Why We Do the Things We Do...

I firmly believe that once you have children everyone else forgets the filter for their brain/mouth... seriously. You'd be amazed at the questions and comments you receive when someone doesn't understand or believe in a decision or life choice you have made for your child. Not only in your day to day face to face life but even in your virtual online communities! It's insane! We are a breastfeeding, babywearing, cloth diapering, co-sleeping, baby-led weaning family... and for a lot of people some of those life choices are hard to understand. I've had comments about all of these so I'm going to explain these and some other choices as well.

Breastfeeding: I remember my mother breastfeeding my baby brother, I remember mom's nursing their babies in the nursery at church, I remember mom's breastfeeding their children at camp when I worked there... it's always been a part of my life. A small part, but it was always there... it never felt weird, it never made me feel uncomfortable, it never made me think twice about nursing my own children. I don't think formula is a bad choice, I DO think it should be the last resort, I DO think it stinks (especially when it is projectile vomited onto you... thanks Jonathan! lol), I also think some mothers use it as the easy way out. Just TRY breastfeeding, there's no harm in trying! If it makes you uncomfortable, then OK... switch to formula. If after trying everything and you don't produce enough... then OK, switch to formula. But you'll never know what it could be like if you never try! I cannot describe the joy I feel when I nurse my daughter, it's comfort, nourishment, and love to her. She drifts off to sleep nursing, she smiles when nursing, she finds comfort in nursing... why would I not want to do that for her as her mother? Another thing with breastfeeding is extended breastfeeding. A lot of people think it's gross, they find it unnatural to nurse your child for more than 6 months or a year. It's a shame that people in our society feel this way when in other parts of this world and "way back when" it was completely natural for a child to nurse til 3, 4, or even 5 years of age. I don't plan on weaning Boogie, I do plan on encouraging her to find comfort elsewhere when she hits 18 months. I have no problem nursing her until she is 2 or maybe 3... I would prefer not to because most likely I will be pregnant at some point in that time frame and I just can't fathom being as sick as I was before and nursing at the same time. I don't plan on letting her nurse whenever she wants if we reach that age, maybe before bed, maybe when she's sick, maybe when she falls down... it will be comfort above all else. And I have no shame or fear in sharing this picture of Boogie nursing. I just wish more people would stop looking at is as something sexual or gross and as a way of nourishing my child.

Babywearing:  I get almost as many comments about babywearing as I do about nursing... just in different ways. I've heard everything from "she's gonna fall out!" "she's not safe!" "are you crazy?!?!" and more! I wear my daughter because it's easy, because it's comfortable, because she likes it, because it's safe, because it keeps her close to my heart at all times. I don't have to worry about keeping the stroller in my car or lugging it around. All I need is my wrap and Boogie and I'm good to go. I can wear her on my back, against my chest, or even on my hip. She never fusses unless she's fighting sleep, and usually that only lasts for a few minutes until she's napping on me. If she becomes overstimulated in a store or at an event, all she has to do is put her face against me and rest. When she grows tired she can lean against me and close her eyes and sleep. If she wants to see the world she can hold herself up and look around and people watch... all of these things she can do while being worn. I know she is secure. I know she is safe. I know she is happy and content and that as long as she is near me and I'm near her... all is right with the world. There are bad and wrong ways to babywear though... never forward face your child, never buy a crotch dangler, never wear your child on your back in a stretchy wrap... do your research, read carefully, and educate yourself on proper babywearing!

Cloth diapering: You even mention the words cloth diaper and people give you the "ew, gross" look. ::sigh:: It's really not ANY grosser than a disposable diaper. Sometimes I think sposies are more gross! So why do we cloth diaper? Main reason? They're so stinking cute. Yea, seriously. Second reason, and the reason that swayed my hubby? Money. I have spent a total of about $600 on diapers... how much do you think 2 years of disposables would have cost us? A heck of a lot more than that! I wash diapers every other day or every 3 days depending on our schedule, poopy diapers are rinsed with the pull down shower head and sometimes with my hands (yea... and that's why we have soap and water and antibacterial gel to wash our hands.. it's really OK), and Boogie's booty stays super cute in her cloth. We have used sposies a few times, in the beginning because she was so tiny she didn't fit in any of her dipes... she started out in preemie disposables! She got a rash her first week of life in disposables! We used disposables again just before our vacation so that I could get all her diapers washed and so we wouldn't have any dirty diapers when we got there.... she got a rash then too. Well guess what... no rashes in cloth with the exception of one tiny little red spot on her bum when she pooped. And with a little bit of CJ's Butter it was gone over night. We love cloth diapers. Period. It's just a way of life now.

Co-sleeping: This one is pretty controversial... and to be honest, before I got pregnant and WHILE I was pregnant I was dead set against co-sleeping. It terrified me... I heard horror stories about it. There are safe ways to co-sleep, you just have to be smart about it and be aware of your child. The only way Boogie sleeps through the night is beside me (with the exception of the past few nights unfortunately... we are either dealing with teething or a mega growth spurt at the moment). She cuddles up next to me, periodically nurses or reaches out to me, and she is content. She wakes up every morning around 8 am, reaches out to me, plays with my lips until I wake up, smiles, and then nurses herself back to sleep. It's blissful... and then we both sleep until 10 or 11am. She never wakes up upset, she never wakes up crying for me... because I'm there. There are always smiles, coos, and laughter... and the occasional yucky diaper. That part isn't so fun I'll admit, LOL! I don't want to co-sleep forever, I do want my bed back someday... but for now I'm happy with it, J's happy with it... and Boogie is all for it as well. And believe me when I say that co-sleeping does NOT affect your intimate moments with your hubby... being parents is to blame for that ;-)

Baby-Led Weaning: The concept of BLW is that your baby learns to chew, maneuver his/her tongue, use their hands and fingers to grab, and all the wonderful tastes and textures of food. Boogie gets large sticks and chunks of food instead of pureeds, she LOVES it. So far we have tried sweet potato sticks, zucchini sticks, squash sticks, sliced apples, banana, avocado, yogurt pops, toast, carrots, green beans, peas, broccoli, wagon wheels, mango, nectarine, and plums. She has "choked" once, however I wouldn't really consider it choking because she was technically just gagging everything... however I helped her vomit to get it out. That's how they learn though... she's learning what to do with those big bites, she's learning how to chew her foods, she's learning how to hold her food.... it's a little scary for my hubby, but he's learning too. It's incredibly messy and incredibly fun... and I'm hoping that my little girl will turn into a non-picky eater as she grows!

Amber Teething Necklaces: Ugh... this is one that gets bashed a LOT on my birth board, so annoying. A lot of people consider this pseudoscience... and while they are kind of right, it doesn't mean that these don't work. If you had seen my child this past week without her necklace you would believe me when I say that these necklaces do in fact work. Now, I will say that while amber teething necklaces do work, I want to also say that they are NOT a cure all. There is still some pain when your child is teething, they will still have drool... BUT it takes a great deal of that pain and drooling away. Last week Boogie was a drooling, screaming, crying mess. This week, with her necklace, she is back to her normal self. I have every confidence in supporting these necklaces... they work.

So... there you have it. Don't like it? Oh well... Boogie's not your daughter! Want more info? Email me :)


Julie Meadows said...

Great post, while we don't do everything that you do we do use both cloth and disposable diapers and I'm looking forward to BLW this time around. I did the usual rice ceral, puree food, then solid route with Zoe and wish I had tried something else. she is now a very picky eater who I have many fights with at meal time. I also look back and see how much she wasn't ready for foods of any sorts at 4 months like was suggested to us. We are absolutley trying a different apporach with Jack.

SondraMama said...

Stopping by from a Monday Hop! I am your newest follower =] Please stop by my blog and follow back =] Thank you and have a nice week!
- Cassondra / Mama's Passions

Ashley T said...

So flippin cute! Love your post.. I'm a cloth diapering, baby wearing, (former) breastfeeding momma myself :)
Following from the Mom Blog Monday hop!

Good Girl Gone Green said...

I do all those things and love it! The nursing picture of your daughter is beautiful! Love it! Keep doing what you are doing mama! You have to do what you think is best for you and your family! Happy Monday!