Thursday, September 22, 2011

I'm a crunchy mommy

I'm not sure where this crunchiness comes from because I don't remember being raised particularly crunch-ily but once I started researching home birth I came upon other natural alternatives to mainstream parenting choices and it made sense. I don't think I'm extreme (there are some really committed folks out there) but I suppose I do more than others. I just want to share a little bit of what we choose to do with our son.

We're still going strong! Although 6 months is when most babies start solid foods, it doesn't mean breastfeeding is over and all they eat are solids. tokki has only tried a couple of foods so far and nursing is and will be his main source of food for at least the first year and until he wants to wean. I'm actually curious how often other 7 month olds nurse, because he still nurses every 2-3 hours during the day. He only wakes up 1-2 times during the night to potty and nurse so it doesn't affect my sleep time too much. I'm blessed to have such a great nursing relationship with him and the only problem we're having now is tokki wanting to suck his thumb at the same time (silly baby).

Cloth diapering and Elimination Communication
I adore cloth diapering and we're doing very well with our one size diaper stash because it's growing with tokki. EC is going well right now, although there were lots of misses right before he started crawling (which is natural for babies to go back a step in one thing to prepare to reach a new milestone in another). Recently we were away from home for a week and during that time we chose to use Seventh Generation disposable diapers (the next best thing) because it would save so much space and be easier to handle going from place to place. (On weekend trips, we still take our cloth diapers and keep them in a wetbag until we get home--but don't worry, they rarely stink because they're usually only pee!)

When I'm out wearing my baby in the Ergo, lots of people seem to take a second look and I've heard whispers of "I really wanted to get that!" I don't see many people where I live wearing their babies, usually they're in the car seat or stroller. For most short outings, we choose to carry or wear tokki because it's better for his spinal development and he loves being close to us. Tare has worn him out to dinner and eaten with tokki just sleeping away and I've nursed tokki while wearing him to calm him during his nap times when we're away from home. I believe it makes a difference in how tokki reacts to new environments and new people approaching him--he's able to flash gummy grins because he feels safe in our arms or he can bury his face into our shoulders when he's feeling shy. It was awesome to get through airport lines and security and planes wearing tokki and not drag a stroller which is just extra stuff when traveling. A stroller would have been useless anyway when we arrived in Colorado because everyone wanted to carry him. :)

tokki has slept in the same bed as us since he was born. I never bought a crib but I had bought a moses basket before he was born to keep near our bed but we ended up using it to hold blankets and other baby stuff because it was easier to keep him between us on the bed. He still sleeps in the middle and it's so much easier to handle night time potty and nursing and then just go back to sleep without getting out of bed. We all sleep great and I'm not sure when we'll move him to his own room and own bed but right now, it is natural for him to sleep with us. We do have a floor bed (basically just a baby mattress) ready for him but even naps are just taken on our bed with pillow safeguards. I love the closeness and I love waking up to his sweet little face smiling at me in the morning.

Baby-led weaning
Before I had tokki, I thought I would buy a Beaba baby food maker and puree all his foods and freeze into nice little cubes when he started solid foods. But no, I came upon baby-led weaning which is letting babies feed themselves--as in you cut up or mash the food and have baby go at it! Babies can hold the piece of food and gnaw it, chew it, suck it, smash it, lick it, throw it and explore food. I think that makes my job preparing it much easier and tokki has more fun. It's not so much about eating a lot of the food right now but letting him explore and control what he is eating. Tonight we're going for sweet potatoes!

Vaccinations are such a hard topic to know everything about. Who do you trust when there's so much information from both sides? After reading a lot about vaccinating and side-effects, ingredients, injuries, etc. we decided not to do it until we were completely sure we had to, which might end up to be never. While you can always give a vaccine, you can never take it back. tokki hasn't received anything since birth (no eye ointment, no Vit K shot, nothing at all) and we don't plan on considering any other vaccinations until he is older. I started him off exclusively breastfeeding (which is the first and best immunization) and he hasn't been sick once and is absolutely healthy. :)

I don't subscribe to any particular practice or type of parenting because we simply pick and choose what is right for us, but I guess if you had to put a name to how we do things it would be attachment and natural parenting. It works so well for us and all three of us are happy the way things are going, I can't imagine it being any other way.


Sonja said...

Love this post! You are such a good mommy, and have a healthy, happy baby to prove it! :) We follow MANY of your same practices and beliefs. I just started solids with E (avocado w/breastmilk) and he loves it! Mommy's milk will be his main supply of food til he's a year or so. Yay for breastfeeding and cloth diapers! I love my Ergo and I love wearing Ethan, too! Girl, I gave up co-sleeping after one month. He was in a pack n play till 3 months, and then we put him in his own room. Funny, he mainly sleeps on a mattress on the floor! (it's easier for me to nurse him while he goes to sleep, so I just leave him there) I'm a VERY light sleeper. We have to put the monitor on my husband's side bc even that will keep me up! 

I need to look into baby-led weaning! I've honestly never heard of it!I hope our sons get to meet one day!! :)

Jihee said...

Oh my gosh hana unni, I'm learning so much about raising babies while reading your blog haha. Thank you for preparing me for my future if I have babies hahahahah! :D

vivi said...

Didn't know crunchy mommy was a term..O.o

It's great that you have such thorough and clear plan on parenting. If it's one thing I learn, it's how much research and preparation you and your husband have done to give the best to your baby. :) 
I think cloth diapering is one of the best out your post - because I've read how much waste is produced with mainstream diapers AND takes a extremely long time to degrade (and not completely). 

hanamik said...

It would be so much fun if our sons got to meet! I feel like there's a lot alike between the two of them (or maybe that's because we're doing things similarly? hehe).
The mattress on the floor is good because if baby wakes up, he won't fall off and will be able to play right away if he wants which means no crying. Or that's what I imagine it would be like :)

hanamik said...

I do want to get some exposure (albeit small) for these awesome baby practices! LOL I'm going to prepare you and Bora but um no hurry guys. ;)

cat said...

haha i didn't know that is what it was called! i was like.. crunchy? hmmmm. lol. well, if i ever were to have kids, i'd have to look into all these different things! so interesting though, i bet, from a psychological POV, to see how your practices influence baby!