No Order Here

I read this essay on Scary Mommy and I find myself guilty, a little bit. The thing with writing a mommy blog is it has the tendency of making it seem like you have the mommy shit together, and the household runs like clockwork, floors are always polished, children sweet-smelling and well-fed.

Well, I just wanted to clarify that that’s certainly not the case, and it’s not my intention to make it seem so. There are dirty clothes in the hamper, work stuff I brought home and hadn’t looked at, unnecessary screaming in the playroom. We are all in the same boat, mama. Chin up.

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A Toddler’s Toothbrush

A toothbrush.

What my toddler thinks it is:

  • Interesting chew toy
  • Toothpaste-flavored ice candy?
  • Lollipop (with bristles)

What he definitely does not think it is:

  • Something to clean his teeth with

As soon as BB had a decent row of baby teeth we started to think about how to introduce toothbrushing into his routine.

We bought Pigeon’s training toothbrush set because it had three brushes we could use to progress BB through all the toothbrushing “stages”: getting comfortable with having a toothbrush in his mouth all the way to actually practicing how to brush teeth. We didn’t use the Level 1 brush very long since we started BB well after he turned 6 months.

As for toothpaste, we’re still using brands that are safe to swallow. BB isn’t too good at spitting yet. Brands that carry safe-to-swallow formulas include Aquafresh and the Jack N’ Jill kids’ toothpaste line. In Singapore, the Aquafresh brand is widely available in groceries and pharmacies, while Mothercare stocks Jack N’ Jill.

It was another challenge to actually get BB to sit down for two full minutes for us to brush his teeth. We eventually settled into a routine of toothbrushing after dinner, while BB was still strapped to his baby chair.

BB knew what was coming next as soon as we put on Blippi’s Tooth Brushing song. We chanced upon it on YouTube. It lasts for about the same time as a proper brush would, it was easy to follow the lyrics, the melody was kind of catchy, and the animation was cute. It did the trick of keeping BB in his seat.

(We don’t use the video these days, though we do keep BB strapped in the baby chair. 😁)

How about you? How do you brush your little one’s teeth? Share in the comments below!

Storytime Bedtime

I blink and it’s February!

Our major milestone last month: BB (officially) joined a playgroup. The first week was marked with teary drop-offs, but about two weeks in, BB willingly sat on the tiny stool for the quick temperature check and squirt of hand sanitizer — and bounded off to his classroom with barely a ‘bye’. He has also begun giving us short recaps of what happened at school (“I ate noodles”) and singing snippets of songs he picked up from music class (“The square is like a box!”). I am so relieved it’s working out.

Now that BB’s in preschool, sticking to his routine has become even more important. If we put him to bed too late, he risks waking late or getting sleepy before school ends at noon. I wanted to share with you all our bedtime routine since mid-last year, which (to date!) has worked in getting BB in bed with his bottle of milk at a decent time. We call it “Storytime Bedtime.”

Before we started “Storytime Bedtime” we had a difficult time signaling to BB it was time to go to sleep. BB is a spirited kid — if he has energy to spare he goes off like a little rocket — and somehow Hubby’s and my presence seemed to scream “PLAY” to him, even at night. We tried dimming the lights, humming lullabies, and soothing pre-bedtime baths, but they weren’t working. If his energy was a volume knob on a radio, we had no idea how to turn it down.

Then we started reading him a book before bed. The first book we read was “Goodnight Moon” — one I chose on purpose as the story slowly wound down to the bit when the bunny falls asleep. To our delight it worked. Once the book was finished, he took his bottle without any fuss and kissed us good night.

Eureka!

“Storytime Bedtime” is exactly as it sounds; all you need is a book, preferably one that ends with a nap/sleep. Favourite books with sleepy endings include:

  • Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown (a book I read aloud so often, I can now recite it in my sleep)
  • The Quiet Book by Deborah Underwood
  • Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney
  • I Love You, Stinky Face by Lisa McCourt
  • Llama Llama Red Pajama by Anna Dewdney

(These days, BB is so used to the routine any book works fine. When we’re tired we tend to choose short ones, haha.)

We start off by shouting “Storytime bedtime!” in a sing-songy voice, and BB knows it’s time to go to bed.

It’s a great way to bond with your bub, sneak in some reading time, AND prime him for sleep!

If your little one is as energetic as BB, do try it out! Let me know if it works for you. 😊

Happy New Year y’all!