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Category Archives: Gentle Parenting

Bed-sharing: A New Adventure

Alright, so it’s obviously been a long time since posting…to say the least I haven’t done the best job of keeping up with my blogs lately! I need to work at sticking to my schedule so I can have specific days to blog. Anyway, I thought I’d stop in for a brief thought to ponder until next post.

We have officially decided that we are going to become a co-sleeping or bed-sharing family! We’re pretty excited about this! When the possibility was first brought to our attention it seemed a little weird and we had a lot of research and praying to do about it. We since have done just that and have decided that it is the right thing to do and we really want to do it! One thing that opened our eyes is a book by James McKenna called Sleeping With Your Baby. This guy has done a lot of research and really lays out the benefits of bed-sharing (sharing a bed with your child), or at least co-sleeping (sleeping in the same room as your child)! He really has evidence that it is actually safer than having them sleep off in a different room, which is just the opposite of what many people think. Many think that bed-sharing especially is very dangerous and that there is a risk of smothering their baby (but what about all the babies who have died in cribs). This may be true in some circumstances, that’s why he outlines certain situations in which it shouldn’t be done – such as if a parent is intoxicated, smokes, etc. Given the right circumstance, though, it’s actually safer and has been done for years because it’s human instinct to want to be close to your small children! They are very attached and dependant upon their parents, especially momma, for the first few years of their life, and guess what…that’s okay! That’s normal! I really encourage parents of small children or babies, or even parents-to-be to read this book! Read it with an open mind! That’s what we did. We didn’t go into it trying to convince ourselves this was the way we wanted to go – we read it to get information and to help us decide because we were on the fence at the time. Obviously this Notre Dame professor and director of the University of Notre Dame Mother-baby Behavioral Sleep Laboratory did a very good job of convincing us, because we’ve decided this is the way it should be with us! My husband is even on board and I couldn’t be happier about the decision! We took the step to get a much larger bed –¬†since our toddler or even a baby in our full size bed with us would have been extremely tight – and have let the 2-year-old sleep with us a couple of times now and my hubby is hooked! I, too, love this arrangement and feel it is best for everyone (excited about not having to get up in the middle of the night with the next baby)! Now we just have to figure out how to get him back to sleeping in again. The last couple of mornings have been trying, to say the least! For some reason he’s been waking up much earlier when he’s in our bed! I can see where this can be a beautiful arrangement, but it just needs a little tweaking. ūüôā

Just goes back to the idea of looking at what God intended. Go with your parenting instinct – not what society is telling you that you should do and how you should raise your children.¬†It is said that the¬†only people who don’t sleep with their babies is the majority of the Western culture who has come up with this idea that babies need to become independent at such a young age. There will come a day when they will want their own bed, but until then I’m not going to rush things. It will go way too fast as it is!

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Posted by on June 3, 2011 in Gentle Parenting

 

Confessions

I used to think that attachment parenting was…let’s just say, weird! There are people who sleep with their children in bed with them??? And, what’s the deal with homebirth? I first heard about it when my cousin and his wife had a homebirth. I thought they were crazy! I also used to laugh and make fun of people who read labels all the time! Boy, was I in for a rude awakening!

I thought I’d take some time to confess all of my new beliefs (new, as in the last few years), just so you know where I’m coming from. I am not condemning anyone who doesn’t agree with me, just sharing my convictions with you. Some of these have links to blogs where I wrote about them.

  • I do not take any kind of medication, only natural supplements and herbs. We threw out all medication, including Tylenol and Excedrin. Haven’t had medication in close to two years, and I love it! Our “medicine cabinet” is full of supplements of all kinds!
  • I believe that breastfeeding is the way God intended we feed our children until they are able to eat what we eat. My child has never had a drop of formula, and I wouldn’t want it any other way! I also believe in child-led weaning when they are ready. We have not reached this point yet, so we’ll see if I keep this point of view! Depends on how long he continues. He is almost 21 months old and nursing a few times a day, and sometimes a couple of times at night.
  • I believe the best sleeping arrangement for babies and young children is with their parents – at the very least in the same room. We did not co-sleep with our son (only the first 3 months in the basinet), but we both read this book and are strongly considering it with our next child! (Please note that the book does not advise bed-sharing in some circumstances, but anyone can co-sleep – meaning in the same room)
  • We do not vaccinate our child, and won’t any of our children. We did our research and are convinced that this is what God wants. God created our immune system to fight off diseases and sickness. Each one¬†it comes in contact with strengthens it. You just have to make sure you feed them a nutritious diet and support their immune system with vitamins, echinacea, and minimizing their sugar intake (sugar suppresses your immune system…as do vaccines, actually).
  • We don’t see an MD and my child doesn’t see a pediatrician. We only see a chiropractor who practices kinesiology and natural medicine. My first three posts tell the story of how we found him. We are so happy and he has helped us with so much more than any MD ever did!
  • We do not own a microwave.
  • I don’t own any conventional cleaners, and mostly clean with vinegar and baking soda – they’re much safer, without the toxic chemicals.
  • We use cloth diapers – for the money savings and the environmental benefits. Plus, it’s healthier for my baby.
  • I believe I will strive for homebirth¬†from now on! This is huge for someone who, with my first pregnancy said, “I want my epi!” Research will really change your mind. Read the book, Ina Mays Guide to Childbirth and you never want to give birth in a hospital again! So risky! And people say homebirth is risky? Not to mention it’s totally natural and how it was done for years and years before people started giving birth in hospitals. I’m starting to think that is weird (unless, of course some emergency happens to arise)!
  • I do not believe I will circumcise again if God blesses me with any more boys. Once again, wish I had researched better before deciding to put my son through that!
  • We eat organic when possible (especially the “dirty dozen“), free range eggs, [strive to eat] grass-fed beef, no hormone or antibiotic meet, etc.
  • Will not buy processed meet with nitrates or nitrites in it.
  • Try to stick with Stevia, honey, and pure maple syrup for sweetener, if any at all.
  • I do not buy products with high fructose corn syrup in them.
  • I strive to not buy any GMO¬†product (genetically modified – but much of our corn, soy, wheat, and other ingredients are GMO anymore).
  • I do not believe in “cry it out” for babies! Research shows it is not healthy for babies, and that it affects their trust later in life. I didn’t say that – research and statistics did! I go to my baby when he cries. There is really no reason for a baby to cry unless they are tired or hungry or hurting. I tried CIO a few times and now feel guilty, but we live and learn. I will listen to my mothering instincts from now on.
  • I do not believe God wants us to use birth control, so we don’t…anymore. We are striving to trust God with EVERY area of our lives, and control nothing ourselves! Such a freeing way to live! ūüôā
  • *** My child will not drink cow’s milk when he is weaned…I don’t see the point. Cow’s milk is for baby cows like human milk is for human babies. Our doc¬†is very supportive and says people don’t need milk like we are told we do. Dairy actually causes congestion and many are allergic or have an intolerance to it. Worried about calcium intake? There are many foods that are great sources of calcium¬†such as¬†broccoli and other leafy greens. I used to drink it, but don’t anymore. Most of it isn’t even safe anymore, anyway with all the hormones and antibiotics the cows are given. Plus, the pasteurization and homogenization it goes through these days make it even less healthy. Research it! (see update at the end of post)
  • I hope to homeschool. I believe in many cases this is the best situation of learning for them.
  • I don’t use shampoo. I learned that most shampoos have toxic ingredients, unless you pay the big bucks for natural/organic brands. Baking soda and apple cider vinegar are all we use anymore, and we use liquid castile soap on our toddler! I also don’t use any¬†very many commercial personal care products. Baking soda and vinegar for hair, liquid castile soap for my body, Trader Joe’s brand toothpaste (or make my own), Tom’s deodorant (or make my own), coconut oil for “lotion”, and on rare occasions some tinted moisturizer (this is my only product that isn’t “safe”, which is why I hardly ever use it!).
  • We live for God, and God alone and pray for guidance from Him every day! We live by His standard with the help of the Holy Spirit and strive to do anything and everything He asks us. We sacrifice our money to give to the poor and other worthy causes because we feel that’s what God wants us to do! It’s not whether you go to church and dress a certain way that matters – it’s whether you have a relationship with Christ. I believe anyone who doesn’t have that relationship is not only missing out on the best life possible, but will also miss out on Heaven and will be absent from God’s presence for eternity. (This, by the way is not new in the last few years – I have always believed this.)

I realize that we aren’t “normal” by our society’s standards. That’s okay. We don’t really strive to be normal. We strive to live in a way we feel God wants us to live in¬†every area of our lives! So, if you’re still with me after reading this…if you’re still willing to follow my journey, I’ll see ya at my next post! ūüôā

 

***Update: After more research and learning, we have somewhat altered our belief on cow’s milk. Pasteurized cow milk, like you see in the stores, is NOT healthy and our bodies do not know how to digest it and we will not drink it. HOWEVER, raw cow milk (or even goat milk) is very healthy and FULL of nourishment! We love the taste of it, and are glad to have real milk back in our lives! This graphic was very eye-opening!

 

Why We Use Cloth

I love cloth diapers for many reasons! I’ll mention them all here, but the initial reason we decided on cloth instead of¬†our society’s norm, disposable, was cost. We are a one income family since I stay home to be a mom, and can’t afford the costly budget of constantly buying diapers. Yes, cloth may be quite a chunk of change up¬†front, but after that you don’t have to buy anything else for diapering that child…and quite possibly other siblings to follow! It really works out way cheaper in the long run – especially if you have an efficient washer and dryer! We even use cloth wipes, so we don’t have to buy near as many wipes as the typical family of a child in diapers usually does.

Now, when I say cloth diapers some of you are cringing because you are thinking of the hassle of the old fashioned diapers that people use as burp cloths now. You’re thinking I have to fold it, pin it, and put rubber pants over it. Ha! That is the type of diaper I wore when I was a baby…but not what my child wears! They are so much more user friendly! We use the Bum Genius One Size diapers, and LOVE them! They come in different colors and even patterns! They work just like disposables, but you reuse them! Easy as can be!

Of course, there is the green reason – it’s much healthier for our planet! All those disposables that are being used by millions of people everyday are piling up in a landfill. They will continue to pile up over the years. Diapers that parents used 30 years ago are still sitting in a landfill today. In fact, the very first ever disposable diaper is most likely still out there somewhere! Crazy, if you think about it, how many disposable diapers must just be laying around making our earth more and more unhealthy. Cloth is a definite anwer to that crisis, as they get reused – not thrown away!

One more reason to use cloth is for health reasons. Did you know that disposable diapers are harmful to your baby’s health? Most people don’t know that. They are harmful in many many ways! From harmful chemicals linked to all types of health problems, to male infertility, and more – it’s all found in this article. It’s a short article I would suggest reading if you or someone you know uses disposables!

So, to wrap it up I must ask…it’s cheaper, and healthier for your child and our planet…why would you not?

 
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Posted by on January 18, 2011 in Gentle Parenting, Health

 

Consulting Adam and Eve

My hubby and I have adopted a new way of looking at things. We ask ourselves, “what did Adam and Eve do?”. We figure that is the best¬†way to decipher what would be the most natural way of approaching just about any situation, since they only had the basics and their gut instinct! Man hadn’t populated the world yet and come up with¬†their own¬†ideas and toxic ways of approaching sickness or parenting…or anything, for that matter! Did they have doctors in the early years of the world? Of course! But you can bet the doctors back then didn’t give them the toxic medications that are so often consumed today! They used what they had to work with – herbs, plants, fresh organic produce, etc. God obviously provided all these things not only for our nutrition, but to have medicinal properties that aid in healing various ailments and sickness.

So, when situations come up and we wonder how we should approach it, we look at how things were when God created the world since that was how he intended it to be. Did Eve have an epidural? Was her labor induced? Did Eve use formula? Did Adam pop an aspirin every time he¬†had a headache? Did they place their baby in a separate room and let him cry himself to sleep? Did they vaccinate their children? Did they consume processed foods full of pesticides to nourish their bodies? Did Adam treat their lawn every spring with chemical weed killer? Did they cook their food in a microwave? Did they use soaps, shampoos, hairsprays, deodorants and other products daily that contained toxic chemicals? These are the types of questions we ask ourselves in our daily lives. What are the answers? No, no, and no to all! They had only pure, natural, unadulterated ingredients to work with, and they just listened to their natural instincts – not society (as there was no society yet…ha!). We may not be able to do everything now like they did, but it’s a principle thing.

I want to get back to the basics. I want us to try to approach our lives more like Adam and Eve did. The natural way. The healthy way. The way God created it.