22 October 2009

Toddler's nightly rubdown goes easier (and quieter) with toothbrush distraction

Orajel training toothpasteAh, the beauty of distraction. The trick is to find that thing that really lights your kid up (it's different for every kid, and not always what you'd imagine). From Rachael@Pineapplebabble:

My daughter is 13 months old and has eczema so every single night, without fail, we lotion her up. As you might guess, she HATES this and protests - LOUDLY. The neighbors have commented on it - and we live in a home - it's that loud.

For the longest time, we just sort of suffered through it. But about 2 months ago, I had a great idea. She's been teething for a long time and I know that brushing is important for wee ones, so one evening after her bath as we were preparing for the lotioning process, I grabbed her toothbrush and loaded it up with training toothpaste. I handed it over, encouraging her to brush; understanding that she would have no clue what I was talking about but would enjoy the feel of the bristles on her abused gums. JACKPOT! She LOVED it. She stopped screaming and crying immediately and actually did a few little brushing motions.

Since that night, we do this every evening. I can even clip her nails (*GASP*) without the top of her head popping off as long as she has that toothbrush. It's good for her teeth, it's good for our ears and it's excellent for our sanity. I realize it's not a trip to Disneyland but really, isn't something that gives us a few moments of happy peace better than the Haunted Castle? OK, maybe not.

Related:
How to get toddlers to spit out the toothpaste? Talk amongst yourselves.
Electric toothbrush distracts kids from hair combing

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This is also how I get my daughter to let me comb her hair after her bath. Great hack!

That's how we taught my daughter to put up with the hair styling too. As soon as she could sit up and stay somewhat still (9-ish months) I used to put her on the edge of the sink with her feet in it, looking into the mirror with her toothbrush. She loved (and still does) checking out her face and mouth while "brushing". In the meantime I could deal with her very long very curly hair and get her ready for the day.

My daughter hates brushing her teeth. Maybe I should lotion her up as a distraction :)

Actually we have the Sesame Street electric toothbrush and that has helped considerably.

When my 2yo had her 1st bad eczema, my husband really talked up how she was having a "massage," and how adults pay lots of money to go to spas and have their muscles rubbed with lotion. Now she asks for massage sometimes. Other times when we're moisturizing she tells us, "People pay money for it."

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