Thursday, 2 March 2017

5 Things We Do To Have A Gentle and Respectful Fourth Trimester

Recently, I have been thinking quite a bit about how we parent. Outside of our local area, we are definitely a little alternative in how we do things. We try to combine different aspects of various "alternative" parenting techniques, drawing on Attachment Parenting, RIE, Montessori and Waldorf ideas.

Xiaobao is currently in the fourth trimester, the first three months after birth, when an infant is at their most dependent. We're trying to approach this time in the most respectful and gentle way possible, while still working to build attachment in a similar way to Baobao. Here are five things we are doing to try to have the most gentle and respectful fourth trimester that we can.

  1. Skin to skin
    Skin to skin contact is amazing for babies. It helps to stabilise a baby's heartrate, body temperature and stress hormones, as well as promoting the production of oxytocin, the happy hormone that aids bonding between baby and parent.
  2. Co-sleeping/Bedsharing
    Done safely, bedsharing is great for babies and parents. Everyone gets more sleep, as babies are calmer and sleep more easily in bed with you. The breastfeeding relationship tends to be aided by bedsharing, improving milk production and allowing the relationship to last for longer. Baby also tends to be more closely attached, as parents meet baby's needs at all times, which should lead to more independence as they get older.
  3. Babywearing
    We love babywearing here at Baobao Tea and Soy. I carried Baobao until she was 18 months and pregnancy related symptoms got in the way. Xiaobao is 4 weeks old today and definitely feels the need to be close to meat all times. Baobao, on the other hand, is craving my attention and love with all of the changed going on. Babywearing allows me to honour both of their needs. If you're lanning on babywearing, make sure you follow the TICKS.
  4. Feeding on demand
    Feeding on demand helps establish supply and helps baby's skull bones return to the proper place after birth. Feeing whenever baby wants also helps to ease the transition from womb to outside world. We've had a lot of trouble with feeding, Baobao refused the breast for the first 2 weeks of her life, until we were given some exercises to try. Throughout this period, we bottle fed on demand.
  5. CommunicationRecently I have been reading many blog posts about RIE parenting. We're trying to incorporate some of the ideas into how we communicate with Xiaobao. Even at this young age we are attempting to name her emotions and ask her permission to do things such as pick her up or change her nappy. We also talk her through everything that we do. 

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