Thursday, January 13, 2011

Mama Must Have Nots

Here's the list of things everyone told me I'd need but didn't/don't and people actually bought me a few of the following items.

1. Pacifiers. 
Pacifiers are absolutely, 100% unnecessary.  Babies spend months inside of their mothers sucking on their hands, why is it that when they come out of their mothers many people feel the urge to stick a fake, often plastic or other man made material into babies' mouths?  Because it makes them quite.  It doesn't teach them to self soothe it teaches them to soothe themselves with a fake object.  Self soothing would mean they are soothing themselves, with lets say... their hands.  

2. Stroller.
Strollers are not bad, but they're not great either.  Everyone wanted to get me a stroller and my in-laws actually did, before finding out it wasn't a good fit for Sonja, Myself or her Great Grandmother.  I love attachment parenting and the amount of human contact and the bond that is created for a mother and child, or father and child.  Sonja is always held by myself, Husband, or family or worn by myself, Husband or family and friends.  She loves to be in peoples' arms.  Once and a while we do set her down and put her in a bouncy chair or in her play pin, but mostly only when I have to pee.  Lots of people said that parents need strollers for when they go shopping, to Disneyland or somewhere like that, but I have NO intentions of taking Cupcake to anywhere like that.  We don't plan to take her to the mall, since we're avoiding the consumerism indoctrination that our culture forces on everyone.  We don't want to take her to Disneyland, or anywhere else promoting fake over real.  And when we go on hikes we want to hold her, so being strollerless? not so bad.

3. Bottles.
You all know this about me, I believe breastfeeding is normal, natural and the only option for feeding babies.  This does not mean I don't understand that sometimes mothers really can't make enough milk, or that sometimes babies are away from their mothers for short or long periods of time.  But did you know you can use a cup to feed your baby?!  you can! here's a few links to see how : Link 1  or  Link 2.  If breast to mouth is not an option, than the World Health Organization recommends; expressed milk from the baby's own mother, milk from a healthy donor (expressed or from their breast), THEN Formula!  Formula is the LAST option, not the 2nd.  AND you can put formula into a cup, reducing cavities.  Neat Right?  If you have bottles from glass with silicone nipples you can keep using them, if you're using plastic make sure it's BPA free and switch to the cup method ASAP.  Sonja does have some bottles that were gifts and right now we are using them for when I teach art, BUT we are planning on switching to the cup very very soon.

4. Crib.  You don't need this, but you do need somewhere safe for your baby to sleep.  That can be in bed with you, you can Co-Sleep! It's free, it's safe (if done correctly, see here for more co-sleeping info, from a Doctor!).  If you're not into this, there are pack and plays that are great.  If you do decide you want a crib, just be aware of the risks, gas-emitting toxins from the bedding, SIDS, suffocation hazards and more.

5. Money.
You can survive the first year of Parenthood with no increase in finances easily.  This is how; Breastfeed, Potty Train, use food ingredients for hygiene, olive oil for moisturizers, corn starch for baby powder.  If you need something on your baby's bottom, use cloth and you can reuse cloth from around your house, I often use washcloths to insert into Sonja's gdiapers.  That saves me doing laundry EVERY day, now I can do it every other day, a total of 4 times a week, which is how often I was doing it before I gave birth.  Like I've said so many times before, doing things the natural way is practically free.  

*All image found by googling "no ______" 

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  1. Sucking on hands are fine, but I have seen many many kids who end up developing a habit sucking their thumb even well into their teens (and in fact when I was at school there was a 15 year old who would often sit and suck her thumb in class and got teased relentlessly) - how would you deal with this if your child develops this habit? I'm really just curious because other mums that I know are pulling their hair out of frustration because it is such an almost impossible habit to break.

    Mine both had dummies, however it was for sleep time and by the age of 2 was all finished, done and dusted. They have never sucked their thumbs, don't have problems with their speech, have no problems with bed time, have no problem with their teeth so I don't see a problem with dummies providing you limit the time they are using it and it is not used all of the time and most certainly not beyond the age of 2.

    And I also had no problem with bottles. I was fully unable to breastfeed and I simply did not have sufficient milk supply so yes, both my kids were raised on formula. They both did really well on this and we both bonded extremely well. And it had the added benefit that their dad was able to play a very important part as well.

    Co-sleeping was another thing we also never did. For the first 3 months baby slept in our room in her camper cot. And then she moved to her own room. I have known parents who chose co-sleeping and by the age of 6 - 9 the child is still wanting to sleep with the parents and refuse to sleep in his / her own bed. My kids have very good bed time routines. They happily go off to their beds, we read a story, sing a sleep time song and lights out. I cannot imagine that for 6 - 9 years I'd have to share my bed and then you deal with a big child taking up lots of space, doesn't look like you'd get a lot of sleep then.

    But if these things work for you then great. Dummies, camper cots, bottles and formula worked for us. My kids bonded with both mum and dad from the start, my kids both reached all milestones as they had to (and in fact one is assessed as gifted), they are both extremely confident and they absolutely love going to school, so I don't think that these things are necessarily bad.

  2. Thanks for sharing your parenting experiences Autonomous. I still stand by my top 5 unnecessities though. As far as thumb sucking goes, my husband and I have discussed this and we believe the reason kids feel the need to continue with nervous habits such as thumb sucking or anything of the such is because they are not at peace with themselves or their surroundings, they are continuing to self soothe. They still need that sensation to be calm or at peace with themselves (for more info. you can read Nature and Chaos). I believe in finding the root of the problem and working there. I'd venture to say that if a child is sucking their thumb into their teens they have other issues that need to be addressed. Not having peace with one's self is common in this consumer driven culture. As for bottles and formula, I was pointing out the fact that bottles are unnecessary because you can cup feed babies, weather it's the mother, father, uncle, grandma anyone in the family can also bond with the child while feeding them. I thought it was interesting and worth sharing. I also think that preventing cavities (often caused by the slow drip of a bottle; once the child has teeth) by using a cup is helpful in developing a clean happy mouth. I also understand breastfeeding is a challenge and for some women (such as those suffering from IGT) impossible, but that doesn't mean a baby needs formula. I love that so many women are coming together to make sure ALL babies have human milk available to them! Human milk is NORMAL, formula is a less than adequate substitute for it but I'm glad it nourished your children well. Finally, the issue of co-sleeping; it is not for everyone. However, it does make breastfeeding a thousand times easier and it's nice that I don't need a fancy monitor to hear my daughter breathing. I'm able to simply touch her tummy or listen to her breath to know she's safe, which was really convenient this week when she had a stuffy nose. Also, we have a cal king bed so there is plenty of room on it for her when she get's bigger, before she slept in bed with us, we shared our bed with our 2 pitbulls. So we're used to sharing our sleeping space. As for her sleeping well on her own when she's older, we'll tackle that issue if it arises, but again it goes back to a larger issue. If we have done everything right and taught her how to be self reliant, how to be self confident, how to truely self soothe, there shouldn't be an issue. She should go to bed and know we are in the next room if she needs us, and if she needs to sleep with us when she has a nightmare or when she's sick, so be it. I want her spoiled with love and human contact.

  3. ugh. stupid spell check it should say *Anonymous not autonomous.

  4. Also, I just realized it's NOT "Nature and Chaos" you could read for more theory on nervous habits and the like, It's "Nature and Madness" by Paul Shepard, I double checked the title after I published the first comment.