Natural Parenting from A to Z

Natural Parenting Basics |

Are you a natural parent? What does that even mean? Natural parenting is generally defined as “a desire to live and parent responsively and consciously.” Within that definition there are some basic principles and a variety of lifestyle choices. Don’t worry; to be a natural parent, you don’t have to follow every single one of them! Some choices will speak to you, others will not. For instance, I am a strong proponent of breastfeeding, babywearing, nurturing touch and nature. I also had an induced labor, a fully vaccinated daughter and never made my own baby food. Yet I still consider myself a natural and responsive parent who makes conscious choices every day. If you’re new to parenting, you can peruse this list to see what aspects of the natural lifestyle may work for you and your partner. Which ones jive with your personality? Start here, then do further research on your … Continue reading

Tips for Breastfeeding Beginners

Tips for Breastfeeding Beginners |

With so many benefits to breastfeeding your baby, getting off to a good start can make all the difference. Here are some tips to help you on your path. Have your baby skin-to-skin as soon as possible after birth to encourage initial breastfeeding. In addition to establishing a bond, the touch of your skin stabilizes Baby’s heart rate and temperature and stimulates milk production. Ask, ask, ask for help. A proper (and non-painful latch) is key to breastfeeding comfort, so get help early with any latching problems. Seek advice from hospital nurses, midwives or doulas. A visit from a certified lactation consultant can help guide you through the latching-on process and smooth out any challenges you have. Relax. Easier said than done, perhaps, but essential for anxious moms new to breastfeeding. Milk comes in quicker via a relaxed body. Holding your baby skin to skin while nursing, gazing into his … Continue reading

What I Wish I Knew: A Letter to My Pregnant Self

Dear New Mama, You won’t find this stuff in any pregnancy book, so I thought I should tell you… Relax! Spend less time preparing for the baby and more time doing things just for you (read books, take day trips, go out with the girls…). Because for the next few years, your hours will be consumed by Baby’s never-ending needs and your innate desire to satisfy all of them. “Down time” will consist of shuffling through activities in a comatose state or a sleep broken by your heightened alertness for another’s cry. Don’t plan too much, since plans have a way of falling to the wayside. Just buy the basic baby gear. You’ll know more what your baby really needs once she’s here. You’re not going to be a perfect mother. And that’s a relief! Nobody likes perfect mothers, anyway. Your child will learn mostly from your words and actions, … Continue reading

Natural Parenting Tips from Natural Moms, Part 2

Tips on Raising Kids Naturally |

Welcome to Part 2 in my series on Parenting Tips from Natural Moms— honest, firsthand experience to complement the researched knowledge on all things parenting. Part 1 covered issues around pregnancy, breastfeeding, co-sleeping, babywearing and cloth diapering.   Below you’ll find parenting tips and advice from natural moms I’ve connected with in the areas of childrearing, discipline, education and more. Enjoy! Raising Children Naturally A Common Sense Guide to Vaccines (with printable) from Nourishing Joy Teething with Amber Necklaces from Simply Healthy Home A Remedy for Bedtime Fears in Toddlers from Real Food RN Supporting Your Child’s Imagination from Hybrid Rasta Mama 5 Ways to Encourage Your Children from Nourishing Joy How to Teach Our Kids About Our Faith from Nourishing Joy Helping Children Handle Death from Eco-Mothering Should You Give Your Daughter a Barbie? from Authentic Parenting How to Avoid Parenting Conflicts at Family Gatherings from Authentic Parenting Technology and Childhood from Hybrid … Continue reading

Natural Parenting Tips from Natural Moms, Part 1

Natural Parenting Tips |

While there is a wealth of factual information on all things parenting, sometimes the most cherished advice comes direct from other moms. We prefer to hear from women who are going through exactly what we’re going through. We want that honest, firsthand experience to complement the researched knowledge. Below you’ll find parenting tips and advice from natural moms I’ve connected with in the areas of pregnancy, breastfeeding, co-sleeping, babywearing and cloth diapering. Be sure to check out Part 2, which includes personal stories and guidance on childrearing, discipline, education and more. Pregnancy and Post Partum Exercises for Pregnancy from Healing Cuisine by Elise Essential Oil Safety in Pregnancy from Hybrid Rasta Mama Things a Pregnant Woman Really Needs from Hybrid Rasta Mama 5 Natural Birth Control Options from Healing Cuisine by Elise Hypnobirthing from Healing Cuisine by Elise 50 Eco-Friendly Baby Names from Eco-Mothering 15 Tips for Easing the Post Partum Hospital … Continue reading

Baby Gear Basics for the Natural Mama: Part 2

This is Part 2 of my series on natural baby gear basics. You can read Part 1 here, which discusses baby carriers, car seats and breastfeeding. Cloth Diapers Cloth diapering is traditionally the natural mama way to go. If you’re on the fence, read this objective comparison about the aspects to consider in cloth vs. disposable. And this article provides a cost analysis breakdown between the two diaper options (and also includes links on how to create a cloth diaper stash on a budget). You’ll find that there are a myriad of cloth diapers on the market these days. For budget reasons, we went with the basic Chinese prefolds. They are the cheapest, and the diapers earn a very extensive second life as cleaning rags afterwards. (We’re still cleaning with Sofie’s prefolds seven years later!) I bought a basic starter package that included diapers, covers, inserts and laundry bags. As … Continue reading