Brush Book Bed program for children


"Brush, Book, Bed" is a program of the American Academy of Pediatrics to help parents develop healthy night time routines for their children. It is intended for children 6 months to 6 years in age. It was produced based on the experiences of pediatric and family medicine practice physicians.

Start your routine every night at the same time, 30 minutes before bed time so that you have enough time to brush teeth, read together, and go to sleep. For tips on what should be included in this routine, visit / BrushBookBed..

BRUSH: Each night help your children brush their teeth.

  • From birth, use a soft washcloth to wipe your baby's gums after feedings and don't put baby in bed with a bottle of milk or juice. Avoid sharing items with your baby that have been in your own mouth. Once moving onto solids, choose foods that are less likely to cause cavityies, limit sugary and sticky foods.
  • Under age 3: As soon as you can see teeth, you can start to brush. Brush two times a day with a smear (size of a grain of rice) of fluoride toothpaste.
  • Ages 3-6: Brush two times a day with a pea-sezed amount of fluoride toothpaste. It's okay to let your child practice brushing, but they need your help to do the best job. Put the right amount of toothpaste on the brush for them and brush their teeth, being sure you reach all sides and their tongue. It's also okay to let them practice on their own. Once teeth touch, they should be flossed.
  • Always limit sugary foods and drinks to only at mealtimes. Limit juice to one glass a day and only 100% juice for children over age one. Between meals, encourage them to drink only water. Fluoridated water is best. Start going to the dentist by age one and go two times a year going forward.

BOOK: After you have brushed your children's teeth, it's time to read!

  • Children love to hear your voice so sing, talk, and read aloud as much as possible.
  • Name and point to pictures in books. As they get older (12-18 months), ask them questions as you read a book, "Where's the puppy?" or "What color is the ball?"
  • Act out the story or pictures with your face, hands and voice.
  • Babies love sturdy books with pictures and rhymes. It's okay if they chew the book. It is how babies explore the world around them.
  • Let your child pick out a book or two to read. This encourages healthy independence.
  • Read stories every day but let your child decide how long you read.

BED: After brushing teeth and reading together, it is time to go to bed.

  • Make daytime playtime. Talking and playing with your children during the day will help them sleep for longer periods during the night.
  • Put your children to bed when drowsy, but awake. This teaches them to fall asleep on their own from being awake.
  • Babies should sleep on their backs without pillows, blankets, or stuffed animals in the crib. Babies should not share a sleep surface with a parent. The safet place them them is in a crib in a parent's room.
  • When your baby fusses during the night, wait a few minutes. See if she can fall asleep on her own, if not, check on her.
  • Keep your baby calm and quiet during night time feedings and changings.
  • When your child awakes in the night, first place a stuffed animal or blanket in his bed to help him learn how to console himself. Before age one, stuffed animals and blankets should not be placed in the baby's bed.

Morongo Basin Healthcare District seeks to improve the health and wellness of Basin residents through making healthcare more accessible and through education opportunities such as this national program from the American Academy of Pediatrics.


The Morongo Basin Community Health Center provides the following care at locations in 29 Palms and Yucca Valley. To make an appointment, call 760-365-9305