Tag Archives: toddlers

I Survived the Big Bad Dentist

Olivia had her first dentist appointment this week, and I’m happy to report that we survived! Granted, she had a teensy little meltdown when the dentist tried to look at her teeth, but we powered through. If I could sum up the visit in a word, it would be. . . informative. I know, right? Probably not what you were expecting. I know the words running through my mind were more like stressful, traumatizing, awful. . .something along those lines. But I was shocked by just how much I learned. Some interesting tidbits that might help other new parents:

  • The first visit is usually just an exam, no cleaning. You will appreciate this—trust me. And I say usually because it does depend on the age of the child and the condition of the teeth.
  • Beware of thumb sucking. Olivia has sucked her thumb since she was born, but our pediatrician said it wasn’t a cause for concern until she was around 3 or 4 years old. Not so, according to our dentist. Olivia has a vigorous suck reflex, which means her top teeth are already showing signs of malocclusion, meaning her teeth are starting to push outward.  How hard a child sucks her thumb is much more impactful on her dental development than how long she sucks her thumb. Our dentist suggested helping her break the habit immediately. Yay.
  • There are several suggested ways of helping your child break the thumb sucking habit, including Mavala, the bitter liquid you can paint on to stop nail biting and thumb sucking; a ThumbGuard™, which is a plastic apparatus that fits over the thumb so that the child cannot form a suction; and taping the thumb to the hand at night using medical tape. I am sure you can imagine how excited we are to start this fun process.
  • Taking iron supplements, such as ferrous sulfate drops for anemia, can cause teeth to look gray or even black. I expressed some concern over the fact that I thought Olivia’s top two teeth looked a little gray. The dentist immediately asked if she had taken or was currently taking iron and confirmed after the exam that that was the cause. This was news to me since I had asked our pediatrician about this very thing a couple of months ago, and she had no idea what could be the cause. Seems like something they should give parents a heads up about. . .
  • Pay attention to the ingredients in your child’s toothpaste. Some training toothpastes are full of artificial sweeteners, colors, and preservatives. Given that most kids under age two swallow the toothpaste, you might want to think twice about what they’re ingesting. We use Aquafresh’s Training Toothpaste, which uses natural fruit flavors and no artificial colors or preservatives. Earth’s Best by Jason also makes a great toddler toothpaste that our dentist recommended.
  • Help prepare your child for the dentist by reading to them or even letting them accompany you to a cleaning to see what it’s all about. I blogged about some great children’s books about going to the dentist in this post.
  • Brush your child’s teeth every single day, even if it means you have to pin them down screaming to do it. Okay, so you might not have to go to those extremes, but it’s a necessary evil and one they’re more likely to get used to if you do it every day as part of your normal routine. What’s working for us at the moment is singing the Sesame Street song while we brush.

Overall, the dentist appointment wasn’t as bad as I expected. But I’m sure I’ll be singing a different tune in six months when we go back for Olivia’s first cleaning. Dun Dun DUN!

All Elmo, All the Time

Olivia can’t get enough Elmo. When she was home sick one day, I let her watch part of an episode of Sesame Street, and that was all she wrote. She now climbs onto the couch with the Apple TV remote (she knows I pulled Sesame Street up on Netflix—she’s a smart little cookie!) and says “Elmo?” I don’t get the attraction, but apparently this is a pretty common obsession for the preschool set, and I suppose there are worse things for her to fixate on. So I’ve rounded up some of our favorite Elmo things to share. Enjoy!

Bonus: Zulily is running a sale right now (through Friday) on Elmo apparel for boys and girls. There’s some seriously cute stuff on there!

Elmo Alphabet Lunch Box, $13.29

Elmo Girls Tee, Old Navy, $12.94


Crest Elmo and Friends Toothbrush, $3.68

Elmo Take Along Buddy, Sesame Street $15

Elmo Fresh Food Feeder, Toys R Us $5.59

Elmo's ABC Book, Walmart $2.91

Elmo Rashguard, Old Navy $12

The New “Shops” at Target

I went to Target yesterday for the first time in a while and was surprised to see that they have adopted “shops” much in the way the new JCP has done. It must be the latest thing in retail. Target’s shops include The Webster (Miami), Privet House (Connecticut), Cos Bar (Aspen), Polka Dog Bakery (Boston), and The Candy Store (San Francisco).

The Candy Store’s collection of gourmet and nostalgic candy would make a cute and quick hostess gift for all those summer barbecues, and some of the Cos Bar nail polishes are bright and trendy but a little out there for me.

The real stars of the shops are Privet House and The Webster. The kitchen and housewares from Privet House are great. A few of my favorite pieces:

Warren Orchards Black Fig & Honey Candle, $15.99

Open Storage Box, $34.99

White Embossed Pitcher, $24.99

White Round Basket, $34.99














The Webster shop features men’s, women’s, and girls’ clothing, as well as shoes and accessories. I scored this great sheath dress, which doesn’t look like much on the hanger, but it fits really nicely:

Sheath Dress, $39.9

A few of my other Webster favorites:

Infant Girls' Swim Suit, $14.99

Dress, $42.99

Men's Button Up Shirt, $29.99

Cap Toe Flat, $29.99















The prices are a tad higher than you usually see at Target, but they are on par with some of the other designer partnerships Target has done in the past. In any case, it’s nice to see a little something different for a change!

Chicken, Apple, and Havarti Roll-ups

Not feeling the usual stuff I had in the frig for lunch the other day, I got a whiff of inspiration and threw these little roll-ups together. Because I used frozen grilled chicken strips that I microwaved for 90 seconds, it was super fast. Just warm your tortilla and spread on some honey mustard (or you can improvise like I did and mix together Dijon mustard and strawberry preserves—don’t knock it, it was delicious). Add some harvarti cheese, chicken and some thin apple slices, roll it up and you’re in business! To make this snack kid-friendly, just cut each roll-up into quarters and serve.

Is Your Toddler Getting Drunk on Hand Sanitizer?

Have you heard about this? Apparently, the latest way teenagers have found to get high is by drinking hand sanitizer. I thought it was weird when the whipped cream was sequestered in the back room of the grocery store, available only upon request and after producing a valid ID, but this? This is not only stupid, it’s just gross. But it appears that hand sanitizer can be distilled into pure 120-proof alcohol and ingested for a buzz.

I watched a piece about this new danger on the Today Show with mild interest and bewilderment; that is, until they threw up the Poison Control Center’s 2010 stats for hand sanitizer poisoning. Out of the 3,767 cases of hand sanitizer poisoning that year, 411 were teenaged and older. The other 2,932 were children aged 5 and younger who accidentally ingested the poison.

Well, that had my attention. As the parents of a toddler, we go through hand sanitizer about as fast as we do milk. Our daughter has seen us use it so much that she will grab the little bottle and mimic putting it on her hands and rubbing them together. We have hand sanitizer all over our house and even attached to the strap of our diaper bag—easily accessible to little hands. And this isn’t the generic Purell with no real smell. We usually have the little bottles from Bath & Body Works that smell like delicious apple pie or warm vanilla cookies. Kids are bad enough about putting stuff in their mouths, and here we are, unwittingly tempting our child with sweet-smelling poison. Yikes.

Our house is baby proofed to the hilt, but the thought of those tiny bottles being a threat never even crossed our minds; that changed about 10 minutes after that segment of the show was over. I went around the house and put away every bit of hand sanitizer I found, somewhere little hands couldn’t reach.

Take a moment to look around your house and make sure you don’t have any of these seemingly innocent bottles within your child’s reach. We are so used to seeing them everywhere and using them that, at least in our house, they can be easily overlooked.

Seven Great Bookcases for Your Little Bookworm

Olivia loves books; so naturally, her collection is growing exponentially thanks to yours truly (I read for a living, so I’m positively giddy that she likes books). It’s a good thing we are inheriting my sister’s old dollhouse bookshelf (as soon as we find a place to put it!), because we are rapidly running out of room. If your child’s library is also multiplying like rabbits, check out these great bookcases that are perfect for your little bookworm:

KidKraft Swivel Bookshelf/Mirror, $109.99

aly and company bookcase, $260

Oeuf Mini Library, $660

Firefighter Revolving Bookcase, $159.99

Target Tot Tutors Book Rack, $31.99

IKEA, Hensvik Cabinet and Shelf, $109

Land of Nod Library Cart, $199

Conquering the Toddler Teeth Beast

Bedtime in our house is mostly smooth sailing. . . until it’s time to brush teeth. That’s when my sweet, sleepy daughter usually does her stubborn, flailing impression of the Exorcist, whipping her head from side to side and refusing to open her mouth even a millimeter. You would think we were trying to pull her teeth out with pliers!

So I went in search of ideas to make brushing more fun (and frankly just bearable) for all of us. The most common advice I read was to get an electric toothbrush (batteries=toy!) and warm up your vocal cords, because you will undoubtedly be singing some ridiculous made-up song about brushing your teeth. Karaoke skills aside, here are a few things I found that will hopefully get your little one, and mine, to open up and say “Ah!”

Spinbrush My Way! Decorate-Your-Own Toothbrush, $4.99

Colgate My First Fruity Toothpaste, $2.97

Sparkle Fun Crest Toothpaste, $3.99

Swingin Sammy Monkey Sounds Toothbrush, $5.99

Once Bitten Toothbrush Holder, $9.99

Oral-B Flossers, $2.49

Justin Bieber Singing Toothbrush, $9.99

Something's Fishy Toothbrush Holder, $15.79






























How do you get your children to brush their teeth? Share your tips!

Spring has Sprung with the Latest Trend. . .Floral!

I was looking online the other day for an Easter dress for Little O and noticed that floral seems to be everywhere, from tiny little blooms to large, colorful bouquets. I pinned a particularly cute one for my daughter on Pinterest and within a couple of hours, it had been repinned about 15 times. So apparently, it’s a popular trend!

I’ve curated some of the best floral fashions for your little girly girl, so go ahead—get shopping!

Gap, $24.95

Children's Place, $22.46

Gap, $34.95

Janie and Jack, $21.99

Mini Boden, $36.00

Pumpkin Patch, $39.75

United Colors of Benetton, $24.00

Gymboree, $24.49

Gap, $39.95

Pumpkin Patch,k $22.75


Leg Warmers for Babies and Toddlers

Republishing an older post since today is perfect leg warmer weather. It was 55° this morning when we left the house, but it’s supposed to get up to 85°! My daughter’s leg warmers kept her warm and toasty under her skirt this morning and can come off in a jiff as the day heats up!


Ahhhh, leg warmers. . . they bring me back to my “Get In Shape Girl” days of getting up at 6 a.m. to do Mousercise on the Disney channel. I’m not kidding—I would get in full workout gear (headband, leotard-with belt, tights,blue legwarmers) and go all “Jane Fonda” in the living room. I am sure that, somewhere, there even exists a very embarrassing video of me doing a rhythmic gymnastic ribbon routine or something equally hilarious. But I digress. . .

Leg warmers are back! Don’t go rush out and get some for your next trip to the gym (they’re not that back). But they have been given a new lease on life in the world of baby and children’s fashion. They are perfect for crawlers and for those days when it’s chilly in the morning and warm in the afternoon. You can also extend your child’s summer clothes by pairing them with a romper, skirt or even on their arms under a t-shirt. I love the super soft ones from BabyLegs! There are tons of patterns, and they aren’t too expensive at around $12 a pair.

Scarlett’s Ballerina Birthday Bash

My friend, Desi, is so creative and talented—she even has her own accessories boutique on Etsy, Scarlett and Co. (see? super creative!). So it was no surprise when she whipped up this adorable, ballerina-themed birthday party for her daughter’s first birthday like it was just another day’s work.

Desi handmade the invitations and did nearly all of the decor herself, with styling help from our friend Brooke of Granger & Wit and from her mom (check out that handmade tulle tablecloth!). She purchased the hanging poms from Sweet and Savvy Designs and the old-fashioned pink and white striped paper straws from Dime Store Buddy.

The tutu cupcakes and sweet, pink smash cake were made by her mother-in-law, as were the ballet slipper chocolate pops. Desi and her mother-in-law worked together on the ballerina cookies, and I love the clever sign next to the basket, “Please take one {not tutu}.” So cute!

The birthday girl changed from her Janie and Jack pink tulle party dress into a custom onesie from Orchid Avenue to enjoy her birthday cake.

Well done on the party, Des! Everything looked absolutely perfect!