Monday, July 6, 2015

Babies Are to LOVE

Everyone must figure out their own parenting style. Most of us around here practice some version of Attachment Parenting - always with some adjustments to fit our own families' needs.

Today as I was preparing to write something specifically about breastfeeding, I came upon this section of La Leche League's The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding and it summed up exactly what I personally needed to hear, so I decided to share it with all of you as well.

I hope you enjoy:

Through doubts and anxious moments, remember - babies are to love. The task of caring for your new baby will not seem nearly so awesome if you keep this thought in mind. "Tender loving care" is what the very best authorities recognize as the prime need of babies. Look to your own baby. Is he happiest when snuggled close to you, nursing very often, perhaps even every hour? Or does he respond best when laid down after a nursing and patted to sleep? Your baby's well-being, comfort, and security are your guides.

There is a beautiful simplicity about the care of the young baby that does not apply at any other stage of childrearing. With sureness we can say that a baby's wants are a baby's needs. The wants of a two- or three-year-old, however, may not always be what he needs. Parents will not respond any less lovingly then, but their approach will adjust to the changing world of the mobile child.

Mary Ann Cahill, one of La Leche League's co-Founders, talks about the needs of a newborn:
From living in the womb with the umbilical cord supplying all his needs, he has progressed to a position outside of, but near, mother's body. He is meant to be within close proximity of her warm breast and the sound of her voice. It is nature's careful way of providing a transition from the infant's old world to his new one. The little newcomer has the freedom needed to grow, yet is assured of continuous, loving support. The all-important mother-child bond replaces the umbilical cord.
With your newborn, "giving in" to him is good parenting. Feed him according to his own time schedule. Comfort him when he is upset. But you may ask, won't such permissiveness spoil the baby? This question is asked by many parents who are sincerely concerned about their children and want to do what is best.

A mother, grandmother, and La Leche League Leader, Marion Blackshear, had this to say on the matter of spoiling and babies. "When you think of a piece of fruit as spoiled, you think of it as bruised, left on the shelf to rot, handled roughly, neglected. But meeting needs, giving lots of loving care, handling gently, is not spoiling. I could carry this one step further and say that a piece of fruit is at its best when left to ripen on the tree, its source of nourishment - and baby is at his best when held close to his source of physical and emotional nourishment - his mother."

And others agree. Dr William Sears, pediatrician and author of numerous child care books says, "Spoiling is a word that should be forever stricken from parenting books...Babies do not get spoiled by being held. Babies 'spoil' when they are not held."

And in his classic book, How to Really Love Your Child, Dr Ross Campbell explains:
We cannot start too early in giving a child continuous, warm, consistent affection. He simply must have this unconditional love to cope most effectively in today's world. those babies! Nurse those babies! Nurture those babies!

They are only so tiny once. And don't worry - you have a village here to help you through anything that may come up! Join us every Wednesday at 1:00 pm for Milk Monologues (except for THIS Wednesday, 7/8/15), and every second Thursday (that's this Thursday!) at 6:30 pm for Evening Milk Monologues. Remember - we are here for you!


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