There are a lot of ways to parent a child. I honestly didn’t realize this before getting pregnant. I knew there were things I didn’t want to do, and other things that made sense.
I knew about certain choices like cloth diapering and breast-feeding. I knew that some families make their own baby food. I know that there are a lot of reasons why people make the choices they do. Some are basically environmental. Some flirt between the lines of anti-establishment and holistic methodology.
Our choices for the upcoming birth of our child fall somewhere in that realm, too. We’ve decided to seek the care and partnership of people who will support and encourage the most natural aspects of bringing a child into the world. On the other hand, I certainly don’t have anything against hospitals and doctors and surgeons who are trained to deal with the more complicated side of things.
Beyond that, though I don’t think I have it in me to really be a ‘crunchy’ earth mommy.
We don’t plan to cloth diaper. Not at first anyway. We decided that babies have enough of a learning curve that we didn’t want to make anything more complicated than it had to be.
Our initial postpartum adjusting period could be best labeled as disposable. Plates, cups, utensils, all the containers I’m freezing meals in… all suitable for tossing after use. We’re probably responsible for the destruction of an acre or two of rain forest. But Brandon & I had a talk about what kind of things we could let slide while we were growing accustomed to the ‘new routine’, and this seemed like the best plan. If we had a dishwasher, it’d be another story entirely. But we don’t. So there.
Also, I have really no clue what the big deal is with delayed or even skipping vaccinations altogether. I have to lump this one in with the cloth diapers: I’m not sure I have the time or energy to invest in good research and formulating my own opinion before our baby comes. (Not to say that I won’t be asking questions and finding out risks/benefits, but I’m probably not likely to veer too far away from mainstream until I see some evidence.)
Not going to get started on the organic/free range/ locally grown debate. It’s way bigger than this blog post. We do what we can, and sometimes we still eat french fries. I’d like to say my kids won’t know about french fries until they’re school aged, but real life is full of curve balls that I’m probably completely unprepared for.
I do plan to breastfeed. For one, it’s natural. A close second: it’s free. I know there are countless health and mental/emotional benefits for mothers and babies, too. Bonus.
Also, I’m going to babywear. Happy baby, hands free? Um, duh.
Co-sleeping: yes. This one Brandon was a little iffy about at first until I showed him the designs of the sleepers and how the frame would keep us from squishing nine months of hard work. It’s a little more controversial, but for us, the benefits out-weigh the risks. There are studies that show babies who sleep in the same room as the parents have fewer occurrences of SIDS, there’s all the middle of the night feedings that we can avoid getting out of bed twice for, and there’s your baby… right there. I dig.
I’ve already mentioned how I feel about gender normative clothing (and toys). So far I’ll admit that most of my family has thrown all that out the window. I was pretty annoyed at first, but honestly, the bulk of the clothes we have are under 6 month sized. This baby will probably never remember that she spent the bulk of her first days dressed like the Easter bunny. Breathing and moving on…
I’m sure there’s a plethora of parenting issues I’m not even starting to touch. I’m okay with that. Obviously our goal is not to fit into the “Greenest Super-parents of the Decade” mold. Honestly I’m a little wary even throwing around the term ‘holistic’. But we’ll try our damnedest, and that will have to be enough.