1. I am breastfeeding a toddler and a newborn baby
In the UK Breastfeeding rates are really very low in comparison to the rest of the world. When I was pregnant with my first I decided I would give breastfeeding a try then no biggie if I switched to formula. Yet here I am with a 2 year old and a 4 week old baby feeding both. It wasn't something I planned to do but I could not find a good time to 'wean' my toddler. I kept thinking she would wean when I was pregnant but she didn't then after her sister was born she still did not wean. There are many benefits to breastfeeding past infancy so I decided to just run with it. As it happens its a very useful tool, booby cures many a thing from thirst to hurt fingers.
2. I carry my baby around in a sling (not a popular structured baby carrier)
Wow its hard work with a newborn and a 2 year old. When you have a double buggy in town people look at you like you have two heads and most babies are not actually that happy about being put in a pram, especially when tiny. I started with a normal baby carrier with my first and could only handle her in it for about 10 minutes before my back ached but this time I decided to try a Moby wrap and I have to say it is amazing! With this long piece of fabric I can hoover, peg the washing out, do my hair & makeup and even play games with my toddler and it is so incredibly comfortable. I can even feed my baby in it and no one is any the wiser (great for trips around the supermarket...) so although there are loads of benefits of babywearing I have to admit, for me its pure convenience!
3. I use cloth nappies
I do this for 3 main reasons; 1. I find I have hardly any leaks compared to disposables 2. It saves me shed loads of money 3. My girls have sensitive skin and they are less red in cloth nappies. I also blogged about this in another post in more detail. I now have 2 in cloth nappies, yes I have to do a nappy wash every other day which may be a bit of extra work but I would hazard a guess that two in disposables would cost me around £40-£50 a month which doesn't include the cost of disposable wet wipes - I would rather spend that on nice things for
4. I chose to have a home birth
My first birth did not go to plan so when I fell pregnant again last year I decided to research as much as I could regarding the complications in my last pregnancy, the birth itself and other options and what happened after my daughter was born. When I looked at the bigger picture and the statistics in my area regarding care in my local hospital I decided that staying at home to have my baby was far safer than going to my consultant led delivery unit. This decision resulted in my perfect second birth.
5. I bring my baby into my bed at night to feed her
Yep the taboo of parenting. I sleep with my baby even though apparently the safest place for her is a cot next to my bed...why? Because if I don't lie down and sleep whilst I feed her I am likely to fall asleep on a sofa or chair which is far more dangerous than feeding her laid down in my bed. When I bring her into bed with me I follow the safe co sleeping guidelines as recommended by UNICEF. As a bonus I also tend to get a little more shut eye throughout feeding so function better in the day. I must admit, I do also put her in the moses basket until she wakes for a feed purely for my own comfort than anything else but I do feel that safe co-sleeping is far safer than feeding baby out of bed when very tired.
6. I use homeopathy for me and my children
Whether its stress, teething, labour pains or even a cold you can bet your bottom dollar that there is a homeopathic remedy to help. When I first heard about homeopathy it was chamomilla for my daughter's teething. I was shocked at how well it worked, it seemed to really calm her. Then when I was told it would help me in labour I must admit I was skeptical but actually it really worked!! I now swear by it and wish I had discovered this years ago.
7. I meditate to relax
Yup, three years ago if you asked me how I unwind after a busy day I would probably say with the best part of a bottle of Pinot Grigio and 10 cigarettes. This then led me to feel like crap the following day and was really damaging my long term health. When I fell pregnant I had to give up alcohol and cigarettes and I was determined not to take my filthy habits back up once the baby arrived (another motivation to keep the nasty habits at bay was breastfeeding as I didn't want my baby to have the toxins via my milk) so I had to find another way to unwind and deal with stress and that's where I came across meditation. As quite a highly strung person, meditation is what keeps me in check (and most probably sane) on a day to day basis. Its free and I can do it almost anywhere.
8. I don't believe in smacking children earns respect or teaches them right from wrong
Research shows that children who are physically punished have more chance of becoming violent themselves - hmmm, hardly any wonder if their main role model hits them when they do not do as they are told. Instead I am a huge believer in trying to find out the reason why a child has done x,y or z then deal with the cause. With children under 3 its mainly through frustration in learning about the world. I do believe children need to learn right from wrong but I believe that can be achieved more effectively with positive reinforcement rather than through fear in ones caregivers.
9. I recycle/reuse/buy second hand and try to reduce waste
Where I live the black bins are only collected once a fortnight so with a family of 5 it is really important we recycle. I also care about things clogging up the countryside in landfill. I try to reuse things rather than chuck them whether that is to make things out of bottles/yoghurt pots/boxes with the kids, cut up old clothes for dusters or pass on childrens clothes to friends it all helps. I tend to buy second hand where possible mainly to save money.
10. I make my own bread
If I make it at home in my bread maker not only do I know what my children are eating but also it tastes yummy, smells yummy and well, you really cannot beat home made bread :)