Nov 112014
 

261653 ML Algebra1 2007I wasn’t so sure when I saw the title of the book, “Sweet Sleep.”

Great. Another book about sleep by “experts,” I thought. Many of the books published these days tend to be variations of Ferber and Cry it Out. You know the advice that goes something like, “be sure to put towels down in your child’s crib because he’ll cry so hard he’ll vomit…” After almost four years of being a mom, I don’t need to read any more of that crap. No one does. I am confident that I’m the expert when it comes to my kids.
But then I realized Sweet Sleep was a La Leche League book. Forward by Mayim Bialik! One of the writers is Teresa Pitman?! Maybe there was something to be learned. Suddenly, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on what I was sure would finally be a great book about sleep! And oh, it is fabulous!
Sweet Sleep: Nighttime and Naptime strategies for the breastfeeding family, validates many of the decisions Papa and I have made as parents. Which feels great. There are real experts out there, that I respect, telling us everything we thought about sleep, nighttime parenting, all-night nursing etc. is okay. It’s more than okay. We’ve even done right by our kids! Thank you, Sweet Sleep.
This book shows parents safe ways to cosleep and bedshare. Because, let’s be honest–breastfeeding and bedsharing go so perfectly together. The book sets parents up with practical tips for making their rooms night-feeding friendly. Nightlight, water, diapers! There are even photos in this book of mamas nursing in bed! Here, moms! This is how to nurse side lying. Not only is this not dangerous, it’s beneficial! There is also plenty of info on sidecars– a nice compromise to bed sharing, or a way to extend the family bed.
I especially love the gentle way the book talks about the dangers of sleep training. It doesn’t shame the parent who’s experimented with these techniques but it clearly outlines the stress this causes to baby. A refreshing read for an attached parent trapped under a library of books that encourage CIO.
Sweet Sleep is something I would give as a Christmas or baby shower gift. I’d have loved a copy when Bug was about to join our family. And definitely before Babe was here. We’d have been a little less terrified to dive into all the things that felt natural to us. You can purchase Sweet Sleep: Nighttime and Naptime Strategies for the Breastfeeding Family on Amazon.ca.
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If you’d like to win this book for yourself or a parent friend, enter the Rafflecopter below.
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Feb 052012
 

No one likes to be hated. No one likes to be told they are a horrible person. No one likes to be told they are a bad mom. I get it. I don’t like it either.

(I should add that I am writing this in the context of having recently peeved a couple people off. I think. I got some hate mail and I am still not quite sure how to interpret it… Because of the timing, I am assuming the straw that broke the camel’s back was probably the post about CIO.)

I am judged regularly for the way I choose to parent my kid. If I wanted to have a pity party, I could peruse the internet to find dozens of blogs and articles that say Attachment Parenting is spoiling a kid. I could read them and feel just horrible (I used to get REALLY riled up if I read something about bedsharing being bad or weird. I used to take it personally when I heard someone say extended breastfeeding is creepy. But in the year that I have been a mom, I have grown more and more confident in the decisions I have made and continue to make. Aint no one gonna tell me my kid can’t go straight to solids.

I have a history of trying to be everyone’s best friend. I’m done now though. I have opinions, and this is my blog where I voice them. You can read my opinions or not. You can comment or not. You can also start your own blog. I have never deleted a comment that was left on this blog.

I am in the process of figuring out some kind of new mission statement for mamanaturale.ca, which seems to be taking a direction that is making some people angry. But it’s helping others find community. I’m more interested in creating a space where like-minded mamas can go to feel a little more normal, than I am in convincing every mother on the island of Montreal or in Canada or in Australia (there are a serious amount of readers in Australia!) that “my way” is the best way, or the only way. I love preaching to the choir and think the more voices, the better.

I started this blog when I was pregnant and it is evolving. Just like we all are. My ideas and parenting philosophies are becoming firmer and firmer. We do things very specifically in this house. Maybe we will change our opinions if we have another child. If I do things now that I look back on later, and I cringe, I hope I can own them.

I am, indeed, only a mother of one. I do not have all the answers. Mostly I don’t have any. I wasn’t pretending to, and I spend a lot of energy asking for opinions and advice for the mothers who came before me.

I want to lay it all out here so there are no more secrets. You need to know where I’m coming from. You’re allowed to have your own beliefs. You’re allowed to voice them in the comment section. I’ll try not to take things personally if you promise to do the same.

Here goes (off the top of my head).

  • I think the “Cry it Out method” is harmful and abusive.
  • Babies cry to communicate.
  • Babies are human beings and deserve our utmost respect.
  • I think human babies are supposed to drink human milk.
  • I supplemented with artificial baby milk in the first couple weeks of my daughter’s life.
  • I think Nestle, specifically, is evil.
  • I think circumcision (male and female) is barbaric.
  • Bedsharing is something that works very well for my family, but it might not work for you.
  • I think babies should lead the way when it comes to breastfeeding and, well, pretty much everything.
  • If you smoke while you’re pregnant, I will judge you.
  • I believe drug-free births are the ideal.
  • I chose to have an epidural.
  • I don’t think we should believe everything out doctors and the mainstream media tells us.

More things will come up, I’m sure. Maybe I’ll change my mind about some of the points above.

Thank you for reading my blog. If I say something that is not true, I’d appreciate being called out. But if you call me out in public, I will respond in public.

Game on.

Aug 292011
 

Yeah, I rock my 6-month-old to sleep. Got a problem with that?!

At 6-months-old, our 20lb child still goes to sleep one of two ways: Either by being nursed to sleep or rocked to sleep. These days, sometimes it takes both. Either her father or I will rock her (after putting her snugly in our Ergo Sport carrier). We put on our white noise machine or even better some Chet Baker or John Coltrane ballads. We do, after all, have a Jazz Baby. It usually doesn’t take very long, especially if we tap her bum to the beat of the music.

On the rare occasion we manage to get the sleeping baby out of the carrier into bed without waking her. Most often though, she wakes up a little, so I get in bed beside her and nurse her off to Lala Land.

Maybe it’s not ideal and it might sound crazy to some people. But we haven’t come up with any other alternatives.

I am completely unwilling to let my baby Cry It Out in whatever form it  takes. I read this article and remembered why before Babe was born we decided we would never go that route.

So, that’s where we’re at. We still rock out 6-month-old to sleep. And to be honest, it’s not really that horrible.

Jul 032011
 

As we experiment with an earlier bedtime, sleeping arrangements and alternative ways to help the baby find sleep, I am often a little frustrated these days (to say the least!) Sometimes I wish I could ‘harden my heart’ and put my babe in her own room, in her own crib, and let her cry herself to sleep.

Instead we try to spend our time laughing.