Travelling with our little one

Welcome to the June edition of Authentic Parenting Blog Carnival: Vacation and Travel.

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Authentic Parenting Blog Carnival hosted by The Positive Parenting Connection and Authentic Parenting. This month our participants are sharing ideas, inspiration and information on travel and vacations! Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.

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I could write a book or two about travelling; however, aware of my audience, I shall attempt to be brief!  

The travelling bug

I have been described as a ‘roamer’ and a gypsy because of how much travelling I do. Indeed, I cannot sit still for long and love to explore. Perhaps this is why my son is so active, and why I married a fell runner and climber! I caught the travelling bug after completing a gap year at the age of 18, where I lived in Nepal, teaching Tibetan refugee children. This was a life-changing experience, which has greatly influenced my life choices. When I met Rich, my future husband, we pursued our shared love of mountaineering and travelling by escaping to the mountains of Wales, Scotland and France as often as possible. On graduating, disenchanted by a stressful job in London, I moved to Vietnam to teach English in Hanoi. Living in Vietnam gave me the opportunity to travel a lot in South East Asia. Richard joined me as part of his sabbatical from IBM, where we travelled together round Vietnam, China, Nepal and Tibet, before returning to the UK, where we shortly after got married, spending our honeymoon in Kenya and Zanzibar.

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Discovering Elimination Communication: Part Two

Being more in-tune with our babies

EC is about connecting with our children on a deeper level, being truly in-tune with our babies. This communion between parent and child is an instinct once necessary for survival, submerged over the last century with the advent of industrialised living. Our reliance on material aids means we no longer have to rely on our senses to alert us to our baby’s actions; just as we have lost the art of reading our baby’s signals of elimination, we have also passed night-time communication over to a baby monitor sleep.

I haven’t yet reached the stage where I feel in complete unison with my son. However, being aware of and practising part-time EC has deepened my responsiveness and communication with him. It has also reduced the number of nappies we use, a bonus as reusable nappies still use up valuable resources and energy and take time to care for.

Continue reading Discovering Elimination Communication: Part Two

Labouring naturally: nature’s gift

Welcome to the June 2012 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Embracing Your Birth Experience

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month our participants have written about at least one part of their birth experience that they can hold up and cherish.

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It is the journey, not the destination that matters. Here I describe the most beautiful, spiritual aspect of my labour, the first stages along a bumpy road to giving birth. My firstborn child, a son, was born in June 2010. Ewan’s birth was far from the ‘perfect’, natural birth I had envisaged, prepared for and naively believed I would have. Instead, I gave birth by emergency caesarean under general anaesthetic. Lying unconscious, I missed the first three hours of my son’s life, and then spent the next few days too ill to care for my son, recovering in hospital.

My suffering, the pain, trauma and long period of postnatal recovery were far outweighed by the child standing before me. My son was born a very healthy little boy, who nursed like a dream. Our first meeting was indescribable, as I instantly felt overwhelmingly attached to my son, an outpouring of unconditional love which knew no bounds.

Now, almost two years on, I can reflect on and celebrate this profound experience, cherishing the joy of labouring naturally, even though I could not in the end birth naturally. In this post I share the period before the second stage of labour, holding these hours up with strength, pride and happiness for all to see.

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Discovering elimination communication: Part One

A year into our cloth nappy wearing journey I discovered elimination communication (EC), also known as natural infant hygiene and infant potty training. This concept was a revelation to me, causing me to re-think how I approached my child’s elimination needs. After extensive reading online, as well as reading Christine Gross-Loh and Laurie Boucke’s books, I decided to try this theory out.

The theory goes that newborn babies communicate their wish to eliminate, but in the West we are blind to and ignore their signals, training them to eliminate in nappies instead of potties or toilets. EC involves learning and responding to these signals, lifting our baby to squat on a potty or toilet bowl in order to eliminate. The process takes a lot of time, patience and attention to our babies, which many parents in the West find conflicts with our busy modern lifestyles. It may appear radical, but it is how parents have managed their children’s elimination needs for millennia, and how many societies still function today.

Continue reading Discovering elimination communication: Part One