Hello, my name is Leslie and I am not a doctor or expert...I am a mom that is fed up with all of the so-called expert opinion books on the market. Most of which are NOT written by expert at all and most of which contain very damaging tips and tricks.
Gentle and kind nurturing begins in the womb...we make a conscience decision to not force labor, not to ingest anything harmful to our baby, not to accept painkillers if at all possible, to move through labor, to let labor come on it's own and to ease our way through it. While it is understood that sometimes medical need prevents this from happening, it is also understood that the Informed Mom will have researched her case and
will know if in fact it is a true need and will be ok with this happening if need be. We Informed Mom's research EVERYTHING and decide what is best for our unique situation and react accordingly. We go into childbirth and childrearing in charge and fully aware of every option.
The best start for baby directly after birth is to be placed skin to skin on mommas chest and allowed to nurse as soon as baby can. Cord is to be left alone and attached until is has either stop pulsing and has turned white or left on in lotus birth until it is allowed to fall off on it's own. I believe it is a baby's right to be breastfed, however, I realize not everyone feels this way about it. I ask you to at least nurse while in the hospital where you have time and help so that baby at least gets the important colostrum that is crucial for immunity building properties. Don't let anyone convince you that colostrum isn't enough for the first week or so...I assure you that it is. Babies do NOT need the 4+ ounces that we've come to assume they need. Babies also aren't supposed to eat a lot at one time then be full for hours on end either. This is a way of thinking that society has created so that parents can feed formula and have "time to themselves" and create "self-soothing"
babies. In fact, for the first 2 weeks or so, I even recommend feeding baby at least every 2 hours even if you have to wake baby. This means two hours from the start time of the last feeding, so, if you fed baby at 2:00PM and baby took 45 min+ to eat and has only been asleep for 30 mins go ahead and wake baby up at 4:00PM to eat. Yes, I know this goes against everything you have been taught, but, newborns don't always "wake up to eat". They get sleepy at the breast, they sleep when they are overstimulated, sleep when too
tired from being hungry and so on. Until about a month old at least, they need roused to wake and NEED to eat often. Their brain and growth and well being depend on it. They don't eat enough at any one time to be able to go for more than two hours between feeds. If you baby eats more often than this, don't worry, that is excellent. That means baby is doing it's part to stimulate your milk supply and making sure you make enough milk.
Remember that babies do NOT need to fall into the deep non-REM sleep until much later in life as a safety mechanism for SIDS. So, know that your baby can and should continue to wake at night for a long while in order to help protect itself against SIDS. Expect this sleep loss, know it will happen. Be prepared for interrupted sleep for the first 5 years and be pleasantly surprised when baby sleeps for long periods before that. This will help your sanity. Do not try to teach baby to sleep for long hours by allowing him to cry until asleep even if you go in and pat his back or comfort from above. This is not a healthy way to ensure you or your baby good sleep. Co-sleeping has been proven to be not only safer for baby, but, better for the breastfeeding relationship and co-sleeping moms get far more sleep than their counterparts. Now, I know you have been taught that co-sleeping is dangerous, but, those people are referring to bed-sharing which can be if done incorrectly. Co-sleeping includes room-sharing as well as bed-sharing. This means that baby can sleep in a bassinette by your bed, followed by side car-ing their crib to your bed or sleeping in a toddler bed in your room. If you choose to bed-share, please follow proper bed-sharing rules when doing so. Shown HERE and below:
Never leave an infant or toddler unattended on an adult bed. Co-Sleeping or family bed sharing consists of an adult & a child. Babies can roll off of beds (even when using a co-sleeping device) can become tangled in blankets, or otherwise need the attention of an adult. We recommend babies not be left unattended in the early months.
Never sleep with your baby on a water bed or on a couch. Water beds and couches are associated with suffocation of babies.
Avoid adding railings or putting furniture next to the side of your bed. Baby could become lodged next to railing or furniture and suffocate
Avoid pushing your bed against a wall. Baby could also be lodged between the bed and wall causing suffocation.
Never let another sibling sleep next to your baby. Children sleep deeply and may roll over on baby. Baby is best placed next to Mom or Dad only.
Never sleep next to your baby if you are intoxicated or have been using drugs, are taking medications, are overly tired or in any other way feel that your ability to be aroused could be affected.
It is not recommended that you bed share if are currently smoking. This has been associated with higher incidence of S.I.D.S.
Use a firm mattress for bed sharing. Soft mattresses can allow baby to accidentally roll over causing suffocation.
Make sure all bedding fits snuggly on the mattress. Fitted sheets that come loose could cover baby's face.
Make sure mattress is flush against head and footboards. If there are any gaps baby could become lodged between head or footboard and mattress and cause suffocation.
Always place baby to sleep on her back. This has been shown to reduce the risk of S.I.D.S.
Avoid over dressing your baby. Overheating is also associated with an increased risk of S.I.D.S.
Avoid strings or ties on night clothes or blankets. These could cause strangulation. Be sure to remove toys or other objects from bed before sleep time, to avoid suffocation.
If you have long hair tie it in a pony tail or braid it. Long hair could cause suffocation or strangulation.
Once you have established how you will sleep, either room or bed sharing, your nights
will become easier to manage as a family. My sleep post HERE and HERE.
I have found that infants that are worn a majority of their day actually do better later on as toddlers having benefited from constant contact and attention and care by their caregiver. Those kids whose parents where present(meaning attentive to their needs at all times) while they were babies seem to be more amiable and independent when toddlers and schoolage. This is because they were never left to wonder if their parent would come if they cried. They never had to fight or scream for attention, it just was. Likewise, those that were subjected to not present parents and allowed to cry into sleep were more clingy and needy as toddlers. For they weren't sure they could count on mom or dad and if they couldn't count on them, who could they count on? So, for this reason, I am a big advocate of wearing baby.This means, put baby in a sling or carrier or wrap while doing things around the home and for heavens sake, only use the car seat in the car. Don't leave baby in that or the stroller while in the store, you CAN shop with baby in a sling or wrap. Not only will you enjoy it, but, baby will reap the many benefits of being upright and involved with a very present parent. My baby wearing post HERE and HERE.
When if comes to food beyond breastmilk, I am a big advocate of Baby Led Solids. This means that baby gets nothing but breastmilk until it can sit completely unassisted and reaches and snatches a bite of food off your plate and can move hand to mouth and chew the food. Usually, baby should be over 6 months at least before this happens. Remember, baby CAN survive solely off breastmilk for at least the first year of life and
then some if they aren't interested. Don't let anyone tell you that baby NEEDS anything else. My second concern is rice cereal and baby purees...rice cereal IS junk food. It is essentially the same as feeding baby a bowl of white flour. Baby purees aren't very good either as they are runny mush. If you have followed the BLS approach, baby goes straight to real wholesome foods and skips the mush. Baby learns to feed himself and stops when he is ready. He isn't subjected to mouthfuls of disgusting liquids, but, allowed to try out many healthy foods bursting with flavor and nutrition. For instance: Avocado slices, baked sweet potato chunks, whatever you are having...that's right. My baby led weaning post HERE and HERE.
My next info is about the carseat...do NOT turn your child forward facing at age one. Kids need to remain rearfacing as long as their carseat allows. For some, that can mean up to 45lbs. The law doesn't say they have to forward face at one, it only gives a bare minimum age and weight that you can forward face them. It is 500% safer to rearface than to forward face. Please research this and take heed. Once they finally reach the max weight and height to rearface, please place them in a 5-point harness until they finally reach the max of that seat where you will then move them to a high backed booster. Kids should remain in some type of restraint seat until 4'9" and 100lbs or age 12. They should not ride in the front seat until age 13 at least. My carseat posts HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE.