01 April 2013

A simple hack for forgetful Tooth Fairies

Owen
Meagan's son Owen is happy that the Tooth Fairy NEVER forgets anymore.

Does the Tooth Fairy sometimes forget about your kids' lost teeth? Yeah, same here. Well, Meagan Francis of The Happiest Mom and The Kitchen Hour podcast has come up with a solution...a simple change of venue.

I've got Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny down, but I've always been a crummy Tooth Fairy. Somehow I always managed to either fall asleep or forget all about it, the same night my adorable child oh-so-optimistically stuffed his tooth under the pillow.

Worse, I'd try to sneak in after midnight and would wind up waking the child, then would have to come up with a plausible excuse about why I was feeling under his pillow with a dollar bill in my hand.

Finally I came up with the perfect solution: the Tooth Fairy cup.

It's actually a decorative candle holder that's on the buffet table in our dining room. I walk past it about two dozen times each evening, meaning:

  1. It's very unlikely I'll forget it and
  2. I can easily slip the cash inside without worrying about waking the child.

Bonus: I don't have to worry about teeth - or money - falling behind the bed in the middle of the night.

Now if I could just figure out what to do with my jewelry-box drawer full of random teeth!

Ah, the box of random teeth. My daughter once came across mine (which was in plain view on my dresser, duh) and wondered if the Tooth Fairy deposited teeth there after leaving the money.

Other ways to help the Tooth Fairy remember her job include tying a ribbon around your kid's bedroom doorknob or setting an alarm on your mobile phone.

Do you have a reminder method for the Tooth Fairy? Please tell us in the comments!

In case you don't already know Meagan, be sure to visit The Happiest Mom or The Kitchen Hour. She's one of my favorite bloggers -- her posts always solve a problem or offer sane, practical advice.

Your comments

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Yes! As soon as we learn of the lost tooth, we use Siri to set a reminder for 10 pm that night. My kids are hard sleepers, though, so anytime after 9 is fair game to mess with their beds.

The phone reminder has been the way to go for me BUT the cup would be a great way to avoid digging around under my kid's pillow for that tooth (sometimes it's a hunt!) I'd still need the phone reminder for the cup, though. LOL

Steph

We've always done something similar to this in our home. We place the tooth in a teapot and the teapot on the windowsill with the window just barely cracked. Once you place a tooth in the teapot you must close the lid very tightly so no one but the tooth fairy can get it since fairies are the only creatures capable of sliding down the tea spout into the teapot. And we place the teapot on the windowsill so the fairy can always find it because fairies just can't resist a teapot to explore.
And it's pretty hard for me to forget to play tooth fairy when there is a teapot on the widowsill reminding me.

I have been a pretty lousy tooth fairy too. My trick now is to put the money by my alarm clock when my son goes to bed so that when I set the alarm before I go to bed, it reminds me to go put it under the pillow before I go to sleep.

I just palm the money when they inform me the tooth fairy didn't come. Then I ask "are you SURE she didn't come?", I go "look", and while I'm looking I do a quick change out. My 10 year old still isn't sure that I'm the tooth fairy.

We own the UNICEF book "Throw Your Tooth On the Roof and other tooth traditions from around the world". Great book. In most cultures the tooth is tossed on the roof and a rodent brings a treat. The only tooth fairy cultures are English speaking places. So anyway, our roof has teeth on it. I don't have to hide or keep the gross things and we've learned a lot about other cultures. Win win. But I too always forget to tell the tooth fairy to come.

Haven't had any teeth lost yet, but expect it will happen soon, as my oldest is 5.5. But as an aside to the comment before about how only English speaking places have tooth fairies, here in Norway we also have them.

However, I have heard that it didn't use to be a fairy, it used to be cattle or other valuables that were given to babies once they got their first teeth and it was probable that they would survive.
The word for this was "fe" which, as it happens, is also the word for "fairy", and the modern version is simply a misunderstanding of the original meaning. Not quite sure how true this is though!

I've seen that "Tooth on the Roof" book! My husband's from South Africa and I was very amused when he told me about the Tooth Mouse who used to take his teeth when he was a kid. I have a couple friends who are unnerved by mice and I'm sure that whole idea would freak them out to the point of sleeplessness.

Unfortunately, the Tooth Fairy assigned to our house is a trainee, and as a (not particularly successful) trainee she tends to screw up fairly often as she learns her job. She's forgotten entirely or gone to the wrong house, but most often she's chucked the gift under the bed while the child is excitedly searching under their pillow. Her aim stinks ;).

Oh, and in our house the Tooth Fairy doesn't always bring money - she brings "something small because teeth are small". Sometimes it's money, other times (when we, err, I mean she, doesn't have the right change on hand) she leaves small gifts or trinkets. Since we can't communicate with her we can't convey requests, she leaves whatever SHE wants to (and saves us quite a bit of late night scrambling in the process)...

My children all have a tooth keeper - a little trinket box designed specifically for the Tooth Fairy routine. They put their tooth in the tooth keeper somewhere in plain sight (like the bedside table or dresser) and then wait. They know our Tooth Fairy is very busy, it can take up to a week before she gets a chance to come around. When I finally DO remember its a simply matter of taking the tooth out of their keeper, putting a $1 coin inside (we're in Australia - they did away with $1 notes 20 years ago here). I drop the tooth down the bathroom plughole so the most fervent Tooth Fairy-deniers can't find it. The first tooth that falls out gets a $2 coin, as does the first molar to fall out. The rest get $1.

We have decorated a Tooth Fairy bag, which is simply one of those brown paper lunch bags. A hole is cut out close to the top of it just large enough to slide over the door knob of their bedroom. When a tooth is lost it is put inside the bag, hung on the doorknob, and the Tooth Fairy never forgets to visit or wakes anyone when she is leaving the money. It helps that I pass by the bag on my way to bed at night!

I tell my son if he eats his vegetables - it will encourage the tooth fairy to come earlier. Otherwise, tooth fairies only going to rewards the nice kids first.

Just capitalizing on something if I forget ;)

Super easy. The Tooth Fairy is a very busy fairy and s/he cannot make it to all the kids' houses the same night the kid loses the tooth. Sometimes it takes her a night or two to get to everyone. Plus, heavy sleepers at our house, so whenever we do it, we're not so worried about disrupting them.

I love you all. I thought I was the only parent who had problems with this.

My husband, when caught in the act of placing the prize, says- "I was just checking to see if the tooth fairy had come."

Works every time.

I got tooth fairy pillows when I realized how hard it was to dig under the pillow for a small tooth. They are small pillows with pockets that can hang on the door (I make sure that they know that it has to be on the outside of the door). I have also palmed quarters and slipped them in the pillow if I forget and fall asleep.

Our tooth fairy gives quarters because we have a large change jar so I always have change on hand. I also keep a package of gum on hand because she gives out one piece of gum. I tried a whole pack but they just swallowed it all and I didn't want them eating that much gum.

We have a Tooth Fairy box that helps with the digging under the pillow. Ours was this one: http://www.amazon.com/4M-Tooth-Fairy-Keepsake-Box/dp/B0014ZFJOM/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1365294778&sr=8-2&keywords=toothfairy+box

I always forget and end up getting my hand stuck underneath my sons pillow when I am trying to retrieve his tooth. The tooth fairy pillow/bag idea is great I am definitely going to get one of those.

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