Sunday, December 11, 2011

what is natural parenting?

i have a quite high interest in natural parenting. i started to research and learn about the natural parenting after i gave birth to aliyah in 2009. through my readings and research, i believed that natural parenting is basically the way our parents and grandparents did raising children. it is very interesting to see how modern parents interpret it and bring the natural parenting forward. and the fact that most of parents today are also working parents, raising children in the natural ways also means extra work and extra efforts.

so what makes up this natural parenting, or also referred as attachment/ responsive parenting:

  • Prepare for pregnancy, birth, and parenting: parents and parents-to-be research parenting philosophies; maintain a healthy diet and active lifestyle; educate themselves about healthcare providers, birthing options, and the risks and benefits of medical interventions; research breastfeeding and routine newborn care procedures (circumcision, etc.);

this remind me of books i bought during  first pregnancy ; thinking i can sail smoothy into parenthood with books in arms hahahaha! not that it does not help at all, but it's nothing like the real deal. books can be a good reference, but at the end of the day, it's your love and your du'a to Allah Almighty, will guide you and put you at ease. talking to experienced friends and family members also helps, but i learn that our parents cannot be all the time provide the answers. my mom forgot a lot of thing to do to a newborn; can't blame her, last time she gave birth was in 1983!
  • Feed with love and respect: practice exclusive and full-term breastfeeding if possible, and feed with love and respect regardless of whether it is at the breast or with a bottle; parents continue to nurture when introducing solids, and strive to offer healthy, wholesome foods when babies are ready;
i strive to breastfeed. i breastfeed for 15 months with aliyah, and i am breastfeeding adam for 5 months already. i also learn that i must not impose the breastfeeding ideas (thought i wish every mom can experience breastfeeding). but i promise to support anyone that come to me for advice and tips :)
  • Respond with sensitivity: parents understand that babies cry to communicate needs, and that physical contact is healthy and natural. Parents continue to respond with sensitivity into toddlerhood and beyond, embracing big emotions and helping children learn to communicate gently (rather than stifling emotions or punishing “tantrums”);
ahhh this is tough. recently i made a promise to myself to control my emotions if aliyah buat perangai when we fetch her after work at the babysitter. as much as my heart drops every time i send them off and go to work, i believe she also feels the same. i pray for Allah to grant me with patience and promise to be the rock (literally) for both aliyah & adam.
  • Use nurturing touch: this category includes babywearing and skin-to-skin contact for infants, and hugs and physical play for older children;
i tried babywearing for  aliyah, and i am not comfortable, so i guess it's not for me. my husband sweats a lot so it's a no too haha! but hugs and kisses are constant in our home, we sing and dance in shower when we can (we means me and aliyah or adam; ayah tak berapa nak join haha), we scare each other by hiding behind doors and stuff like that.
  • Ensure safe sleep: parents take steps to make sleep safe both physically and emotionally; this category includes bed sharing and co-sleeping, responsive nighttime parenting, and no “crying it out”;
i have been talking about putting aliyah in different room since last year, but i can't! my husband is not so keen, not because of aliyah, but he thinks i might not be able to sleep at all at night. so co sleeping it is! they both smells better too hahaha!
  • Provide consistent and loving care: Parents do not attempt to put babies on strict feeding or sleep schedules. When parents must leave children with alternative caregivers, they find caregivers who respect the children’s needs and are supportive of the attachment principles;
alhamdullilah, our babysitter has knowledge on handling breast milk and very supportive of it. so far aliyah is happy staying with her and her family, sometimes she refused to go back with us! every day in the car i ask aliyah to du'a with me so that both adam & aliyah are safe and healthy at the babysitter while we are both at work.
  • Practice gentle/positive discipline: Parents do not discipline to control, manipulate, or put fear into their children, but to teach. Parents strive for communication and mutual respect and avoid harsh/physical punishment;
ahaa this is another tough thing. i admit that i raised my voice, though i also make daily reminder not to! aaarghh! sigh, i am not perfect. i might need to reflect on this a lot!
  • Strive for balance in personal and family life: Families seek to balance the needs and wants of each family member.
recently, i put away all the housework after i reached home. i changed them, i played with them, feed them and put them to sleep. sometimes i sleep with them, until midnite and only do the housework after that. i don't mind sleeping late as long as they are happy. my house is in the mess on weekdays and i don't care! my motto now is to put down the laundry and snuggle more with the kids.


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