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What I Believe: Natural Kids Thrive

by Tiffany in Birth & Baby

natural-kids-thriveThis post is my first foray into “What I Believe” hosted by The Natural Mommy. Basically the idea is to post something you are passionate about and that you truly believe in. Many participants use the opportunity to post something perhaps a bit controversial but I am not one to shrink back from the juicy controversial stuff here so those are not in short supply. ;) Today I thought I would post about something I am passionate about.

Generally I believe that conventional views of birth, baby care, health care, and overall care for children is actually an assault of sorts on our precious children. From the moment they are born we poke and prod them…with fetal monitors, salve in their eyes, vitamin K shots, vaccine injections, circumcision…all of things are uncomfortable or painful and yet we do them anyway to our smallest and most vulnerable members of society. And with all of these things going on it only stands to reason that they need comfort and care to the highest degree but so many opt to let their babies “cry it out” in their own beds, be comforted by a vibrating chair instead of a mother’s arms. They also may elect to feed them food that does not contain the antibodies and nutrients they need to fight off the chemicals we injected into them via vaccines, fed to them, applied topically in the form of dangerous talc baby powders, lotions, and creams, or surrounded them with via disposable diapers and flame retardant sleepers.  Many of these practices work against their building immune system when we should be trying to help them develop a strong one.

I believe that natural babies thrive….

A natural birth is better for baby – Unfortunately, our society today usually views the safest birth as one that is “sterile”, fast, and entirely pain free for mom. In fact, the less inconvenienced we are by birth, the better. But I think the benefits to mom AND baby of a natural birth have been established and the way I see it…I didn’t decide to bring children into this world because it was easy…in fact I don’t think there are many times that word can be applied to raising children.

Medical interventions are often not necessary – The salves, the vitamin K, the vaccines, the circumcision…why are medical interventions that cause pain to our babies and have little benefit so widely accepted? Wherever possible I denied all of these interventions or unnecessary procedures.

Breast is best – After all of the assaults mentioned above they need the BEST nutrition possible and that is breast milk…not formula which can be contaminated, have unhealthy preservatives, or be stored in plastic or in BPA lined cans that leach chemicals.

Glass bottles or BPA free bottles are the best choice for bottle feeders – Many conventional baby bottles leach BPA into your baby’s food.

Natural baby food made at home is vastly superior to the tiny jars you buy at the grocery store. By taking the organic foods you are eating and pureeing them you save time and money and you feed your baby healthier food.

Natural home cleaners are better than conventional ones – Why use harsh chemicals to clean your home when natural products like baking soda, vinegar, lemons, and vegetable oils can get your home clean and shiny too? I wrote a great report with recipes for homemade natural cleaners…if you want to take a peek just leave a comment and let me know and I will send it to you.

Cloth diapers keep baby’s tushie chemical free – They are the healthier for baby, they are better for the environment, and they are cost efficient.

The “cry it out” philosophy is cruel – Co-sleeping allows for you and your baby to bond and it provides them with a sense of comfort. My first two kids liked to co-sleep and my third baby prefers his own bed and has since he was a couple months old. Every child is different in that respect but I would never allow any of them to cry it out so that they can learn to sleep alone or self soothe.

Wearing your baby has many benefits for mom and baby – With my last two kids I ditched those vibrating chairs and baby swings and decided to wear them. It was one of the most rewarding things I have ever experienced.

Organic bedding and clothing cuts down on cumulative exposure to chemicals. The flame retardants they put in baby pajamas, crib mattresses, and bedding is toxic stuff and is believed by many to be a big contributor to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Go natural and organic to cut down on the amount of chemicals your baby is being exposed too.

Does all that sound scary? You’re darn right it does! Why didn’t this sound so scary 16 years ago when I had my first baby? It has been a journey to get where I am now but I truly believe that natural babies thrive… Does that mean I am being critical of parents that don’t do exactly as I do. No, I am being critical of the way parents are educated or NOT educated  about all of the implications of their choices. Some parents may decide that some benefits to conventional ways outweigh the risks and that is fine….just as long as they know there ARE risks. I certainly never gave much thought to these choices when I had my first baby and that is supposed to be the time in your life when you question everything! I hope that more and more moms come to challenge the status quo.

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  • RickRussellTX

    It’s a great thorough post, but I have to disagree about vitamin K. Catastrophic hemorrhaging (internal or external) is a real danger to infants, and vitamin K supplementation is a simple way to reduce its likelihood. Suspicions that vit. K supplementation is associated with childhood cancer (a concern that was raised in the 70’s in response to a study indicating correlation) have not been confirmed by subsequent research.

    Vitamin K causes no harm and occurs amply in natural sources, although infants can’t consume these sources and very little vitamin K is transmitted in breast milk.

    Anyway, long story short: I don’t want infants to bleed to death.

    Rick R.

  • Jes

    I would love to know more about your natural cleaners! I have just started to sway away from harsh chemicals and discover the power of baking soda and vinegar. Anyway, I am very interested in knowing more!
    We’ve just switched to Cloth diapers and are trying to do things naturally. We did make our own baby food most of the time and I nursed too.
    Thanks for joining in with the What I believe!

  • We just started using the baking soda and vinegar for cleaning in our house and its amazing!!

  • I love your site.I homebirthed my third baby in July and it was awesome.Thank you for all that you shared on here.

  • excellent post. :) thanks for saying all of the things i would say on my blog if i only had the courage. ;)
    i do/have done pretty much everything you mentioned except the organics at nighttime. that makes very good sense though so that might be next on my list of things to do.


  • Gift of Green

    Medical intervention saved the lives of my two children, but I understand where you are coming from and I agree with several of your beliefs… two thing that I definitely would have done differently if I had known about them are cloth diapers and baby wraps! :)

  • Carey

    I enjoyed reading these things, and we follow suit on mostly everything except co-sleeping. I think that teaching good sleeping habits (falling asleep on one’s own) early is so worth it in the end.

  • Ashley S.

    Vitamin K, I believe, is deficient in newborns but oral vitamin K administration is less intrusive and doesn’t carry that risk of leukemia that the injection (and all the preservatives that are also packaged with it) does.

  • Sarah

    Ive been following your blog for a few months now. We share many of the same views, and I get the oppprtunity to learn more from you each day…Thank-you.
    We are planning our first child so have been educating ourselves. Daily we search the net, read books & watch documentaries..The amount of information out there which seems hidden or not easily accessable to the public is just saddening.
    I would be greatful if you could send me your info on natural cleaners.
    Keep up the good work!!!

  • Summer

    Excelent post! I agree with so many thigns you said here. Sadly, a lot of the information is hidden or is laughed at in the mainstream. Choices that may be better ae never seen because new parents either don’t know about them or have been led to believe they are wrong, often by those with just as little information themselves.

  • Laura @ Laura WIlliams’ Musings

    I make my own window cleaner with ammonia and water…. every now and then, I’ll add drop of blue food coloring for the fun of it. WHite vinegar and water works great as a window cleaner too.

  • This post is so right! count me in.

  • Lesha

    Very informative post!

  • Michael | Family Hack

    You, my dear, are preaching to the choir. Hannah and I drink your cool aid.

    Michael & Hannah

  • amanda

    please enter me thanks

  • What a great post. I would love to read your article about natural cleaners. I just purchased some natural cleaners from the internet and would love to try and make my own.

    I would also love to be entered in the giveaway.

  • What a great post…so much good info, and I definitely agree!!

  • I have been a vegetarian for 12 years but am just slowly getting on the “natural” bandwagon.
    I had my 2nd child naturally…I was on the fence about getting an epidural, but then he was born so quickly I didn’t have time to decide anyway! The healing process was a lot quicker; it wasn’t a walk in the park but I would do it again.

  • Thanks for sharing your light. I saw a waterbirth video. The cord was not clamped immediately, the baby wasn’t even retreived from the water for what seemed like half a minute. Then it silently and peacefully enjoyed its mothers breast. Obviously, nature knows what’s doing if we can tap in.

    I have my own theories about vaccines, however. We are nearly all descended from breeding stock that evolved somewhere other than our present home. And the cooties we are exposed to have travelled from afar as well. There is no way evolution could give rise to protective adaptations against these new environmental threats in the accelerated time frames we have created with modern travel technology. Meanwhile, germs adapt very quickly with their ultra short generations. I say, unless you want to chance your family being affected by natural selection in the most painful way, DO get the damn vaccinations. I’m not fear-mongering, I’m trying to be rational.

    But you’re quite right about circumcision. It’s about far more than pain and risk. EVERY circumcision robs the victim of over half the sensual nerve endings, the protective effect of the natural covering, and the exquisite plush lubricated feeling of a slinky tube of rolling and gliding slack skin in intimacy. Foreskin feels really GOOD.

    Feel the love, END circumcision.

    HIS body, HIS decision

  • Valerie

    So much to think about, so little time! Thank you for including B nature’s clothing in your post! Our clothing will be out in early November, and we’re thrilled to be part of a strong organic/natural revolution. It’s becoming easier and easier to make choices that respect the planet and the beings who live on it! although all of the concepts you have mentioned in your blog have been percolating for decades, we’re really starting to feel it hit “mainstream”. Think globally, act organically. Valerie

  • The winner is Lesha with comment number 14!!!

  • Renae

    I would love the recipes for the household cleaners.. I use some things already and make my own laundry detergent but the more ya know the better. I was also curious about what you do about educating your kids since you dont vaccinate. Do you homeschool?? I have had to have proof of vaccinations before my daughter could go to school. Im pregnant now and if there is a way to not vaccinate my child I would love to know it. Thanks…….

  • Frugal Babe

    Love this post. I agree with everything you said.

  • Anya

    I am very interested in switching to natural cleaners. I would love your report for additional information.