Toddlerhood: The Next Big Questions

Have I mentioned lately how much I love Hailey’s current age and stage? 18 months is filled with exploration, communication and lots of laughs.


I’ve been just rolling with things and enjoying where we are, but a few questions have come up along the way that have me truly realizing my sweet girl isn’t a baby anymore, but is transforming into a true toddler/little kid.


So what’s been on my mind? …

Potty training. I haven’t read a lick about it, but I’ve heard you can start considering it when your child understands they need a diaper change and can tell you. Well now Hailey has started to tell me ‘diaper’ (di-pah) when she needs a new one. So what next? Buy a book? Research potties? Oh dear, not sure I’m ready for this…


The dentist. Hailey has a mouth full of chompers. I’ve lost count. Her teeth brushing skills are probably not adequate, but is it really time to see a dentist? The idea of having to hold my busy child down in that chair gives me nightmares.


Sleeping in a big girl bed. Actually, I have zero plans of switching anytime soon. I just heard someone talking about about it. When I got around to considering it, I just cracked up laughing at the thought. My wiggle worm definitely still needs the crib.

2013-04-03 19.57.35

Turning the car seat around. Then official recommendation is to wait until 2 years old. Hailey has never complained about be rear facing and does pretty well in the car, but recently her legs have seemed a bit cramped against the backseat. So what’s the right move? Stick it out to 2? Or spin her around?

2013-04-03 11.20.32

Your feedback is welcome as I have yet to start looking into any of these questions seriously. I’m just too busy collecting hugs, reading books and laughing at how much Hailey loves her shoes (shzzz).



  1. Becky says

    1) Potty training. Haven’t started with 20 month old C yet….though he does tell us when he needs a new one (especially if it’s #2!)
    2) Dentist – we had to visit one when C was about 16 months old, turned out it was nothing. They recommended bringing him back at age 2 and starting the 6 month checks then. We have an appointment scheduled for just after his 2nd birthday.
    3) Big bed: HA! Nope even comtemplating this anytime soon.
    4) Forward facing: My husband wants to turn our son; I’ve been wanting to wait until he turns 2, too. I found this website really helpful in explaining WHY rear-racing was so safe:
    I think we’ll end up turning C before his 2nd birthday (July) but we’ll see.
    Keep us posted on all this! It’s nice to hear someone else is struggling w/ the same stuff!

  2. says

    When I teach my Human Growth and Development class one of the topics that everyone gets super passionate about debating is when to potty train. One statistic I love to share is that in the 1950’s almost 90% of 18 month olds were potty trained!
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  3. says

    1. We introduced potty training very subtly. Basically teaching her to know her own cues. Now she tells us when she’s peeing or pooping, though we don’t get her on the potty yet.
    2. Not until they’re 3 is it necessary. Just keep brushing and feeding good food.
    3. No thanks! Stick with the crib until you can’t anymore!
    4. STAY REAR FACING!! Cramped legs mean nothing. A 4 year old can rear face. A baby this age cannot take the impact of a car crash on their small frame:
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  4. Ali says

    1-girls train easier and earlier. Get a used book or two from amazon and read up.
    2- bed ….wait until you are pregnant again and know when exactly you will need the crib, then think about it.
    3-car seat ….I would turn around anytime between now and 2. My goal was to get to at least 18 months. I turned baby girl number one at 18 months. Once you turn, be warned, they will not want to go back!
    4 – dentist – you have time….most say first visit at 2 or 3. I started taking N with me very early on and they would just lay her in the seat after me and count her teeth, play with the water sprayer and sucker tools and then by the time her 1st real OWN appt came at 3, she did great!!!

  5. Ashleigh V. says

    I don’t have kids yet so I can’t offer any helpful feedback :) but I appreciate your honesty and forthrightness. And I’ve learned a lot about parenting from your blog…and how I might like to do things if I ever become a parent. Thanks!!!

  6. says

    We introduced Cupcake to the potty around 18 months, but never pushed it. It was just there, then when she was 26 months she decoded it was time. We ditched the diapers and never looked back.
    Her pediatrician recommended seeing a dentist by age 3.
    We had every intention of her staying in her crib forever, but she learned how to climb out when she was 22 months, so we converted it to a toddler bed.
    And lastly she rode rear facing until 26 months. We turned her because we were going on a 12 road trip (and would be transitioning her soon any way before Pumpkin’s arrival). She loved having her feet rest on the back of the seat and even ries to put them up on the front seats. I don’t like my feet dangling from a tall chair so I figured she doesn’t either.
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  7. Jodi says

    1)potty training… Ugh we need to start so badly, but I was trying just to get thru transitioning with the new baby, going back to work, and avery reaching two so she would move up in her classroom to the room they do the potty training, which they don’t start til two… Avery has been totally ready for months. In fact on Easter, wo ever putting her on the potty, she took it upon herself to sit on the toilet w her pjs on and ended up w a wet butt…. So she turns two in a week and then it will begin…I Facebook msgd a bunch of girlfriends looking for suggestions on potty’s, inserts, toilet lids w insets and got a total variety on answers from buy nothing, to buy little potty’s to start and transition to the insert built in the toilet lid…. I am burying my head in the sand for one more week…
    2) dentist, prob sometime this summer we will give it a try…I have an appointment for a cleaning in may, so will prob take her so she can watch me first…
    3) big girl bed… No way Jose. Despite how tall Avery is she has yet to try to get out, so no changes anytime soon. Granted we want to use her crib and dresser for Emmys nursery, but I am not in any rush!
    4)Avery tumned around a while ago, she’s just too darn tall. My 23 month old is wearing 4t and big girl 4 already…

    If only parenting came w a users manual…

  8. Katie says

    Keep her rear facing. The safety recommendations are in place for a reason! Toddler legs are so flexible that it’s fine for them to be bent or “frogged” and they are still totally comfortable.

  9. Hanna says

    Definitely start reading potty books to her and let her pick out a fun little potty to play with and some big girl panties. We started with pull ups and big girl panties around 2 but she didn’t completely master it until 3. They will transition when they’re ready.
    We have heard that unless there is a tooth or gum issue to wait until they’re 3.
    We changed our daughter to a toddler bed at the age of 2. She loved it! If H isn’t climbing out of her crib then hold off. Don’t rush out of baby hood too quickly. It’s so sad how fast they grow. :(
    We turned our babies around when they turned one. They never were good passengers but they improved when they could see what was going on.

  10. Aly says

    Good questions!! I have zero idea about potty training and I think I’m afraid of that more than anything!!
    Usually babes visit the dentist for the first time at the age of 3. If you take her then you’re already ahead of the game as a lot of people don’t even think of it and wait until later and it’s even worse!! (I used to work for a dentist).
    Rear face as long as you can!!! Trust me that Hailey isn’t uncomfortable with her legs bent against the seat. Rear facing is a billion times safer and a lot of times when those little legs dangle during rear facing its uncomfortable for the babes because they can’t rest them on anything. The law is different than the recommended and it’s a shame!!!! You should rear face as long as you can!! I can’t stress it enough.

  11. emily s says

    1. Not even considering til 2.5 or at least til P can communicate with me about it. I hear waiting a bit longer for most boys makes it quicker and easier.
    2.gonna transition in a week or so to give him 2 months in a big boy bed before the baby comes”. Need the crib for her! I agree with keepingvher in until she climbs out or you need it!
    3. He’s still rearfacing despite being really tall. We’ll turn him at 2,next month. (Welp)
    4. We’ll probably go sometime after 2. I worry i don’t brush well enough, but i always follow food with water. He only drinks milk and water.

  12. says

    I’m expecting my 3rd in July. My son turned 3 in December so we’ve been through all this with him. Here’s my advice.

    Potty training~ I’d wait until at least 2 1/2. Potty training is a very big job and it’s important to wait until they are physically ready and mentally ready. My son was physically ready at 2 1/2, not so much mentally. He trained really quickly actually, in a half a day he had it down. He still wears diapers at nap/bed time and for long car rides. He wouldn’t poop on the potty for the longest time, we’re finally making progress in that area, about 50% of the time he’ll poop on the potty. I kind of wish we would have waited until he was 3, but we did save a lot on diapers for 6 months so that’s something.

    Dentist~ My dentist didn’t recommend bringing them in until they were 3. Garrett will be receiving his first real cleaning at about 3 1/2. He wouldn’t have been old enough to follow directions, cooperate, and sit still that long before that point.

    Big girl bed~ We switched Garrett at 18 months. He was having a HUGE sleep regression, and we figured we’d just get it over with at the same time. If she’s not trying to escape and not having problems, I’d stick with the crib. They stay there and can’t tear apart their dressers in the crib. 😉

    Car seat~ We waited until about 22 months. I felt better waiting as long as possible, and would have liked to wait even longer but my husband wanted to switch him so we did. This is the only way she’s ever rode in the car, she doesn’t know any different. If she’s not having a major fit, I’d keep her rear facing as long as you can.

    Sorry that was so long! 😉 Hope it helps!
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  13. says

    Great questions…so glad you ask them to your readers so I can “cheat” by reading all the answers! 😉

    Although L isn’t yet saying words like di-pah (SO CUTE), we are also noticing that she is showing signs that she might be ready…dry diapers after a 2 hour nap, able to follow simple commands, an interest in the toilet, etc.

    I’m not sure how much I want to push it right now since I’ll be dealing with a lot come July so maybe one of these days I’ll pull out a potty seat and see what she thinks.

    I’m with you though, this is such a fun age!
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  14. says

    Ditto on several above posters…rear facing is the number one thing you can do to protect your child in the car and “frogged legs” is better and safer than front facing. The research says we should all rear face in the car! Of course that’s not possible but at least we can protect our little ones. My car seat rear faces until 45 pounds and I hope to rear face until she reaches that weight. Good luck, parenting is hard!

    No idea on the other items…we are a few month behind you and I’ve started to think about them but no concrete decisions.
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  15. Jen says

    My experience with all of these is that the longer you can wait, the better!
    Potty training just goes much smoother and quicker when they are completely ready. Can’t hurt to show her the potty now and talk about it a little but as far as actual pro-active training, you’re probably better off when she’s well over 2.
    Dentist not until 3, and even then it’s mostly to get them comfortable with the dentist and not to do any real work.
    Big girl bed- why put her somewhere she can easliy ‘escape’ at bedtime/middle of night/early morning, until you need to?
    Rear facing until 2 is super important- I don’t think it’s worth the risks for her to be a drop more comfortable.
    Just my 2 cents…lot sof exciting things for you to look forward to :)

  16. erin says

    I can’t believe how big she is getting! I totally agree that this age is great. My son is now 3.5 and from 18 month on it keeps getting better. It is so nice when they can communicate and turn into your little buddy.

    potty training- the earlier the better. take this from someone who waited too long and is still working on training my 3.5 yr old to do #2 on the potty. Such a headache. I totally should have taken his lead when he asked to go potty at 18 months. We let him go but didn’t push it which then meant he did nothing again for another 1.5 yrs. We will start potty training the second before 2.

    Dentist: we took our son around 2.5. I had visions of him freaking out and me holding home down, but it went a lot better than I imagined. He opened wide and let them do a full cleaning. I went in thinking that if he was at all stressed out by it that we would leave and try again at another time, but he was fine. Our dentist had a video playing above and put cool glasses on him.

    Bed- we only moved my son to a big boy bed at 2.5 because we had another baby on the way and did not want to buy a new crib. He never once tried to climb out, otherwise we would have moved him when he started doing that.

    Car seat forward facing: Full disclosure- I am a huge believer in extended rear facing. Did not change my son until he was 2.5. Yes, I was that crazy mom. People told me he was uncomfortable and squished, but he could have cared less and never complained. We took many 5 hr trips where he slept back there just fine. He is about 75th percentile for height so yes, his legs were bent, but kids are crazy flexible and better to get broken legs in an accident than internal decapitation. I am also always amazed at most parents reasoning as to why they change their kid forward facing. Most of it is for their convenience and how they think the child look uncomfortable, not that their kids care. I will say that in cases where kids are freaking out in the car all the time and truly miserable rear facing, and thus making driving stressful and unsafe for the driver that maybe then it may be best to turn the child around. But simply thinking “oh my child looks cramped” is not a good enough reason for me.

    I’ve said too much:)

  17. says

    The best advice for potty training is to go by her interest/curiosity/willingness. Buy the book, buy the potty, pick a method, but you can’t force a child to pee/poop! (I know you wouldn’t anyway, but I’m just sayin!!) 😉 I tried when my son was 2, because that is the age I was always told to start, but it was a STRUGGLE. So we backed off. His 3rd birthday came around, and still no interest. I even asked his pediatrician about it, and she showed no concern, and simply said, “He will do it when he’s ready.” So I let that be my guide more than any other outside sources and opinions. Sure enough, a few months after he turned 3, he did it. It was like a light switch. One day, diapers. The next day, underwear. I think when they are ready, you’ll know because it will be that easy!
    The dentist FREAKS ME OUT. Lol But, find a pediatric dentist. Ours is FUN and my 6year old absolutely loves going. I asked him last visit what age for my little one to start, and he said 6 months after their first teeth come in. I don’t think they do much, honestly. Debtists know a lot of people fear them, so with kids, they really make it a positive experience.
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  18. Christina says

    We’re not ready to think about these questions just yet, but I’ve enjoyed reading everyone’s input, so thank you :)

  19. says

    We turned C to forward facing when she was 17 months. Her legs were really cramped and while she wasn’t complaining, it made sense to us. We had talked to my aunt who is a nurse who explained when their legs are up against the back of the seat (like they can push against the back seat with their feet), there can be even more damage done in a collision to the child than if they were forward facing. Having worked in an ER, she’d seen it and that put us over the top.
    The potty training….I’m not even ready to think about it and C will be 20 months tomorrow! Our ped suggested buying a potty and leaving it out and talking about it with her so that when she’s ready she’ll be comfortable. She knows what it is and what it’s for and she will sit on it fully clothed but she will not go on it. I’m fine with that–I figure when baby #2 arrives there will be some regression so better to wait to really potty train until life has settled down a bit. (Did I just say settled down a bit with two kids? What?)
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  20. katie says

    Liv is 17.5 months and has been using the potty at daycare and intermittently at home for a few months. I was not even thinking about it but she started showing interest because the older kids at daycare were doing it, so we started letting her watch when we go and letting her sit on her potty when she wants. We have a vacation in a few weeks so I didn’t really want to train her before (driving 12 hours) so I think we will tackle it when I get back. Erica’s comment about most 18 month olds being trained in the 1950s makes me feel like its a possibility, but I don’t want to push it! We are going to try potty training 1-2-3. We will see how it goes…

    I am leaving liv in her crib until she can crawl out and it becomes a safety issue!

    We took her to a pediatric dentist about a month ago and it was a total waste. I would wait until 2-3 for sure.

    I was planning on leaving liv rear facing until 2. Our pediatrician says that is definitely the recommendation but that since that recommendation has been made carseats/convertible seats haven’t caught up to meet the rear facing recommendations so I am undecided at this point but she is still rear facing for the moment.

  21. says

    Our son started showing interest in the potty around 17-18 months so we started putting him on it before bath time and practicing flash cards or reading books. Soon after he started going potty, then poopy but mainly just before bath time. He continued to show interest for the next few months so we did the three day potty training method with him at 20 months. This method says 22 months is the key age so we weren’t very hopeful but after the three days and another week with a few accidents he was pretty much good to go! Here’s my post with how the three days went and a follow up with what we did from 16 months on. He still wears a pull-up at night
    I haven’t taken him to the dentist yet either as my personal dentist told me to wait until at least after two.
    Our son is still in his crib and has tried to climb out a few times while we were standing in there but never when we were not. We have the video monitor so we can keep an eye on him. I’d like to wait as long as possible :-)
    We had to switch our sons car seat quite awhile ago since he is pretty tall and was uncomfortable. Our car trips have been much happier since then but I wish we could have stuck with the recommended time frame. Now they make car seats that click back and give them more room! Of course! Good luck!
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  22. says

    Miles pooped on the potty for the first time at 18 months (now 21 mo) and mostly because I caught his poo face. His interest comes and goes with it, and we just go with the flow. If he asks to go, we put him on the potty. If he doesn’t, no big deal. Boys supposedly take longer, too, so I’m not holding out huge hope.

    As far as crib, our friends had to move their 2 yo to a big boy bed with the arrival of a new baby. An easy nighttime routine is no longer easy and takes an hour-plus. They told us this weekend not to move M out of the crib until necessary.

    We do face-forward in seat, mostly because his legs were getting too long. I’m probably going to get berated but it was a struggle to get him in, hand him snacks on car trips, etc.
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  23. says

    Funny how kids can be so different! Most of the things you’re thinking about are the same things I am, with a just-turned-3-year-old! I would definitely say wait on turning around the car seat (why risk it?) and the crib (OMG, when they can get out of bed… it’s bad news.) But I am taking my son to his first dentist appointment later this month (slacker mom) and we are STILL not there on potty training. He is not interested at all in sitting on the potty, so I’m just trying to be patient and wait until he is ready.
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  24. Paulina says

    My daughter is also 18 months. I don’t know if I’m doing it “right” but here’s my take.

    1. Potty Training: We’re going slow, and started last month. We have a baby-bjorn potty that randomly stayed in the hallway for a few days after I cleaned our storage room. She wanted to sit on it, so I read her some books while she sat and eventually went #1. I made a big deal about it and since then, when I notice she’s about to go #2 or after she’s had a lot to drink, I’ll ask her if she has to go potty. She gets excited and runs and tries to undress herself to go. She’s gone on it a few times but I don’t think she has made the connection between the urge to go and telling me she needs to go. She doesn’t tell us when her diaper is dirty yet. If I was a SAHM and had more time, I’d just ask her every 30 minutes or so if she had to go and maybe take her to sit on it more often. At daycare, they potty train around age 2.5 on a regular toilet with a toddler size seat on top. She tried it and was terrified to sit up there, so until I get her over that fear, we’ve had to stop training. I think she’d be fully trained if she was home with me just based on her cues and interest in the potty, but I can’t really do much about the situation now.

    2. Dentist: My cousin works at a pediatric dentist office and said kids can come in as soon as they have teeth, but it’s not necessary until they are 2 or 3. So we’re waiting until then. Good for you for brushing daily though, I guess not many parents do that and sadly, the pediatric dentist sees children with rotten teeth by the age of 5 or 6!

    3. Bed: Ha, I’m with you on that. I’m waiting until she learns to climb out or we have a second baby and need the crib. Whichever comes first :)

    4. Car seat: opps, I think I screwed this one up. We put her forward facing a few months ago. I read somewhere that it was OK to turn her forward once she was a certain height and weight. I think scrunched up feet are OK, it’s the height of her head or shoulders compared to the straps and top of the seat that matters.

  25. Katie says

    1) Potty training – I was just telling my husband yesterday that I thought it might be time to get a little potty just to see if Kheri is interested. She knows what the big potty is and more frequently has been telling us when she has gone poop. I by no means think that she will be full blown potty trained in a few weeks, but we are thinking about starting to introduce the idea to her and see how she processes it. I think what I am most concerned about with all of it, is what a major problem we have had with her constipation and even at 18 months it is still a struggle, so I think I am fearful potty training isn’t going to be that easy of a transition. That being said, I think she would do better going by sitting on a potty, rather than crossing her legs while standing up.
    2) Dentist – We asked her Dr. at her last appointment, but she told us as long as we are brushing her teeth, there is no need to take her yet, so I’m thinking around 3.
    3) Big bed – I wasn’t thinking I would transition her until well after two, however we found out we are expecting again, so with not wanting to have to purchase another crib, the transition is likely going to happen in the next few months so we are fully used to a big girl bed by the time baby #2 arrives.
    4) Forward facing – We flipped Kheri forward facing around 15 months, mostly because her legs were super squished and she seemed to ride a lot better when she could easily see us. To be honest she really hates being in the car seat in either direction and on our last 10 hour road trip I have to admit we introduced a dvd player and it was a life saver!

    I always love seeing where Hailey is at since our girls are so close in age!

  26. Anna W says

    Mom of 20 month old, wife of pediatrician! Keep her rear facing as long as possible – even to 4 years of age. Cramped legs are okay – 2 is minimum for turning but once you research you’ll likely agree…no switching until you really, really need to. Teeth – recommendation from Academy of Pediatrics is 12 months for first visit. We take him every 6 months and while it feels silly – I’m glad we do it and it helps them to get used to the ritual. Brush her teeth for her btw…really not fun sometimes but worth it. And non-fluoride toothpaste only until they truly can spit. Love your blog – always!

  27. says

    I started thinking about potty training the other day and freaked myself out. ha! M is 17mo and not going to stress about this for a few more months.

    20 pounds is the law for turning car seat forward facing in Texas. We turned Molly around pretty early, as soon as she hit that mark, because she hates the car. Like hates it. I didn’t want to drive down the street. And now she does so much better! She loves being forward facing and seeing me, seeing out the windows better etc. I say go with your gut on this one.
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  28. Ellen says

    I can only speak from my experience with my 16month old:

    Potty training – We got a potty a few months ago. There is a lot of naked time in the house to facilitate ease of use. Every now and then she pulls through, but she’s not ready to commit to full potty training(Neither am I!). She loves the book Duck Goes Potty though. Might be something to check out.

    Dentist – My dentist said he would like to see her after 2years, after her 2nd year molars have come up.

    Big girl bed – My niece just started her big girl bed on her 3rd birthday. Now my sister is having issues with her getting out of bed and playing in her room or sneaking back to the living room. It’s her new game.

    Carseat – Call me the worst mother ever, but we turned her around at 11months. For 11 months she screamed until she pooped her pants every time we were in the car, regardless of the length of the trip (5mins -7hrs). No matter where I was going I had to prep for a big messy diaper change before I could think about grocery shopping, library, etc. I know, I know…decapitation, etc. It was a matter of sanity for everyone.

  29. Kelli says

    Mom of a 6 & 8 year old (boy and girl respectively )

    1. Molly was 2 1/2 until she finally got it Drew was 2 so much for saying boys are harder he was way easier to potty train!
    2. We started them at the dentist at 2
    3. Bed I had them close in age (16 months difference ) so she was out at 15 months but she was in a toddler bed and he started climbing our at haileys age so they both were out of the crib early
    4. Car seat I turned them around at 12-14 months bad mommy I know! But in the end every child and situation is different good luck!

  30. says

    glad you are waiting on the car seat thing, it makes me sad when people turn too early. i have heard two, and just yesterday, a store that installs them said 40 pounds. i have no input on the other topics but potty training and toddler bed sound like a headache!

  31. says

    My little guy is the same age as Hailey. We’ve always “worked” on the potty thing. Last week, he went in the potty all day, except naps and nighttime. He even went for the babysitter. But then he came down with a stomach bug and lost all interest. Long story short–it’s never too early to let them try, but keep it low-key. I’ve also noticed that kids this young don’t respond to the 3 day thing–it’s more of a 3 month things. :)
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  32. Marie says

    Hi! Long-time reader, however I don’t comment too often.

    However, today (and after reading these comments)- I have to. I am a dentist (and c’mon people, we’re not that scary!!) and work in Canada. Here, we (the Canadian Dental Assoc) recommend that the first dental visit should be at about one year of age (which is also usually 6 months after the first teeth erupt). In my practice, I encourage all new parents to bring in their babies right around their first birthday. Yes, the kids are young. Yes, they are not going to “cooperate.” Yes, they may not even sit in the dental chair and may not even open their mouth. No problem- it is still VERY important that conversations about oral health and home hygiene habits are started between parent and dentist. Many parents are unaware of what they need to be doing for their children’s oral heath- we, as dentists, can HELP!!
    The rate of childhood tooth decay (“early childhood caries”) is on the rise and I see it all the time in my own town. Babies having cavities, needing extractions, etc. — it breaks my heart. Parents need to get over their own fear and make sure their children are getting proper dental care.

    Sorry for the “rant” and I hope I didn’t offend any readers/parents. It is simply my wish to inform and educate parents- we all want the best for our babies, right?

  33. Marie says

    ps. Taken from the American Dental Association’s website:

    “The ADA recommends that parents take children to a dentist no later than their first birthday and then at intervals recommended by their dentist.”

  34. alice says

    Oh man. What a fun age!!!

    My kids are older (6 and 8) so some things may have changed, but…

    Potty Training – I wasn’t terribly involved, as the kids were in daycare full-time. However, they started by placing the child on the toilet before putting a new diaper on. My daughter did both day & night training at the same time. My son, not so much!

    Dentist – we didn’t start until closer to 4. I asked my dentist about it at one of my visits, and he said bringing in around 3 or 4 was fine. We did not have any concerns about decay, as they didn’t get any sugar until 2, were not juice drinkers, etc. The first visit, they just talked to the kids, counted teeth, talked to them about brushing, etc. TOTALLY low key.

    Big kid bed – HA! We did it when we were afraid they’d climb out. The funny thing was, we put them in a regular bed with rails, and for a while, they both still called for us to come get them.

    Rear facing – as long as possible, as long as the carseat is able to accommodate her weight Rear facing. I turned mine early, but had I known what I have since learned, they would have stayed rear facing the full two years.

  35. says

    I have zero answers for you because my only experience with children comes from five hellish months of being a nanny.

    Just go with you gut and try not to read TOO much, I think it only confuses things since children so are very different in terms of “normal”. And remember this: you are doing a wonderful job! Just look at her smile. It makes my ovaries hurt. That and her sundresses.
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  36. Vicky says

    Definitely start reading up on potty training. We do EC(elimination communication) with our 14 month old. Basically I hold him over the toilet when I know he has to go.

    We made his crib a toddler bed this month since he can get out of a crib super fast. Scary!

    And definitely keep the car seat rear facing until two. Apparently their spinal cord is a bit shorter when they are young so in an accident the cord can snap more easily.

    So much to think about and worry about! But so much fun.

  37. says

    potty training…I trained both of my girls at 17 months. (besides while sleeping, that took until a little over 2). Our parents generation were all potty trained by 18 months and I don’t believe they were any more capable than our childrens generation. I have also seen horror stories with my friends who missed their “golden window of opportunity” between 18-24 months. I learned in one of my college pre-med classes 18-24 months was the bodys ideal time and they biologically are ready. It was a rough 2-3 weeks when I first started, so don’t get discouraged if she doesn’t pick it up right away but having a 20 month old in underwear is awesome! I don’t miss diapers at all :)
    carseat…we are trying to wait until close to 2. But she still does the sign language telling us she has to potty so we may turn her so we can see her better.
    toddler bed…not until she crawls out!
    Dentist…”they” say 1. I took Cassidy at 1 and it was pointless. I didn’t take my oldest until she was 3 and she was able to sit and actually get a real exam and cleaning.
    Loved reading every one elses answers here!

  38. says

    Oh man you are about to get so many different opinions about all of these.

    You could start your potty training research now but don’t push it. I think it’s one of those things that everyone might get frustrated with and it isn’t worth making everyone upset. I started with mine around 2.5yrs but you could start with her now! She might think it’s fun!

    Three years old for the dentist.

    Leave her in her crib as long as you can haha. Moving to a big bed brings it’s own set of issues. Just remember once you move her to a big bed there isn’t anything keeping her in it……

    The carseat is your decision. I turned my kids forward facing around 18mos.

    You got a lot of great feedback!
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  39. says

    I’m pretty much at the exact same stage as you are with my son Noah. He’s 17 months. I’m thinking about putting off the dentist for a while… first of all these teeth aren’t permanent and I think it will be a traumatic experience for him. Potty training, turning the carseat, and big boy bed I’m waiting a little longer also. Kids grow up so fast anyway, why rush him I figure! Just do what’s best for you and Hailey!
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  40. nichole says

    Hi! I’m a dentist and my recommendation is to being your child in with you to the dentist once they have their first tooth. They may not let the dentist take a look but slowly acclimating them to the dentist is way better than bringing them in at 3 or 4 when they may already have dental needs. Good luck!

  41. says

    Yes, she is growing into a little kid!

    Things have changed since my littles were *that* little. I believe we had already turned the carseat around by the time they were 18 mos. I think I’d wait until the recommended age, unless she didn’t really fit anymore. They are guidelines, and not all children grow at the same rate, so we have to take into account how the carseat and positioning actually fits our own individual child.

    I think you just may want to buy a potty seat and make it available to Hailey. I wouldn’t push it, but if she is becoming aware of her potty needs, she could give that a try.

    We moved #1 out of the crib a few months before #2 came along. We didn’t want her to feel displaced by the baby, so we made the move a bit ahead of time. We moved #2 out when he decided he’d like to climb out of the crib!

    I agree with the comment from Nichole above. Even if Hailey doesn’t officially get an exam from the dentist yet, it would be nice to get her used to the dentist’s office and see how easy it is from mom. :)
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  42. becca says

    We started potty training when the kiddo started waking up dry in the mornings. Started putting her on the potty and reading a book when she got up and then just went from there.

  43. Sarrah says

    Having no kids, and reading these comments, I wanted to summarise everything that’s been said without a biased opinion. Stating that, and actually writing my comment out, made me realise that it’s impossible! I tried not to, but I found myself disagreeing with a lot of the comments on here, and that’s not what parenting is about.

    Please read these comments and realise that every kid is absolutely different, and you should do what your gut tells you, taking these comments as experiences from other parents. Hailey will be grow up to be a lovely young lady one day, so don’t stress about these things too much! :)

    I would add my 2 cents now though… keep her in her crib until she tries to start ‘escaping’. There’s no reason to rush, right?
    I didn’t visit the dentist until my adult teeth started growing in, and it sounds like you know enough about oral health that you don’t need to rush that either. A lot of people said taking her too early was ‘pointless’, but I think it’s a good idea to get them comfortable with the environment. That being said – as long as she has no dental issues, she should also have no negative experiences there, right?
    I have a lot of opinions on the potty training, and they disagree with a lot that’s been said, so I’ll keep my opinion to myself on that one 😉
    Rear-facing seats – as long as she isn’t showing signs of being uncomfortable or angry at being in the car-seat, it’s a safety vs. convenience decision, I think, and I would pick safety first!

  44. says

    Potty training: Riley started showing us signs VERY early, like at 14 months! I talked to our pediatrician and she said to wait until she was 18 months, which we did, and I am so thankful! It went much easier than planned and I was so glad to have a break from diapers before baby #2. One thing in particular I think helped was having little kid pottys for her in each bathroom so she could get familiar with them (we talked about them, but never forced her). Also, we cheered for her like our team had scored a touchdown- she LOVED the praise!

    Dentist: I am with you on this one. I figure that it can wait a bit longer, especially if you’re actively brushing and talking/teaching your child about healthy oral habits. I guess it could be good to introduce your child to the dentist early, but don’t think it should be pushed. If I took Riley and she freaked, i’d just leave and try again later- no need to force it.

    Bed: WAIT!!! There is no need to move onto a toddler bed just yet, especially if she is not trying to climb out of the crib. She’ll be in a big bed the rest of her life, just saying.

    Car seat: Same as above, if she isn’t bothered by it, then no rush. We turned Riley around slightly before the 2 year rec and I wish we had just waited a little longer. She is fine facing forward, but slept better facing backwards while we traveled. I know you guys travel on occasion, so if you have upcoming travel plans i’d say wait until after.

    Hope everyones input helps you make the best decisions for you and your fam!
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