6 Tricks for Managing Baby Grooming

Tips on how to successfully perform difficult baby-grooming tasks.

No-Stress Tress & Teeth Care

1. Making Teeth-Brushing Easier

Up close of toothbrushes

By the time your child is 2, you should brush his teeth at least twice a day (a pea-size dab of fluoride toothpaste is safe, if he can spit). Direction doesn't matter; instead, focus on cleaning each tooth thoroughly, "top and bottom, inside and out," says the American Academy of Pediatrics, with a soft, small-bristled brush. To make sure her 3-1/2-year-old is all smiles, Sonia, of East Greenwich, Rhode Island, says, "I pretend there are dinosaurs in Anita's mouth and put the brush in to chase them out."

A brilliant tooth-brushing tactic: praise! "I've learned that by saying things like, 'Your teeth look so good,' I can get Beau and Jackson to brush longer," says Lesley, of Fort Worth, Texas, a mother of two.

2. Tear-Free Hair-Washing Tips

The trick to washing baby's hair is getting her to tilt back her head so that water and soap don't drip in her eyes. Some parents turn the process into a game to distract baby: Once her hair is lathered up, sculpt it into a fun design -- whether it's a Mohawk or spikes -- and ask baby to guess what it is. Whatever you do, opt for a tear-free shampoo.

3. Ouchless Brushing Ideas

To put bad hair (brushing) days behind you, play hair salon with your toddler. Perch her in front of a mirror and as you primp, allow her to style her doll's tresses. The tools of the trade: a wide-tooth comb or a flat brush that has bristles with plastic-coated tips. For an ouch-free experience, untangle the ends of her hair first and work your way up.

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