This is a really interesting question . . and a tough one to answer
For me, natural parenting means raising my LO in the most natural, chemical-free way I can. This includes no medication (creams, Tylenol, etc), no vaccines, no soaps/shampoos with chemicals, and feeding him organic whole foods. I definitely would include cloth diapering in this as well, unfortunately I didn't know much of anything about cloth diapering when LO was born and now that he's nearly 2 I don't feel the need to start him in them, however we will be cloth diapering with our next babies. Natural parenting, for me, also includes attachment parenting and using my mama instincts when it comes to making decisions for my LO. By attachment parenting I mean co-sleeping (bed-sharing), babywearing, etc as well as breastfeeding.
I think everyone's definition is going to be so different so I'm really curious to see what kind of answers this thread gets!
For me, it's just trying to raise LO as nature intended, keep him away from chemicals & processed stuff, being as environmental as possible & using my mama instincts too!
There are some things I don't do, like co-sleeping or baby wearing, I was never keen on co-sleeping & no matter what I did, LO was never happy in a sling! Loved being carried, & still does, unfortunately he weighs 2 stone lol!!!
I am very passionate about breastfeeding & feeding babies proper food, not made-up baby stuff.
I'm very environmental, that probably affects the way I parent LO as in I try not to use anything disposable, I try not to waste anything & I reuse, recycle & buy 2nd hand as much as I can. That probably led me towards natural parenting I think!
I hate the term natural parenting, it gets people's backs up. I see natural parenting as doing what comes natural to you and not doing things just because some one else said so.
I agree with this. I think that the term 'natural parenting' would include a whole continuum of parenting approaches and methods and asking someone what 'natural parenting' means to them would elicit a whole raft of responses depending where on the continuum you personally fall. This thread will be very interesting to see how many different responses you get!
I never thought I would be coming on the 'natural parenting' forum when I was pregnant, not because I didn't agree with the principles, just because I had no idea what being a mum would be like! Then LO arrived and I loved breastfeeding, embraced baby wearing and discovered cloth nappies and it feels like this forum is where I meet the most like minded people.
However how 'natural' a parent I feel all depends on where I am and who I'm with. I go to several baby groups and at the more 'mainstream' ones the other mums think of me as some 'earth mother' type because I breastfeed, babywear, use cloth nappies, plan on BLW and co-sleep full time, bedshare part time. However at my more 'natural' groups (LLL, sling meets etc) I don't feel very 'natural' at all as I don't practice EC, I own and occasionally use a pushchair, I use regular baby soap and shampoo on LO and I vaccinate her. 'Natural parenting' is different things to different people.
Personally, for me, it means ignoring all the 'experts' and 'advice' that have messed around with how we raise children in modern times. It means listening to my baby and doing what feels 'natural' to me and her with regards to raising her. Wherever possible it means doing things in the way they would 'naturally' happen - so breastfeeding, allowing her to share our food when she's ready, sleeping close to her, carrying her in a sling so she can see the world as I do, I can talk to her and she can sleep snuggled up with me etc. I don't read parenting books and I try and ignore 'advice' from other people who think they know better. I let my baby lead the way
It's going to vary for every person, but for me it may be considered a bit extreme. My personal definition involves a natural, gentle birth, extended breastfeeding, baby-led weaning, exclusive baby wearing, cloth diapers, bedsharing for as long as she wants, and attachment parenting in general.
It also involves avoiding chemicals when possible -- no vaccinations, an organic, vegan diet, and no harsh chemicals on her skin and hair. I would agree that it all comes down to what comes naturally to you. I had this kind of diet and outlook on chemicals before I wanted kids, so my parenting style is just an extension of that.
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