Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Ten Things I Wish I Knew Before Little Man

Welcome to the March Carnival of Natural Parenting: Natural Parenting Top 10 Lists
This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month our participants have shared Top 10 lists on a wide variety of aspects of attachment parenting and natural living. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.
There are things that I know now that I wish I knew then.  I cannot say I regret my decisions but I would have liked to have the information on most of these items before.

1. Babywearing - I did register for a baby bjorn but there are so many other slings and carriers I wish I had known about.  It also would have been nice to really know about the benefits to babywearing.  I just got it for convenience more then anything.  If I had known about all the wonders of wearing your child - I would have done it more often in the early months.  Thankfully Lauren at Hobomama has written extensively on the subject of babywearing.

2. Etsy.com - Speaking of registries - I wish I had known about Etsy and then I would have advised people to check there for gifts.  I always loved getting a hand-made doll when I was a child.

3. Co-Sleeping Options - All I knew as a soon to be mother was the dangers of bed-sharing.  Not one single person advised me of the benefits or how to do it safely.  I do remember thinking to myself, "why is the lactation nurse showing me how to nurse on my side if the baby should not be in bed with me?" Check this link to Natural Parents Network's page on Ensuring Safe Sleep.

4. Cloth Diapers - If I knew about all the options and how easy these are I would have been cloth from the start! Check out Everything Cloth and All About Cloth.

5. Ameda/Hygeia - I think it is mainly because these two companies are WHO compliant that I did not readily know about their products. I love that Hygeia is a GREEN breastpump manufacturer as well.

6. Babybot - Adorable Canadian company that is design savvy.  I drooled over their products the first few months after Little Man arrived.

7. Mommy and Me classes - I knew they were there - I just didn't know I should take advantage of them.  I am not talking specifically about one company either here.  Check your local businesses and see their class offerings.  The yoga studio in my town has a mommy and pre-crawling baby yoga class.  These are great places to meet other moms with children the same age as your own.  Wonderful mommy socialization opportunities.

8. Methods to help in non-medicated births - I wanted a natural birth and I started out that way - I just dropped the ball on looking for options to manage my pain holistically.  Another link to a Natural Parents Network page for Preparing for Pregnancy, Birth and Parenting

9. Midwives/Doulas/Lactation Consultants - I had no idea people still used midwives and the other two I did not even know what they were for. American Pregnancy Association about Midwives. DONA about doulas. FALC to help find a Lactation Consultant

10. Intactivism - I wish I had even considered that there were other possibilities then circumcision.  I wasn't informed that there was a choice.  For more information here is Peaceful Parenting's post Are You Fully Informed?

Like I said in the beginning, I can't know now if I would have done things differently but I wish I had known more about these ten things.  So hopefully if you are expecting you will check these out and have a little bit more information when making decisions.
Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:


  1. Cool list for the carnival! It seems like we SO often see that a first-time mom had no idea of all the choices available to her. We gotta keep blogging and talking to expectant mothers... I hope we can make a difference.

  2. What a wise post — I definitely have some things I wish I'd know about the first time around, and it's great that you're aware of them for yourself so you can inform other people, and also change your own practices in the future.

    And I think it's such a cool idea to ask people to register from Etsy! I didn't know much about Etsy then, either, and I love it now. This sounds like some weird plug, but I used kaboodle.com for my baby registry with Mikko, because you can link from any site at all — that might be an idea to use with Etsy.

    Thanks for referencing my site for babywearing! I appreciate it. :)

  3. @Momma Jorje- That's all we can ask of ourselves is to bring information to our readers.
    @Lauren- I had no idea about kaboodle.com I'll definitely look at that site. You are actually the one that introduced me to Etsy for children's things, your I Spy Bay giveaway. I became an instant addict.

  4. I love this post! There are sooooo many things that I didn't know about when I started out. And now I can't imagine doing things the old way! :D

  5. Totally agree with you on Etsy and babywearing. I had one of those uncomfy bjorn carriers, ugh. Now I see all the baby wearing mammas and so wish I had one of those!!

  6. I feel like I lived a lot of this post. I know my wife casually wore #1 son and my oldest daughter, but with the youngest, she made a point of it, and it has made a lot of difference. Also, cloth diapers are totally worth it. Scary at the beginning, but once you get used to it, not a really big deal.

  7. I can relate to pretty much all of these. Hubs and I were just talking yesterday about how clueless we both were when I was pregnant with Abbey. Thank goodness she was a girl, so I could learn about the dangers of circumcision from all the lovely inactivists out there - before we became pregnant with a boy.

    I still have a lot to learn about holistic living and babywearing - I'll definitely have to check out Lauren's babywearing post that you linked to. But it's so awesome to think back and realize how much more informed I am this pregnancy, planning for a non-medicated natural childbirth with gusto, knowing we'll leave him intact, sewing my own cloth diapers and wipes, heck . . . all I knew to do with Abbey was give her my boob - and now I'm a breastfeeding counselor working on IBCLC certification!

    Thanks for a list that brought me back and made me realize how far I've come! I'm sure it will be inspiring to new mommies, too!

  8. I wish I had known things when I had my first as well. I had a Bjorn, but I never wore her in it because it hurt my shoulders and back so bad. I ended up carrying her around (she was definitely an in arms baby!) all the time. Would've been so nice to have an arm (or two) to spare. With my son, we practiced babywearing from the start and it's been a lifesaver.

    Such a good list, I'll be sharing with my expecting friends.

  9. I wish I had known more about some of these things too! Great post!

  10. Thank you for the shout out in this awesome post Artsy Mama - wow! Interesting to see all the comments about Baby Bjorn - we completely agree! Babybot was just down at a pre-oscars show where we outfitted all the celebs in organic, ergonomic Beco Baby Carriers which DON'T hurt the back!

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  12. I researched a ton before my son was born, but #3 is one I definitely didn't know enough about. I just couldn't figure out side-lying nursing, and without it, cosleeping doesn't make nearly as much sense.

    I also wish I'd known how many resources there were on the internet -- tutorials about cosleeping, breastfeeding videos, FAQs about anything you can imagine ... Dr. Google ended up being my best friend once I figured that out!

  13. This is great! I wish I had known so many things before I had babies. I especially wish I had heard of intactivism. Biggest regret of my life.

  14. Great list, and so true -- so much of this is something most of us discover in the process of becoming the parents we want to be -- there is such a big learning curve when it comes to parenting! And so many of the non-mainstream ways are just not visible or "out there" when you are not actively looking for them. Glad you've discovered so many things that work for you, now!

  15. I hope that some parents-to-be will stumble upon your list and be inspired!

  16. Reading your list, I wish I had time to do surveys and ask NPN readers (and CNM readers!) what THEY wish they'd known (or knew now), what a great way to find article ideas :) Thank you for sharing!

  17. I think sharing posts like this encourage mamas and mamas-to-be that it's OK to ask for help and advice and get more info. I think sometimes we feel like we are supposed to know and if we ask we will seem dumb...which is so not the case!!! Thanks for sharing :-)

  18. Such a great post! I linked on FB, but wanted to let you know here how much I appreciate you writing this. :)

  19. Thanks everyone for your positive feedback. I have been a bit under the weather here. Keep spreading the word for moms-to-be to find information and educate themselves.

  20. I have no children yet, and am not even pregnant, but I am approaching the point in my life where I am ready to start thinking about it, and I am so grateful to have found your list! Definitely getting bookmarked. Thank you.

  21. I am with you on many, many of these things, wishing that I had spent more time doing research and better preparing myself before my first daughter was born. Luckily, we had two girls, because I was willing to go along with everyone who said "if the father is circumcised, the son should be too." I also wish I had never spent the money on the first crappy sling I bought, and that I had cloth diapered sooner. They should give these types of lists out at the first prenatal visit! :)

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