Archive for July, 2010

Mothers Hold Your Babies Close!

Mobility has fully set in here at the pocket.buddha home. Oliver had been rolling and wiggling his way across short distances for quite some time. But in the last 3 weeks he has started crawling, cruising, and attempting to stand unassisted.

He’s like a whole new baby. To those who told me that I would spoil him and make him too dependent, for those who told me that I would regret holding him too much, I need only point to him as he pushes me out of his way to explore as proof that they were dead wrong.

I literally held this baby for 9 months straight (18 if you count that I carried him in my womb for 9 before that). I wore him in slings when we went out, I held him in the bath and shower, I nursed for HOURS (sometimes it felt like days) on end, he napped on my chest and slept in my bed. The only time he was on the ground was for short play times and on the off chance that no one else was available to hold him while I was unavailable for short periods. I don’t think I could have held him more if I tried.

And now he only wants me when he’s hurt or hungry.

Ok well, He still naps on me for at least 1 nap a day, and he still sleeps in my bed, and we still have a great many marathon nursing sessions, I still hold him in the bath or shower and wear him in slings when we’re out. But in between all that I seem to just get in the way.

The world is a wide open and interesting place to explore. And thanks to 9 (18) months of back breaking warmth and security, my little boy has the confidence to explore it independently, knowing that I’ll be right there and more than happy to hold him whenever he wants or needs me to.

What’s more, as he grows older, as he moves out of babydom, through toddler hood and child hood; when he is a great big teenager who makes me drop him off a block away from school so that nobody sees him with his *mom*, I will have the knowledge that there were no missed opportunities. I will have fond memories of that 9 (18) months where I was his whole entire world, and he was mine, and the subsequent years of love and laughter that come from a close and loving parent-child relationship. What is there to regret about that?


July 30, 2010 at 09:52 Leave a comment

Wordless Wednesday: Water Park

July 29, 2010 at 02:26 Leave a comment

Me at The Connected Mom:

EC: Overcoming First Impressions

“When I first heard about the practice of Elimination Communication (an alternative practice to diapering in which the caregiver anticipates the infant or child’s elimination needs and takes appropriate action to ‘catch’ the elimination.) I have to admit that my first reaction was far from open minded and accepting.” … Read More

July 28, 2010 at 11:42 1 comment

There’s Nothing Wise About Baby Wise

If an adult were in a relationship with someone who told them when and how long to sleep, when and how much to eat, when and how to play with no regard for that persons own autonomy in those matters, it would be considered an abusive relationship.

In general, our society is pretty firm in its belief that no one person should have total control over another sovereign being. wars have been fought about it, and  charters and bills have been written and codified to protect an individuals right to be just that, an individual.

So imagine my utter shock and outrage when I stumbled upon an infant care ‘resource’ called “On Becoming Babywise”. A system of ‘training’ in which parents are urged to rigidly schedule every part of their infants day from the age of 3 weeks on up in an effort to produce behaviours well beyond the physical ability of an infant to comply with.

Never mind all of the medical reasons that an infant shouldn’t be so rigidly scheduled. Never mind that the book heavily relies on the ‘cry it out’ method of ‘sleep training’ which I have already stated my feelings about.

My concern with this system is exactly what I stated above. If being under that much rigid control as an adult is at the very least an extremely unhealthy and abusive relationship, and at the most extreme a violation of a persons rights as an individual, why on earth would anyone think that it’s alright to treat a child that way?

Before the comments start rolling in let me clarify. Most children love routine, some, if left to their own devices, will even put themselves on a fairly predictable schedule. Routine can be comforting to children as it gives them the certainty and stability of knowing what comes next. There is absolutely nothing wrong with falling into, or even putting together a loose routine.

Here at the Pocket.Buddha home we have a pretty reliable morning routine, a fairly predictable preamble to bedtime, and most days involve long and short nursing sessions, a nap or 3, breakfast, lunch and dinner, a few chores around the house, a walk to the store to get fresh ingredients for supper and a bit of a play at the park, though not always, and in varying orders.

What I take issues with are statements that completely disregard the needs of the infant for the convenience of the parent. “The mother decides when nap time should start and when it should end”

Statements like this one are offered up in this book with little to no talk about reading your baby’s ques to know when they are tired, when they are hungry, or when they are feeling anything. As best I can tell (full disclosure I could not stomach to read the whole thing so I could be wrong) the author of this book doesn’t seem to take into account that an infant FEELS anything.

So here’s the really burning question. If a child is told when to sleep and when to eat, and when to play; and when their own wants and needs in any given moment are put off or outright ignored for the convenience of others from day 1 (sorry, week 3) and on through potty training, toddler-hood and childhood. What are they being taught about their own self-worth? And even more disturbing, what kind of relationships (with friends, employers, lovers/spouses ect) will they have in the future with this as their model? Is Babywise really a healthy baseline for our children to compare all future interpersonal encounters with?

Books like this and the theories that they are based in bother me to no end because they seem to forget one very important fact.

Our children are human beings, they are not dolls that can be played with only when YOU want to, or pets that need to be trained, most importantly, they are not inconveniences to be managed.

For more information about gentle more baby friendly alternatives to the babywise program and other systems like it you can visit the following sites:

API: Attachment Parenting International

Elizabeth Pantley’s No-Cry Series

Ask Dr. Sears

If you have any gentle parenting resources that have worked for you please share them in the comments section. I would love to add to my link and reading lists.

July 10, 2010 at 02:25 4 comments

World Breastfeeding Week Celebration! A Call For Submissions.

World Breastfeeding Week is fast approaching and I want to celebrate!

Recent blogging carnivals on a vast array of parenting subjects have inspired me to put together a similar event right here on my blog to celebrate World Breastfeeding Week.

The focus of World Breastfeeding Week is taking steps to ensure that more women who want to breastfeed are able to meet their breastfeeding goals by working to establish ‘baby friendly’ practices in hospitals and birthing centers, and working to support and educate women and medical professionals about lactation issues.

How can you add your voice to the celebration and help support breastfeeding mothers everywhere?

You can share your Breastfeeding stories!

I have chosen 3 themes for the week based on the overall goal of supporting women to meet their own breastfeeding goals. Below are the themes that I have chosen, along with a couple prompts to get you started. If you have a story to share that doesn’t fit into one of these categories SEND IT ANYWAYS! Every woman, baby, and breastfeeding relationship is different, the following themes and prompts are JUST SUGGESTIONS.

1) Don’t be a boob – breastfeeding taboos, stereotypes and myths often negatively affect a mother’s chances of successfully breastfeeding for as long as she’d like, or at all.

-Have you encountered any stereotypes, taboos, or myths from family, friends, or medical professionals?

-How did you react to them?

-Were you able to work past them?

-Did you hold any of these stereotypes, taboos, or myths yourself before breastfeeding?

-How and why did you change your mind?

2) Fairy boob mothers – the love and support of family is key to establishing a strong breastfeeding relationship. The love and support of someone knowledgeable who has been where you are can be even better!

-Did you get any good support and advice from anyone about breastfeeding?

-Did you have a breastfeeding friend or relative who you looked up to?

-What about nurses or lactation experts?

– did you receive encouragement for care from someone that helped you to meet your breastfeeding goals?

3) The “boobless” – There was no breastfeeding support more valuable to me than that of my husband, and I am sure the same hold true for many. But sometimes finding a parenting niche is tough for those “boobless” caregivers. Daddies have a hard job when offering comfort isn’t as simple as lifting your shirt. I want to hear from those “boobless” partners! (Or if your partner has breasts too, just not the ones that feed your nursling, I want to hear from her too!)

-How do you think breastfeeding has affected your family’s dynamic?

-Were you always supportive of breastfeeding?

-If not, what convinced you? How and why did your views change?

-In the early days, when mama and baby spent hours nursing and bonding, what did you/do you do to bond with your little one?

-What did you/do you do to help your partner?

-Of course if you are a breastfeeding mama who would like to write about how awesome and wonderful her partner is and how s/he helped you meet your breastfeeding goals we want to hear from you too!

Once again I want to stress that these themes and prompts are not set in stone. If you have a breastfeeding story you would like to share that doesn’t fit any of these categories please send it anyways!

Creativity is encouraged! If you feel more comfortable submitting a poem, researched paper, photo, video, (cool event button or badge!!!) or anything breastfeeding related rather than a personal story you are more than welcome!

You can send your submissions to me at: pocket [dot] Buddha [at] gmail [dot] com.

Once I approve your submission for inclusion in my World Breastfeeding Week Celebration I will send you an email with a blurb introducing the event to add to the top of your post.  You may then post your piece and send me the link.

Your piece should be submitted before Thursday July 29th and  should posted no later than August 1st.

During World Breastfeeding week (August 1st – 7th) I will post links to all of the submissions. So be prepared for some extra traffic and comments that week.

If you do not have your own blog, you may submit a piece anyways and I would be happy to post it as a guest post on this  site.

Thank you in advance for all of your submissions! If you don’t plan on contributing, make sure you watch this space August 1st-7th for links to all of the submissions, it’s sure to be good reading!

July 8, 2010 at 04:25 3 comments

Wordless Wednesday: Gardening

July 8, 2010 at 04:04 Leave a comment


Welcome to my new digs!

Please bare with me while I settle into my new space, there may be a few changes here or there that are still being made.

Thank you so much for following me over here from my blogger blog. I am excited about this move and am hoping that it will bring lots of great changes to my blogging ‘career’. I have a few fun things planned for the very near future so watch this space!

July 7, 2010 at 04:04 1 comment

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What is a Pocket Buddha?

The pocket Buddha is a talisman, whether the pocket is in our mind or our jeans, the pocket Buddha is there to add a touch of Zen to our lives. He smiles from his dark penny and used tissue filled abode and reminds us simultaneously to go with the flow of our lives and to keep our goals, hopes and dreams ahead of us. At least one moment everyday, the satisfaction of a project completed, the taste of a meal we managed to make without burning, the extraordinary patience we somehow managed to show in the most frustrating of times, the pocket Buddha throws us a pocket-lint sized piece of nirvana, and for that I am very grateful.

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