Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Dentists and Potty Training

I saw a news story on the Nightly News last night about more kids getting cavities these days in their baby teeth.  The story cited several reasons for this and said the key to prevention is good teeth brushing habits and visits to the dentist starting at a year old.  We are very good about brushing Natali's teeth.  She gets them brushed twice a day just like we brush ours.  For a long time it was a big struggle with lots of crying every time, but more recently Natali has come to accept teeth brushing as part of her routine.  I think it helps that she is big enough now to stand on a stool at the sink while we brush them and she likes to watch herself in the mirror.  She hasn't cried during brushing for a few weeks at least.  I hadn't even considered taking her to the dentist though.  My pediatrician hasn't mentioned it either.  After I saw that news story though, I posted a message about it on Facebook and got a lot of good responses from friends, mostly saying they started their kids going at 2 years old.  Then my sister posted saying she had just taken my niece for the first time at 4 years old and she has a cavity.  She wishes she had taken her earlier, so it might have been prevented.  That was enough for me to hear.  I have another good friend that recommended an excellent pediatric dentist so I think I'm going to call tomorrow and make Natali an appointment.  She is on my dental insurance this year so there really is no reason not to do it since it's free anyway.  I will post how that goes after our appointment.

In other news, Natali went to the bathroom on her potty today!  It was her first time and I was so excited about it!  Now Natali is only 19 months old and I am in no way trying to push potty training before she is ready.  However, we have seen for a while now that she recognizes when she needs to go.  It is very obvious before bath time.  She will often say poo poo and hold herself then pee right in the bathtub.  Thankfully its only been pee and I've never had to clean a brown tub.  We have a training toilet for Natali already only because my sister and niece were at our house once during her potty training time so we went out and bought one.  My sister had a terrible time potty training my niece, and she wasn't totally trained until after she was 3 years old.  I know every child is different, but I have always hoped Natali would be easier to train.  It turns out she may be very easy.  I wasn't even going to think about toilet training until Natali turned 2, but since she seems to recognize now when she has to go I thought I'd just sit her on the toilet and get her used to it and see what happens.  I tried it tonight before her bath.  She sat there for a minute but didn't go, so I praised her for sitting there then just put her in the tub.  Then, right before bed time we went in to brush her teeth and I just decided to try it again.  I put her on the little toilet and she sat there for a minute doing nothing so I asked her if she was done.  She just said "no", so I let her sit some more and about a minute later she started peeing.  I was so excited!  She got a lot of praise for that.

Of course, now I don't know what to do next.  Do I start seriously working on potty training at home?  Do I just put her on the toilet randomly and not really try too hard with it for now?  If Natali were always home I may actually try a bit harder with it, but she spends 3 days a week at daycare and she isn't in a class that does potty training yet.  She is absolutely not ready to move up to a bigger class, so if I work on potty training at home and then she doesn't get it at school will it somehow mess it all up?  I have no idea how to proceed on this one.  I guess I will have to do some reading up on the subject.  If anyone reading this has any great advice or resources on potty training I will gladly accept any and all suggestions.  This is completely new territory for us and we have no idea what we're doing. :)

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