How to Brush Your Toddler's Teeth

1.Purchase toddler toothpaste, preferably with no saccharin, and a toddler toothbrush.
2.Tell your toddler that all of his "friends" need to be brushed.
3.When his mouth is open, say "hello" to all of the "friends."
4.Make brushing fun - giggle and laugh while you're brushing the teeth.
5.Tell your toddler he's a big boy for brushing his teeth.
6.Show him how to spit in the sink.
7.Clap and encourage your toddler for a job well done.
8.Give him a sticker for each successful toothbrushing session - it works! 
Tell your toddler that his favorite cartoon character loves brushing his teeth as well.
If you have an older child, use him or her as a model for your toddler.
Make toothbrushing time a daily family activity. 
Avoid toothpaste with saccharin.
If your child complains of a toothache, consult a dentist.
If you have any questions or concerns, contact a dentist or other health care professional before engaging in any activity related to health and diet. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment.  Steps:
1.Shop. Several furniture companies and children's stores offer a variety of different style cribs to fit the decor of your house as well as ones that reflect a nursery theme. Other models convert from a crib to a toddler's bed to the head and foot board of a full-size bed. Expect to pay anywhere from $100 for a basic crib to $1,000 or more for fancier and more select brands.
2.Buy a crib with wheels. You will appreciate the ease of movement when you are cleaning or rearranging.
3.Question the sales person on safety standards. The federal government has specific standards manufacturers must adhere to. For instance, crib slats must be no more than 2 3/8 inches apart so baby's head will not slip through the slats. Also, the top of the dropside must be at least 26 inches above the support at its lowest position when raised and at least 9 inches above the mattress support when lowered. Avoid models that have cut outs in the head or foot board as they can also trap a baby's head.
4.Choose a model with mattress height adjustment. You will want the mattress at high for your newborn and lower once your baby begins to stand.
5.Check the ease of the dropside release. Since baby will most likely be asleep when you put her in the crib, an easy and quiet drop side is essential. Make sure it isn't too easy though - you don't want baby to learn how to release the dropside.
6.Shake the crib when it is on the sales floor. If it wobbles and is rickety, keep shopping or check the same model in another store to see if it was improperly assembled.
7.Measure the size of the crib, particularly the area the mattress will fit. The interior of the crib should measure at least 51 3/4 inches long by 27 3/4 inches wide. If you can fit two fingers easily between the side of the crib and the mattress, the mattress is too small or the crib is too big. Incorrect mattress fit can result in your child fatally slipping beside or underneath the mattress. 
If you are buying the crib as a gift, talk with the parents about what they are looking for or go shopping with them.
Assemble the crib in the room it is to be in. Chances are, it will not fit through the door if assembled outside the room. 
Don't buy a crib with finials on the corners. Young children have been strangled in several instances when their clothing becomes caught on the finial.
Don't place the crib directly under a window. A screen will not prevent your child from falling out of the window.
Avoid cribs manufactured before 1973. Federal guidelines were not in place for crib safety before that time.    Steps:
1.Research recall notices (see Related Sites). There have been recalls on several models of portable cribs because of fatal accidents. Some models are still sold - with additional safety equipment that consumers must install. Most recalled models have been pulled from store shelves and replaced with safer models, but you'll have to be especially cautious when borrowing or buying a used play yard.
2.Look for safety features. (Keep in mind that portable cribs are not subject to the same intense federal scrutiny as full-sized permanent cribs.) The mesh on the sides should be a tight weave so fingers and toes cannot poke through and little buttons and snaps won't get caught. The hinges should lock tight. Put weight on the hinge, does it seem strong enough? Can your child manipulate the lock by turning it and loosening it? Most play yard fatalities occur from the locks unlocking and folding down on the child.
3.Check for mattress comfort. Most play yards have a cardboard base with padding on top. Some models have more padding then others. Find a model that meets the safety requirements and has a well-padded base.
4.Measure the height of the crib. The top rail should be 22 inches from the floor to deter escape.
5.Shop around. There are many different sizes and colors of portable cribs; they can be found in just about any major toy or children's store. You can even buy models that coordinate with your stroller, swing and highchair. Some fold up into neat little bundles and have wheels and a handle for easy transport through airports. Expect to pay anywhere from $70 to $170. 
Buy a foam insert to cut and lay in your play yard as a mattress. Make sure the foam is firm enough for your baby to sleep on. A good way to test firmness is to press down on the foam with your finger. If it indents easily, surrounding your fingertip when you apply little pressure, it's too soft. If you have to press hard to get a little indent, the foam is firm enough to let baby sleep on.
Think about size. The bigger the play yard, the harder it will be to transport. 
A portable play yard should not take the place of a permanent crib.
Avoid laying comforters or soft blankets down to make the mattress more comfortable. Too much soft bedding increases suffocation risk for small babies.
Check on your baby frequently just to make sure everything is OK.   Steps:
1.Give a book. Toddlers love to look at pictures whether they're actual photos or drawings. They like to manipulate the pages of sturdy board books while they pretend to read. A quality children's book is a great way to encourage reading and letter recognition.
2.Buy books that introduce a specific skill. You can find a range of children's books introducing such concepts as the alphabet, numbers, shapes and colors. There are even books for toddlers that explain opposites and cause and effect relationships, or social experiences such as sharing and feelings.
3.Look for age-appropriate craft kits. Toddlers enjoy creating. What better way to teach colors than by painting or drawing with washable markers? Learning shapes can be exciting for toddlers when they are able to glue together different sizes and textures of shape cutouts. Foster creativity and, at the same time, teach an important concept.
4.Buy toys that require filling and pouring. When toddlers pour water or sand into containers or from one container to another they learn important characteristics about volume. The spatial orientation skills involved with filling and emptying containers will help the toddler understand the relationship between different sizes.
5.Find any toy that focuses on letter or number recognition. Blocks, puzzles, electronic toys - the list is endless. The more toddlers are immersed in alphabet or number print, the more likely they are to retain and recall numbers and letters. 
Make sure the gift you buy is recommended for the age of the child you are buying for. Toddlers become frustrated easily and nothing is more frustrating than receiving a toy you cannot play with.
Buy a gift certificate from an educational catalogue that sells toys. You can still buy something educational and give the gift of choice, too. 
Warnings: Check the gift for small parts that may be a choking hazard for small children.   Steps:
1.Rock your baby in your arms, a carriage, a swing or a cradle (but not until your baby is at least six weeks old). Experiment with a variety of rocking positions, since all babies are different.
2.Sing a lullaby to your baby.
3.Walk around with your baby in a sling or backpack.
4.Wrap your newborn snugly in a soft blanket, as some infants are soothed being swaddled.
6.Gently massage your baby’s back, tummy and thighs.
7.Give your baby a warm bath if he likes it.
8.Place your baby across your lap, tummy down, and stroke his back.
9.Walk around to relieve pressure, placing your forearm under your baby’s rib cage with the baby facing outward.
10.Soothe your baby with sound: Some babies enjoy rhythmic noises, such as music, a vacuum cleaner or a dishwasher. They may also find riding in a car very soothing. 
Always consult your pediatrician about colic. A pediatrician can make a proper diagnosis, eliminating possible causes such as an intestinal problem or an allergy to formula. She may recommend a medication for gas relief or a different baby formula.
Most babies outgrow colic by the end of their fourth month.  
Warnings: Never rock or shake your baby vigorously.   

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