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In the Guardian today, Jessica Valenti wrote an excellent piece about breastfeeding, bottlefeeding and judgement.  It was a lovely article, making making points well.  But it’s central point – namely that all parents are making the best choices for their families – is flawed.  Hang on, before you grit your teeth to prepare to read a bottle-feeding smear article, hear me out.

Choice in infant feeding is a myth

Valenti asks why we clamour to celebrate breastfeeding and why we don’t show the same adoration for bottle feeding.  The fact is, breastfeeding is still the underdog.  If you doubt that, simply look at the numbers – in Canada only one quarter of infants are exclusively breastfed for the recommended six months.  In the United States that number is below one in five.  Feeding artificial milk is thus the normalized, if simultaneously derided, ‘choice’ simply by virtue of the numbers.

The real question though, is whether or not bottle-feeding is a choice.  Do we think that nearly 70 percent of the mothers who first ‘chose’ breastfeeding simply switch their choice to artificial milk a few weeks later?

In her article, Valenti gives us this beautifully personal and detailed account of how her feeding decisions were made”

In my case, when my daughter Layla was born, nearly three months early and weighing just 2lbs, breastfeeding wasn’t on the table. Instead, she was first fed intravenously and then later by feeding tube with milk I had religiously pumped. But the stress of having a very sick child does not do wonders for milk production and, by the time she came home two months later, I had to supplement breastfeeding with formula to make sure Layla got all the nutrition she needed. I felt like a failure and a terrible mother.

I enlisted the help of a lactation consultant and started pumping 15 minutes every hour (six hours a day!). Even as I cried in pain and was thrown into a horrible depression, I kept it up because I fully believed not only that “breast was best” but that formula was ruinous. It was only when I stopped – in part, because of the legitimate concerns raised by, among others, my extremely worried husband – that I truly bonded with my daughter. I had to give myself permission to be okay with bottle-feeding for nutrition and still breastfed Layla for comfort, for both our sakes.

Valenti sandwiches her story in sentences about her supposed choices, but her words make it incredibly clear that although she certainly made decisions, the circumstances were entirely too constrained to call those decisions choices.  When your traumatic premature birth leaves you unable to produce enough food for your baby, you are not ‘choosing’ artificial milk, it’s simply the only feasible option available to you.

A friend and I once co-wrote a blog post about our nearly identical early feeding journeys and their very different ends.  Ultimately we both made different feeding decisions, she bottle-fed her beautiful daughter and I’ve gone on to breastfeed both of my children.  Did either of us ‘choose’ the diverging routes we took?  No.  I got adequate professional support for my challenges and Kelly did not, that’s it.  In the early days of parenthood, when our bodies are recovering from the intense, and often traumatic, exertion of birth; when we are on a hormonal roller-coaster; when we’re abruptly left without a primary health care provider for either us or our babies; when the care providers we do seek out dole out bad advice on a topic they have absolutely no training in, are we really at liberty to make choices?

Going forward, our feeding decisions continue to face constraint.  In Canada, if we are conventionally employed, we enjoy 50 weeks of paid parental leave.  But in the US, the number is as low as six weeks and without any financial support.  I am as determined a breastfeeder as anyone, but I’ll be the first to admit that I wouldn’t have spent two weeks struggling to get breastfeeding to work if I knew that it would probably go out the window four weeks later anyway.  I would have bottle fed and enjoyed my meagre time at home, then left for work free of the stress of finding the time, physical space and bodily ability to eject milk into a whirring machine.  It would have been my reality, but certainly not my choice.

Then there is the social treatment of the two feeding methods.  It sickens me to hear of bottle-feeding mothers being scorned.  It shouldn’t happen, yet we live in a world where we think we can know a person, their history and thoughts from 140 characters or a sepia-toned snapshot.  We’re ready to not only form an opinion in an Instagram, but are desperate to voice it.  But here again, breastfeeding women are still at a disadvantage.  Not only is their feeding method critiqued, those critiques are often encased in an additional and disgusting layer of sexualized commentary.  Anywhere from comments about the size, shape or desirability of the breasts, to accusing the woman of an act akin to public masturbation.  I have often heard women name anxiety about such harassment among their reasons for bottle feeding and if their inner sphere of family and friends isn’t supportive enough to counter this, it becomes a serious factor.  If fear of sex-based harassment is a motivator for a decision, that decision cannot truly be called a choice.

The myth of choice leaves us with no one to blame but each other

The crux of Valenti’s article is to beg us all to accept each other and the choices we make.  Her final sentence is one of support for parents “making the choices that are right for them and their children”.  I fully support the sentiment, but I firmly believe that the real solution is in repositioning the discussion.  We do need to fully support every parent for the decisions that are necessary for them and their children, but we need to stop masking the external influences on those decisions under the guise of choice.  Those of us who ‘succeed’ at breastfeeding need to admit that it was help and luck more than choice that created that success.  Those who wanted to breastfeed but switched to bottlefeeding need to feel able to say that it was not their choice, it was the necessary route and that sometimes we do what we must instead of what we wish.

It’s complicated and messy to say in the same breath that artificial milk is not optimal but that it’s certainly preferable to starving and that using it gratefully doesn’t preclude us from using it with a degree of sorrow.  It’s hard to say that babies who are fed formula are going to be OK but we need to fight for good and accessible breastfeeding supports so that fewer of them need to be given formula.  It’s a lot easier to say “This was my choice so back off!”.  But that conversation keeps the focus on our internal debate about who is a better mother, and stops us from working together for the things that all mothers need.  After all who wants to talk honestly about the risks inherent in using artificial milk if we’re asserting that those who use it are doing so by choice?  The theme of choice is what leads us to deny the fact that affiliations between healthcare providers and formula manufacturers creates an obscene conflict of interest that lowers breastfeeding rates.

If we don’t start having the messy complicated discussion, then we’ll keep writing articles asking why Olivia Wilde gets more praise than a bottle feeding mother, when we should be asking why some women get paid to breastfeed their babies in couture when other women are too busy worrying about how they’ll stretch their minimum wage to pay back the exorbitant hospital bill from the birth, especially after missing six weeks of pay, to have much time or energy left for worrying about making the feeding ‘choices’ that are right for them.  If we don’t start having that discussion and writing those articles, then we’ll keep having this blame war instead of lining up collectively to make a better reality for us and our babies.  And choice will continue to be a myth, rather than becoming a reality.

 

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Yup, Little Man is at the ‘Why?” stage.  Except that he actually asks “How” instead of “Why”.  All day, it’s “How this?” and “How that?”.  And lately he’s also caught on to the fact that I find it a bit… tiresome.  So do you know what he’s started doing?  Asking endless series of “Hows” with a big smirk on his face.  So yesterday, I put my many years of higher education to work to nip this poop in the bud enlighten him:

 

Little Man: “Hey Mom?”

Me: “Yes, sweetheart.”

Little Man: “How did Dad go boat fishing?”

Me: “He drove in the car.”

Little Man: “How did he drive in the car?”

You want to know how Dad drives the car? I can tell you. How much detail do you want??

Me: “On the road.”

Little Man: “How did the car get on the road?”

Me; “He turned it on and drove it on the road.”

Little Man: “How did he turn it on and drive it?”

(are you seeing now why I find this so irritating??)

Me: “With his hands and feet.”

Little Man: “How did he drive the car with his hands and feet?”

Sigh…

Me. “Well, you see, the nerve impulses, what are called action potentials travel all the way down the neuron from his brain to his hands and feet and when they get there, the positive membrane potential causes acetylcholine to be released into the neuromuscular junction, which causes the muscle fibres to contract so that his hands and feet move.”

Little Man: *blink, blink, vanishing smirk* “Hey Mom?”

Me: “Yes, sweetheart.”

Little Man: “Do you want to see me do a big jump?”

Me: “I sure do!”

Mission accomplished.

 

—–

PS Many thanks are owed to Charlotte Youngson for her excellent physiology teaching.

 

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When I meet with expectant parents who have hired me to be their Doula, I give them what may seem like a very odd warning coming from a breastfeeding advocate: avoid pumping.

Pumps can be great tools.  I use mine almost every week as I drive to school, as many drivers on Toronto’s roads can confirm.  I am by no means anti-pump.  But pumps, like any other birth or breastfeeding intervention have a time and place and if not used correctly can do more harm than good.  The trouble is that the buzz about pumps seems to have elevated them to the level of a panacea for breastfeeding problems.

“Should I start pumping to make sure I have enough milk?”

“My nipples hurt so my doctor told me to pump.”

“She wasn’t gaining weight so they told me to pump.”

“I was tired/depressed/you name it, so they told me to pump.”

Pump, pump pump.  And whenever someone asks me if they should pump, for whatever reason, I always reply with “And then what?”  Invariably, I get a blank stare.  It’s absolutely vital that if you’re integrating pumping into your breastfeeding relationship that you have a clear plan for what you need to achieve and how to make it a part of your long-term feeding goals, not an impediment to them.

Know when not to pump.

There are times to pump and times NOT to pump.  It may not be what a mother wants to hear when she’s in pain from sore or cracked nipples, but the only way to fix the majority of breastfeeding challenges is AT THE BREAST.  Compare your new nursing relationship to a fledgling romantic relationship for a moment.  If you’ve just met the man of your dreams and you send your sister on all of your dates, do you think he’s more likely to marry you or your sister?  She may be very inferior to you, but he won’t know that because he doesn’t know you.  Unless your baby is completely unable to feed at the breast, whether from severe mechanical latch issues or due to separation, then it’s important to develop your feeding relationship at the breast.

Feed the baby, not the pump.

But let’s say that you are pumping, the next key is to make sure that you’re feeding the baby first and not the pump.  It sounds ridiculous, but believe me it’s not.  If you’re pumping exclusively due to a separation, this is straightforward enough, but most women I encounter are pumping in conjunction with feeding at the breast and it can be incredibly easy to mismanage this kind of situation.

Example number one: you’re told to pump after feeds to increase supply.  So let’s say it’s your first daylight feed of the day.  Baby starts to nurse at about 7 a.m.  By the time you let her finish the first breast, change her diaper and offer the second breast, she dozes off so you enjoy the quiet for a couple of extra minutes.  Then you hand her to dad or doula while you go pee and grab a super quick shower.  You sit down and hook up your pump and you’re ready to boost your supply!  Except, hang on, it’s 8:30 now.  If your baby is only a few days old, then he’ll be ready to eat again very soon.  Probably the second you’re done pumping, and maybe even before you’re done.  We know that breasts are never truly empty so technically this won’t actually cause a problem.  You can put baby to your recently drained breast and the milk will come.  The thing is, it is also true that when the volume of ready-and-waiting milk is low, the flow can be very slow.  Baby fusses and since you are already nervous about how much milk you do or do not have, and because you’re a new mama and hearing your baby cry for milk hurts your heart, you feed her the milk you just pumped.  Since you just pumped it, you may not think to pump again right away…  Repeat this several times a day and your breastfeeding relationship can easily turn into a bottle-feeding relationship at the same time that you deride yourself for not making enough, even though you are, you’re just feeding it to the machine instead of the baby.

Example number two: you’re told to pump every three hours.  This recommendation usually comes when mom and baby are having intermittent separations, like mom sleeping at home while baby remains in the hospital, but I’ve also seen it advised for supply increase, in between feeding the baby on cue.  So let’s say you’re with baby and again she has her first morning feed at 7 a.m.  You’re good about pumping right after she eats, so that’s at 8 a.m.  You continue on with your morning and babe eats again at 9 ish and then falls asleep.  Now it’s 10:45 and you’re just hooking up your pump because it’s almost been 3 hours, but baby wakes up cuing at the exact same time.  So often I see moms try to hand the hunger-cuing baby to dad or grandma or me to hold while she pumps because, after all, she’s been told that pumping is what will boost her supply!  The trouble is that baby’s natural feeding interval has been unnaturally stretched for the sake of maintaining the recommended pumping interval.  Pretty soon you can get a baby who is slow to gain.  Meanwhile, the pumping that was supposed be added on top of nursing in order to boost supply has actually just replaced the feeding at the breast.  Mom is trying so hard to do the right thing, but the outcome can be the opposite of what she wants.

Have a plan for your pumped milk.

If your instructions to pump are coming from someone who does not have lactation training – read: most family physicians and paediatricians and even (as I’ve sadly discovered) many midwives in Ontario – then they often don’t give you any instructions about how to deliver the pumped milk.  That’s because they don’t know any way to deliver the milk other than by bottle.  The truth is, if you want to resume your breastfeeding relationship, then you need to deliver the milk in a way that protects that relationship.  My personal favourite is to use small feeding tubes because they can be used at the breast or, if necessary with a finger.  But there are many ways to deliver milk other than bottles and it’s important to explore those options.

Understand the demands of pumping.

Like with so many things, the media has a tendency to distort the reality of pumping.  It’s often made out to be the secret to getting your pre-baby freedom back.  Movies show moms sleeping blissfully while their partner drags himself out of bed to pull a bottle of pumped breastmilk from the fridge.  Moms who pump, we’re told, can leave the house for hours without a care in the world.  It is absolutely crucial to understand that feeding the baby pumped breastmilk is still feeding the baby with your body and it places just as many, if not more, demands on your body as feeding at the breast does.

The first thing to know is that pumps are much less efficient at withdrawing milk than skilled breastfeeding babies are.  And even with the best pump, not all breasts will release milk readily.  So pumping often takes longer than breastfeeding.  Sure, you may have slightly more flexibility about the pumping intervals, but that’s a scheduling benefit, not a time savings.  And when I say slightly more flexibility, I really do mean very, very slightly.  The number one question moms ask me is “Can I pump during the day so someone else can do the night feed.”  Technically, the answer is yes, but there is a long list of caveats.  The first being that, as I’ve said, when you’re mixing feeding at the breast with pumping, you have to be very careful to feed the baby, not the pump.  And it’s important to know too, that most moms don’t actually sleep through that feeding time.  When that baby that you love so much cries, it will make every molecule in your body vibrate.  Warming bottles takes time and during that time, baby is likely to be crying, waking you up, not to mention stressing you out.  Even if you do manage to sleep through it, your body has been awake making milk for that feed.  So it’s possible you’ll wake up an hour later anyway but with full, sore breasts.  If this is happening before your supply is established, it’s very likely to signal your body to make less and less milk.  Believe me, I know it’s important for mom to rest, but there are so many better ways to achieve that than skipping feeds.

I don’t mean to paint a horrifying picture, many moms do manage to pump, either exclusively or when separated from baby.  Like I said at the start, I’m one of them.  After returning to work when Lady Fair was 6 months old, pumping was a work-day reality for me.  So let me paint you a real picture of what it’s like to be pumping when you’re away from baby.  When I get in the car to rush off to a birth, I take a gigantic enormous bin with me, full of the stuff I need.  More than half of the contents of that bin are not for the birthing mama, but rather for pumping and storing milk.  Sometimes I take more luggage into a birthing room than the woman who is giving birth.  And even though I pack and check my kit ahead of time, things go wrong.  I’ve had to recharge my pump in a birthing room before.  I’ve had to dump perfectly good milk down the sink because I ran out of freezer bags to store it in.  I’ve had to dump perfectly good milk down the sink because I dropped part of my pump on a scuzzy hospital visitor bathroom floor and didn’t trust that the subsequent milk wasn’t contaminated (blech!!).  I’ve had to do my best to focus on supporting my client while remembering not to put my right arm down because my work duties didn’t allow for regular pumping breaks and now my super-producing breast is engorged.  Only the one breast, mind you, so I’ve also had to walk around in public with one boob that’s twice the size of the other!  And probably my personal favourite, I’ve had strangers walk in on me pumping because I forgot to lock the door.  Oops!  It’s absolutely wonderful that I can provide breastmilk for my babe while I’m away and when it’s all said and done, these little hiccups make fun stories, but while you’re doing it, it’s challenging, and it’s important to be realistic about that.

So what am I supposed to do if pumping is out of the picture?

Really, there’s nothing magical.  Know that most of the time, you and your baby only need each other to breastfeed successfully.  Focus on feeding frequently and supply will follow.  Focus on finding a comfortable position and chances are, a good latch will follow.  Surround yourself with people who know about and value breastfeeding and confidence will follow.  And if you do need to intervene, do it with a clear plan and good support.

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I came across this in my Facebook feed this morning and promptly felt like poopoo:

Dr Sears asks moms their reactions after birth

Do you see all of those moments of instant connection there? Ya, that wasn’t me.

If there had been a camera in my (first) birthing room, it would not have recorded me getting all gooey eyed like these lucky ladies.  It would have caught me staring blankly at Little Man and it may have even picked up a single, barely audible word:

“Huh.”

Yup, that was my first reaction to my son.

Oh don’t get me wrong, he was a very wanted baby and everything.  We had both spent hours on the couch feeling (and trying to film) his kicks through my belly.  And I secretly didn’t hate the 13 ultrasounds our OBs put us through because I loved to watch him on the screen when we went.  I loved this kid.  But in the very first second after they put him on my chest and I looked at him it hit me: I actually had no clue who he was.  He was a stranger.

You see, when you’re bonding with your baby in utero, what you’re bonding with is a collection of limbs that poke out at you from within your own body.  You’re aware that they belong to someone else, but they’re still inside your body.  They’re yours in a way.  Then you push this little person into the world and suddenly he is exactly that – a whole other person.  You’ve never seen his face, or the shape of his toes.  You don’t know what colour his eyes really are or whether he’s got his dad’s chin.  He’s a totally new entity.  How do you love someone you don’t know?

And all of this is not to say that I didn’t bond with Little Man.  There was definitely bonding.  If not instantaneously, then at least by the time we put him to the breast.  That part was a no-brainer… literally.  It’s some sort of hybrid between a chemical reaction and an unconditioned reflex.  But it wasn’t love, per se, and it didn’t make me all sloppy.  That came later, slowly.  As I got to know him, memorized his voice and breathed him in, I fell totally in love… finally.

So was it just me?  Am I the only one who didn’t have that “Wow” feeling at the first moment?

 

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OK, you’ve all heard the cliché about the big fancy toy in the cardboard box.  This is not about that, but it is about the other random, mundane, unexpected and even weird things that I’ve discovered have the ability to captivate little ones for far longer than anything Mattel makes.

Silicone pastry/basting brush: If I were planning on roasting my baby, she’d come out so juicy and golden brown that Martha Stewart would be envious.  That’s how much Lady Fair likes to be ‘basted’.  She vibrates with happiness when we tickle her feet with it.  The best part is that it’s totally dishwasher safe, so when Little Man decides to grab it out of his sister’s hands and tickle his scrotum with it (boys and their dangly bits, I tell ya) we can clean it right up.

Spoon: Little Man was NOT a toy-lover.  In fact, the first ‘toy’ he ever paid attention to was a spoon and that was when he was sitting up in a chair.  I suppose it’s a nice teether, especially if run under chilly water first.  The main benefit from a parent’s perspective though is that you really never have to pack it.  Every relative you visit and restaurant you patronize has a spoon on hand.  It’s a lazy mother’s dream.

Pill organizer: It should go without saying that I’m talking about an EMPTY pill organizer.  Not sure why, but something about opening and closing (and opening and closing) each one of those compartments is positively addictive.  It also serves as a perfect storage spot for little rocks (read more on rocks below).

Keys:  Keys, keys, wonderful keys.  How would I ever get through a grocery shopping trip without you?  I bet you didn’t know the coin slot on your grocery cart was actually a lock waiting to be opened by a toddler with keys, did you?  Well, I did because Little Man’s been working on that lock weekly for the last 18 months or so.

Rocks:  Luckily he doesn’t actually look like the Rock Biter, but Little Man’s taste for putting rocks in his mouth is straight out of the Never Ending Story.  Which also brings me to thanking goodness we did Baby-led solids, so his skills with foreign objects in his mouth were very advanced.  When he’s not eating them, he’s banging things with them, stacking them, filling his pockets with them.

Clothes pins:  Not only are they good for pinching your frenemies, they double as jewelery and hair clips and you can make sculptures out of them.

Peri bottles: Yes, you read that right.  The thing your midwife or OB gave you to wash your bruised and battered bottom after you pushed your kiddo into the world, don’t throw it out.  In just a few short months that will become the most sought-after bath toy of all time.  Consider disinfecting it in the meantime though.

And then of course, there’s that cardboard box too…

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One of the lines of thinking that comes up so frequently from people who don’t understand attachment parenting is that it’s about the mother’s need to cling to the child.  That it’s about her fear of letting him go, of letting him move away from her and be independent.  That is categorically not what it’s about.  But what it is about, is knowing that it’s OK to hang on.

Mainstream western parenting philosophy is rooted in minimizing the child’s need for its parents.  Soothers, swings, schedules, bottles, cribs and sleep training were all created to reduce the amount of time a parent (usually a mother, in the early days of infancy) needs to spend tending to her child’s needs.  New parents are warned not to let their baby ‘get used to’ nursing or rocking to sleep.  They’re told not to respond to a cry too quickly or hold the baby too much for fear of ‘spoiling’ her.  And how many times have your heard that if you let your child sleep in your bed you’ll NEVER get him out?

The thing about attachment parents is that we see through that propaganda.  We understand the universal truth that everyone grows up, that it happens on its own and that it happens faster than you expect.  So yes, we hang on to our kids.  We hang onto them until their adorable little hands let go, because we know unequivocally that they will let go. 

Whether you snuggle your baby in a sling or put them in a swing, when they’re 6 or 7 they’ll still ask you to take the training wheels off their bike.

Whether you breastfeed them for 3 minutes or 3 years, either way, you’ll be the least cool person on the planet when they’re 13.

Whether you cuddle them to sleep or they cry themselves to sleep, they still won’t be asking you to come to their dorm room.

Every day your child will need you less and less, and before you know it he’ll be all grown up and won’t need you at all.  But for right now, he does need you and the point of attachment parenting is that that’s OK.  It’s OK to immerse yourself in this job while it lasts, because it will. not. last. forever.  It’s OK to hold them in your lap while they still fit, to breathe them in while they still smell so sweet and to be there while they still need you.  Because very, very soon they won’t, and that will be OK too.

No one spends their old age regretting the moments they spent cuddling their kids, but if the popularity of Harry Chapin’s song is any indication, then plenty of people do regret the moments they wasted, and attachment parents know that.

I’ve long since retired, my son’s moved away
I called him up just the other day
I said, “I’d like to see you if you don’t mind”
He said, “I’d love to, Dad, if I can find the time
You see my new job’s a hassle and kids have the flu
But it’s sure nice talking to you, Dad
It’s been sure nice talking to you”

And as I hung up the phone it occurred to me
He’d grown up just like me
My boy was just like me

And the cat’s in the cradle and the silver spoon
Little boy blue and the man on the moon
When you comin’ home son?
I don’t know when, but we’ll get together then son
You know we’ll have a good time then

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“Why Attachment Parenting drives some mothers to extremes…” reads the sub-head of the much debated TIME Magazine cover.  It immediately affirms that the author is NOT an attachment parent.  If she were, she’d know the truth: that most of us do this because we’re NOT extreme.  We do this because we’re laid back and would prefer to work with our children’s needs than waste time and energy altering or denying them.  Many of us get into Attachment Parenting, not by design, but by accident, because it was the intuitive (aka easy) route.  Yes, the truth is that attachment parents are, in many ways, lazy.

It is true that, generally speaking, we do this because it fits with certain overarching values that we have.  We do it because we feel it benefits our children now and in the future.  We believe that the psychological foundation we’re creating will help to make our children into strong, empathic adults who can form healthy interpersonal relationships because their first relationship – that of parent and child – was so secure.  But let’s be honest, NO ONE actually makes all of their daily decisions about the minutiae of parenting with that sort of forethought.  Not even this notoriously overthinking mama.  If you want to know the truth about why I choose AP, not as a philosophy, but as a daily practice, have a look at this snapshot of my thought processes:

Why spend hours reading safety reviews for, and assembling a crib when you could just tuck the baby into the (appropriately prepared) bed you already own?

Why get up and trudge to another room in the middle of the night to feed a baby if you could just roll over, aim a breast in the right direction and go back to sleep?

Why spend hours plugging your ears to a baby’s scream to get her to fall asleep alone if you could just cuddle her for a few minutes and then enjoy a movie with your partner in peace and quiet?

Why wake up and listen to a monitor to check the baby is still breathing in another room if you could stay asleep feeling him breathing right next to you?

Why speed home from work to catch the last precious minutes before baby goes into his crib for a book-prescribed 12 hours if you could drive safely knowing you’ll get to snuggle him all night long?

Why blend and strain food into oblivion, and coax it into the mouth of a baby too young to do it himself, when you could wait another month or two and simply move a piece of broccoli from your plate to his?

Why spend an hour trying to airplane a bite of food into a kid’s mouth when you could just trust her instinct to stop eating now, and start again well before she starves to death?

Why stalk magazines for tips on filling the gaps in a picky toddler’s diet if the answer could be as simple as ‘nurse her’?

Why count ounces of milk and worry over growth charts if you can let baby eat as often and as much as she wants and know she’s the perfect size for her?

Why struggle to explain to a child that he can’t nurse because he’s 366 days old instead of 365 if you could just continue to enjoy the relationship, knowing that it WILL end either way and that one day you’ll look back and realize it was over in a flash?

Why try to navigate a busy mall/market/airport with a bulky plastic stroller when you can just strap the baby to you with a beautiful piece of fabric and go?

Why race home for elaborate go-to-sleep-in-a-crib routines if baby can sleep in a sling while you stay at the party a little longer?

—–

I know, I know, it’s all so EXTREME, isn’t it??

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