Raising Baby the Natural Way
We see the word “natural” being associated with an approach to parenting. Parents take great pride in the steps they are taking in providing care for their children. We used to call these parents hippies or use words such as crunchy, granola to describe them but today those words would not be an accurate description. All kinds of families are moving in this direction after being disappointed by the mainstream child care industry. Children’s products are being recalled on a daily basis because of toxic substances and parenting approaches are being revised regularly. There are increased cases of ADD, asthma, allergies and the list goes on. Research is now showing that many of these can be being traced back to the products and the approaches to parenting that we take. So what are the hot issues in natural parenting today?
Since all families are comprised of unique and different individuals with different values sets and motivations there is no standard definition that will fit for every natural family. In general though, natural families are concerned with one or more of the following things:
Natural Childbirth – Natural moms feel that giving birth is a natural and beautiful process that is not meant to be painless, sterile, or treated like a medical condition. They trust in their bodies to be able to birth children as nature intended without medical interventions or drugs that just increase the chances for unwanted c-sections, infection, and an inability to be present mentally when their child is born.
Breastfeeding – Natural parents believe that breast milk is the perfect source of food and nourishment for their baby. It is a waste free, economical, and easy access solution. Breast milk is also the perfect temperature for baby and it contains vital antibodies that will help babies to develop strong immune systems and avoid illness. Perhaps one of the best benefits of breastfeeding is its ability to help mom and baby bond with each other skin to skin.
Cloth Diapers – Many natural parents want natural, chemical free fibres next to their baby’s skin. Disposable diapers are filled with chemicals and other unsavoury petroleum based products, dioxin and sodium polyacrylate. Cloth diapers on the other hand are usually much more natural, gentle, and comfortable. Reducing the amount of waste produced each day from disposables which take anywhere from 100 – 500 years to breakdown, is another motivation. They wear fabric and want the same for their babies.
Babywearing – Natural families often practice some method of attachment parenting and wearing your baby close to you in a sling, wrap or other baby carrier is often a big part of that. In ancient days women wore their babies to keep them close and safe while they traveled, hunted, or gardened. Natural moms of today also carry their babies close to them while they work and play. Even breastfeeding is made easier when your baby is cuddled against you in a sling or wrap.
Homeopathic Remedies – Just as most natural parents want to avoid drugs and chemicals in childbirth they also like to keep these to a minimum in later years. Children’s cough medicines been the subject of scrutiny recently and even acetaminophen doses are being reviewed because of their harmfull effects on the liver. Limiting unnecessary drugs and practicing alternative medicine is also widely practiced in natural families
Green Living – Natural families generally feel that what nature provides is better in the long run so they seek to protect their environment and their connection to the natural world. They often seek to reduce the amount of needless stuff in their lives, reuse whenever they can, and recycle things they can’t reuse. Taking care of our planet is important to them.
There are many more ideals and practices held by society’s more natural minded parents but these are a few of the common ones. Most parents will do a combination of these and not necessarily all of them. The point is that looking at alternatives has proven to shift families to a more natural approach to their parenting and babies seem to be happy with the changes.
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