All about children!

Posts tagged ‘child’

5 things you should plan for, before a family vacation

There’s nothing more exciting than Family Vacations, especially for children! At least that’s how I felt when I was younger…No, I still feel the same!

The planning, the anticipation, the packing, it’s all part of the fun! However, for some parents this can be an overwhelming situation. Depending on how old your kids are, this could mean, packing diapers, milk, and plenty of entertainment. Then we also have the changes in routine, nap time, meal times and bedtime!

Many parents prefer to have a stay-cation (vacation at home). But family vacations can be a great opportunity for the family to do something different, learn about another city or culture and to bond as a family. Does this mean that you can’t have a family vacation until all of your children are 18 and older? Absolutely…NOT! (plus, they won’t want to go on a family vacation by then!)

To make sure your family vacation is a success you must…

1. Plan ahead– The better prepared you are, the less stress you’ll have. So, give yourself plenty of time to plan, even if it’s a weekend trip! If you are staying at a hotel, make sure you know the amenities and places to eat around it. Plan what you might be doing for each day. That way you’ll know what you’ll need. Also, plan with your spouse how to discipline. I know traveling is supposed to be fun ALL the time, but in case a situation arises, you both have to be on the same page as to how to discipline your child during the vacation.

2. Plan the entertainment – Check for kid-friendly entertainment and places to visit. You don’t want to take them to many places where they are totally bored. Also, make sure you have entertainment for the plane/car/train ride. You can give them a camera, journal, books, cards, magazines, comic books, etc. to have fun while on you way to your destination.

3. Plan meal times – make sure you pack healthy snacks in your bag/purse that can alleviate the hunger until you find a place to eat.

4. Plan for bedtime– If at all possible, keep bedtime as close as to the real bedtime at home.

5. Plan to bring 1 or 2 personal items – With younger kids, make sure they can bring a special item, but not the most important one! You want them to feel secure, but if something happens to that special item, the vacation can be over in a second!

Always remember, the less stressed you are, the more fun you and your family will have. And that’s the point of a vacation, isn’t it?

Have you traveled with children? Are there any suggestions you can add? Help us!

photo: istock


Your child and the dentist

Good oral health is very important for everyone, especially for little children. Taking care of their oral health is something that has to start even before they have teeth!

For this week’s post, I interviewed my (favorite) dentist. Ok yes, she’s also my sister! She has her private practice in Carolina, Puerto Rico. I asked her a few frequently-asked questions by parents about children’s oral hygiene. Let’s see what she had to say.

Interview with my dentist

  • At what age should we take a baby for the first time to the dentist?

We recommend that a baby first visits the dentist by the time they turn one year. By this time most babies have a few frontal upper and lower teeth. Of course there are exceptions where the teeth start coming out around their first birthday. In any case, that should be the time when they visit the dentist for an evaluation, prophylaxis (cleaning) and to apply fluoride.

  • Should we clean their gums or should we wait for when they have teeth? What do we use to clean their mouths?

You should clean their gums using a gauze pad and some water. That way you remove sugar residue from the milk and juice. We don’t want sugar to be accumulated in their mouths when their teeth start to grow.

  • At what age should we expect that the first baby teeth start growing? What about their permanent teeth?

Deciduous teeth or baby teeth start growing around 6 to 10 months. Of course there are exceptions and some babies have teeth around 3-4 months old. Permanent teeth start growing around 6 years; molars are the first ones to grow.

  • What could be an emergency that requires going to the dentist?

The most common dental emergency is when the child falls and they hurt their face and mouth. Usually, this affects their upper front teeth and upper lip. It is important to take the child to the dentist immediately to examine their lips, gums and teeth and to make sure if the tooth (or teeth) is still “alive”. In some cases the impact is so strong that the nerve “dies”. This requires special treatment.

  • What advise do you give to the parents of children who don’t want to brush their teeth?

I would suggest that they find a way to make the children enjoy brushing their teeth and to create a routine. That way they grow up with a healthy mouth. It is sad to see so many young patients that have lost some teeth and this makes chewing more difficult. It is also negative for their self-esteem because many of them won’t even smile because they are embarrassed! Fortunately, we now have ways to make brushing the teeth more fun for young children. There are flavored toothpastes, toothbrushes with favorite movie characters or cartoons and of course the electrical toothbrushes that catch their attention. It is very important that parents and older siblings (if they have them) be an example for these children. They should brush their teeth twice a day, that way the young child will see that this is the normal routine that everyone does. Parents should teach the children, supervise them and praise them for a job well done. Creating a healthy hygiene routine is one of the best things you can teach your child, because this leads to having a healthier life in general and to smile with pride.

You read it here! It is very important to maintain a healthy mouth! Keep brushing those teeth!

Do you have any questions for Dr. Jeanette Cabrera? Ask here and she’ll answer them for you!

You can contact Dr. Jeanette Cabrera by email: or “like” her Facebook fanpage for more tips on oral hygiene

photo: iStock