Now that Asher finally has some teeth, we are trying to be more on the ball about ensuring those little food crushers get brushed each morning and evening. While he certainly enjoys licking off all of the toothpaste, the actual brushing part is kind of hit or miss, and actually brushing his “teeth” and not just whatever the toothbrush seems to come in contact with while in there is another feat all on its own.
Alas, while we have certainly not perfected the art yet, we are working toward ensuring it becomes a more solid routine for our little guy in his day. To help him become a toothbrushing whiz, there are a few things we have been implementing.
1. We do it each morning and night. Practice makes perfect better right? Night time is an easy one for us as its just incorporated into his bedtime routine. Mornings are still a little trickier depending on what we have going, on and because he is still nursing when he wakes up, but we usually try and do it right before or after breakfast.
2. We model toothbrushing for him. He loves to watch mommy and daddy brush their teeth. Often in the morning, one of us will brush our teeth while the other helps him do it so that we can do it together. He thinks this is just the bees knees.
3. We let him try it on his own. While this often consists of him just inhaling the toothpaste, he is able to move it back and forth a bit on his own now. And he loves to hold the brush under the running water afterwards and help to put it away. Slowly but surely in practicing these seemingly little things, it is helping him to build independence.
4. We read stories about it. I’m all about using books to reinforce concepts whenever possible. When we first introduced toothbrushing we read Asher the one pictured below (it comes in English as well and is called “Brush!, Brush!, Brush!). We continue to read it here and there at night to point out all the important steps in the process.
5. We sing about it. When we first started setting up our toothbrushing routine with him, I knew wanted a song that we could sing each time he brushed to engage him. I wanted one that was easy to remember and that would help remind him of the basic steps.What’s more, I wanted a song that could be sung in English or Spanish. All of those prereqs were hard to come by, so in all honesty, I gave up the hunt after a few days and just created my own on the fly – and it stuck.
And now for our toothbrushing sing along debut… (disregard our terribly tacky bathroom that has yet to receive some reno love.)
I typed up the lyrics in both English and Spanish as well here, if anyone wants to use it. And yes, if you do, you are obligated to send me your sing along debut as well 😉 (but really..I’d love it!).