CARE THE LITTLE CURVE-How to care your baby’s teeth?

how to care your babys teeth

how to care your babys teeth

A smile from my little son can turn even the worst moment the best. I hope none will disagree to that point of falling in love with any little one’s lovely million dollar smile.(I love that rabbit tooth protruding). I had been to my dentist yesterday and I had a chance to know about pediatric dentistry in detail from him and his clinic. I thought I shall put on all that I knew from him,his pamphlets,his references(I have translated them below) and books.

When to clean baby teeth

When does teething actually begin?

Teething actually begins even when baby is still in the womb and whitening of gums followed by real teething can commence as early as 3 months or as late as 1 year.Teeth actually begins to sprout one at a time beginning with the bottom two middle ones,followed by top two and then the sides. At around 2 or 3 years baby will have a complete set of 20 teeth(Milk teeth) and they shouldn’t begin to fall till 6 years until the permanent teeth begin to grow.The falling of milk teeth and growth of the permanent teeth happens between 6 years to 12 years.By 12 or 13 years most of the permanent teeth would have well grown.

Baby teething chartWhat are the signs of teething?

  • Unusual irritability
  • Drooling
  • Fussiness
  • Refusal of food
  • Diarrhea
  • Lack of sleep
  • Fever
  • Chewing/Trying to bite

How to ease the teething pain?

  • Use a hard teething ring and let baby chew on
  • Use a clean cold cloth and rub gently on the gums
  • If your baby is elder you can give home made unsalted crackers(My mother used to make murukku/soup sticks with rice & urad dhal flour and give him to gnaw).But be careful about choking.
  • Kindly avoid any medicines/painkillers without a pediatrician’s prescription.(These medications might lead to serious throat problems,Reye’s syndrome,stomach irritation and several other complications).

First teeth

When is it necessary to clean my baby’s teeth?

It is mandatory to clean your baby’s mouth(tongue and gums) from first day.

when to brush baby teeth

How can I clean my baby’s teeth?

From day one your baby’s mouth(tongue and gums) should be cleaned with your clean finger or a soft clean cloth. This helps in avoiding thrush at early stages. Gently rub the gums and tongue with the cloth .When the first tooth begins to come,you can make a regular habit of brushing teeth twice a day.Begin with your fingers as brush and slowly start with a specialized baby friendly silicon finger brush. Brush gently on all sides of the mouth. Brushing twice a day is a must for every baby with zero plus tooth/teeth. It is not mandatory to use a tooth paste until the baby learns to spit/gargle. Using a tooth paste too early might end up in unwanted fluoride intake.

When should I first meet a pediatric dentist?

Do not delay your first dental visit beyond your little one’s second birthday. From then make it a mandate to visit once in 6 months.

What practices have to be avoided to preserve good health of my LO’s teeth?

  • Nursing bottle Caries is the most common pediatric dental problem which arises in babies.This is mainly due the habit of sleeping along with feeding bottle in hand.This leads to very early cavities.Avoid sending your babies with feeding bottles/sippers/milk/juice to bed. If milk is given at bedtime,prefer to make it little early and brush before bedtime/clean the mouth before bedtime.
  • Secondly lack of nutrition might damage the health of teeth.Hence be sure to include plenty of fruits and vegetables in your baby’s diet from 180 th day.
  • Thirdly the habit of frequent consumption of foods like chocolates,sugary items,chips,sweets,baked foods result in cavities in milk tooth.Hence fix a regular schedule for eating habits rather than making baby munch all through the day.The American Association of Pediatric Dentistry recommends 4 to 6 ounces(.12 litres) of juice a day for 1 year to 6 years
  • And finally habits like sucking the thumb,biting the lips,breathing via mouth might lead to misappropriate teeth growth.

Happy Motherhood!Wish your baby a healthy and happy life ahead.

My sincere thanks to my dentist and pediatrician for his patience to clarify my doubts.


Please visit my food blog for healthy recipes of home made baby food at www.kitchenkathukutty.wordpress.com

Do read my other write ups on parenting and baby care :

Growing a non-fussy/non-picky eater

My success story-To get my child eat right

Top mistakes which make life-saving medicines life killing

Pregnancy myths and truths

The first few-What would your teach your baby first?

A lone mom’s day-Motherhood fun and fuss of a first time mother

References:

Click to access G_InfantOralHealthCare.pdf

http://www.babycenter.in

Disclaimer:

The images have been randomly chosen from the web for mere representation (unless the blog id is mentioned in the image)

THE FIRST FEW-What would you teach/inculcate in your baby first?

THE FIRST FEW

Every parent is so keen on teaching his/her kid so much daily. We want our kids to be smarter, healthier, more independent, wealthier, more sincere and happier and the list has no end. The more and more list goes on and on. We all wish the best for our children. Every mom and dad would have millions of plans on nurturing the baby even before having the baby. The wishes for our children are endless and so is the list of teachings/learning/practices or whatsoever. Based on my knowledge, experience and observation I felt the below have to be inculcated first. I use the word inculcated and not taught because this smart age babies don’t learn anything as you say/teach, they learn as you do. They grasp from us so rapidly.

THE FIRST FEW

Let me first jot down the first few things which meant more important to me in the whole lot.

  1. A healthy and regular eating habit
  2. A daily routine
  3. Few basic manners

You may ask me why I have highlighted the above among the millions. My entire article would answer to you.
A HEALTHY & REGULAR EATING HABIT:
Until 6 months it is mandatory to only breastfeed but only on demand. Right from day one develop the habit of feeding your baby only when he/she demands. This will not only make you feel comfortable but also help in building a strong digestive system for the baby. Once you start weaning always follow a routine and do not entertain any interruptions in your routine. Talk to your doctor and decide on what to introduce when and how, make your own schedule based on baby’s demand& cues and stick to it no matter what happens. What do I mean by interruption here? Say I feed my son at a 4 hour interval when he is aged 1 year and he is completely satisfied with it. I keep receiving many comments/suggestions/orders to introduce some fillers/snacks in between stating that I make him starve for a longer duration.  I never changed my routine because I know my son is not starving as I feed him on demand and this habit for not having some filler in between is absolutely healthy.

“HEALTHY”-Introducing healthy foods is a challenge to moms these days. There are umpteen numbers of directions pointing to healthy diet. To choose one from the lot and fix on to it is the first challenge and by the time you win the first challenge, your peers will pop in with too many suggestions and confuse you enough. And when you overtake that milestone your kid grows up well, to point out and ask for all those unwanted stuffs he/she has watched in the advertisements and seen in the hands of his/her peers.  So in order to have your child undeterred, show him the right food in right quantity at the right age. Ensure that you also keep stressing to your kid that advertisements don’t always give you a right choice. A mom has to decide on what is healthy. Don’t give up that right to anyone. Once you fix those items in your menu, cultivate it as a habit.

Check out healthy home made baby food recipes here at www.kitchenkathukutty.wordpress.com/baby-food. Do not forget to like me page at www.facebook.com/KitchenKathukutty for live updates.

“REGULAR”– Are you a mom taking pride in saying “My son throws away his bowl of food, My daughter always skips her breakfast”?. It is high time you change and change your kid. The moment you begin to wean, start showing your kid that he/she would be fed only when hunger triggers and not whenever temptation triggers. You can ask me why so strict with a 6 month old baby. This is not being strict. This is being responsible. Unless you don’t cultivate the habit of having food only when hunger triggers your son/daughter might fall into a category of being tempted to eat when others eat or develop an addiction towards snacks and get into clutches of obesity.

Above all, when you ensure your baby is being fed enough the chances of crankiness gets reduced by more than 80%. Most tantrums in toddler stage occur when stomach is not filled. Most importantly the future world which our kids will be facing is definitely going to be more polluted, less immune with too much of technology and innumerable new diseases. Hence it is the duty of a mom to lay a strong foundation for a very healthy living. This is as important as adhering to the immunisation chart.

A DAILY ROUTINE:

When I started talking on this, few raised me a question,”How come a daily routine for babies? They are not machines to be coded.” Definitely babies are not machines and at the same time please remember a discipline is required for a perfect human life. Discipline can sound too much with a baby. I mean not a very stringent and strict discipline here.

A routine can be as simple as making your child pray, greet elders, brush, use potty as soon as he/she wakes up .Once you start showing your baby this routine in the morning, the lovely prince/princess will definitely get to that path as he/grows. Do not impose this on a single dawn. Do it gradually. It might take even 6 months to one year for your little one to catch up but once they get fixed to it, they will definitely not change the routine. Patience and perseverance is the key here. You might feel what is the point in doing these so early even before my child is one.   I would like to remind you of the famous saying “Bend the twig, bend the tree “.Once again I stress, Moms! You take the right of fixing up the routine because there is no better person in this world than a mom to know what is right/wrong for her child.

FEW BASIC MANNERS:

I quote the word few because my entire recommendation for your child is to begin these before he/she goes to preschool/playschool. And there are certain basic manners which have to be developed by mother and mother only. A child learns 200% from mother and 100% from all other sources is my strong belief and opinion.
Few of the basic manners which a parent can illustrate to a child on a daily basis are as follows

  • Brush twice a day.
  • Wash your hands before and after you use your washroom.
  • Respect elders.
  • Value everything and everybody.
  • Clean your hands and mouth after every meal/drink.
  • Clean and independent eating habits.
  • The habit of saying sorry/thank you/welcome.
  • Accept your mistakes.
  • Be polite.

The above habits can’t be taught by writing them on a black board or repeating to your kid 10 times a day. These have to be the habits of both the parents in their daily lives. The child starts observing you from the moment he/she out of the womb (even within the womb). If you can showcase these simple things in your day to day activities your children will soon develop an attitude to incorporate all these practices as they grow.  One more important habit we have to cultivate is to say “NO” when we have to. Don’t let your child take you for granted when he misbehaves the very first time.

If you would take simple measures to show them the above three most essential (according to me) at a very early stage you will never be in a position to hunt for any articles stating “A guide to withstand toddler tantrums, How to handle adamant nature of your son/daughter, Top 5 ways to make school going children eat healthy “in later stages. You will never face a scenario where your kith and kin feel disgusted/irritated/embarrassed by your kid’s behaviour in a crowd. You can walk with your head held high with a confidence of having laid a strong foundation for your prince/princess.

The main reason behind stressing on these 3 is,I strongly believe that “A healthy person with rich moral values in life will never have any everlasting sad path in his/her lifetime” .And also I chose to highlight this to moms because mothers are like the potters who mould the fresh clay(baby).It is our duty to mould them right. When I penning down this article a old Tamil song lyric flashed in my mind “entha kulanthaiyum nalla kulanthai than mannil pirakkaiyile avan nallavanavathum theeyavan avathum annai valarpinile”. It means every baby is born perfect and becoming a good or bad human depends on the way which “THE MOTHER” nurtures. This doesn’t mean a dad has no role to do. It only means a mom has a better opportunity. Hence moms, grab the opportunity

P.S: All the above points are my personal opinion and I am absolutely not an expert. I have no intention to hurt the feelings of anyone.

A lone mom’s day

Most moms these days manage their kids all alone. There is no more challenging job that raising your kids,especially from new born stage to school goer stage. I have been trying to jot down my thoughts since my son was born. But it took me an year to finally put it in words.If you are supported enough by your elders,I would call you lucky and I salute them. If you have a kid who sleeps on a routine then the below article wouldn’t be of much meaning to you.

Most moms these days manage their kids all alone. There is no more challenging job that raising your kids,especially from new born stage to school goer stage. I have been trying to jot down my thoughts since my son was born. But it took me an year to finally put it in words.If you are supported enough by your elders,I would call you lucky and I salute them. If you have a kid who sleeps on a routine then the below article wouldn’t be of much meaning to you..First I would like to define the term “lone mom” here. A mom who lives with her 24/7 working husband and her new born all alone.

Motherhood is equally blessed and at times cursed too, especially for first time moms handling baby and household all by themselves

6 a.m – The sun has risen up so early. It feels like I just closed my eyes. Though I am still feeling sleepy, I have to get all works done before little one wakes up and also see that my husband leaves on time to his office.

6.15 a.m – I am at the washroom. I am sharpening my ears before I commence brushing, because my little one would scream anytime.

6.30 a.m – Collect milk and newspaper and enter the kitchen. Thinking “What to cook?” I boiled the milk and set it aside. I started collecting the ingredients for the days cooking. Oh God! My son is making some noise. Rushing into the bedroom I am finding him with his eyelids half open, checking my arrival and then sleeping peacefully. I soak his clothes for wash and also clean the floor in a jiffy.

7 a.m – Husband wakes up and carries his routine like brushing, reading newspaper, pressing clothes. I am handing him his cup of coffee and running towards kitchen to switch off the gas.

7.30 a.m – Cooking is on a full swing and I am slowly jotting down the works for rest of the day, washing clothes, mopping, washing vessels and the remaining part of cooking.

8 a.m – Breakfast is about to be ready and my lovely son wakes and jumps out of his cradle. I am requesting my husband to have an eye on the rest of the finishing works for breakfast.

8.05 a.m – Picking him from cradle, I feed him and try to make him sleep. But he readily jumps to play.

8.10 a.m – Husband is getting ready. I am taking my little one to washroom and gave him a slight face wash and gave him a smooth press on his gums as his lower teeth sprouts.

8.20 a.m – I try to make him poop in his potty and he is making a big fuss. “Success”… He won me as he enjoyed his water games and I won by making him use the potty. My husband is asking for his breakfast. I am running from washroom with little one draped in towel and setting his play area. He is not ready to leave me. So I am rushing to get him dressed and then to kitchen.

8.30 a.m – The breakfast plate is ready for husband. He tries to take my son in control so that I can have my bath. But he is not ready for it. The only way to soothe him is to take him with me or else he will spoil my husband’s breakfast. With him I try to clear out vessels and close few other pending works for lunch.

8.45 a.m – My son’s breakfast is ready and I am ready to feed him. He is even more ready and rushing towards to get the bowl. My husband takes a leave. My son is crawling as fast as he can to reach the door. So I am here taking a longer feet and catching him.

8.50 a.m – 9.40 a.m – Initially he eats three to four spoons in his high chair. Then he calls “Heyyyyyyyyyyy” in the top of his voice to come out of it and he finally succeeds. We are exploring the entire house with the food bowl. He spills the food all over him and the floor wherever he can. With much of efforts I am completing around half the bowl and in not even a nano second he grabs the bowl and throws it. This is to communicate to me that he is done. Sleep is inviting him but he is fully drenched in food. After huge battle I make him neat and place him in the cradle.

9.50 a.m – Rocking the cradle and finding him almost asleep I try to collect my breakfast. But he screams saying I am yet to sleep. “Trin trin”. My mom is over the phone. I manage to say her that I would call back as I am in a huge task of making her grandson sleep.

10.15 a.m – He has slept. God only knows when he would get up. So I quickly rushed to have my shower. But my mom calls me again and ensures that have my breakfast. She actually wants to know about her grandson in detail. But she realizes that I am running on my toes with empty stomach since morning, she dropped the line stressing on my breakfast. I swallowed my breakfast in no time.

10.30 a.m – I am closing the remaining kitchen works, mopping and running to the cradle because he trying to wake up. Soothing him down, I decide to wash clothes first so that I can also watch him.

11.00 a.m – He is still fast asleep. I decide to have a shower. I really want to relax myself in my shower as it is scorching hot and I am tired. But I am scared if he would wake up. I sharpened my ears, prayed to all possible Gods and started my shower. I am continuously hearing his scream. Do you know? He is sleeping but this is my imagination.

11.10 a.m – Done with my shower in a hurry, I next rush to dry clothes in the terrace. Before I could reach my door, my son’s cry reached me. HE WOKE UP. Leaving all clothes as such, I am picking him and getting ready for his bath.

11.30 a.m – The prince is clean and fresh now. I am constantly thinking on untried clothes and the washroom left as such after his bath. My son is firmly attached to me and I am unable to move even for my nature’s calls. With no option left I started engaging him in play. I try to talk to my parents in between but he keeps pulling my mobile and disconnecting.

12.30 p.m – Time for my son’s lunch. I am somehow diverting him and trying to move to pick his food. But in no time he is on my kitchen carpet. I forcefully take him and place him in his swing and started mashing his food.

12.30 p.m to 1.30 p.m – The explorer mode is on and we are feeding all micro organisms on the floor. A sign of relief in me as finishes his lunch. My husband arrives for lunch and he stresses to join me with him for lunch.

1.30 p.m to 1.45 p.m – We are trying to eat with him on his walker. He makes big fuss and comes down onto the floor. His first target is grabbing his dad’s plate. Then chase and have all spilled food. In 10 minutes time, he makes me take minimum of 5 breaks from my lunch to make him clean after his nature’s calls.

2. p.m – I am done with few bits of my lunch and dropped my plate in the sink as my little one got cranky. My husband leaves for work.

2 p.m to 4 p.m – He plays, he cries for sleep, I drop him in the cradle and rock, he jumps out of cradle or he pees. The cycle continues.

4. p.m to 4.45 p.m – He sleeps. The moment he slept I rushed to dry the clothes. Thank God the sun is hot and dresses will dry in 2 hours in open terrace. I clear the kitchen and try to lie down. He jumps off the cradle and smiles at me.

5 p.m to 6 p.m – His snack time. he is on the window pane and shouting. All trespassers notice him. I carry him at least thrice to the terrace and collect all dried clothes. On the way he drops a minimum of two clothes. Climbing terrace and poor eating all through the day has made me exhausted. I place him in his play area and try to grab some drink and snack.

6 p.m to 6.30 p.m- Freshen up, pray and proceed for walking. The only time when he is slightly manageable.

6.30 p.m- His dad arrives. If this timing is missing I am dead. My son would on top of his pranks missing his dad. I arrange for all that my husband needs with my son glued to me and sit with a relief finally after handing him to his dad.

7 p.m to 8 p.m – Father and son plays. I prepare dinner. A minimum of 100 times my little one will invite me by screaming. My shuttle between kitchen and hall begins.

8. p.m to 9 p.m – I parallelly finish preparing dinner for us and also feeding him with dinner.

9 p.m to 11 p.m – I complete all pending household of the day while my husband is looking after son. He feels sleepy around 9.30 p.m. My husband tries to takes him to the bedroom. But my son arches back and cries so loud that the entire apartment hears him. We try to make him play, have a bath, prayer and all gimmicks we can, till 11 p.m and finally drop him in his cradle.

11 p.m – 12 a.m – I rock his cradle, my husband rocks his cradle, we try to make him sleep on bed/lap/floor. But he tries to jump and play. He succeeds most of the times and pulls down all items in the shelf. After huge struggle I get him to the cradle and my husband goes to sleep. Rocking for about half an hour I find him asleep.

12.30 a.m- Clearing all mess he has made all through the day, I stretch my back on the bed.

1 a.m – I am about to sleep. “Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh”…. This is my son. he has an extra sense which notifies him the moment I hit the bed. I again pacify him and make him sleep

1.30 a.m – I fall asleep.

2.30 a.m- I am sleeping but I realise my son is awake and trying to get out of the cradle. I take him, make him sleep on my lap and drop him on the cot in between us

3 a.m to 5 a.m – He sleeps. I also sleep. But I keep attending to him as he tries to roll across the bed and screams in sleep

5 a.m to 6 a.m – I really sleep paying no attention to my instincts and my son as I am totally collapsed physically.

6 a.m.-Scroll up. Its dawn again.

This is the story of a very ordinary day. There comes very terrific days when either my son or myself falls sick, when my husband comes late in night, when my husband leaves out station/leaves early to office. I haven’t mentioned many parts of my day to keep in short and simple. Few include his spill over all around the house and clearing that mess, trying to keep up my blog(www.kitchenkathukutty.wordpress.com) running with one hand typing and one hand rocking the cradle,mopping the house at least 3 times a day,running behind to avoid him swallowing anything he grabs.


Anybody who reads this might find that the apt topic would be “perils of motherhood”. But a loving mom would never feel so. Though I am stressed, tired, exhausted, haunted I don’t feel this as a burden because I love my son. His smile, his intelligent pranks, his stage by stage development brings heaven to earth. Nothing/nobody in this world can make me happy and blessed like him. My child makes me proud,elited,happy,joyful and at times of course pshycic. ALL IN THE GAME. 😛

Happy parenting 🙂