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

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

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

Parenting Library

I’ve been thinking of putting together a book list for awhile. I’m finally getting around to it after reading through the great list on phdinparenting. Some of the books listed there are favorites, others I’ve been meaning to read, and then there are a few brand-new ones that I’ll have to add to my list.

As you’ll see from all of the books on my “to-read” list at the bottom, I am a bit obsessive when it comes to parenting books. I like to research everything. I want to know all that I can know. Do I need these books to be a good parent? No, I don’t think so – I have plenty of mothering instincts already and when I listen to them, they serve me well. If anything, I need the information in these books to help shield me from the modern world of parenting. These books help me to get back to the basics. Continue reading

August 29, 2009 Posted by | all things baby, books, childbirth, crunchy, motherhood, parenting, women's health | 1 Comment

Breastfeeding Myths

As if those first few weeks of breastfeeding weren’t challenging enough, you may soon find that you are overwhelmed by conflicting information. Seven common breastfeeding myths:

You have to eat a special diet. The truth is that you could live on junk food and your baby would still get the nutrients that he needs. (Whether you would get the nutrients that you need is a different story!) There are not any foods that you need to avoid. Even the occasional soda, coffee or wine will not have an adverse affect on your milk. [1] Women all over the world have varying diets depending on their culture.  You do have to consume an adequate number of calories in order to sustain your milk production, but in the industrialized West this is not a problem that most mothers face. Continue reading

August 28, 2009 Posted by | all things baby, motherhood | | 2 Comments

Eating my words

I recently read through my old blog posts, and with some chagrin I noticed this gem from my book review of Perfect Madness: Motherhood in the Age of Anxiety:

But I will not sacrifice myself or my marriage for my child’s temporal needs. When the child is older, will he give a damn that he ate homemade babyfood? No way. But I will remember the years of his youth, and I want to look back on them fondly, not as a time when I was stretched beyond my limits.

I cringed at my use of the term “temporal needs”. I am not really sure what I meant when I threw out that phrase, but the mother in me now finds it to be a bit harsh. How have I changed so much since then? Continue reading

July 16, 2009 Posted by | all things baby, motherhood | Comments Off on Eating my words

Cloth Diapering for the Lazy Parent

Cloth diapering is surprisingly easy. Invest in cloth diapers and you’ll save money as well as space at the landfill. Cast aside your preconceptions: even the laziest parent can cloth diaper. You’re going to be changing diapers no matter what. All that cloth diapering will require of you is a little extra laundry.

Baby Calvin in a cloth diaper with Thirsties cover. 3 weeks old.

Baby Calvin in a cloth diaper with Thirsties cover. 3 weeks old.

Continue reading

June 17, 2009 Posted by | all things baby, crunchy | 2 Comments