Sunday, March 25, 2012

Weekend Discussion: Extended Breastfeeding

Today I came across an article entitled Daily Mail Calls Extended Breastfeeding 'Horrifying'

I had not previously seen the bit from the Daily Mail (Breastfeeding a six-year-old in tandem with her newborn - horrifying or a loving bond?) but reading through it now I am disgusted in the language that portrays a mother feeding her child as some sort of naive child abuser.

The first few sentences describe a typical morning in Amanda Hurst's household - both children are hungry for breakfast. Typically, she breastfeeds her baby. Her son asks (specifically, using his made-up term for breastmilk) to nurse as well. This is where the article makes quite a deal of both children being fed in tandem despite the age of the older child.
        "When Jonathan was three, Amanda, quite rightly, told him he was too old to breastfeed."
         "The love between a mother and son is tangible. But there is something intensely uncomfortable about this scene..."
         "Many mothers, too will find Amanda's decision to breastfeed a six-year-old and a five-month-old simultaneously shocking and even distasteful."

One of the closing statements of the article is from Amanda - ‘My opinion is that you should carry on until the child doesn’t want it anymore, within reason. I would like him to grow out of it.’

So what do you think? Should a mother be allowed to breastfeed her child as long as both are happy with it? Or should there be an age restriction?

Monday, March 12, 2012

Monday Review: Bumbo Seat

I was excited to receive this (and the separate tray attachment) for my baby shower! The seat itself is a soft plastic or rubber-feeling type material (a low density foam). I was not paid for my review of this product. The link to the item at Amazon is an affiliate link.

The diameter is about 15 inches across the bottom. This product is high quality and sturdy. However, this product comes in only one size - the size that fits most babies. If you have a smaller baby, or are like me with a baby in the 95+ percentile, it will not fit. Although, if you do have a smaller baby, it is likely that it will fit once he or she is older. The Bumbo seat is recommended for babies aged 4 months up to 1 year. But again, if your baby is too big once he or she reaches 4 months, you are out of luck!

I managed to cram my big baby into the bumbo right at 4 months old, but I could tell he was slightly uncomfortable so after one more try (tigher-fitting pants this time) I gave up for good.

My biggest disappointment is that they don't make Bumbo seats in different sizes!
 I would give this 4 out of 5 stars!

Living in the Here and Now

Growing up, all the way through high school, I tended to live in the past. I would dwell on some previous argument or task I had messed up on, rather than thinking toward the future. At some point I realized I had been living in the past too much, and to make up for it I turned toward the future. Planning for the future is great. I love being able to set goals and attempt to achieve them, and I love organization. Thinking toward the future helped me with both of these.

However, at some point my forward-planning began to consume me. Rather than ever having a moment and enjoying the current happenings, I would constantly be thinking about what I still needed to do tomorrow or next month or next year.

Having a baby somewhat forced me to think about the present, but it wasn't until a couple of days ago that I realized just how much I have been missing. I would be admiring how adorable Nathan is, and how fast he was growing, but this would lead me to thinking about other things. The only real time I would stop planning would be under stress of baby being sick or inconsolable. Only high levels of stress due to concern for my baby would  keep me planted in the present.

I was reading an article (Enjoy Every Moment by Nicci Micco in American Baby magazine)  that was discussing tips on how to remember the important things when it occurred to me just how much I needed to STOP overplanning and overthinking the upcoming days. It advised that in order to enjoy the day-to-day and avoid going on autopilot each day, I needed to stop and purposefully think of what was happening then and there.

Tips included:

During nursing sessions, take mindful breaths
This one is pretty straightforward - stop, take a few deep breaths, and just enjoy the quiet moments together.
When rocking your sweetie, focus on your movement
As opposed to focusing on the need to get baby to calm down, or to fall asleep, just focus on keeping steady, smooth motions.
Follow [his or] her lead
This refers to the focus that babies have for the task at hand. When they see their favorite toy they don't let petty distractions keep them from their goal! Their stare it intense and focused and their joy once they accomplish their goal is palpable.
Embrace your excitement
When you feel the excitement of a newly reached milestone or event, share it with those close to you. Think about every detail, with the intention of remembering it all.
Just after [he or]she dozes off, linger by the crib
While it can be such a huge relief to finally get baby to sleep, stay nearby for just a couple of minutes and admire how adorable your child is. How sweet and quiet and innocent he or she is. Just try and enjoy every little thing.

Essentially, this article is all about enjoying the times we take for granted, and taking a moment here and there to focus on what is good in life.

In the last few days since I've been putting these tips to the test, I find that I am a lot happier and more patient with Nathan, and with my life in general.