Parenting in KFL&A
Smiling baby with finger in mouth and teeth showing.
This month we’ll be talking about teeth, growth spurts, and parenting!
Appointment alert!
Does your little one still have a gummy smile, or a mouth full of chompers? Health Canada recommends that baby’s first dental visit should be at one year of age or when the first tooth appears.
Baby in high chair holding a spoon and reaching for food.
Growth spurts
Children go through lots of growth spurts. Some days they may eat a lot, and other days they eat less. This is normal. Continue to let your child decide how much to eat of the food you serve. This helps them to recognize and respond to their own hunger and fullness cues.
Baby snuggling into adult shoulder.
Parenting can be stressful. Research shows that punishments like slapping, spanking or shaming do not work, and they harm your child.

Babies don’t do things to make their parents mad. They do them because they are still learning. Babies can’t understand or remember rules yet. Here are some things you can do to help your baby learn:
  • When your baby is doing something you don’t want them to do, show them something to do instead (e.g., if your baby is playing with the remote control, give them a toy and move the remote).
  • Give your baby choices whenever possible (e.g., would you like the red cup or the blue cup?)
  • Help your baby see how to fix mistakes. Children need to learn that they can make things better (e.g., “Oh – the juice spilled! Let’s clean it up together”).
  • Show your baby you love them, no matter what.
Children See, Children Learn is a Canadian website that shows these ideas and more at work!
Children See Children Learn
Adult with eyes closed.
Coping with stress
Your baby is learning from you all the time. One of the biggest things your baby will learn is how you cope with stress. We are all mad, sad, or frustrated at some time!

In those moments, try these techniques:
  • take 3 slow, deep breaths. In through your nose and out through your mouth.
  • slowly count to 10 in your head.
  • repeat a phrase that calms you, like “this too shall pass” or “I can handle this”.
Tell your child about your feelings – even negative ones- and how you are working through them. Here are some examples:

“I’m feeling upset because I can’t find my keys and we are going to be late. I’m taking some deep breaths to calm down, so I can try to remember where I put them.”

“I’m feeling sad because I had a hard day at work. I’m going to call Aunt Sue and chat with her for a few minutes. That always makes me feel better. I’ll be okay soon.”

This teaches your child how to cope when they are having hard days.
Baby smiling with two teeth showing.
Healthy Smiles Ontario
Your baby may be eligible for free dental care through Healthy Smiles Ontario.

Dental hygiene clinics
A free program for children 0 to 17 years of age. A dental hygienist will check your child’s teeth, and give you tips and tricks to keep those tiny teeth healthy! These clinics take place in Kingston, Napanee, Sharbot Lake, and Cloyne. Check the schedule on the webpage!
Dental Hygiene Clinics
Have a great month, and we'll talk to you again when your baby turns one!
KFL&A Public Health, 221 Portsmouth Avenue, Kingston, Ontario K7M 1V5