I used to call myself an Attachment Parent (and I still do), but what more accurately describes me is...Natural Parenting. I happen to think that is where a lot of today's problems are coming in, people are forgetting about NATURE. Parents try so hard to do what is good and right for their children, but a lot of the time we are missing the mark because we are going against nature. I swear life is a lot easier if you just follow your heart, your gut, AND nature when it comes to parenting.
So what does "natural parenting" mean to me? Well it just means that the things I choose to do are the closest to nature and what is natural, I strive to mother my children in most natural way possible.
-I birth naturally...no drugs, no interference, and this time no hospital. I birthed at home like millions of our ancestors have for eons. Birth is the most natural process of all and yet it has gotten FAR far from that. Get back to nature and your body and your baby will thank you for it.
-I cloth diaper. What is more natural than cloth on your babies bum? You don't want chemicals and plastic sitting on your baby's most sensitive parts all day. Get back to nature cloth diaper or use elimination communication.
-I breastfeed on demand and use donated breastmilk to supplement, since I don't make enough to sustain her (stay tuned for another post all about this!!).
-I also practice natural weaning from breastfeeding. This means I allow my children to self-wean, which means right now I am tandem nursing a two month old and a two year old ;)
-We bedshare, again very natural. What feels most natural to me is laying down to go to sleep and taking the baby with me. We both sleep peacefully and she is right next to her source of nourishment and comfort all night. What in the world did the first humans do with their babies? I know they didn't put them in a bassinet, they laid down with their babies to sleep! We also bedshare with our older children when they need it. But what works even better is having them share sleep as well. So right now my four and two year old bedshare as well. It is natural to share your sleep with others, our ancestors were cuddled up together to sleep for warmth and safety.
-Right now we are keeping our new baby free of vaccines and other drugs. Again back to nature, it is totally against nature to inject these brand new precious bodies with chemicals.
-When my son was born he was born with an intact perfect penis and at two years old his penis is still intact and perfect because that is what is natural. It goes without saying for me that you don't cut normal healthy body parts off at birth, that would be COMPLETELY AGAINST NATURE.
-We babywear. When we have to go out and about we put the baby in a sling or other carrier and keep her close to use. When she needs to be held at home and we need free hands for other things we use a sling or carrier. Again nature...what did our ancestors do and other communities around the world? They don't get out the Graco stroller, they wrap a piece of fabric around themselves and the baby and they babywear!
-We use natural healing techniques for illness. For example I don't give my kiddos antibiotics for ear infections and I don't give tylenol for fevers. We treat illness and try to stay healthy in the first place by using vitamins, herbs, supplements, healthy eating and living, and chiropractic care.
-We try to eat as natural as possible. Eating food that is free of antibiotics, hormones, chemicals, etc.
-I try to buy products that are natural. Again free of nasty chemicals that are harmful to our bodies.
I'm tired of appologizing for the "crazy" way in which I parent. I find it sad that as a society we have gotten SO far removed from nature and what is natural with our bodies, our children's bodies and our parenting. How can I possibly be so crazy for the choices I am making when all I am doing is following my basic human instincts and following nature. I've decided I am not crazy I am normal and natural and that is how I will stay.