “when to start brushing?”, “should I brush the gums?”, and “what toothpaste to use” will haunt every parent’s mind. Read on to understand baby teeth brushing and cleaning basics.

brushing 2.jpg

Baby Teeth Chart

Well, all babies are not the same. Some babies get the first tooth as early as 6 months, whereas some babies get it between 8 to 10 months. There is nothing to worry about this process as each child grows and develops differently. Listed below is a standard teeth chart to understand what type of teeth appear in different growth stages.

Lower Teeth:

  • Canine: 17 to 24 months
  • Incisor: 10 to 15 months
  • First molar: 14 to 18 months
  • Second molar: 21 to 30 months
  • Central incisor: 6 to 9 months

Upper Teeth:

  • Central incisor: 8 to 12 months
  • Lateral incisor: 9 to 13 months
  • First molar: 13 to 18 months
  • Second molar: 24 to 34 months
  • Canine: 16 to 22 months

When to begin brushing your baby’s teeth?

Many tend to ignore brushing in the first few months after the teeth erupt. But doctors suggest to start brushing as soon as the first tooth appears. In fact, it is also recommended to brush the gums gently to keep them clean.

Before the teeth appear, it is generally advised to clean your baby’s mouth using a moist cloth or finger. The gums and the tongue are thoroughly cleaned after every meal. Regular cleaning helps prevent bacterial plaque that can damage infant’s teeth.

How to brush your baby’s teeth?

As soon as the first tooth pops out, you can start using a toothbrush. Soft and gentle baby toothbrushes are readily available in the market. Listed below are some tips to brush your baby’s teeth.

  • Wet the toothbrush
  • Squeeze on it a little baby’s toothpaste
  • Brush thoroughly at the back, front and corner
  • While brushing, gently rub the back of the toothbrush on the tongue and gums to clean them

Regular cleaning of gums and brushing of teeth fight the growth of bacteria and support good oral hygiene.

Is fluoride toothpaste safe?

It is recommended to use non-fluoride toothpaste for children below 3 years as it is not safe if ingested. Children above 3 years can use a small quantity of fluoride toothpaste and be instructed not to swallow it.

Preventing cavities

Babies are more prone to getting cavities. Try to avoid feeding your baby too many juices or sugary drinks. Carbonated beverages must totally be avoided. Encourage drinking more of formula milk or cow milk. Ensure that your baby does not go the bed without brushing her teeth and rinsing her mouth.  It is absolutely necessary to prevent cavities in babies, as decayed teeth can hamper speech and brain development.

 

Do not make brushing a boring or routine activity as children will not like it. Try to make it a fun activity by allowing your child to play, dance or sing songs. If your baby’s first tooth is out, pick up the brush now :-). Request other mothers to share their opinions and tips please. Do comment.

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Gender Neutral Parenting-Bridging the line between girls and boys

Stereotyping gender and classifying parenting style according to gender is the most rampant issue in the society today.  It is a notion that girls and boys are brought up differently which has continued for many years. But today, in the modern era, should girls and boys be brought up differently? Well, it is a debatable topic. Some are for gender-neutral parenting while some are against it. Although many of us want to be neutral between boys and girls, we are not able to bridge the gap. So let us understand the basics of gender-neutral parenting.

gender equality

What is Gender Neutral Parenting?

Gender neutral parenting is a parenting style where you consider both genders same and raise your children irrespective of gender norms. Parents tend to differentiate between their boys and girls through dressing, toys, and behaviour. While to some extent gender bias is ok. However differentiating between girls and boys by means of education, exposure, and behavioural teaching must stop.

Parents also differentiate between their girls and boys in basic aspects of life. Many believe that boys have more confidence and strength and girls have more tolerance. Hence, parenting styles also have been designed to meet preconceived notions.

Influence of Gender Neutral Parenting

The strongest influence of gender-neutral parenting begins from parents and other family members. We may have across many families where boys are put into sports whereas girls are put into dance. Well, it’s a belief that boys fair better at sports than girls. Girls are good at dance and do better than boys. Well, who decided this?

In the modern era, we have several girls who are athletes and several boys who are excellent dancers. The main issue of gender bias begins first from the family and then prevails outside. Hence it is important to understand where to draw the line and how much both your girls and boys can do.

Tips to Follow Gender Neutral Parenting

Stereotypes in gender must be laid off and all parents should strive to be a gender-neutral parent. Below mentioned are some tips to raise your kids without the gender binary.

1} Make your home environment gender neutral

Every aspect of your child’s life begins at home. Both your boys and girls will feel equal only if parents begin to treat them equal. Stop restricting daughters and sons to preconceived notions of what girls and boys should do. There is nothing wrong if your son plays with dolls or if your daughters are interested in sports.

2} Take gender out of activities

Never strict any activity related to gender. Give your children the freedom to choose the activities they like irrespective of the gender. If you force your children into activities based on gender, it will demoralise them and make them insecure in the future.

3} Start gender equality at a young age

Teaching gender equality right from a young age is very important. Satrt by giving them non-gender toys and allow them to choose freely. This will inculcate gender equality right from the beginning. They will grow up to be gender neutral.

4} Give both girls and boys equal exposure

Be it a girl or boy, both deserve equal exposure in every aspect of life. Keep you children away all gender stereotypes and bias. Being being neutral yourseld, you are taking the first step towards gender neutral parenting.

5} Show them real examples

Giving real life examples helps children understand better. Show them examples of different work or profession being carried out well by the opposite gender. Teach them to excel in life irrespective of the gender.

 

Last but not the least, there is nothing that girls or boys cannot do. Education, work, or profession does not depend on gender. It is based on determination, capability, and the will to do. If you want your children to be out of gender bias, start by being a gender neutral parent now.

5 Tips to Feed your Fussy Toddler

Mother to an 18-month-old baby girl, I often wonder, if feeding my little one is ever going to be easy? Feeding a toddler can be very frustrating when she is fussy. There are certain development stages when your toddler will simply refuse to eat anything that you give her. It’s hard to digest that something as simple as feeding can end up in a fit of tantrums which make your toddler throw up or cry inconsolably.

Is your little one also fussing to eat? Well, then you are not alone. I and several other mothers go through this phase. Although fussy eating can be very annoying, it is an absolutely normal phase in your toddler’s development. It will improve with time.

Tips to feed your fussy toddler

Many parents dread feeding their toddlers. Well, it’s completely normal. When your little one refuses to eat anything that you give her, you dwell on the fact that as infants they hardly gave any trouble to eat, then why are they being so fussy now? Additionally, you also worry if your toddler is still hungry or isn’t full yet. Listed below are some of my tricks that can help you feed your fussy toddler.

feeding toddler

1} Make Mealtimes Fun

Do not make your toddler feel that eating is a big task to do. Only if they enjoy eating, they will reduce their tantrums. Make mealtimes fun and relaxing. Do not yell at your toddler if she spits out food or refuses to eat. Yelling will only put your toddler’s mind off eating. Avoid distractions such as music or tv, as your toddler will focus more on the distractions rather than eating. You can instead involve your toddler in storytelling or a game that would make eating a fun activity.

mealtime fun

2} Give smaller portions

Although you would like to make your child eat more, giving smaller portions at a time really works. Heaping food in a bowl or plate will reduce the interest of eating in your toddler. Give your toddler smaller portions and frequent meals throughout the day, rather than big meals.

smaller portions

3} Feed only when really hungry

If your toddler is not hungry, no matter how much you force her, she will simply refuse to eat. Lack of hunger is one of the reasons why your toddler may fuss to eat. Engage your little one in enough physical activity so that she feels really hungry during mealtimes.

toddler hungry

4} Check milk intake

We all feed our toddlers milk as it is a wholesome and nutritious food. Sometimes to counteract fussy eating, we feed milk instead. This is to mainly ensure that your toddler’s stomach is not empty. However, drinking too much milk can be an enemy to your toddler’s hunger. Doctors recommend not more than 500 ml of milk in a day. If your little one is consuming more than 500 ml milk in a day,  she will bound to be fussier at mealtimes.

toddler drinking milk

5} Do not force-feed your baby

As parents, it’s completely natural to be worried about our toddler’s hunger and nutrition. Having said that toddlers will never go hungry by choice. They know when to ask for more and when to stop. This is the survival instinct God has blessed them with. If your toddler shakes her head away from food, give her a few minutes before trying again. After a few minutes, if she eats again, that means she wants to eat. If she continues to refuse, then feed her no more. Try offering another meal a few hours later.

force feed

Last but not the least, you can also consider changing the taste, by offering her something different than the usual. Toddlers have sensitive taste buds and are always keen to taste different things.

The key to coping with a fussy toddler is to stay calm and positive. Your positive state of mind and encouraging body language will help your fussy toddler eat better. Make sure to compliment him when he eats well. Like adults, toddlers also like appreciation and compliments.

Finally, you must remember that this phase is not permanent. Its a part of growing up and this stage too will pass soon. These are some tips that I used to feed my fussy toddler. This forum is open for other mothers to share their opinions and tips. Your opinions and tips will surely help me and all other mothers out there!

5 Ways To Make Flying With Baby Easier

The first time we took our 12-month-old baby girl on a flight was to attend a cousin s baby shower. Even though the travel duration was less than an hour and our trip was only 2 days, we still hauled a week full of clothes and baby gear through the airport.

Travelling light simply cannot exist with a baby on board. Burning questions like “what should you carry when flying with a baby?”, “How to deal with your baby crying during the flight”, etc keep plaguing your mind.

If you are flying anytime soon and you are troubled with questions related to taking your baby on a plane, then don’t worry. You are not alone. Listed below are some of the tips that helped me make my journey easier.

with toddler

When can you fly with your baby?

There is no official age for babies to board their first flight. Certain airlines recommend babies to be at least 7 weeks old before they fly. Whereas certain airlines allow newborns younger than 7 weeks to fly along with a doctor’s note.

The most important thing to keep in mind is that your baby’s immune system is not as strong as an adult. Planes use recirculated air that may contain germs and microbes, which can in turn affect your little one. It is advisable to check with your pediatrician before taking your baby through flight.

5 tips for flying with a baby

Flying with a baby is certainly not an easy thing. Improper planning can lead to a total chaos. Here are some tips to fly with your baby and make your journey more pleasant.

1. Choose a morning flight

If it’s possible, it is better to opt for a morning flight. You might have noticed that as evening approaches your baby gets fussier. Your baby would have slept well the previous night and would be fresh during a morning flight. Hence, the chances of your baby throwing a tantrum is minimum.

morning flight 2

2. Plan a nap schedule

Trying making your baby take a nap while on the plane. Some babies remain more calm if they take a nap in between the flight journey.

baby nap schedule

3. Pack extra clothes for yourself and baby

This is an absolute essential. Babies are known to throw up or excrete poop at uncomfortable times. Additionally, turbulence on the flight can make your baby spill food or drinks on hers as well as your clothes. Always carry an extra pair of clothes for both parents and baby in cases of mishap.

extra clothes

4. Feed baby during take off and landing

If your baby is below 2 yrs, airlines recommend to feed the baby during takeoff and landing. This is suggested to reduce any discomfort in their ears when there are changes in ear pressure during landing and takeoff. Swallowing and sucking can help ease this discomfort.

feeding breastfeeding

5. Carry toys and books

The best way to keep your little one distracted is to carry toys and books that she loves. Check with your airlines on what you are allowed to carry in your hand luggage. Keeping your baby engaged with toys and colourful books will make her less fussy during the travel.

baby playing with toys

Well, these were some tips that I followed when I took my baby on both short and long duration flights. I would be glad if mothers could share some more ideas and tips on my blog. Please do comment and share your views. It will definitely help me as well as other first time moms.

Addressing sexual harassment with your child- when is the right time ?

The world has become such an unsafe place for children these days! After reading about sexual assaults on Asifa, Geeta, and many more little girls, I could barely sleep through the nights. I am sure many would agree with me. Being a mother to a 18-month-old baby girl, I would often wonder, if this world is safe for my little one. Always in a panic-stricken state, I would shiver at the thought of leaving my little one away from my eyesight.

Addressing Sexual Harassment With Your Child

There was a time when the realisation struck me. Should I sit and worry about my little girl’s safety or should I do something to protect my little one? As parents, we become more paranoid about the problem rather than trying to solve it.

With more rapes and sexual assaults happening around the world, today even babies are not safe. Hence, it is important that we teach our children about sexual harassment from a very young age.

When is the right age?

It is unfortunate that we need to teach our children about sexual harassment at such a young age. However, as the saying goes, better safe than sorry. Teaching your child about sexual harassment can be a real challenge. Determining the right age and techniques to make your little one understand is definitely going to be an ordeal.

Children are aware of their surroundings from the age of 3. Hence, in a subtle way, parents should start trying to make their children understand about sexual harassment and the warning signs.

Tips to Warn Your Children On Sexual harassment

1. Bad touch and good touch

I am sure all of us are familiar with this. Our parents taught us this too and yes it surely worked. Teach your child the difference between bad touch and good touch.

2. Advice to never talk to strangers

Some children get friendly with strangers while some don’t. Well, to be on the safer side, tell your child to always stay away from strangers.

3. Never let your child go out alone

Be it at school, or at home, advice your children to never step out alone or hang around on their own. If they are very young, make it a point to accompany them yourself. If your children are a little older, advice them to stay in a group at school or with an elder at home.

4. Self-defence

Last but not the least, apart from being aware of sexual harassment, your children should also know to self-defend themselves in events of danger. Several self-defence classes are being conducted from the starting age of 4 to make children stronger and prepared.

In today’s world, life is certainly not easy for our children. Although only rapes on girls are being openly publicised, several rapes on boys also happen. These cases go under the wraps. Be it a boy or a girl, making your child aware of sexual harassment is very important.

The Journey Begins

Thanks for joining me! Parenthood is the most beautiful journey every individual must experience. No person is always completely ready. Every person is caught off guard. Parenthood chooses you and you open your eyes to the most wonderful journey of a lifetime. Here i share my thoughts and experiences on love, relationships, pregnancy, and parenthood.

Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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