Expert Advice

Toothpaste and date nights: Life with a three-and-a-half-year-old

Nobody could say it was dull.

By Now to Love Staff
By the age of three-and-a-half your child will have their full set of 20 'baby' teeth. Eventually, these will be replaced by their adult teeth but it's still important to care for them with a low-sugar diet and good dental hygiene early on.
While your toddler may not be able to squeeze a tube of toothpaste until they're five, now is the time to move them to brushing on their own. You will still have to finish off the job, though, to ensure the teeth are really clean and that they've spat out the paste.
Tooth-brushing tips:
  • Choose a small-headed toothbrush with a pea-sized splodge of paste.
  • Make brushing fun - use a character toothbrush or some funky coloured toothpaste.
  • Brush your teeth at the same time so they can copy the up-down motion.
  • Get a footstool so they can watch themselves in the mirror - fascinating and helps coordination.
  • Use a battery-powered toothbrush as they are often more thorough. Get a kids' one, though, as some made for adults will be too 'aggressive' and buzzy.
  • Introduce the concept of flossing, but accept that it may not be possible to do their whole mouth at once.
By the age of three-and-a-half your child will have their full set of 20 'baby' teeth. Image: Getty.

Keeping the spark alive when there's a toddler in the house!

You may have emerged from the newborn, sleep-deprivation zone (or if your toddler now has a younger sibling, you may be right back there), but once kids of any age are on the scene, it's harder for couples to find the time and energy for one another.
Intimacy can now hinge on timing, willpower and luck, rather than simply being a matter of desire - spontaneity may have to give way to scheduling if you are going to manage regular private time.
WATCH: This adorable toddler's haka is winning hearts all over the world. Continues after video ...
To keep your relationship on track, try these tips for dating your husband after kids.
If you're just not connecting or are finding it hard to shift your focus from your demanding toddler to your partner, the tensions can really start to mount. Before you get to breaking point, try diffusing the stress with a few Operation Happy Household strategies.

read more from