Little Snowflakes

Natural Parenting Felt Natural

35 Comments

Welcome to the May Carnival of Natural Parenting: Role model

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month our participants have waxed poetic about how their parenting has inspired others, or how others have inspired them. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.

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I do not have a sophisticated reason why we chose natural parenting.  I can’t say that before my son was born, my husband and I spent hours poring over books and reading websites, researching different parenting methods and determining that natural parenting was right for us.

Instead, during my pregnancy, I spent hours poring over pregnancy books – bad pregnancy books even! (although I didn’t know it then).   I read each word of What to Expect While You Are Expecting over and over to the point where I practically knew it by heart.   I knew what was happening to my baby each and every week during my pregnancy, and it fascinated me, and consumed a lot of my thoughts!

I also spent lots of time preparing for Dylan’s arrival by decorating his nursery.  I picked out the perfect crib, the perfect crib bedding (along with a matching bed skirt).  Let’s not forget the perfect curtains, lamp, pictures on the wall, etc.   I spent weeks agonizing over what stroller to buy.  Once the stroller was picked out I then spent weeks deciding which pack ‘n play best matched our room because our baby was going to sleep in it close to our bed for the first few weeks of his life.

During the last few weeks of my pregnancy I felt prepared!  We had everything ready.   All we needed was our baby!

After our son was born, I was in for a big surprise.  All my preparation had not prepared me at all.  Dylan couldn’t have cared less about his nursery.   He refused to sleep in his crib or his pack ‘n play.  He wasn’t gently lulled to sleep when we went for walks in his stroller….instead he screamed and wailed until I picked him up.  We had much better luck when he was tucked into my sling.

So I held him a lot, nursed him a lot, slept with him in our bed, and tried to meet his needs as best as I could.  I started to read some good, useful books, such as The Happiest Baby on the Block by Harvey Karp, The Baby Book by William and Martha Sears, and La Leche League’s Womanly Art of Breastfeeding.   I spent some time on some great websites, such as www.kellymom.com and www.askdrsears.com.

The research came after the fact, and supported what came naturally to me and to my husband.  It felt great knowing that there were others out there who were doing things the way we were!   In retrospect, even though we didn’t plan to parent naturally, I couldn’t imagine doing it any other way.

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Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

35 thoughts on “Natural Parenting Felt Natural

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  4. That is a great story. I’m glad you were open enough about your ideas to change them when your son showed what he needed. I’ll think nice thoughts next time I see a parent pushing a big stroller with one hand while carrying the baby with the other — maybe she’s just on her way to babywearing! :) I love that natural parenting came, literally, naturally to you as you parented.

    • Yes for sure! I was that parent who dragged around a stroller while carrying my baby til I finally learned that I didn’t need the stroller anymore!

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  6. This is surreal! I could have written almost every word of this post. So sad that the mainstream buy-a-stroller-way of thinking is so imprinted on us.

    • I now tell my friends who are parents-to-be that a good carrier is much more important than a stroller…but they still all buy the big expensive stroller!

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  10. My initial journey was similar to yours – it started with research and a knowledge that I wanted to breastfeed. It seems like with each little decision I researched, I came closer and closer to the NP philosophy (without knowing there was such a thing). I am thankful I now have a community with which to compare notes and bounce ideas off of!

    • I also knew that I wanted to breastfeed before my son was born…I had no idea though how hard it would be! And I agree…it’s so great having this NP community!

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  13. I read those bad parenting books too. And it wasn’t until after my daughter’s birth I found Dr. Sears either. And how I wished I had read them back when I was pregnant. It’s so true you plan the birth to a tee and then the baby comes along and you are completely unprepared. At least I was. I’m glad I found my way here though.

    • Here’s another bad one that I unfortunately had on hand before my son was born, written by two leading pediatricians at Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children: The Baby Care Book: A Complete Guide from Birth to 12-Month Old. The amount of sleep training in that book is atrocious. It now sits on my shelf and I refuse to open it or lend it to friends :)

  14. I absolutely love Happiest Baby on the Block. I wish I had read it before my daughter was born instead of when she was several weeks old. I used its principles with the next two from the get-go though.

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  16. I think this story is pretty common. We seem to all think pregnancy is about pregnancy books, preparing for birth and nesting and we overlook the 18 years that are going to come after birth day. Perhaps parenting books are a better gift than a pregnancy book for a newly pregnant friend.

    I am so glad that I found Dr. Sears’ The Pregnancy Book while browsing Chapters when I was pregnant the first time. It’s just now been loaned out to a pregnant friend for the 4th time.

  17. You described my journey as well – Ella and I do love her nursery…just for playing, not for sleeping. And just yesterday I was carrying her while pushing our stroller (we had been out for a jog – Ella was nonplussed.)

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  19. Wow! My wife and I have exactly this same story. Thanks for sharing!

  20. My children have been my teachers in natural parenting. They knew more than I did, and I’m so glad that I listened. I’m not sure I planned this either, but now I think it’s the only way to go. :)

  21. Oh yes with DS1 I read all the “bad” parenting books, bought a crib (that was never used except to store toys and stuff) but the moment he was born… everything changed. I co-slept with him in the hospital, fought with nurses who kept trying to sneak him formula, etc.

    I WISH I had a natural momma role model to look up to before I was ever pregnant or when I was pregnant with DS1 instead of doing it without “emotional” support (this was before twitter LOL!).

    You rock momma!

  22. Even though I fall into the camp of women who planned a natural birth and natural parenting to an extent, I still feel like I just stumbled onto doing some things without having to read about them. I think the key is to really listen to yourself and your child and use that as a guide.

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  24. It’s so wonderful to hear about a mother who has adapted to the needs of her baby rather than simply expecting her baby to adapt to her ‘arrangements’. You have a very lucky little boy. :)

  25. I love that you were able to listen and then also act to support your babe’s needs. Too few of us are able to hear this and so many of us are unsupported if we can. I’ll be sharing your post with newly pregnant mamas so they can see your organic process unfold. Thank you!

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  27. I hope everything is ok – I haven’t seen much of you for the last week or so!

  28. Great post! I think no matter what kind of parent you are, you’re going to have the most success when you do what feels right. Flexibility is a parent’s best friend. Thanks for sharing!

    Denise
    http://www.bestparent.wordpress.com

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