When I planned for what I wanted to write about in this blog, parenting had a definite place on the list. Not as much lectures and do’s and don’ts, but a description and a tale about how I, one mom of many have chosen to raise my kids. I will write about my ideas, dreams and shortcomings. Because as it is today, theory and practice are far apart. I hope you will enjoy it.
Natural parenting, what is it then? First of all, if I understood it, it got many names as all treasured children does: NP, Attachment Parenting, Authenic Parenting…. For me Natural Parenting lies best on my tongue since it gives me the image of a more organic way of raising children. Instead of a thick rule-book you take it as you go along, listen to your childrens needs and tell-signs and basicly “fake it til you make it!
For me NP is:
- Breast-feeding as long as possible There is a reccomendation in Sweden to breastfeed exclusive for at least 6 months if possible. I breastfed my son up til he was 4 yo (although very rarely at that age) and I am planning to aim for the same with my daughter. For me breastfeeding is both very cozy and an amazing bonding-experience, it also a genious package of all the nutrients my child needs!
- Co-sleeping In Sweden co-sleeping with an infant younger than 3 months old is not recommended due to the increased risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) that have vaguely seen. I went against that and co-slept with my baby-daughter from day 1 with heavy precautions to minimize the risk of SIDS. For me the benefits won over the risks: My daugter have slept all night trough since basicly the first week, ensuring that we as parents have been well slept each day too and a happy well-slept baby! And a whole heap of bonding! ❤ Gold! This has been my choices. Each and everyone have to decide for themself if and when they want to co-sleep of course!
- Natural food It is quite simple: To give my children the best possible start in life I want them to eat the best food as possible! In my book that mean good, oldfashioned homemade food without any additatives that you do not know how it will effect the development of the child. Also I have started to phase out all kinds of refined suger (candy and icecream) and gluten (Bread, pasta etc)
- Decrease my ecological footprint This is the area where I am failing the worst. My life is usually so much on over-speed and I am stressing through life without considerations for how much plastics I use and what kind of food I use. In the best of worlds I would love to ´have my own compost, recycle my garbage and most of all: Use cloth-diapers! But atm, where we do not have our own washingmashine I just have to endure the mountain of plastic nappies that is used each month. *Shudder*
- Listening and respond It comes natural to me with my baby-girl, but it is way harder with my 9yo. To really listen to what they have to say and then promptly respond to their needs. As said, easy with daighter who cries for 4 things (Hunger, tired, lonely/bored and pain) which is all very easily fixed. With my son not so much. But here I intend to work harder on Positive Disciplin and hopefully learn more techniques.
- Babywearing This time around I did not even bother to buy a baby stroller. We invested in a baby carrier instead, a Beco Solei. Later this summer I also sew my own woven wrap. Two investments I have never regreted! Instead of having to deal with crying baby in the stroller, separation anxiety, heavy pushing or pulling of a stroller that are too big basicly everywhere I now have the opportunity to snug up with my darling daugter for long periods of time. Getting really close and give her the closeness a small baby so badly needs 24/7 if necessary! Right now I just do front-ties, mainly because my arms are to stiff and short to reach around back. But with practice comes ….. some kind of improvement I hope! 😉
Want to learn more what NP is? Have a read at Attachment Parenting International!