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You can support the efforts of Peaceful Parenting in the process! Bookmark this page as your Amazon tab and click through any button here when going to browse and shop. Your entire experience remains the same, and a small percent goes back to Peaceful Parenting.

While this isn't much, it helps to curtail costs of the grassroots work we take on: 

• the many maternity and baby expos and events we host throughout the year, solo and in unison with Saving Our Sons and state chapters of the Peaceful Parenting Network

• awareness raising rallies and educational events, including: World Breastfeeding Week, Big Latch On events, the SOS Odyssey, Genital Integrity Awareness WeekThe Grand Intact Stand, Great Cloth Diaper Change events, International Babywearing Week events, and Improving Birth events, as well as local and national opportunities to raise awareness of gentle parenting options -- empowering parents in the process

• the costs of maintaining DrMomma.org as well as several gentle parenting domains, and a positive, proactive online presence

• getting resources into the hands of families and friends who write to Peaceful Parenting to request materials and informational items 

• the 'Do Not Retract' and 'Prevention' physician packs that go out each week to practitioners across the United States and beyond

Thank you for supporting the grassroots work we pour our hearts, time, and resources into!

If you're not an Amazon shopper, but would like to support Peaceful Parenting efforts, you can make a one time gift here or by sending to the address below.

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The Last Time




The Last Time

From the moment you hold your baby in your arms,
You will never be the same.

You might long for the person you were before,
When you had freedom and time,
And nothing in particular to worry about.

You will know tiredness like you never knew it before,
And days will run into days that are exactly the same,
Full of feeding and burping,
Whining and fighting,
Naps, or lack of naps.

It might seem like a never-ending cycle.

But don't forget...

There is a last time for everything.

There will come a time when you will feed your baby for the very last time.

They will fall asleep on you after a long day
And it will be the last time you ever hold your sleeping child.

One day you will carry them on your hip, then set them down,
And never pick them up that way again.

You will scrub their hair in the bath one night 
And from that day on they will want to bathe alone.

They will hold your hand to cross the road,
Then never reach for it again.

They will creep into your room at midnight for cuddles,
And it will be the last night you ever wake for this.

One afternoon you will sing 'the wheels on the bus' and do all the actions,
Then you'll never sing that song again.

They will kiss you goodbye at the school gate,
The next day they will ask to walk to the gate alone.

You will read a final bedtime story, and wipe your last dirty face.

They will one day run to you with arms raised, for the very last time.

The thing is, you won't even know it's the last time until there are no more times,
And even then, it will take you a while to realize.

So while you are living in these times,
Remember there are only so many of them,
And when they are gone,
You will yearn for just one more day of them -
For one last time.

Author Unknown


Mama, You Are Home To Me




Dear Mama,

Could you wake up for a minute? I know it's hard for you to open your eyes - we haven't slept a lot yet tonight. But Mama, I kinda need you right now. You see, the thing is, I feel a bit lonely at the moment. I'm laying here and I'm somewhat cold.

I didn't mean to cry so I'm sorry I did. I've been trying to get your attention by making some noises for a while now but you were in such a deep sleep, you couldn't hear me. I don't know how else to get your attention. During the day, I see and hear you all make noises and I see you respond well to each other. You talk to me like that too. And I try very hard but I don't know how to do that yet. So I cry so you'd listen to me.

Mama, I'm sorry for crying. Like I said, I feel a bit lonely. I just spent nine months inside your belly where I've always felt safe. It's a bit scary to me to be in such a big bed all by myself. I miss your heartbeat, the rushing of your blood, the warmth and the food. I miss your breathing and your hands you put over me to protect me when I still was inside your belly.

So Mama, would you please listen to me? I'm calling for you in the only way I'm able to. I feel really alone. I need your warmth and your peace for a moment. I need to know for sure you're still here. So can I lay with you for a little while to feel your warmth?

Some cuddles first. Mama, this feels so nice. When I feel you holding me while you gently rock me and when I can smell and feel you, I feel so safe. I can feel your hand on my back and my ear is placed just right on your heart. Mom, this is home to me. Do you remember back when we were always together? I always felt like this back then. Sometimes I miss that time. It was so nice to be close to you.

I hear you softly whisper into my ear, "Everything is okay little one, everything is fine." Your voice is so soft and familiar. You smell good mom. A bit like me and a bit like you.

Mama, will you hold me just a little longer? I'm really tired and I feel so relaxed in your arms. It almost feels like before. I'm going to close my eyes for a little while, okay? Can I please stay with you here a little longer to enjoy your love and your presence?

And can I drink some more? Mama, since we're laying like this anyway... I'd like to ask you something. I know, it sounds pretty sad because I can't talk like you can yet so I'm sorry for crying again. But mama, can I please drink some more? My throat is dry and my tummy is empty and since we're here anyway... maybe I can have a few more sips? Your milk tastes delicious and is so warm and familiar.

Thanks Mom, that's exactly what I needed. I was really really thirsty. Your finger on my cheek feels great by the way. And you're smiling at me. Nothing makes me happier than seeing your smile and feeling your presence. I'll close my eyes again, okay? Please don't put me away straight away, I really enjoy falling asleep here. This feels really good. Can I stay with you?

My tummy hurts. What is that?! Mama! Can you feel this? Mom? My tummy hurts so bad. What is happening? Please help me mama, I don't know what's happening. I've never felt anything like this.

Thank you for rubbing my belly mom. It's late and everyone is asleep. I'm so happy you're here for me. I don't know what I'd do without you mama. My tummy already hurts less and when you hold me like that... I feel pretty tired. Maybe I'll close my eyes again. Please hold me a little longer?

Can I have more cuddles? You won't believe this mama! I'm a bit scared. I just woke up and I didn't know where I was for a second. It was all dark and a little cold again. I know you're tired mama. But I really missed you, can I please be with you again for a while?

Mama, I can see that you're tired. There are tears in your eyes, and every now and then a tear rolls down your cheek. I'm sorry Mama, but I feel really strange in this new world. I miss home. I miss always being close to you.


Sometimes I feel a tear fall on my head while you gently rock me. You're singing me a song so that I can go back to sleep. You softly dry the tears that fell on my head with your hand. That feels nice Mom, do that again?

I fall asleep on your chest. You feel so soft, so familiar. There's nowhere I sleep better than here. My legs are pulled up, just like they were back when I still lived with you. I can hear your heartbeat again and I move along with your breathing.

Mama, you're the best place to be. I'm so glad I get to come to you over and over again. I don't like being unable to just ask either but I'm really happy you listen to me when I call for you.

Soon, I'll be able to be there for you. Or for my brothers or sisters. Or for my friends in school. You're teaching me how to take care of someone. You're teaching me that you listen, even when I can't ask. You're teaching me I'm safe, even when sometimes it feels like I'm not. You're teaching me that you love me, even when you're very tired. Thank you.

And Mama, I love you.

{author unknown}




Your Baby's Signs of Hunger




This poster, created by the Women's and Newborn Services of Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital, highlights a human baby's hunger cues - her way of communicating to parents that she needs to eat.

As highlighted in the 2010 article, 7 Breastfeeding Fact You Should Know, parents are reminded that stirring, mouth opening, turning a head (to seek a nipple) and rooting are signs that your baby is hungry. Stretching, becoming agitated, and sucking on her fist, fingers or thumb is your baby's way of telling you that she is really hungry. By the time fussing and crying start, your baby is experiencing hunger that is physically painful. It is the type of hunger you experience after your belly has been empty for 14-16 hours. Your baby's belly is very small - this is the reason she gets full so quickly, and then hungry again so soon. Her tiny stomach cannot handle more than this, and does not have any place to 'store' some for later. She is entirely dependent upon you to provide that fill-up according to her cues that she is hungry.

Too often new parents believe they should schedule feedings or wait until their baby cries to nurse. But crying is a late indicator of extreme hunger. Always eating when you are so famished, when your belly hurts and stress hormones from being anxious to eat are at an ultimate high, leads to things like reflux, gas, stomach aches, 'colic,' and general agitation and general withdrawal from the world around - especially if you are brand new and helpless in this world.

Don't wait until your baby is in pain to nurse. Instead, feed at the first cue of hunger, and everyone will be much healthier and happier all around.

For related reading, see the Breastfeeding Resource Page.


A little tiny tummy wisdom from Baby Wisdom (UK):

Size of a baby's stomach.
Day One - the size of a cherry
Day Three - the size of a radish
Week Two - the size of a large egg
Month Two - the size of an apricot

For this reason, babies need to eat small amounts very often throughout the day and night time hours. Watch your little one and his/her cues. Nursing on cue, around the clock, leads to a baseline level of health, development, and happiness for babies, and their parents.


*******

The 10 Most Important Things I've Learned Since Losing My Son

By Richard Pringle
Originally on Facebook
Also at The Mirror and Newsner



1. You can never, ever kiss and love too much.

2. You always have time. Stop what you’re doing and play, even if it’s just for a minute. Nothing is that important that it can’t wait.


3. Take as many photos and record as many videos as humanly possible. One day that might be all you have.

4. Don’t spend money, spend time. You think what you spend matters? It doesn’t. What you do matters. Jump in puddles, go for walks. Swim in the sea, build a camp, and have fun. That’s all they want. I can’t remember what we bought Hughie, I can only remember what we did.


5. Sing. Sing songs together. My happiest memories are of Hughie sitting on my shoulders or sitting next to me in the car singing our favorite songs. Memories are created in music.

6. Cherish the simplest of things. Night times, bedtimes, reading stories. Dinners together. Lazy Sundays. Cherish the simplest of times. They are what I miss the most. Don’t let those special times pass you by unnoticed.


7. Always kiss those you love goodbye, and if you forget, go back and kiss them. You never know if it’s the last time you’ll get the chance.

8. Make boring things fun. Shopping trips, car journeys, walking to the shops. Be silly, tell jokes, laugh, smile, and enjoy yourselves. They’re only chores if you treat them like that. Life is too short not to have fun.


9. Keep a journal. Write down everything your little ones do that lights up your world. The funny things they say, the cute things they do. We only started doing this after we lost Hughie. We wanted to remember everything. Now we do it for Hettie, and we will for Hennie too. You’ll have these memories written down forever, and when you're older you can look back and cherish every moment. 

10. If you have your children with you: To kiss goodnight. To have breakfast with. To walk to school. To take to university. To watch get married. You are blessed. Never ever forget that. ❤


End Note: Richard Pringle, of Hastings U.K., went through the most unimaginable pain a parent can know when his son, Hughie, passed away following a brain hemorrhage at age 3. One year after Hughie's death, Richard shared his list of the most important things he learned. It’s a list that everyone should read and take to heart. It is a reminder not to take our loved ones for granted.

*******

Mother Loses Baby to SIDS and Cautions Parents to Protect Their Own from Circumcision


The following is a letter to Saving Our Sons, the intact education branch of Peaceful Parenting:


I want to thank you for all you do in educating people about the cruel and unnecessary act of male genital mutilation. You work to open so many minds on this archaic process built on lies.

I recently lost my second son to SIDS at 24 days old. He was a beautiful healthy baby boy who tragically passed away in his sleep. The medical examiner found absolutely nothing wrong with him. He had an extensive autopsy, and all reports showed nothing wrong.

The hospital I birthed him at kept asking me over and over again if I was going to have him circumcised. Everytime my answer was a clear NO! A day later as I nursed my sweet, perfect baby boy, a nurse came into my room and said, "I am here to take him for his procedure."

I asked, "What procedure?"

She answered, "His circumcision."

I said, "He is NOT being circumcised."

She replied, "Well, he is on the board out in the nurse's station to be circumcised."

I said, "Absolutely not! I don't know who put him on that board but I have clearly stated over and over he is not to be circumcised."

She turned red in the face and apologized. She said someone must have made a mistake.

My point is that a parent has to be diligent in making sure that even though they say NO to genital cutting, that is not done 'by mistake.'

After losing my baby boy I realized that I had to speak up and say something. I am having a difficult time as it is, and if he had suffered that unimaginable pain in his short life I would never be able to live with myself. I just want to warn other mothers and fathers. Some parents send their babies to the nursery to get some rest, and if they take them to circumcise, then the parents would not know until it is too late.

One thing I take solace in is knowing my son never had to experience any suffering, including circumcision. If I had not questioned that nurse he would have been wheeled away to face mutilation that no baby boy deserves.

❤ Audrea


Awareness raising stickers and cards at Etsy

How to Choose the Best and Safest Infant Car Seat for Babies

From the time you got out of your hospital room with your newborn, you are required by law to have an infant car seat. Find out how to get the best one for you and your family.


Essential Things You Must Know Before Going On The Market For An Infant Safety Seat 

Finding the perfect infant car safety seat for your newborn is not an easy task, especially if you're a new parent. You can't help but get overwhelmed with so many choices available out there. There are also many factors you need to take into consideration including car seat laws.

Infant seats come in different types, from convertible car seats to lightweight and portable ones for smaller vehicles. Moreover, once your child is a toddler or older, you have another task of finding the right booster seat that also comes in several types including high-back and backless booster.

Car seats are not created equally. Knowing your requirements will help in choosing the right one for you and your baby. Reading reviews and articles online on top-rated infant safety seats such as Mother How TOP List can help you with your decisions as well.

What Is An Infant Safety Seat?

An Infant car seat is specially designed to cater to a child weighing up to 35 pounds. These seats are also always positioned facing the rear of your vehicles. It comes with several features that provide comfort for both you and your adorable newborn.

However, one of the main reasons why you need to get one is that car seat law across the country requires your infant to be in the rear-face mode until he or she have reached its height and weight limitations, which is typically by the age of two.

Today, there are convertible car seats you can buy with extended capacity for the rear-face mode and can grow with your child.

Difference Between Infant and Convertible Car Seats

Infant Safety Seat 

  • Its weight limit is up to 40 lbs. 
  • You can only use it on rear-face position. 
  • Majority of brands come with a handle making it easy to carry and transport. 
  • You will not disturb your baby's sleep when you're getting him in and out of your vehicles.


Convertible Car Seat 

  • Offers a weight range of up to 50 lbs. 
  • There are also some brands that offer a greater weight capacity. 
  • You can use it as rear-facing if your infant is smaller. 
  • You can use it as front-facing when your child is older and has reached the maximum limitations of the rear-face mode.


What You Need To Consider When On The Market For A Car Seat

Rest assured that all car safety seats you will find on the market today are obligated to satisfy the safety regulations and standards of the government. So keep in mind that a lower price tag does not necessarily mean that the seat is not as safe as those expensive ones. The difference lies in the extra features for more costly seats such as straightforward installation and additional safety measures not obligated by law.

Nevertheless, there are several things you need to take into consideration. Getting a car seat is just like purchasing a new vehicle wherein you have to see it as whole.


  • How it will fit your car. How it will fit your car. Make sure to select an infant car seat that correctly fits your car. You also need to consider how comfortable it will be to switch the seat from one car to another if you'll be using more than one vehicle. Choose a portable one if you have a smaller car.



  • Buying second hand. If you're on a tight budget, you may be considering getting a used seat. But it may have some damage to it not visible to the naked eye. Also, it may not be up to the current safety standards. If you can't afford a new one, make sure to buy from someone you truly trust. Furthermore, check its expiration date or if it has been recalled.



  • Cleaning. Babies can create a lot of mess. So when shopping for an infant seat, look for one with a removable and machine washable cover. Comfort. A crying infant on a long road trip is a headache waiting to happen. Choose a padded seat that offers enough head support to keep your baby comfortable no matter how long or short the drive is.



  • Check for recalls. Your baby's safety should always be your top priority. Always check if a brand or model is a part of a recall. You can check online or call the seat's manufacturer. The best way to know is by visiting the website of The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.


The Best Baby Infant Car Seat

When it comes to reliability and safety, the best choice out there is the Peg Perego ® - Primo Viaggio 4/35. This infant car seat packed with superb features to keep your infant safe and secure during the ride. It combines aesthetics and functionality as what you can expect from Peg Perego.

This rear-facing seat passed the government safety regulations and crash tests with flying colors. It also provides further protection to your infant by adding an anti-rebound bar to its base reducing the impact of both rear or front collision. For side impact protection, it comes with head support and energy-absorbing foam. You can also recline it on different angles so your baby will be very safe and comfortable.

However, it does come with some drawbacks. You cannot wash the seat's Italian-made cushion in the washing machine. Also, the anti-rebound bar is not adjustable, so it may not be suitable on some vehicles. Overall, its extra safety features and durability makes up for some of its shortcomings.

Pros


  • Easy-to-install base with LATCH connectors. 
  • Designed with your baby's comfort and safety in mind. 
  • You can use it easily when traveling without the seat's base. 
  • Offers additional protection in the event of a crash. 
  • Comes with a two-year warranty.


Cons


  • Not many stroller brands are compatible with it. 
  • The cushion is not machine washable. 
  • You may find the handle a little bit uncomfortable when extending the canopy.


Related Facebook Group for Q&A: CarSeats



Why You Need To Give Your Kids A Tech-Free Holiday


Although it sometimes seems like a million years ago, I vividly remember what it was like to be a kid. As a child of the 80s, my youth wasn’t spent living up to the unrealistic expectations that social media places upon us or being glued to electronic devices. I have fond memories of countless hours spent outdoors, playing with my neighborhood friends until the streetlights illuminated at dusk, signifying to us that it was time to run along home.

I am eternally grateful to not to have had to spend my early years in a time that was consumed by technology and all things social media. I secretly wish I could offer my children this same luxury that was awarded to me as a means to keep them safe, and allow them an opportunity to grow up in a time when their self-worth didn’t rely on a “like” from a stranger or reaching that next level in a silly game. Sadly, many children today are codependent on electronics, and their parents overindulge them with tech gadgets in place of parenting.

Being a parent in this day and age is hard, but what’s harder is being a child in a time when social media and technology in general have so much control over a person’s day to day life. Our role as a parent is often to shield our child from dangers, but to teach them limits and to know when “enough is enough” for things that should be practiced in moderation.

Think you could put yourself on pause from all things tech for 2-3 weeks? Here’s why you should do it for your kids--and yourself--when possible.

Give Your Littles a Chance to Recharge Their Brain And Rest Those Tired Eyes

Staring at LED screens isn’t good for our eyes, and the same can be said for our little ones. With the explosion of handheld devices in the past decade, opthamologists are seeing a steady increase in vision impairments in young children. Breaks from screen time are vital, and a tech-free holiday can essentially be just what the doctor ordered for your children and their precious eyes. Also, encourage your child to use their endless imagination when it comes to playtime. Their budding brain will thank them--and you!

Real Quality Time Together as a Family

We all know that we’ve been guilty of being together but not actually being present. When we’re glued to electronics we aren’t giving others our undivided attention. Put those phones, tablets and game consoles aside and focus on what’s really important when you’re with the people that you love the most, each other! Another simple trick to implement even when you’re not on a designated tech holiday? Always keep those electronics tucked away during family meal time. Breaking bread with those you love should be a cherished time and a chance to catch up on the day and get to know those people you adore even more.

Keep Your Kids Safe From Those Hidden Dangers Lurking on the Internet

For any parent, our biggest fear is something terrible happening to our child. Life is truly unpredictable, but there are certain precautionary measures that we can implement to keep our kids safe. The very first step towards protecting your kids from online predators is to start a dialogue on the topic so that they can become aware. Teach your kids that they should never, ever for any reason give out personal information about themselves to a stranger on the internet. The internet is a scary place for a parent of an impressionable youth, and we must always keep that in mind. There are even websites openly selling Fake IDs - and Fake ID reviews websites too. Go a step beyond that initial chat by implementing parental controls and limiting their screen time, along with monitoring their online activity. When it comes to our kids, we can never be too safe.

Think you’re ready to the challenge and start your tech-free holiday? Make a pact to stick to it together and accept the challenge for yourselves. We promise you won’t regret it, and we assure that it is possible. Start with a weekend, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised to see how quickly the real time spent together goes by.


Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood & The Tree of Life Congregation


💔 Let's love each other along life's journey.

The Tree of Life congregation is located in Mr. Fred Rogers’ neighborhood. Mr. Rogers once told the world, "When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, 'Look for the HELPERS. You will always find people who are helping.'"

Artist of the piece above, Sasha Phillips, adds, "This is one of those times that looking is not enough - you have to BE one of those HELPERS, in every way you can - by stopping hateful speech in its tracks, by voting, by being heard, by reaching out to support those who are being persecuted. You have to do this with light and love in your heart. Because 'the only thing evil can’t stand is forgiveness.' Wish we paid more attention to Mr. Rogers."



Related Reading 

• Healing power of art inspires Pittsburgh lawyer's Mister Rogers drawing: http://www.post-gazette.com/local/neighborhood/2018/10/30/Mister-Rogers-Pittsburgh-lawyer-art-synagogue-shootings-Tree-Life/stories/201810300132

• After Pittsburgh shooting in Mr. Rogers' real-life neighborhood, Squirrel Hill neighbors follow his lead: https://abcnews.go.com/US/pittsburgh-shooting-mr-rogers-real-life-neighborhood-squirrel/story?id=58849272

• Mister Rogers' Neighborhood on PBS: https://pbskids.org/video/mister-rogers/1421146807

• Won't You Be My Neighbor (2018 Documentary) on Amazon

• Artwork by Sasha Phillips: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10218143154789258&set=a.10201884967024725


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