Monday, January 30, 2012

INFORMED Decisions

Lately I have come up with opposition about virtually every choice I make for my kids. If it is not mainstream parenting, it means I am automatically wrong. Well, lets go into that a little bit. I will break it down by every thing I get opposition on. First of all, the biggie, co-sleeping. Yes, my kids sleep in the same bedroom. My daughter sleeps in her toddler bed right next to our bed and Ronin sleeps in our bed.

OH NO! She is next to our bed in her own bed! She is magically some how broken now! What ever have I done wrong? Oh, wait, nothing. She is perfectly happy and healthy and confident. 

Ronin on the other hand, he sleeps in the same bed as us. Uh oh, we have wronged him. 

We have wronged him yet he is always smiling and happy, and has been sleeping through the night since he was 2 weeks old. This is some how wrong? I don't know about some of you, but I thoroughly enjoy sleep, and my two kids do just that and very well! 

Granted, there are some incidents with some families who co-sleep incorrectly resulting in death. As with anything, guidelines have to be followed. No drug use, no drinking, no fluffy pillows, and preferably no other children in the same bed, and if there are (my daughter climbs into our bed and lays next to my husband), make sure they are separated. Not so difficult right? 

What are the pros to co sleeping you ask? Based on scientific proof, just a couple things, here are some. Babies sleep more peacefully when next to their parents. A more stable physiology, meaning a baby's heart rhythm and temperatures are more stable and sort of sync up with the mothers. Decreased risk of SIDS, WHAT? How could it be! Some say SIDS is attributed to a breathing disorder that has gone un-diagnosed because it is not a foreseeable issue. Think about it this way, a baby who is sleeping in a crib in another room is more likely to die of whatever reason because a parent cannot get to them fast enough. If something were to happen to one of my children, I am right there. I can take whatever measures possible to correct the issue. It takes a second for a baby to stop breathing. Can you reach your baby fast enough? Moving on, co-sleeping leads to higher self-esteem, less anxious, and more confident children. Sounds terrible. There are more death related incidents in cribs than co-sleeping. Again, the whole distance thing would seem to play a part in that. Still think I am wrong? Oh well, to each their own. For those who wonder, well what about your sex life? Well, we have two kids that are only 19 months a part... no need to go into any more detail on that! 

The next issue, select/delayed vaccinations are a big one too that I am told I am wrong on. All I have to say is go look at the ingredients in a vaccine (some include aluminum, dead fetal tissue, and mercury). This is what you want to inject into your kids? The CDC provides the side effects of the vaccines we give our children on their web page, some of which range from a mild fever reaction all the way to a permanent blood disorder and death in some cases. My children are not in daycare and should not be getting a disease that has a vaccination  from children who are vaccinated. Right? Those vaccines are after all a guarantee a child cannot get pertussis or measles. 

What else do I do wrong? Oh, my son is not circumcised. Despite there being no medical evidence at all suggesting this is necessary, people actually claim a baby has a high chance of infection. This is only true if the foreskin is forcibly retracted. You see, pulling back the foreskin to clean it is a myth. The skin is there as a protector and needs nothing more than a wipe down. Not to mention, when a baby boy is circumcised, he loses 20,000 plus nerve endings that cause less sensation in the penis during sexual activity. The penis retracts naturally on its own and does not need to be done manually. Typically speaking, if another boy were to comment on an uncircumcised boy's penis, people may question his sexuality. Girls are turned off by it? So what? My son will not have to worry about being in relationships with girls who will judge him. Good. He will also be taught that abstinence is best as will my daughter when the time comes. 

Extended breastfeeding: I breastfed my daughter for 14 months and I am extremely proud of myself for not using formula. My son has not had a drop of formula and will remain breastfed until at least the age of 2. Why not breastfeed? Breast cancer is reduced the longer a woman breastfeeds. That alone seems to be worth it to me! There are a lot of myths involved with breastfeeding, too many actually to list. Babies receive vital nutrients from breast milk whether they are a newborn drinking colostrum to a 3 year old who is still nursing. Giving your kid the best for as long as possible is extremely valuable. 

Since we are on the topic of breastfeeding, what exactly is wrong with the pictures above? Can you see my nipples? Am I revealing any more than something one would see in a Maxim or well, even on the news? Nope! So those comments saying women need to cover up, or go to the bathroom, or do it at home, or bring a bottle, whatever the excuse it for narrow mindedness, its unnecessary. To those thoughts, are you going to eat in the bathroom or if you get hungry, wait until you are home? You did not bring food with you? Better bring a snack because you should not be allowed to eat either. Breasts are not a sexual object, they are for the nourishment of a child. Society has made breastfeeding out to be some horrific act that needs to be hidden. It doesn't. I thought women should take a bottle or cover up with my daughter, what a skewed view to have. My child will get food whenever and wherever we are, covered or not. Sorry if you are uncomfortable, close your eyes or walk away. 

 We are also told rear facing our car seat will make for a boring ride for the kids. Well, so? There are height and weight limits on car seats for a reason. There is no real reason to front face a child before those limits, what would be the point in not using the car seat until the recommended time? Studies prove a child is safest rear facing by up to 500%. Questions I hear, it's boring back there, why wouldn't you forward face so they can see? Answer I give, well, if we are in an accident, I would rather my child have a broken leg than a broken neck. Or, she (my daughter) is too tall and has to scrunch her knees up... Fact is, a child's legs are actually more flexible and can be comfortable in those positions. She is also properly placed into her car seat. The chest clip is always at her chest and not near her belly, the straps are not twisted or loose. She fits perfectly into her car seat. Why do we spend so much money on a car seat? Because my children's lives are priceless. That seems pretty obvious. 

My question to everyone who does not like my choices... how does it affect you? Do my informed decisions strike a nerve because you do things the way all mainstream families do them?