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Natural Parenting

What is natural parenting anyway? Usually it includes things like cloth diapering, babywearing, breastfeeding, and holistic medicine. But I think it is also about mindset and attitude, about trying to do the best for our children and ourselves in a natural, holistic manner.

Every family has to find its own balance and decide which practices are right for it. For example, I am an avid supporter of cloth diapering but find it much more convenient to do disposables at night and when we are out and about.

None of us will live up to the ideal of an “all-natural” parent, but the point is that we are trying and that we seek out the best for our families. Here are some resources we have found useful in that respect:

Breastfeeding

La Leche League  The one, the only, the grandmother of them all.  I am proud to say that I am the daughter of a La Leche League leader, from back in the days when breastfeeding was not widely accepted.  I personally have found the LLL groups I have visited to be very warm, welcoming places.  I have also continually been impressed at the knowledge and kindness of the LLL leaders, who also make themselves available for phone consultations.  Please note that each LLL group is a little different, so if you find that the first one you visit isn’t quite the right fit, you may want to try another.

The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding, published by La Leche League, is a must-have for the nursing mom’s bookshelf.  Chock full of information and personal stories.

Kelly Mom is a really great, comprehensive online resource for nursing mothers.  Many times I have found the answers I needed to some really random questions on this website.

Thomas Hale’s Medications and Mothers’ Milk is a classic reference book that is continually being updated.  If you need to take a medication and aren’t sure how it will affect your nursing baby, this is the place to go.  If you can’t get your hands on a copy of the book, you can also check out Dr. Hale’s latest website.

Another resource to check regarding medications and breastfeeding is the database LactMed.  One of the most comprehensive resources you can find online for this topic.  Apparently this is also a LactMed app!

Cloth Diapering

There are so many resources out there about cloth diapering.  How do you know where to start?  Here are some of my favorite websites:

Jillian’s Drawers is a wonderful online store based out of Ithaca, NY, that has a great deal of information about cloth diapering on its website.  If you are just getting started, check out their New to Cloth page.  I must confess I have a sentimental attachment to this store, because even though I have since found local sources for buying cloth diapers, I bought my first package of diapers for my Little Monkey from Jillian’s Drawers.  I can still remember opening up that big package of beautiful diapers when I was very pregnant and just imagining the little baby that would soon be wearing them.  *Sigh*

Another great resource is the online store Green Mountain Diapers, especially their very informative FAQs page.  They also have a New Mom page that gives a great overview of getting started with cloth.

If that isn’t even info for you, the Kitchen Stewardship blog recently ran an in-depth series all about cloth diapers.  I actually recommend starting with the last post in the series, which gives an overview of the topics covered (from absorbency tests to how to make your own cloth wipes).

Health and Wellness

William Sears, MD, and Martha Sears, RN,  The Baby Book.  The first book we consult in all baby matters.  Dr. Sears also has a wonderful website.  He is a long-time supporter of breastfeeding and attachment parenting.

Aviva Jill Romm, MD, Naturally Healthy Babies and Children.  An easy to read guide to using natural remedies at home.  Also check out Dr. Romm’s website.

6 comments on “Natural Parenting

  1. […] of all, check out the resources listed on our newly updated Natural Parenting Resource Page for some great overviews about getting started with cloth […]

  2. As a mommy of a green baby , I have become obeesssd with cloth diapers (and making my own baby food, but I’ll have to wait for your blog on that one)! I love them and have done my best to explore the ins and outs of everything out there! I’m all for buying local, but, here in Richmond, VA, there isn’t much as far as cloth diapering goes. The only people I know who use a cloth diaper cleaning service here use one out of Charlottesville. Personally, I’ve found it super-easy to wash at home once you get in the routine. Anyway, Green Mountain Diapers (greenmountaindiapers.com) has a great website super informative. They also sell wonderful ORGANIC unbleached cloth diapers. I also like diaperpin.com’s reviews for various cloth diapering products.Regarding dunking and swishing Emerson (my daughter) is 8 months old (today!) and we went through the transition from breastmilk poop to solid poop (stinky!!) in the last few months. I highly recommend disposable, flushable liners (specifically made for cloth diapering). They are cheap (maybe $0.05/each), biodegradeable, and can actually be reused (well, not according the instructions, but I throw the only-wet ones in the wash with the diapers and they come out of the dryer even softer than before keep using and washing until a poop or until they finally fall apart I usually get at least 4 or so rounds).Hope this is helpful.

    • Raj, wow, great advice! Thanks for sharing! I had never heard of disposable liners before, but a friend of mine is having a baby soon and put them on her registry. Sounds like a great idea! Best of luck and please come back to share more!

  3. I love it all! 🙂 I’m also a *part time* cloth diaperer (sposies at bed time and while out) and I breast fed both my littles (my son JUST weaned) and we co sleep and baby wear 🙂

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