Disclaimer: I am by no means qualified to preach about perfect parenting, but I'm trying and I'm learning as I go. It's hard, probably one of the hardest jobs I've ever had, and I'd love for you to learn right alongside me. I've taken the info for this blog post from the Attachment Parenting International website to best explain parenting in a natural and positive light.
If you've hung around here long enough or know me in real life, you know I'm a huge advocate for biologically normal infant sleep and very anti-sleep training in the traditional sense. I find that most people who classify themselves as natural parenting practicing parents fall into the same mindset. It's back to basics and back to instincts - and instincts tell you to pick up a crying child, not leave them crying for hours alone in a dark room!
I started my eco-friendly journey back when I was working for Whole Foods Market even before I was a parent, but that's not the case for everyone. It was a slow process for me, and it's totally ok if it is for you too!
From the moment baby is born, you make decisions about how they will eat. Fast forward a few months, you'll be making even bigger decisions about when and how to start solids. To quote Attachment Parenting International, "feeding a child involves more than providing nutrients; it is an act of love." Unfortunately, there's a lot of heated discussion surrounding how people feed their babies, so let's take an unbiased, non-judgemental look at feeding baby from breastfeeding, formula feeding, to starting solids.
The next topic covered in our Natural Parenting Series is postpartum planning which is oftentimes overlooked and not planned for at all. However, it's just as important as a birth plan and whether you consider yourself a natural parent or not, it should be on your prenatal to-do list.
There are many ways to birth - many choices to make and potentially many topics to learn about that you may never have heard of before becoming pregnant. The pregnant woman with an OBGYN who is birthing at a hospital without a doula or anyone to guide her may have a totally different experience than a pregnant woman who is guided through the various decisions she has the right to make.
Breastfeeding - noun - the action of feeding a baby with milk from the breast.
Co-sleeping - noun - the practice of parents and young children sleeping in the same bed.
Combine the two and you get breastsleeping!
Nope, I'm not talking about pounds. I'm talking about physical activity for mental health. Losing the depressed mood. I know, I know, you've heard it a million and one times before and, if you're anything like me, you are sick and tired of it. How on earth can you squeeze in a workout (that you don't even like doing, by the way) when you barely even have time to keep the house clean and run kids 300 different places? Stick with me and maybe I can offer something you haven't heard before.
Ok, so it's pretty common knowledge that we need to change our Standard American Diet (it's appropriately abbreviated SAD) for many reasons, but sleep issues could be one of the most important. Adding more fruits and vegetables could be one answer.
"Baby must go down drowsy but awake!" "Don't bedshare!" "Cosleeping gets Mom the most rest!" "Nursing to sleep helps comfort and soothe." "They'll never learn to 'self soothe' if they don't cry." This is enough to leave your head spinning@ . Pregnant and new families have enough to worry about - sleep should not be one of those things!
Allesanda received her Bachelors in Behavioral Science from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette in December 2013. She now lives in North Texas with her husband and three children. As a maternal support practitioner and educator of family sleep and eco-friendly living, she blogs about family sleep, wellness, nutrition, pregnancy, birth, postpartum, holistic health, and parenting.