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Archive for the ‘Childhood Milestones’ Category

A couple of weeks ago my daughter, Lilah (5 ½ years old), was eating a cracker and told me her bottom tooth was hurting. I took a look and realized that she had her first loose tooth. Over the last couple of weeks I’ve noticed her playing with the tooth more and more. She’s had a difficult time eating things like corn on the cob so I have been cutting it off for her. When I picked Lilah up from school last night the tooth was moving all over the place. I cringed every time I saw it move, but she thought it was the greatest thing. I stepped out into the yard for a few minutes, and when I returned she told me she had pulled out her tooth, and that it “didn’t hurt but there was some blood.” EEWW!

Last night she eagerly placed her tooth in a baggy under her pillow and awaited the gift mom promised from the Tooth Fairy. This morning she ran down the stairs pleased as punch with a five dollar bill. I used the opportunity to reminder her about proper dental care. I explained that she needed to be extra careful to keep her mouth clean so that the new hole from her missing tooth would not get an infection. We have also been discussing that when she gets her new teeth they will have to last her a lifetime.

I’ve included some information below about the baby-to-adult teeth process. I hope this helps ease any fears you may have and equips you with information to prepare your child for this milestone.

When will my child’s baby teeth start falling out and which ones?
Alan Carr, D.M.D. a prosthodonist with the Mayo Clinic said, “A child’s baby teeth (primary teeth) begin to loosen and fall out on their own to make room for permanent teeth at about age 6. Timing can vary, though, and girls generally lose baby teeth earlier than do boys. The last baby teeth typically fall out by age 12 or 13.

Baby teeth usually fall out in the order in which they erupted — first the two bottom front teeth (lower central incisors), followed by the two top front teeth (upper central incisors), the lateral incisors, first molars, canines and second molars. If a child loses a baby tooth early as a result of tooth decay or an accident, a permanent tooth may erupt early and potentially come in crooked due to limited space.”

What if my child in nervous about the process and wants you to take it out?
If your child wants you to pull out a loose tooth, grasp it firmly with a tissue or piece of gauze and remove it with a quick twist. If the tooth is resistant, wait a few days and try again. If you’re concerned about a baby tooth that doesn’t seem to loosen sufficiently on its own, check with your child’s dentist. He or she may recommend a wait-and-see approach or an extraction in the dental office.

When your child starts to lose his or her baby teeth, reinforce the importance of proper dental care. For example:

  • Remind your child to brush his or her teeth at least twice a day. Supervise and help as needed.
  • Help your child floss his or her teeth at bedtime.
  • Limit eating and drinking between meals and at bedtime — especially sugary treats and drinks, such as candy and soda.
  • Schedule regular dental visits for your child, either with your family dentist or a pediatric dentist.
  • Ask the dentist about use of fluoride treatments and dental sealants to help prevent tooth decay.

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Le Top “Under Construction” Collection Wheel Loader Graphics Box Tee

This green short sleeve cotton tee is perfect for rough-and-tough play. Features ‘look-and-learn’ wheel loader graphics with boy-at-work style. Crafted with cozy cotton that is soft to the touch and made to last through multiple washes where colors stay true and bright. Gentle ribbed collar for easy dressing.

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Cap off your child’s school year with a treat that fits the occasion–a chocolate mortarboard with a fruit-leather tassel. You may want to make enough to share with a few classmates. Bon-Apetit!

INGREDIENTS:

  • Miniature peanut butter cups
  • Frosting or peanut butter
  • Chocolate-covered graham crackers
  • Fruit leather

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Place a miniature peanut butter cup, bottom up, on a plate. Top with a small dollop of frosting or peanut butter, then press on a chocolate-covered graham cracker.
  2. For a tassel, tightly roll up a small square of fruit leather. Cut fringe on one end and attach the other end to the center of the graham cracker with another dab of frosting or peanut butter.

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The time finally arrived! My three-year old son has learned how to share. This is a picture of him sharing cars with a friend in his Mommy & Me class. I remember last year when he and two other boys would eye the same car/truck/train, look at each other, then dive for the toy as they each tried to yank it from each others’ grasps. Oh, boy! That was a nightmare because all the mommies had to deal with the crying, the fighting and giving our sons “The Talk” about sharing. It’s a good thing we mothers are all on the same page regarding this, and know that we need to teach our children how to play together.

A year later, I stand in the classroom with pride (and with my camera) as I listen to my son say, “Do you want this car?” and proceed to play nicely with his friend. He’s growing up!

Paulo is wearing the rabbitmoon “discover” striped zip hoody. For this comfy cotton layering piece and more mix and match stylish kid’s clothing go to www.rabbitmoon-usa.com.

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Are you feeling overwhelmed by the amount of work it takes to keep your house clean? It’s time to put your kid’s to work. Most experts agree that chores are good for children and they can really help lighten the load. My daughter is 5-years-old and I feel like just as I get one room clean I walk to the one she’s in and it’s now a disaster. It is time for her to help.

Author Jim Fay explains that chores are essential for children. In addition to our needs for physical and emotional safety, love and affection, and healthy amounts of control, he says, we also all need to be needed. That’s because we’re pack animals by nature.

“If your child never has to raise a finger, that basic need has been stolen away,” says Fay, co-founder of the parenting philosophy found at the web site loveandlogic.com. “Children need to feel as though they’re a cog in the wheel. But they can’t feel that way if they don’t have chores and make contributions to the family.”

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As an only child with many chores to regularly complete I know had a better understanding of what it took to run a house than some of my friends that had to do less. Though I didn’t appreciate it at the time it did establish helpful habits and a good attitude about work in me (especially when I also saw my parents doing their chores). This prepared me for the real world, taking pride in doing a good job and eased my transition to adulthood.

I’m all for my daughter contributing and preparing her for her future. I’ve been experimenting with what she can do so I recently tried having her wash dishes. Yes, she is young and it takes patience to watch what she’s doing but since I don’t have a dishwasher (How did that happen?) I will take what I can get. It is a slow process. Sometimes she loves to “help mommy” and other times she’d rather not. Sure, she uses too much water (plus gets it everywhere) and the dishes aren’t as clean as they could be but you’ve got to start somewhere. I stay in the kitchen wiping down countertops and then dry the dishes as she washes. Family fun! That way I can immediately see her process and show her when there is food that wasn’t quite washed off on dishes, give her tips AND tell her what a great job she’s doing.

Tip: Don’t rewash them yourself especially if your child is present as it can make them feel they didn’t do a good job and can demotivate them. Older kids may realize they can get out of doing the chore if they do a bad job.

At her age some of the dishes are a little unwieldy. She has to wash the outside of glasses by putting her fist inside then washes the inside while it sits on bottom of the sink. You may choose to only have your preschooler wash plastic dishes or metal pans instead of entrusting them with everything. It’s up to you. Get them started by having them put away some of the dishes or load up the dishwasher. Clearing the dinner table is something that is easy for almost any child.


Make sure the chore is something your child can handle but don’t underestimate them. If they can figure out a complicated video game they can probably handle a task that is one, two or more steps.

  • Provide a wide berth with deadlines. You give them a framework and they can choose when it works best for them with that timeframe.
  • Be specific with instructions. Example: ‘Put your clothes in the closet, books on the shelf, dishes in the kitchen, and toys in the toy box.’
  • Ease into chores for children. First, demonstrate step-by-step. Next, let your child help, then supervise them. Then it’s up to them.
  • Offer periodic praise.
  • Go easy with reminders. You may want to have a chore board or use the “when/then” technique, such as, “When the pets are fed, then you may have your dinner.”

And, as your children grow up and get busy, don’t let them off the hook, says Fay. He says to tell them, “I hope you get so quick with your chores that they don’t interfere with everything else.”

Here is a list I found that can be helpful in dividing up chores for kids of any age.


Chores for children ages 2 to 3

  • Put toys away.
  • Fill pet’s food dish.
  • Put clothes in hamper.
  • Wipe up spills.
  • Dust.
  • Pile books and magazines.

Chores for children ages 4 to 5
Any of the above chores, plus:

  • Make own bed.
  • Empty wastebaskets
  • Bring in mail or newspaper.
  • Clear table.
  • Pull weeds.
  • Use hand-held vacuum to pick up crumbs.
  • Water flowers.
  • Unload utensils from dishwasher.
  • Wash plastic dishes at sink.
  • Fix bowl of cereal.

Chores for children ages 6 to 7
Any of the above chores, plus:

  • Sort laundry.
  • Sweep floors.
  • Set and clear table.
  • Help make and pack lunch.
  • Weed and rake leaves.
  • Keep bedroom tidy.
  • Pour own drinks.

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Elijah in a rabbitmoon "altitude" graphic footed coverall

My husband is the primary care giver for our 6-month-old son. He is an out-of-work construction worker and with recession, there is not much work in sight for him. This meant that after two months on maternity leave, I packed my lunch bag and headed back to work as the sole provider for our family. I have been noticing that our “a-typical situation” is rapidly becoming more a typical situation for many families across the country, where a mom works and a dad stays home with the kiddos. It is a mental adjustment for everybody and definitely has its pros and cons – at least as far as I am concerned.

  • Pros: I don’t have to pay for day care, I get to be with “grown-ups” all day, and I get a sense of self-worth out of working.
  • Cons: I don’t get to spend every waking moment with my little guy and the biggest one of all – I am starting to miss some of the milestones that he is hitting.

The single idea of missing Elijah’s milestones has been a heavy subject on my heart even before he was born. I always thought I would get to be there to watch him roll over for the first time, crawl for the first time, and take his first steps. As much as I wish I could be there for all of these great accomplishments, I know that I can’t. And so it is with that, I am coming to terms with this fact of life and trying to figure out how to cope with it.

I read some mommy blogs about this topic, as I know I am nowhere near the only person in this boat. It really helped to ease my mind that almost every working mom was on the same page as me: sorry they are missing the milestones, glad they can provide for their family, and finding ways to make each milestone a celebration, even if it is not really the first time for the child. One of the resounding comments throughout the blogs was: tell your caregiver to not inform you of the milestones so that you can still be surprised when you see your baby rollover/crawl/walk etc. I love that idea for the most part, though part of me wants to know as soon as it happens! My husband called me today to tell me that not only did I miss Elijah’s first “roll over,” but he did too! He looked away and then all of a sudden he looked up and there he was on his belly! It was reassuring to me that I may have missed this moment myself had our roles been reversed.

I am still trying to figure out what it is that I really want to know and not know (and when!), but I am confident that my husband and I can work out a plan. Maybe it will be different with each milestone. Who knows?!

If you have any suggestions on how you or your partner coped with missing milestones, please share it with us in the comment field below. We’d love to hear from you!

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Elijah wearing a Le Top "Zoo Kazoo" waffle weave shirt and stripe pant

Baby constipation may be a crappy subject to write about, but some things just need to be addressed. These past two weeks we started our 6-month-old on “solid” foods – really, I wouldn’t call rice cereal a solid, but let’s just go with it.  I read everything on starting babies on solids – from books the pediatricians handout to every source possible, but they each have a different opinion what to do. The main thing they did have in common was, start with rice cereal. Ok, easy enough I thought! 

My main concern for starting the “solids”, was watching for signs of allergic reaction (hives, fever, rash, bloody stool, etc.) and constipation. Well…we survived the allergic reaction part, but didn’t get but three days in to one feeding of rice cereal before we had the big C….and in the baby book C is for constipation

Our little trooper didn’t stay constipated for long, and we breathed a deep sigh of relief thinking, “Thank God, we didn’t have to deal with that.” I guess you could say we ate our words, as last week we upped the rice cereal to two feedings per day and in three days, we had a very constipated baby.  Ugh!

Being the overbearing, first-time mom that I am, I called the advice nurse on day two of number two.  The calming voice on the other side of the line said, “Dear, just wait four days and if he still hasn’t gone, then give him 2 oz. of prune juice and that will do the trick.” At day four I swung by the grocery store and picked up the prune juice, got it home, took a whiff and said to my husband, “I sure as heck wouldn’t drink this stuff!” Did I jinx myself again?! YES! This kid said ‘no way, Jose’ to that fowl smelling concoction. I managed to get about half an ounce in a bottle of milk down him, but still no poop after day four. 

My oh-so-wise husband did the unmentionable and gave the tyke an enema. It took about half a day, but we got the result we were looking for – POOP! I must say, I don’t think I have ever been so excited about a bowel movement in my life (wow that just sounds wrong!). 

I was telling my other, well-trained mommy friends about our week long fiasco and felt after our conversation, I should have known to call them first! They had all those remedies up their sleeve and more. Here are some of the other suggestions they gave me, for the next time our baby is constipated: 

  • Switch to oatmeal or barley cereal- it is the least “binding” of the cereals  (we switched and it seems to be working)
  • Try Pear juice instead of Prune juice
  • Use a suppository

We are glad we made it through this first “episode” of baby problems, virtually unscathed. I can’t say that I am looking forward to the next one, but I think, at the very least I am a little wiser-for-the-wear about constipation.  If you have tips and tricks to get your little guy “going”, please share it with us in the comments field below.

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My nephew recently lost both of his front teeth and is our new little jack-o-lantern of the family. I secretly think he wants the pay out from the tooth fairy – just kidding. However, the tooth fairy (eh-hem, my sister) gave a pretty good “Tooth Fairy gift” of $10! I started to think how some kids don’t react so well to losing teeth and what could be tips to help your child through this process.

This post has been moved to our website. To view the full post go to: http://blog.letop-usa.com/?p=21282

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