Wednesday, July 7, 2010

My Mom Style

While I was pregnant, I got a lot questions.

Things like...

Will you use pacifiers?

Are you going to pump?

Will you co-sleep?

What kind of slings are you going to buy?

Will you use cloth diapers?

...and so on.

I was kind of determined not to set myself up for disappointment by deciding ahead of time what I would be doing. In my gut it felt better to say I would just play it by ear. Now that he is here, I take his cues for what his wants and needs are. There is a lot of conversation surrounding this topic. Some people call it attachment parenting vs. scheduling your baby (Babywise), but, for me, it feel right to do what he is asking for and not put a label on it. I don't really want to be put into a category of what kind of parenting style I have.

So, this is what I do....

I feed him when he wants. If that means a half hour after he just ate, than that is what I am doing. I have never had to pump because his eating habits have encouraged an ample milk supply. But, if he goes more than three hours at this point, I start to feel a little engorged and sometimes that to wake him to eat.

He sleeps in our bed with us because to us that feels best. Plus, I can just pull him close to feed him while I can somewhat continue sleeping.

I wear him in a sling or wrap a lot and he sleeps on my chest for his naps throughout the day. I like to have him close. Sometimes I think moms get caught up in getting the baby to sleep so they can get on to the next project or cleaning or whatever, but to me, the early weeks and months are so important for bonding with your baby so he or she can feel safe and secure. I am not worried one bit that he will become spoiled or to used to being close all the time.

He has always fallen asleep at night right after he eats, so I don't stress about staying awake during the day so he will sleep better at night.

I was hoping not to use a pacifier. I had always heard and believed it caused nipple confusion. But, I tried it one night. He likes to have it in as he falls asleep. I take it out when he is soundly sleeping, but it has become a necessity now.

One thing that I have put a lot of emphasis on is my diet as I am breastfeeding. I am staying away from gassy, hard to digest foods such as dairy, beans, tomatoes, chocolate, broccoli, etc. So far, he has only had one bout with gas...I ate a bean salad...my fault. However, he doesn't scream and cry with the gas, he seems to get more squirmy, toots, and he finds it hard to fall asleep.

Talking to him is also very important. I treat him like the little human that he is. He deserves to know what is going on when I am changing his clothes or giving him a bath or will feed him right after I go potty myself.

He wears cloth diapers because it is better for the earth, his little bottom, and our wallet. Ya, it is a little more work to clean them and you have to change the baby more frequently, but it is so worth it.

I also believe in the importance of allowing Daddy to be involved too. He changes the baby's diapers and I have left the baby with him on several occasions to run errands. Dads should form a special bond with their babies from the beginning as well.

My baby will be three weeks tomorrow. Besides two visits to see the midwives, I have not ventured outside the house with him. I have had a few visitors, but for the most part I think he is too itty bitty to be out and about and be passed around to people. I have started to get out a little bit more myself, but for the most part, I have been taking it easy and trying to recover from the birth. It has been a big help for my family to be around to help care for me. I know that a lot of women don't have this luxury, but allowing yourself to rest and recover before trying to get back at it is very important.

I am still learning myself and I am not saying that I have it all figured out. But, following the cues of my little guy is important to me and works well him and for my mom style.

1 comment:

lsprad said...

great post!! we figure it out as go and do the best we can!! and i am with you on the pacifier thing....we too are using one this time around!