Thanks to Tom’s of Maine for partnering on this post!
Good morning, friends! I’m always a bit sad this time of year to say farewell to the late sunny evenings. But If I had a nickel for every time I heard these kids plead to me when bedtime was announced, “But the sun is still awake! It’s not bedtime!” I think I’m not alone when I say that bedtime for the kids has been later than these spunky kids would’ve needed simply because the sun is still high and bright when they should be snoozing away. And that bedtime routine can be exhausting! The kids who moaned and groaned all during dinner are suddenly starving while the other kids got a 2nd wind of energy and can’t help themselves from running and climbing the walls and each other. I hope it wears them out as much as it does their daddy and me 😉 .
Creating a pattern in the kid’s bedtime routine has helped tremendously! There are 4 main activities we consistently do.
- Bath Time (when I can remember or they smell funky)
- Brush teeth
- Read scripture stories
- Say prayers
Typical bedtime shenanigans: Finish dinner and tell the kids it’s bedtime. Kids plead that the sun is still awake and it can’t possibly be bedtime. Reassure the kids that it is bedtime and get them all upstairs. If they’re dirty, smell funky, or if it’s just been more than a few days, get them in the bathtub. Bathe the kids. 1 hour later. Get an extra towel to dry the floor. Lotion bodies, blow dry girls hair (they have more hair than I do), jammies. Help Ethan find his jammies, poor kid. Send kids one by one to go potty and have their teeth brushed (keep reading for tips from daddy dentist). Kids saying they’re dying from being parched. Send oldest downstairs for drinks for everyone. Search house frantically because we’re missing ALL of the blankets, unicorn, bunny, blue dinosaur and the dramatic meltdowns have begun. Gather back upstairs. Sit down for scripture stories. Stop the wrestling. Finish stories. Kneel down for family prayer. Stop the wrestling. Listen to the funniest 3 and 5-year prayers. Get everyone in their own bed. Get drinks for those still about to die of thirst. Kisses and lots of I LOVE YOU’s. G’night!**
***note: It will be 1 hour before they’re actually sleeping and we’re off duty 😉
Having the kids’ daddy as their dentist has been SUPER helpful! (And TOO cute to watch them play dentist with each other!) It’s just one more thing that lets me be off the hook from managing. I can trust his trained eye to keep those pearly whites clean and cavity free. He’s teaching them how to brush but a good rule of thumb is they will need help brushing until they’re old enough where you feel comfortable eating off of a spoon your little one just washed solo! Hubby takes over most nights and loves using an electric toothbrush. Nothing wrong with the original thing, but he’s found it’s easier for him to get every tooth clean, especially considering the short time span you sometimes get with excited kiddos at bedtime. And just like I bribe my kids with tic tacs occasionally, using a great-tasting toothpaste makes brushing way more fun! A friend introduced us to Tom’s of Maine Silly Strawberry Natural Kid’s Toothpaste. With no artificial colors, flavors or sweeteners, it’s no wonder Silly Strawberry is the #1 natural kid’s toothpaste. My hubby who is a dentist was thrilled to hear it’s the first and only natural kid’s toothpaste to receive the American Dental Association’s Seal of Acceptance. (Nerd alert) Also, 2017 marks the 25th anniversary of Tom’s of Maine’s Silly Strawberry Natural Kids Toothpaste with fluoride! My kids love it and all agree it tastes great and is smooth!
Great oral health starts with their diet. My late grandpa was a dentist and when I was young I remember him encouraging me to rinse my mouth with water after I had finished sucking on a bubblegum blow-pop sucker. You know.. the really big suckers that take kids a long time to finally finish. With sugar sitting on my teeth for that long the best thing I could do was to swish water around my mouth for a minute to rinse the sugar from my mouth. I’ve never forgotten that simple trick! To relate this to a child’s average diet, they should always rinse their mouth or drink water after having anything sugar-based. Another big tip is to avoid juices! Juice will do 2 things to a child. It will fill their tummy’s up with empty calories and consistently bathe their teeth with tons of sugar! In my experience, avoiding sipping on juice/milk for a long period of time will help improve any kid’s dental health!
If your kids haven’t heard the “Silly Brushing Song” then they are missing out! It’s a fun tool for parents that Tom’s of Maine created with children’s singer/songwriter Laurie Berkner to help get kids brushing for a full two minutes, twice a day as recommended by the American Dental Association.
TIP: When kids sing, hum, or even just talk while having their teeth brushed their lips relax allowing you to get access to the surfaces of the teeth facing the cheeks! Ethan loves to tense his lips so tight when he opens his mouth, and that’s the best way we’ve found of being able to brush his teeth well. So go ahead and join us by grabbing your loaded toothbrushes while singing this cute and catchy song!
Thanks to Tom’s of Maine for partnering on this post!