First thing’s first: Last Saturday, February 2nd, at 11:58 AM, Mark and Michelle welcomed their new bundles of joy, Avery 6 lbs 8 oz and 19 inches, and Audrey, 5 lbs 8 oz and 19 inches. The family is doing wonderfully and resting up.
And what better time than now for me to wave my crunchy mom freak flag and spend some time talking about alternative approaches to parenting from a paleo mom point of view. I’m in no way saying other philosophies are wrong. There are many ways to parent and most every way is “correct” if it works for your family. These are just some concepts that are not as accesible in the mainstream media so I’m posting a few resources for each. Keep in mind there are many nuances to each of these concepts and it doesn’t require an all or nothing approach. These are just options for you to research and decide for yourself.
-Co Sleeping: There are varying degrees of co-sleeping from bassinet in the parents’ room, to a side-carred crib, a co-sleeper, and finally bed sharing. This is a somewhat controversial topic, so I’ll leave you with personal anecdote instead (and just because it works for us doesn’t mean it works for everyone).
I couldn’t name a single mammal baby that would prefer to sleep in a separate room/cave/dwelling from its parents and feel safe and secure. So, from the minute Cade was born every instinct in my body told me to have him sleep in our bed. I am naturally a light sleeper and we adhered to every safety precaution with pillows, blankets, and even purposefully bought a really low bed. Cade used to (and sometimes still does) wake up 3 times a night to nurse. I could easily lay there and nurse him as we both half dozed. Because I was there to recognize signs of hunger well before he escalated to crying, it was easy for us to lull him right back to sleep.
Here is a resource for more info.
-Breastfeeding: As paleo as it gets. Mom eats good food. Mom makes good food for baby. Somewhere in the earlier part of last century, formula companies made a killing by telling moms they make inferior milk compared to the chemically produced stuff. Sadly less and less moms nursed their babies fearing they would sabotage their babies’ growth and development. Fortunately the pendulum has begun to swing back, but there lingers a taboo associated with reserving a boob for a child versus the father that enjoyed the boob in a different context.
Stacy from Paleo Parents wrote a very thorough non-judgmental article about the benefits of breastfeeding and links to great resources at the end.
-Babywearing: Wearing your baby in a ergonomic carrier can be liberating. You can bond with your baby, do chores, and ensure your little one naps even while on the go. You can nurse in public easily, allow your baby to interact better because they’re at the same eye level as everyone else, and even help him develop core strength from the get go. There can be a learning curve but practice does make perfect.
When shopping for a carrier, try find a local babywearing group who can let you try on many different carriers, most of which are not found in Target or Toys R Us. Try to steer clear of carriers that support the baby by the crotch only as it is not an optimum position for his spine. Try to find one that situates his knees above his bum and puts him in a squat like position.
When it comes down to it, trust your instincts and find what works best for you and your family.
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