Recommended Reading

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I’ve decided to compile a list of my favourite resources; things that have helped me and continue to inspire me as both a mother and a human being. I have started with a few of my favourite books, and hope to add blogs in the future. Happy reading!

Raising Your Spirited Child by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka

The Minds of Boys by Michael Gurian

Kids Are Worth It by Barbara Coloroso

The Explosive Child by Dr. Ross Greene

Redefining Girly by Melissa Atkina Wardy

Hands Free Mama by Rachel Macy Stafford

Have you read any of these? What did you think?

Do you have any recommendations for me to check out? I’d love to hear from you!

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Beyond the Sling

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Since I’m on maternity leave and have little else to do with my time apparently, I have been reading, A LOT. I recently finished reading Beyond the Sling by Mayim Bialik. If you’re older than me, you will remember her from Blossom. If you’re my age or younger, it’s probably more like The Big Bang Theory.

Most people are aware that she disappeared after Blossom and became a rocket scientist or something (neuroscientist, more accurately), but not everyone knows that she also birthed two children and has been using her PhD background to explore (and put into action with her own family) the theory of Attachment Parenting (AP). The book covers topics ranging from natural childbirth and breastfeeding to family bed-sharing and elimination communication.

Bialik begins by assuring the reader that her life is not perfect. She has no nearby family members or hired help that assist her and her partner in raising their children, like you might expect from a celebrity. She then goes on to give a brief description of the eight principles of attachment parenting (which vary slightly from the 7 B’s of Attachment Parenting as laid out here http://www.askdrsears.com/topics/parenting/attachment-parenting/what-ap-7-baby-bs by Dr. Sears, the father of AP himself):

1. Birth

2. Breastfeeding/breast milk

3. Be sensitive

4. Bonding through touch

5. Bedding

6. Be there

7. Be gentle

8. Balance

While Beyond the Sling contains some information about each of these topics, it reads more like a memoir of Bialik’s experience with AP, rather than being “A Real-Life Guide to Raising Confident, Loving Children the Attachment Parenting Way” as the byline claims it to be. I did find it slightly annoying however that she kept reminding the reader how “normal” she apparently is. We get it. You aren’t the typical former child star.

I guess anyone writing a guide or advice book is bound to end up sounding at least a little bit preachy or judgmental, especially someone with a PhD, but surprisingly Mayim does a pretty good job not placing herself in that category. Although I think that would depend entirely upon the background and parenting style of the reader.

I fancy myself to be a fairly open minded person, but I’m not going to lie, as the book went on even I started to raise my eyebrow a few times. Is it terrible that I didn’t think she was completely nuts though until she said she didn’t let her kids watch TV? How does she get anything done?

All in all, I enjoyed reading this book and I think it’s pretty awesome that Bialik is using her celebrity to shed some light on attachment parenting, even if it might reaffirm for some disbelievers what they’re already thinking. That’s okay though. Attachment parenting is not for everyone. But if you think it might be for you, this is a good read. Just take from it what you will and leave the rest.

Colic and Babywearing

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DD all wrapped up in her cocoon

As spirited as D has come to be, he was hands down the easiest baby. He slept through the night at 9 weeks old (I’m talking 12 hours). He barely cried and when he did, people would ask if he was laughing. He was just a happy baby. I thought it was just because we were doing such an awesome job. Every new mother should have a first baby like D. It’s good for building confidence.

I don’t know what I expected the second time around. I knew I wouldn’t have the exact experience, but I wasn’t expecting this.

After the first few weeks of cuddles and cooing, we started to notice that DD’s crying periods were gradually increasing, which is normal since crying is known to peak around 6 weeks. Once we noticed it, it seemed to increase until it was every. single. day. It was exhausting, frustrating and puzzling to us, the parents who had raised a baby boy that literally never cried.

It wasn’t until a friend brought it up, that I even considered it might be colic. Our baby was just a bit fussy at night. From what I thought I knew, colicky babies cried all day every day. I decided to do a bit of my own research. What I learned was that for it to be considered colic, a baby must cry around 3 hours a day, at least 3 days a week, for at least 3 weeks. Check. Check. And check. Now, what to do about it?

Since DD was born, I always knew I would wear her. I was a mother of two now and I needed my hands to be free, while still finding a way to be close to my baby. With some help from my friend Karen of That Mom BlogΒ and a beautiful, new-to-me gauze wrap, I ventured into the world of babywearing. It took me awhile to get a hang of wrapping her up, but now it’s pretty easy and I can actually do it without the help of a mirror. The Front Wrap Cross Carry is my go to (okay, the only one I can do but I’m working on it).

Although it was something I did occasionally with D, I never really stuck with it or learned much about all the benefits for both mom and baby. Now I desperately needed one of the crucial benefits it had to offer; relief from the crying of colic.

I went from once or twice a week, to wearing her around as much as possible every day. It has changed our lives. I can’t even begin to tell you.

DD’s witching hour is between 8 pm-midnight, almost every night now, if not every other. What do I do? I don’t even wait for her to cry. As soon as we finish putting D to bed around 7:30, I pop her in the wrap and stop the colic in its tracks. She might start to fuss a few times but it never lasts long. A couple bounces and she’s instantly quiet again. We’ve been known to dance around the living room like idiots (well, I have). If you have ever seen me dance you understand what I mean.

I am so happy for the opportunity to wear my baby. I feel so close and connected to her, as if she’s still inside me. It’s such a special thing to be able to bond with your baby in that way. Being able to hold her close and still be there for my son is priceless. I am sure there are many, many other benefits, but the fact that I don’t have to hear her little cry and be unable to comfort her is reason enough for me.

It’s funny, I never really knew much about attachment parenting. As terrible as this sounds, I thought it was for hippies. I certainly never thought it was something that was for me and my family and I realize it’s not for everyone else either. I think I was following a lot of the principles already with D without knowing it, but I have learned a lot and many of my beliefs have changed even since having him. Now, I’m proud to say I’m a home birthing, breastfeeding, co-sleeping, babywearing mama and I wouldn’t want it any other way.