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How your baby's growing
It's a good time to introduce your baby to the concept of helping out. Though she won't be able to get it just yet, by the time she's a toddler she'll be excited to assist in putting toys away and picking up spilled snacks. Emphasize "please" and "thank you," and you'll set the stage for her to repeat these words back to you someday!
- Learn more fascinating facts about your 11-month-old's development.
Your life: Cutting your food bills
Although your grocery bill may be one of your biggest household expenses each month, it's also one of the easiest to trim down. That's because it contains so many variables.
Before you adjust what you buy, think about when you buy. Try going to the supermarket when your partner (or someone else) can watch your baby. Or try shopping for groceries online. Being less distracted and having more time, you'll find it easier to comparison shop and limit hasty purchases or impulse buys.
It's also helpful to look at how you buy. Always remember your discount card (if your store offers one) and a specific shopping list. Keep a running list of foods your family consumes on a regular basis, and stock up when the price is low. Coupons can help cut costs too.
Next, consider changing what you buy. Buy foods in bulk if you consume them often and have storage space. Try alternatives to meat since they generally cost less. Limit premade meals and other convenience foods – cooking from scratch is typically cheaper and isn't necessarily a hassle (especially if you have a slow-cooker).
Finally, look at where you buy. Is your local grocery store the least expensive or merely the most convenient? Now that your family is larger, it may be worth it to shop at a big-box warehouse store – the cost of a membership pays for itself over time. On the opposite end of the spectrum, a small, local farmers' market may have better buys on seasonal produce.
Learn about: Thumb-sucking
Should I worry if my baby sucks his thumb?
No. Thumb-suckers are using a healthy, built-in mechanism to soothe themselves. It's a natural self-comforting inclination that some babies are born with, and it's no cause for worry or alarm.
Does thumb-sucking cause dental problems?
Experts agree that, for babies, this isn't a risk. Some say children can even suck their thumb without affecting their teeth until they're 2 years old, and the American Dental Association claims most can do it safely up to age 4 or 5, when permanent teeth usually start appearing.
Are pacifiers a better choice than thumb-sucking?
Pacifiers are another good way for babies to self-soothe, but they're not necessarily better: Your baby may learn to depend on you to retrieve his pacifier if it drops out of his crib, for instance, and it may become lost or dirty. On the plus side, babies usually outgrow pacifiers well before they pose a risk to dental health. Some babies actually reject the "paci" in favor of the thumb, so if that's the case, you don't have an either-or choice – your baby has made it for you.
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