Brush, Book, and Bed
As part of our commitment to healthy kids and happy families in the communities we serve, the Partnership for Children of the Foothills has adopted the Brush, Book and Bed program developed by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
A great start to the day begins with a healthy nighttime routine. Having a regular routine can help create a predictable and comforting experience for young children, and ease nighttime stress. The elements of the program – Brush, Book and Bed – help address the importance of starting dental health practices right away, reading aloud at least 15 minutes each day and developing a regular bedtime routine and bed time.
Brushing Little Teeth
Dental health can begin from birth! As soon as baby is born you can use a soft washcloth to wipe baby’s gums after feedings. And when that first tooth emerges, you can begin brushing. Here are some guidelines:
- For children under age 3: Use a small, grain-of-rice-sized smear of toothpaste with fluoride and brush two-times per day. Refrain from putting baby to bed with a bottle and choose healthy foods to prevent tooth decay.
- For children ages 3 – 6: Use a pea-sized dollop of fluoride toothpaste. It’s great to let your kids practice brushing, but be sure to take your turn too.
- Encourage your child to spit out any extra toothpaste. Children do not need to rinse their mouths after brushing as the small amount of remaining toothpaste is good for their teeth.
It is never too early to begin sharing the joy of books with your child. Reading aloud even just 15 minutes a day can help improve your child’s language development and social-emotional skills. Read books, make up stories, sing silly songs – enjoy the special bonding time with your child and explore a world of creativity and imagination.
Take advantage of your local library or bookstore, and introduce your child to new subjects, themes and characters. As your child ages, so will the kind of books he or she enjoys.
Sleeping Schedules Ease Stress
A good night’s sleep is essential to your child’s health and well-being. Though implementing good sleep habits in babies and young children can seem next to impossible, creating a regular bedtime schedule and routine can help your child wind down, fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly.
Picking a regular bedtime (and nap times if appropriate) and staying consistent will help ease your child into understanding bed time and importance of sleep. Don’t wait until your child is showing signs of being sleepy. Plan for 30 minutes ahead of bedtime so you will have enough time to brush teeth, read together and then go to sleep.
We’d Like to Help!
The Partnership for Children of the Foothills would like to encourage you to incorporate the Brush, Book and Bed routine into your home life. Take advantage of the following programs and services offered by the Partnership in McDowell, Polk and Rutherford counties:
Brush – Stay tuned for offers for dental education or screening sessions.
Book – Do you receive the Dolly Parton Imagination Library at your home? If you have a child under five and live in McDowell, Polk or Rutherford counties, then you can sign up to receive a free book a month until the age of five here.
Bed – Need help with bed time schedules? Learn more at www.HealthyChildren.org.