method of lizzy

preservations… for posterity

Nighttime Parenting

Cosleeping (whether bedsharing or roomsharing) could never be best if all participants do not feel comfortable with the practice, and this is always the best time to stop. If anyone involved does not wish to cosleep, then cosleeping should never be forced. Dr. James McKenna, Sleeping with Your Baby

There is no right or wrong place for babies to sleep. Wherever all family members sleep the best is the right arrangement for you and your baby. Dr. William Sears

I co-slept with Calvin until he was about eleven months old. I loved co-sleeping very much: there was nothing quite like snuggling up with my baby and knowing that he was safe and sound. He would wake at night to nurse, and a minute after latching him on I would drift back to sleep. When I woke in the night I could lay my hand on him to make sure that he was all right. Almost every night I slept pretty well.

Things were so good that I didn’t even understand the big deal about night-weaning. We were all pretty happy with our arrangement, and I was fine if it continued indefinitely. I read stories of night-weaning that happened when the mom told the baby “the milks go good night when the sun goes down” and I figured that would be me, too. Continue reading

September 22, 2009 Posted by | all things baby, parenting | 3 Comments

Parents: Most of What You Are Doing Is Wrong

Great article on Salon: Parents: Most of What You Are Doing Is Wrong , a review of Nutureshock: New Thinking About Children.

Having read some of Alfie Kohn’s work, I’m familiar with some of this – especially the information about praise being bad. This sounds like a good book, but I’m not sure if I’ll get around to reading it since it seems to be somewhat similar to Kohn’s Unconditional Parenting.

September 21, 2009 Posted by | books, parenting | Comments Off on Parents: Most of What You Are Doing Is Wrong

Making the “Terrible” Twos Terrific!

Note: After writing this review, I decided to look up more information about the author. I was disappointed to find out that in a later book, he slammed attachment parenting, saying that it was for the benefit of the parent, not for the child. Those familiar with AP know that this makes absolutely no sense. I find it disappointing that the author would say such a thing, but I imagine that he equates AP with permissive parenting. While there are APers who are extremely permissive, there are also APers who disciple their children very well. Despite this, I will go ahead and post this review, as overall I liked much of the book.

I found this book to be a nice change of pace: though it’s not 100% AP, it’s definitely not 100% mainstream modern parent, either. It’s the “truth somewhere in the middle” version that I sometimes find myself subscribing to. APers will mostly take issue with Rosemond’s mocking attitude towards the family bed. Some APers that border on the consensual living side of the spectrum will take issue with his use of time-out and his stress of the importance of the parent as the authoritative figure. There are a few other non-AP stances, but for the most part this book is about using gentle discipline during the “terrible twos”, the period of time from 18 months to 36 months.

Since I mention the non-AP parts of the book, let me mention the parts that are AP. Rosemond discusses the importance of attachment during a child’s formative years. He talks about how when a child has a need and is demonstrating it by being clingy, for example, the right thing to do is to meet that need and give the child the assurance that he needs. He goes over developmentally appropriate behavior. He states that only a child who is secure in his parent’s ability to care for him can someday move on towards an autonomous state. He speaks about the importance of trust in the parent-child relationship and how this trust forms early and must continue to endure. Sounds pretty good for a book that is marketed to the mainstream parent, right? Continue reading

September 20, 2009 Posted by | parenting | Comments Off on Making the “Terrible” Twos Terrific!

One-Year Checkup

Today Calvin has his one-year visit with the pediatrician. I asked them to check his iron levels, as I was curious if they would be in normal range. Despite never having iron-fortified formula or food and despite never having taken vitamins, he was in a normal range.

Is Iron Supplementation Necessary? For the breastfed baby, the answer is usually “no.”

September 15, 2009 Posted by | all things baby, crunchy | | Comments Off on One-Year Checkup

The Vaccine Book

Calvin is now a year old and we are due for an appointment with the pediatrician. The question of vaccines always comes up at each visit. In preparation, I sat down to research the available vaccines and decide if there were any that I wanted to give to my son. Most parents vaccinate according to the AAP’s schedule, but after doing some research when I was pregnant I decided that there was no reason for that. I try not to be too cavalier about my decision to delay or selectively vaccinate, but the truth is that I found that many vaccines are unneccessary and could have harmful side effects. My son is at especially low-risk considering that he is breastfed and not in daycare.

How do you go about muddling through the available research on vaccines? The Vaccine Book by Dr. Robert Sears is a worthwhile addition to any new parent’s library. Sears answers the following questions about the AAP-recommended vaccines:

  • What is the disease?
  • Is the disease common?
  • Is the disease serious?
  • Is the disease treatable?
  • When is the vaccine given?
  • How is the vaccine made?
  • What ingredients are in the vaccine? (and, are any of these controversial?)
  • What are the side effects of the vaccine?
  • And finally, the ultimate question: Should you give your baby the vaccine? Sears presents the case from both sides of the argument. He then gives his own opinion.

In the end, Dr. Sears is predominantly pro-vaccine. For instance, Chapter 1 is devoted to the HIB vaccine. HIB is virtually eradicated in the United States – only 25 cases per year. It is a serious disease with a 5% fatality rate and 25% chance of brain damage. However, it is treatable, especially when caught early. This vaccine has one of the safest side effect profiles, however it does have a controversial ingredient (aluminum). On top of this, there is also concern that this vaccine may contribute to juvenile diabetes.

For me, the decision not to vaccinate for HIB was a no-brainer. I found this to be one of the easier vaccine decisions. However, Sears doesn’t share my point of view. He concludes Chapter 1 by stating ” Since the disease is so rare, HIB isn’t the most critical vaccine. But it’s definitely high on the Top Ten list.” Umm, Dr. Sears – I only counted twelve vaccines on the AAP list. The “Top Ten” comment is relatively meaningless, especially when you have similar comments about the other vaccines.

Despite that, I recommend Sears’ book because it has fairly up-to-date information on the currently-recommended vaccinations. (Sidenote:  there is another popular vaccination book, “What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Children’s Vaccinations.” Unfortunately this book is rather out of date).  As a delayed/selective or sometimes even a non-vaxer, I appreciate Sears presentation of reasons not to vaccinate. More often than not, this has been the route that I choose to take. Sears also provides an alternative schedule for those who chose to selectively vaccinate. It still contains some of the no-brainers on my list (HIB, Roatvirus) but this might be a good choice for the parent who is unwilling to completely forego vaccinations.

If you are still having trouble deciding what to do, I recommend perusing the CDC Pink Books.

September 13, 2009 Posted by | all things baby, crunchy, health, parenting | 2 Comments

Becoming Orthodox: A Journey to the Ancient Christian Faith

becomingThis is the story of an en masse conversion to Orthodox Christianity. The author and his Campus Crusade for Christ colleagues found that they had become disillusioned by the parachurch movement they were involved in. They wanted to rediscover the original church – the New Testament Church. Together they began a journey to find this church and in the end they found that she was there along as the Eastern Orthodox Church.

A week or two before picking up this book, I knew absolutely nothing about the Orthodox Church. If you had asked me, I would have guessed that it was some division of Catholicism. My ignorance was rather profound given my Christian upbringing. I learned that in the first few centuries after Christ, the division between the Eastern and the Roman (Western) church was at first geographical. The division became very real and permanent when the Roman church began to re-interpret the established church doctrine. The Orthodox church holds very strongly to the views and practices of the original New Testament church and the ecumenical councils. In my reading so far I have found that it truly is an unchanging church.

The author presents an eye-opening critique of one of Protestantism’s main tenets: sola scriptura. If you’ve ever wondered why there are so very many different Protestant sects, sola scriptura is your answer. Was the Bible really meant to stand alone? Writes the author, “Without the Church being there to interpret, to shed the light of holy tradition on those chapters and verses, you and are in a dead heat: his interpretation versus yours.” To Protestants with “Romaphobia,” the use of holy tradition seems very Catholic and thus concerns them.

This book is a great introduction to those unfamiliar with Orthodoxy. If you’re background is Protestant then you are really in for a wild ride, but you’ll find that it is hard to ignore the validity of the arguments.

September 7, 2009 Posted by | books, christianity, orthodox | | Comments Off on Becoming Orthodox: A Journey to the Ancient Christian Faith

Happy Birthday, Calvin

Baby boy, this year has gone by so quickly. I have loved so much and I have learned so much. You turned my world upside down. I love you – you’ll never know how much.

My baby is one today. In honor of his birthday, I decided that I should finally write down his birth story.

I had been planning a natural childbirth long before I was even pregnant. When I moved to Atlanta I quickly figured out which hospital would let me have a waterbirth and I also found an awesome midwife and began to see her. Although I am a supporter of homebirth, I really wanted my first to be born in a hospital, minus the typical hospital experience. Fortunately that option was available to me.

I was due in mid-August 2008. August came and went. My midwife began talking about the unthinkable: induction. I really did not want to be induced. I really feared being induced. I have read so many horror stories of failed inductions as well as stories of women who believe that pitocin contractions are much worse that natural contractions. Since I was going drug-free, this was certainly a concern. But my midwife promised a “low and slow” pitocin drip. Best of all, we would turn off the pitocin once labor got going. With that reassurance (as well as additional reassurance from my doula) I felt fairly ready when I checked into the hospital on the morning of September 2nd. Continue reading

September 3, 2009 Posted by | all things baby, childbirth, crunchy, midwifery, motherhood, parenting, women's health | Comments Off on Happy Birthday, Calvin

Recovering from Anxiety

Since I have written so much about the experience of anxiety and my road to recovery, I thought it would only be fair to write about what it is like to be 99% recovered from the experience. First, a quick recap:

September 3, 2009 Posted by | anti-depressants, anxiety, health | Comments Off on Recovering from Anxiety