attachment parenting, homeschooling, gentle discipline
  • .: My Children :.

  • .: Status Updates :.

    Friday, December 21st, 2012 10:23 am

    Hundreds of hurting people visit here every day, most of whom are searching for comfort after loss. Please reach out for emotional support as you begin the healing process. Be patient with yourself. Allow yourself to grieve. Let it out. May God be with you.

  • .: Quotes :.

    “The world is a dangerous place to live;
    not because of the people who are evil,
    but because of the people who don't do anything about it.”
    Albert Einstein
  • Encouraging Letter From My Sister

    | April 21, 2012

    My sister and her husband were recently blessed with their first child – a darling baby daughter. My little niece is now about 2 1/2 months old. Yesterday, my sister sent me a very encouraging letter. She gave me permission to share excerpts with you. Here is a picture of Baby M.

    “…I wanted to share some of my mothering experiences with you. I know it is largely due to your example and advice that I’m having such a wonderful first-time-mother experience. And the more I see the struggles of other first-time moms around me and on Facebook, the more thankful I am that I know better and have such a great support system.”

    “I’m so glad you encouraged me to more fully embrace sleep-sharing (once I was ready for it)… Whenever she’s ready to eat at night, I perch myself against the foam wedges with my brest friend. She eventually nurses herself to sleep, and I continue to hold her for a while because she’ll often stir a bit for one more little snack (and because I want to!). When we’re ready to lie down, I lay her right next to me, and she squirms a bit so I put my arm around her back to roll her onto her side so we’re face to face and her bottom is in the crook of my elbow and I pat her back. Sometimes in the night, if she’s not actually touching me, she’ll start to move her arms as if she were going to wake up, then she’ll arch her back and wriggle her whole little body over until she touches me or my arm. Her eyes stay closed, and as soon as she touches me again, she immediately stops moving and goes back into a deeper sleep. I love it! The huge grins she gives me during a 4am diaper change and again when she wakes up for the day are also priceless.”

    “I am now completely confident in myself to enjoy this sleeping arrangement without any worry of not being aware of her in my sleep. I’m now convinced that the last couple months of pregnancy prepares a mother for sleeping with baby, because with that big belly, I couldn’t roll over or move around in my sleep at all without waking up to help move my belly into a different position. So now I still don’t move in my sleep without waking up enough to know where she is, and I have no fear of “rolling over on her” (as everyone else fears) or elbowing her, even when she tucks herself in right under my chin.”

    “And, to make nighttime even easier, she started nursing lying down! So now I don’t even have to sit up or shuffle around grabbing the wedges until morning (because she won’t nurse lying down if she’s fully awake). It’s been great!”

    “I also appreciate your support in encouraging me to keep trying the sling. I probably wouldn’t have given up on it forever, but it was discouraging that she seemed to hate it so much. But now that the weather is warmer and we don’t need big jackets, it’s been easier to start trying to plop her in the sling to go in a store or something rather than lug the carseat. So this past weekend was the first time we went to the mall since she was born. I just carried her in the sling and she was fine! And the other day when we had to go to the dr for dh, I put her in the sling to go in cuz there was no way I was carrying the carseat and dh couldn’t, and she was fine the whole nearly 2 hour wait. She even went to sleep in the sling in the waiting room for the first time! And yesterday, she needed to be held, but I needed to make turkey soup, so I put her in the sling awake, and as I was preparing all the veggies, she soon drifted off! It made me very happy! So I’m very glad to have had your influence of carrying babies in slings and being able to do other things at the same time…”

    Please Don’t Dump Your Baby

    | January 8, 2012

    The Containerization of our Children

    The Containerization of Infants by Brandi Breitback, MOTR/L

    “‘A recent research study replicated a study done in the 1940’s, in which psychological researchers asked kids age 3, 5, and 7 to do a number of exercises…Today’s 5 year olds were acting at a level of 3 year olds, 60 years ago, and today’s 7 year olds were barely approaching the level of the 5 year old (1, 4, 5).’ In the 1940’s, children were reported to walk at 8-12 months of age, now children are reported to begin walking at 12-15 months of age (2). Realistically speaking that is only a generation ago; that’s a huge decline in functional performance in a relatively short time span.”

    “Containerization of infants is defined as ‘confining them to strollers, playpens, high chairs, and car/infant seats for hours at a time.’”

    I had always defined it as “baby dumping”…

    All five of mine walked by 9 or 10 months. I always say that the more babies are carried, the earlier they walk.

    Grocery Shopping With My 15-Month-Old

    | December 5, 2011

    At the grocery store, I wear C1 in a ring sling in a sitting/standing forward position so her hands can grasp the shopping cart handle. I don’t have to worry about her falling out of the shopping cart, and I have room for all the groceries needed for a “big” family. She loves to push the cart. I often pass her items or let her get things off the shelves, and she puts them in the cart. We meet a lot of people who want to talk to her and hold her hand. When we get to the check-out counter, she helps get things out of the cart and put them on the counter. Her favorite part is after waiting… and waiting… and waiting… for it to change from “Do Not Remove This Card”, she gets to haul the credit card out of the little machine. Then the check-out lady gives her the receipt.

    C1 is an excellent shopper (as were all my babies/toddlers). I believe that is because she has always been carried, always been included, always been treated as a person. She is not stuck in a car seat. She is not stuck in a cart. She is not stuck at home with a babysitter. She is learning about real life.

    The most common question I get when people see me wearing C1 in a sling is, “Isn’t she heavy?” Uh, yeah. But you sort of have to carry your 15-month-old child. I mean, seriously, if I have to make a bunch of stops – to the bank, to the post office, etc. I can’t leave her in the vehicle. It would be crazy to drag a stroller. Why wouldn’t I choose a way to carry her that leaves my hands free? (What on earth do other mothers do?!) Very importantly, babywearing also keeps C1 content in “her spot”. She knows her place and does not struggle to get down which she would do if she was simply in my arms. Today, I had to take the van to get it inspected. C1 had just fallen asleep in her carseat. I put her in the sling and she slept the whole time in the waiting room.

    Babywearing makes mothering so much easier, assuming you don’t prefer to get a mother substitute.

    Babywearing: The Answer to Crankiness

    | October 26, 2011

    If a baby is generally conflict free and happy most of the time, then it is much easier to deal with those rare days of teething or crankiness… Those are the times when babywearing pays off big time. Getting ahead of the game, by popping Baby in the sling or backpack keeps her distracted and comforted, especially when Mommy needs to keep up with the program. C1 even cheers when I get out the sling at home. This was yesterday when I had to get ready to go somewhere and nobody else could keep Baby content. The sling did the trick while I was putting on my make-up.

    I love my sling, Mommy.

    | September 23, 2011

    Awwww… C1 happened to find her baby ring sling and carried it over to me. She was so proud she had found it and smiled excitedly to be put in it… At home, I haven’t tended to babywear her as much as I did with my previous babies because with much older children in the house, more arms want to hold her, and she actually wants to be in on all the action. At this age, she usually prefers to be wrestling on the living room floor rather than in the sling at the kitchen sink. (Not that I am at the kitchen sink very often what with having older kids.)

    My “No Regrets” Alternative to Crying-It-Out

    | July 10, 2011

    Morning comes with bright light peeking around the edges of the window blinds. I am being summoned out of a deep sleep with the gentle stirrings of my sleeping baby curled up next to me. I draw her close with kisses and soft murmurings. With eyes still closed, she reaches her little fist out to grasp strands of my long hair, and she pops her trusty thumb in her mouth. This usually gives us some extra sleep before we start the day.

    9 1/2 months old

    When she stirs again, I remind her I’m here, reach for my firm foam wedges (2-12″ for comfortably sitting up in bed), clip my Brest Friend around my waist, and scoop my baby in my arms. She doesn’t have to cry. Many months ago, she mostly replaced her cry with a “cough” that means, “Hurry up, Mommy!”

    Nursing in sleep in bed ~ 2 1/2 months old

    She latches on, and her tummy begins to fill with her warm, nutritious breakfast. Another “cough” tells me to switch sides. Before she latches again, she does her morning stretch with arms quivering above her little head that she has arched back. Her legs are stretched right out, down to her bare toes, eyes still closed. Then she nurses more, and by this time, I am starting to fully awaken, and her eyes have begun to squint open, saying, “Of course it’s you, Mommy.” Then she concentrates on looking at me, and in spite of a few milky grins, and attempts at starting a conversation, she finishes her milk. I shove the wedges to the side, and we lay down and cuddle some more, and she begins to chatter and sit or stand on me. “Time to get up, Mommy!”

    Up for the day!! ~ 6 1/2 months old

    The rest of the day always includes several more nursing sessions, and a baby nursing nap here or there. Maybe even a sleep for Mommy and Baby in the La-Z-Boy chair. At least once a day, I help my six-year-old with his schoolwork with a nursing or sleeping baby in my arms.

    Homeschooling a six-year-old
    while nurturing a new baby ~ 20 days old
    Baby’s bed is the Brest Friend on Mommy’s lap.

    The view from my rocking chair ~ almost 5 months old

    Occasionally, if Baby is extra tired and Mommy is not, I lay her on a little floor mattress that I slide out from under the bed. That way, I can step away from the area for short times while she sleeps safely. I have an audio/video monitor that I might use on those occasions.

    Sleeping on the thin floor mattress next to the bed
    during a daytime nap ~ 9 1/2 months old

    I have never been a stickler for naps. Although Baby’s need for sleep is respected, I don’t find that naps require a certain place, time, or amount of time. Baby also does not determine our family’s daily activities. Baby may nap in my arms, in the carseat on the way to town, in the sling in a store, at the movies, during a walk, or in the backpack at the grocery store, etc.

    Our lifestyle is very welcoming to a baby. She is part of the family, and with the exception of everyone having to wait while we pull off the highway for Baby to have a nursing break or diaper change now and again, there is really no time when Baby causes the family to miss anything. For example, this spring, we did eight Disney/Universal amusement parks in eight days, and we spent another day at the beach! Baby was on board and partying as hard as the rest! (I highly recommend bringing a baby with you to Disney/Universal. Child swap is awesome! The whole family stands in line, and then the parents take turns going on the rides with all the kids. Double the fun for the children in much less time!)

    Napping in sling at a Hollywood Studios attraction ~ 8 months old

    Nursing nap while visiting relatives ~ 4 months old

    Typing the text for this article into the computer ~ 9 1/2 months old

    At bedtime, usually around 10 PM, I pour a glass of water, locate the TV remote control, and carry my onesie-clad baby into the bedroom. I arrange my foam wedges, fasten my Brest Friend into place, and my baby begins her bedtime nursing. We both are relaxed, and she usually falls asleep quickly and peacefully. Sometimes, she is not quite worn out, but it doesn’t take much activity before she settles down for more breastmilk. I watch TV or read or write or talk while she nurse-sleeps. Even after she finishes nursing, I may keep holding her until my arm gets all sweaty, and her little body gets too warm. That is exactly where she is as I write these very words. I often don’t want to put her down.

    Writing this article in bed with a pencil and paper
    I didn’t want to put down my sleeping baby.
    9 1/2 months old

    I eventually gently position her beside me on her side facing me, with her back to the high, sturdy bed rail. If she isn’t in a deep sleep, she will grab my hair on the way down and suck her thumb while I cuddle and pat her back to sleep. I usually continue watching TV or read as late as I like, right next to my sleeping baby. (I have researched and practice SAFE sleep sharing, but get your own medical advice.) She will stir at least a couple times (more often in the early months) during the night, rarely with a cry, and I readily provide her nighttime comfort and nutrition. All is good.

    As an older mother of five and after having experienced a devastating miscarriage, I know that this is a precious time, much to be appreciated, and will be gone all too soon.  “Babies don’t keep.”

    Nurturing my baby is truly my highest priority. The mutually satisfying mothering-to-sleep style I have chosen for each of my five babies is an alternative to the Ezzo, cry-it-out, sleep scheduling, Ferberizing methods.

    I can’t think of anything more rewarding as a mother than the pleasant experience of nursing my baby to sleep and having my baby sleep next to me. I encourage you to consider being willing to experience and embrace this glimpse of unconditional love.

    Trying to stick to strict schedules or having the attitude that if you “let baby get away with this, she will always want to do this” can take all the fun out of sleep-related mothering. Enjoy this peaceful mothering experience. Give your child the gift of your motherly comfort, and make your heart rejoice. 

    Live without regrets.

    Asleep on Mommy ~ almost 5 months old

    “He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.” Isaiah 40:11

    “‘Rejoice with Jerusalem and be glad for her, all you who love her; rejoice greatly with her, all you who mourn over her. For you will nurse and be satisfied at her comforting breasts; you will drink deeply and delight in her overflowing abundance.’ For this is what the LORD says: ‘I will extend peace to her like a river, and the wealth of nations like a flooding stream; you will nurse and be carried on her arm and dandled on her knees. As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you; and you will be comforted over Jerusalem.’ When you see this, your heart will rejoice and you will flourish like grass.” Isaiah 66:10-14

    DISCLAIMER: I want to make clear that sleep-related mothering does not always go so smoothly, but I will attest to the fact that the vast majority of the past ten months of my baby’s sleep-related life has been exactly as described as above. Also, I am not an expert, and I am not giving advice, so please refer to your doctor regarding all issues mentioned here and on this website.

    For more on this topic, choose from the following:

    Article: Does she sleep through the night?

    Crying it Out: Essay ~ Bible Verses ~ Quotes ~ Blog Posts ~ Books

    Sleep Sharing: Essay ~ Bible Verses ~ Quotes ~ Blog Posts ~ Books 

    NOTE: This is my contribution to the 8th annual Ezzo Week hosted at from July 11 -17, 2011. “This week is devoted to both encouraging parents, as well as educating them on the destructive philosophies and practices associated with the parenting teachings of Gary and Anne Marie Ezzo.”

    Animal Babywearing

    | March 27, 2011

    That’s some furball! Mother carries baby squirrel back to the nest coiled into a tiny ball

    Remember her? Baby is growing up!

    | March 27, 2011

    Baby’s growing up… and taking a shine to politics: The MEP who brings her daughter to Parliament

    “‘It was not a political gesture. It was first of all a maternal gesture – that I wanted to stay with my daughter as much as possible, and to remind people that there are women who do not have this opportunity [to bring their children to work], that we should do something to talk about this.’”

    Welcoming Baby into this World – The Attachment Parenting Way

    | March 2, 2011

    I just love these pictures of this newborn gorilla and its mother. What joy, what bliss, what love is this.  

    Feeding time for the five-day-old silverback so well protected by its mother that zookeepers don’t know what sex it is 

    “After drinking its mother’s milk, the tiny gorilla snuggles in her arms… The baby gorilla’s eyes grow heavy in the comfort of its mother’s embrace… She looks down at the baby lovingly and he appears to look back for reassurance before slowly drifting off into a deep sleep…”

    No crib. No crying-it-out. No mother substitutes. No milk substitutes… Instinctive attachment parenting all the way…

    “People who were more securely attached to their caregivers as infants were better at recovering from conflict 20 years later.”

    | February 20, 2011

    How Couples Recover After an Argument Stems from Their Infant Relationships

    “Couples’ abilities to bounce back from conflict may depend on what both partners were like as infants…”

    “By looking back at observations of the participants and their caregivers from the 1970s, when they were between 12 and 18 months old, the researchers discovered a link between the couples’ conflict recovery behaviors and the quality of their attachment relationship with their caregivers. People who were more securely attached to their caregivers as infants were better at recovering from conflict 20 years later. This means that if your caregiver is better at regulating your negative emotions as an infant, you tend to do a better job of regulating your own negative emotions in the moments following a conflict as an adult.”

    “The researchers also found that there is hope for people who were insecurely attached as infants. ‘We found that people who were insecurely attached as infants but whose adult romantic partners recover well from conflict are likely to stay together,’ remarked Salvatore. ‘If one person can lead this process of recovering from conflict, it may buffer the other person and the relationship.’ The health of a relationship can be salvaged if one person can quickly disengage from conflict and avoid dwelling on negative thoughts and emotions…”

    How Couples Recover After an Argument Stems From Their Infant Relationships

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