Pacifiers and Teethers: What’s Best for Your Baby
Pacifiers and Teethers: What’s Best for Baby

As a parent, your baby’s comfort is a main priority. You search for solutions to keep him or her relaxed and happy. To help soothe fussy babies, many caretakers turn to pacifiers or teethers. Nowadays, there seems to be an endless array of pacifier and teether “do’s and don’ts.”

 This week’s Tip Tuesday comes from pediatric dentist Dr. John Davis, who offers his top tips and guidelines for navigating your baby’s pacifier and teether use.

Why use pacifiers and teethers in the first place?

  • Babies enjoy using teethers and pacifiers because of their sucking reflex.
  • These sucking reflexes develop at the 32nd week of pregnancy and fully develop in the 36th week. Sometimes, you can even see babies in the womb sucking their thumbs in an ultrasound.

Are pacifiers beneficial to my baby?

  • When babies suck or chew on something, like a pacifier or teether, the pressure provides relief from the discomfort of new teeth forming.
  • The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) suggests waiting to introduce a pacifier to breastfed infants until after 1 month of age to help curtail nipple confusion.
  • The AAP also recommends using a pacifier with infants as a way to reduce the risk of SIDS.
  • Pacifiers also help develop swallowing muscle memory that can help babies become better swallowers.DB Baby with Teether

Which pacifier is best?

  • Size and design are both factors to consider when buying a pacifier for your baby.
    • Pacifier size should be based on the child’s age; most pacifiers indicate this age range on the packaging.
    • Pacifiers with a thin pacifier stem are less intrusive to a baby’s developing teeth.
      • I worked with Dr. Brown’s to develop the PreVent pacifier, which works to minimize the pressure inside baby’s mouth that can sometimes create dental issues such as cross bites. The suction-free air channel also helps reduce suction and palatal pressure to ensure comfort for baby.

How should I care for my baby’s pacifiers?

  • If you start to see any wear on your pacifiers, especially in the stem, throw out the pacifier to prevent any choking hazard.
  • Don’t use the same pacifier every day. Wash it in the sink or put in the dishwasher to kill germs after each day of use.

 Which teether should I buy?

  • Your child’s teethers should be the right size to reach all areas of discomfort for your child.
  • A lot of teethers are too big to reach the two-year molars, which bother babies the most.
  • Brown’s Teethers are designed to reach all areas of the mouth, even the far back molars and gums, without becoming a choking hazard. 

If you have any questions about pacifiers or teethers for your baby, contact your child’s pediatric dentist.

About Dr. John Davis

Dr. John Davis is a certified pediatric dentist and a member of the American Dental Association and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. He is the inventor of Dr. Brown’s PreVent Pacifiers and holds several patents for various devices. For the past 26 years, Dr. Davis has practiced privately in Virginia, where he lives with his wife and two daughters.  

About Handi-Craft® Company

The Dr. Brown’s lines of baby bottles, breastfeeding products, pacifiers, teethers, training cups, and solid feeding products are regarded for their technology and function. Dr. Brown’s products are available at baby specialty, pharmacy, and online retailers worldwide. For more information, visit

Happy 6th Birthday, Xander

Dear Xander,

I can hardly believe you are six now. It feels like just last year we were meeting you for the very first time. It’s been a fun six years. I love watching you grow, learn and play.  Just look at how much you have grown!

The family
Xander birth

Five had been a very exciting and busy year for you. Last spring you played your second season of teeball for the Pirates. From the beginning of the season until the end, you worked hard and your swing improved a lot. Summer brought lots of fun adventures including a trip to Cape May, several trips to museums in the DC area, and your first Ferris Wheel ride.
tee ball

Before I knew it, the summer ended and you started Kindergarten at the same school I work at.  I love seeing your smiling face in the hallways at school. I am in awe of how much you continue to learn during your Kindergarten year. You now can write your first name and are working on learning your last name. You know about 30 sight words and are reading sentences. Yes, reading!!!  I love your passion for learning and hope this continues through your years of school.  


This year you also joined a Taekwondo school and started hockey lessons. In Taekwondo, you fearlessly competed in your first tournament. While in hockey, you always have a smile on your face on the ice. When practice is over you are excited to share your sweat with us. Catch the Moment 38-365

Xander, you are a caring, energetic, smart, and talented little boy. I love being your mommy and watching you grow.Xander is six

Xander is six-4

I will always be here for you no matter how big you are. Each and every birthday we celebrate makes me sad and happy. Sad that you are growing up, but happy to watch you grow, learn, and love. I love you more than words can ever show.



6 Tips for Picky Eaters

Welcome to the very first Tip Tuesday: Speech, Language and Feeding Development.  I am excited about this series.  If you have been following this blog for a while, you may remember I had a weekly series on the blog about speech and language development that ran for over a year.  From feeding problems to speech sound concerns, there is a wealth of information so feel free to look back at past blog posts.  My goal is to get these Tip Tuesday posts out every other week.  Please reach out to me on Facebook if you have a question or topic idea.  I would love to hear from you!  Today’s post is a guest post by Julia Singer Katz MSS, LSW Supervisor, Clinical Program Development at Kutest Kids Early Intervention Agency.  Learn 6 easy ways to help your picky eaters expand the foods they eat.

One of the best ways to avoid picky eating, we’ve discovered here at Kutest Kids EI therapy center, is to encourage your child to try new foods from the time they move on to solid foods. Even with this technique, some children aren’t adventurous at the dinner table. Instead of turning it into a family battle, try some new, fun techniques to help your picky eater select healthier foods.

Get Your Child Involved

Kids love helping mom or dad in the kitchen, and it’s a great way to encourage your child to try new foods. A child that feels pride and ownership over preparing the food is more likely to try a new item. Encourage taste-testing during the food preparation stage where appropriate. You may discover that your child “hates” steamed broccoli, but loves it raw.

Make It a Game

A guessing game, that is. Kids often turn against foods because it looks “yucky,” not because they are actually opposed to the flavor. Try a blind taste test with different foods, and keep it fun! As your child tries each food, have them determine whether they like it or not. If they don’t, find out why. You may discover a pattern, such as a child that doesn’t like the texture of crunchy or mushy foods. This can help you develop preparation methods that make the food more palatable.

Pratice Patience

Becoming an adventurous eater is a time-consuming habit to learn for some children, but don’t give up. Taste preferences change and grow with your child if you are patient enough to keep trying. Encourage your child to try one bite of each item being served, even if it’s a food they don’t like. Giving up can result in your child sticking to a very limited, and often unhealthy, diet.

Limit Temptations

Keeping too much junk food on hand and easily accessible is too much temptation for kids – and many adults, too. If you do buy treats, keep them out of sight and only bring them out occasionally as a treat. Limit the presence of less-than-healthy side items on the dinner table, as well. For example, if you’re serving chips with lunch, skip the bag or big bowl. Place a small serving on each plate, and then put the bag away. When they’re gone, they’re gone, so your child won’t be tempted to skip the healthy items to fill up on chips.

Keep It Colorful

Colorful meals are more appealing than bland or monotonous looking plates. The more colors on the plate, the more nutrients, in many cases. Make a game out of eating the colors. You can challenge your child to eat as many colors as possible, or you can call out a certain color and challenge your child to eat it.

Follow the Appetite Cues

Clean your plate rules can backfire and encourage over-eating. Instead, respect your child’s appetite. Encourage them to try a bit of everything, but don’t force them to eat once they say they are full. Instead, enforce a no snacks before a meal rule. This way, you know that if they aren’t hungry it isn’t because they filled up on junk. You can also limit snacks after dinner to only healthy items – not treats or junk food.

Like most parenting difficulties, this too will pass. Avoid fighting over food and instead be encouraging and act as a positive role model to help your child overcome their pickiness.

Kutest Kids Image

Julia Singer Katz MSS, LSW Supervisor, Clinical Program Development at Kutest Kids Early Intervention Agency, an all-inclusive therapy center in Philadelphia, PA. She’s very passionate about helping each child reach his/her fullest potential and making a difference in the community. For more information on this topic or to reach out to Julia please visit Early Intervention PA.

Share the Love $150.00 Giveaway

Stavish Stills Photography Northern Virginia Family Photographer-8*Dusts off blog*

It’s been over a week since my last post, which is not like me at all. I’d like to say it’s been a relaxing, computer free week, but that would be a lie. Life is crazy busy right now. I just started working a second job (well third or fourth, but who is counting) two nights a week. Plus things at my school job have been super hectic. I have blog post ideas going through my head all the time, but when it comes down to where to divide my time at night it has been going to the photography business. I am okay with that! This week I will be in full on party planning mode for Xander’s Lego movie party, so if you have any ideas I would love to hear them. I am planning to post a couple of times this week here so stay tuned.

In the meantime, some of my favorite bloggers and I have come together for a share the love giveaway! $75 for you and $75 for someone you love! Isn’t that exciting? You can pick whoever you want to receive the other $75, mom, dad, brother, sister, friend, etc!

Good luck!!

Share the Love Giveaway

Share the Love Giveaway

Prize: $75 PayPal cash for you and $75 PayPal cash for someone you love

Co-hosts: Sarah Halstead, Crosbie Crew, A Grande Life, Our Holly Days, Behind the Camera & Dreaming, Alyson M, Little Us, Just Julie Ann, Fresh Mommy Blog, Kendall Rayburn, A Sorta Fairytale, 2 Paws Designs, Simple Stavish, and Faithfully Free.

Rules: Use the form to enter daily. Giveaway ends 2/14 and is open worldwide. Winner will be notified via email.

Share the Love Giveaway $75 for you & $75 for a friend

4 Ways Nursery Rhymes Promote Toddler & Preschool Development

developmentThis post is sponsored by Nursery Rhymes TV.  As always all thoughts and opinions are my own.  

As a school Speech-Language Pathologist, I’m always on the hunt for fun and creative ways to engage my students in language learning.  My pre-school students have a wide variety of skills.  From language delays to severe apraxia, it can be challenging to find an activity that everyone enjoys and participates in.  When I’m having a creative block or just need a quick five minute transitional activity, I use nursery rhymes.  

Over the years I have created finger puppets, felt boards, and manipulatives for my students to role play nursery rhymes.  They love this type of multi-sensory play and learning.  

In a time period of IPad apps, over scheduled activities, and dual working parent families, I find that many children are not exposed to nursery rhymes outside of the classroom setting.   Here are a few of the many benefits of nursery rhymes.   

1.  Language Development- 

Nursery rhymes are a wonderful way for children to be exposed to the interaction of sounds, including rhyming and blending.  Nursery rhymes also help children hear pitch, volume and vocal inflection.  My favorite part about teach children nursery rhymes is the new vocabulary words they are exposed to.  

2.  Physical Development-

When children recite nursery rhymes they are practicing the way certain sounds are made, which is called oral motor development.  Nursery rhymes that involve body movement such as “I’m a Little Teapot”, help develop gross motor (large muscle) skills.  

3.  Cognitive Development-

Nursery rhymes are one of the first ways children begin to develop memorization and recall skills.  They also teach children about math concepts, including size, weight, and numbers.  These basic math foundations are necessary as they head into Kindergarten.  

4.  Social-Emotional Development-

Parents and educators can strengthen a bond with a child through a shared interest.  Nursery rhymes encourage positive physical touch including clapping.  This skill is vital for developing appropriate physical skills.  Nursery rhymes also help children develop their sense of emotions and empathy, as a child identifies with characters in the rhymes.  

One of my very favorite nursery rhyme resources is Nursery Rhymes TV.   This adorable YouTube channel has many, many animation and song nursery rhyme videos for toddlers and preschoolers. The songs are catchy and the animation is very colorful.  

I use Nursery Rhymes TV as a free choice activity at the end of my therapy sessions, as a reward for hard work. All my preschool students just love it!

Stay tuned for more speech and language development posts.  After a year break in this series I have decided to bring this series back.  I would love to hear suggestions or questions you may have about your child’s speech, language, voice or feeding development.  You can reach me on Facebook. Please check out my archived speech and language topics.