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!

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

The Duggars: 20 and Counting

duggars-20-and-counting-2501I swear, I don’t usually read books like this. But I admit to a certain level of intrigue when it comes to the Duggars. I grew up in conservative Christian circles, but the Duggars just take it to a whole new level. Maybe it’s the traditional gender roles, maybe it’s the lack of any form of birth control, maybe it’s their seemingly docile sweet-natured kids. Whatever – I’m hooked on this freak show. I would be the first in line to poke fun about how Michelle Duggar got married at 17, or about how she began a career of handing out pizza samples following the marriage. Or maybe we could talk about the eldest son Josh and how he would give his fiancee awkward side-hugs. We don’t even need to say very much about Jim Bob, his name speaks for itself.
Continue reading

June 29, 2009 Posted by | books, parenting | 3 Comments

Unconditional Parenting

I’ve been intrigued by attachment parenting for the last five years or so. By the time I was pregnant I was fully devoted to AP and all that it entails. I was committed to breastfeeding, to responding to my baby’s cries, and to wearing my baby. I wasn’t sure about discipline, though. I had read some of the posts in the gentle discipline forum on Mothering, and I really wasn’t sure if this was the approach for me. Sometimes the posters had kids that seemed really out of control… and I thought that there must be a better way. Both my husband and I grew up under a very traditional form of his discipline, and honestly it has been hard for us to imagine anything else. Continue reading

June 19, 2009 Posted by | books, parenting | 1 Comment