Welcome to the August edition of Authentic Parenting Blog Carnival: Breastfeeding.
This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Authentic Parenting Blog Carnival hosted by The Positive Parenting Connection and Authentic Parenting. As August is Breastfeeding awareness month, our participants are writing about this exact subject! Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.
To my nursling,
Here I offer you a poem to encapsulate what nursing means to me. Though words fail to describe my feelings surrounding nursing, they can at least begin to sketch a picture of the significance of breastfeeding in our mother-son relationship. Maybe one day, years from now, my words will touch some place deep within you, a warm, hazy memory of childhood contentment and security, a little of what breastfeeding also meant to you. Continue reading To my nursling; what breastfeeding means to me→
Part two of a blog post about children’s footwear.
These ergonomically-designed shoes come close to barefoot walking, and fit the human foot snugly. These thin, soft-soled, flexible shoes are not widely available in the UK, although they can be purchased online from Kidzshooz and Cheeky Little Rascals. From my experience both these family-run companies offer excellent customer service, a range of brands, plus a sizing guide on their websites. They both sell squeaky shoes, which Kidzshooz advertise as ‘encouraging proper walking technique – a heel to toe motion is needed to make the shoe squeak’. These shoes are certainly a big hit with Ewan, as well as passers-by, many of whom are amazed by them!
Soft-soled slippers are another option and more widely available, great for indoor use or outdoors when it is relatively dry. Ewan has a pair of ‘Star Child’ slippers, which are made using Italian leather in a traditional shoe-factory in England. It is also possible to buy vegan shoes for children, for instance Green Shoes sell homemade soft children’s slippers made from the vegan material Lorica, a mixture of micro-fibres and resins. Soft-soled slippers can also be bought at a cheaper price from My Twinkle Toes, which are in fact identical to Star Child slippers!
The health of our children’s feet is directly linked to the footwear we choose to encase their feet in, as well as how often (if at all) we allow them the freedom of walking barefoot. This post explores the options which we have chosen for Ewan, the conscious choices we have made which we hope will provide him with many years of healthy, happy feet, long into the future.
This is a vast and interesting topic, which I could easily write thousands of words about; however, I write in more depth about this issue in an article entitled ‘Barefoot Babies’, published in ‘The Mother’ magazine’, May/June 2012, issue . This will be available to view on my blog in May 2013. Therefore, I aim to be brief here, in part to answer the many questions my friends and acquaintances have asked me about where I buy my son’s shoes from, as well as to introduce this topic so you can explore it further if you wish.
I like to call breastfeeding past one year ‘sustained breastfeeding’, a term used by many in the breastfeeding community, including Anne Sinnott, which she discusses in her book ‘Breastfeeding Older Children’. Other terms, such as extended or long-term breastfeeding, carry the assumption that it isn’t ‘normal’ or ‘natural’ to breastfeed past one year. The term ‘full-term breastfeeding’ can also be used, meaning the child nurses until the point he/she naturally weans.
Whilst breastfeeding toddlers and pre-schoolers is a normal biological human behaviour, and common on a worldwide basis, it is a rare, often cloistered and misunderstood activity in much of the West, in particular the UK and the US. The reasons for this are complex and beyond the scope of this post, however, culture has a huge part to play in the rarity of this practice.
I’ve been approached so many times about toddler slings that I’ve decided it’s time to write a post about them. This way many of the questions can be answered in one go, and this post referred to in the future by friends and acquaintances who want advice about the right kind of sling to buy.
Baby-wearing as a way of life
We have always used slings as the preferred mode of travelling with Ewan. I never understood or used a pushchair, feeling this separated me from my child. The merits of baby-wearing are a blog post, even a book, in itself, so I won’t discuss them in detail here. Safe to say, baby-wearing simply made sense for us, fitting perfectly into our parenting philosophy and our lifestyle.