Thursday, January 30, 2014

In which I am somewhat crunchy.

If there was one piece of advice I've gotten on parenting it is this: "Parenting is a crap shoot. what works for you may not work for others, and what works today may not work tomorrow. Just survive."

With that in mind, I've been meaning to blog for awhile on some of the choices N and I have made as parents that had me realizing one day that I, am kind of a hippie parent.

What?! I know, I'm the most anti-hippie person I know, but when I was pregnant with C, we started looking into using cloth diapers. From there, it was all downhill.

We use cloth diapers, and are proud of it. I don't go blabbing it around to everyone I know, but I love using cloth and never having to worry about running out of diapers. We decided to do it after watching a series of videos on Youtube, and it was born out of cheapness. We've spent about $1,000 on diapers, and we're done. That's for two children. So it was a bit of an accidental crunchy.

What else makes me crunchy? Frankly, it's a lot of acronyms. CDing, BLWing, BWing, ERFing, and EBFing, all of which I embrace with joy. (Cloth Diapering, Baby Led Weaning, BabyWearing, Extended Rear Facing, and Extended Breast Feeding)

Baby Led Weaning is a method of introducing solids to your child that skips the painstaking slowness of spoon feeding mush. C's first food was avocados, sliced up and served on a tray. (He hated, and still hates them, for what it's worth). Not sure yet what M's first food will be, but it will be a whole food, not any mushy baby food. Honestly, we started BLW because it seemed a lot easier to give C a few pieces of the food on our plates instead of sitting and spoon-feeding him purees. So it was really born out of laziness.

Baby C and his first banana

Baby Wearing is the act of wearing your child in a carrier, on our front, or on your back instead of using a stroller. Now, I love the convienence of carrying M around in my Ergo rather than in the stroller, and in fact, the first day we came home from the hospital, we walked to the park with C in the single stroller, and I carried a sleepy M who hung out in the ergo the entire time. When I first heard about baby-carriers, I thought "hey! Hand-free baby!" I affectionately called it "Blue-tooth baby!". Turns out, it's an entire movement.
M at 3 days old

Extended Rear Facing refers to how a child is positioned in a car seat. In most states, the law says a child can be turned around facing forward in their car seat once they are one year old, and once they weigh twenty pounds. However, the American Academy of Pediatricians recommends rear-facing your child until they are at least two years old. C is 17 months, and still facing backwards in the car. There are a plethora of statistics out there, one of which I've read is that children at 500% safer facing backwards than forwards in a crash. I cannot recall the source of that particular statistic, but do a quick google search on rear-facing safety and you'll find any number of reputable studies that encourage and recommend extended rear-facing. I know one child who has recently turned 3, but is still rear-facing in his seat.

The last one is a bit of a hot-button issue, and that is extended breast-feeding. When C was born, I wanted to breast-feed him for at least a year. Circumstances with supply, a bad latch due to an undiagnosed lip-tie, and my inability pump enough milk while at work meant we had to wean around 12 weeks of age. I was truly upset, many tears were shed, and I vowed that when my next child was born, I was going to try harder. As of right now, at 4 months, 2 weeks, and 4 days old, we are still breastfeeding. It has not been easy, it has actually been an extremely difficult, sometimes expensive struggle that I will share another day, but we are still breastfeeding, and I plan on doing so until M decides to wean, whether that be at one year, two years, or beyond. As I said, I plan on going into more detail on another day, but if I could ask one thing of anyone it would be to not shame any woman for feeding her child no matter the method, time, place or wardrobe.

Anything in your life make you crunchy? Did you plan it that way or was it because of some other reason, like money, laziness, or safety? Let me know!

My friend Heather posted a similar post on her blog last week, check it out!

2 comments:

  1. Great post! I'm right there with you - many of my crunchy choices were born out of ease/laziness. Max refused to be worn. I hated having to load him up in a stroller - so much easier to wear a little one! Like you, we did real foods for our babies starting when Reid was born. So much easier! I feel like our parenting choices with the younger kids have made life simpler and more enjoyable.

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  2. I breastfed until Aubrey was 21 months, rear-faced until she was a few months over 2 years old,didn't let her wear shoes until she was over 1--- I think those are pretty crunchy compared to a lot of my friends..

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