Saturday, April 16, 2011

Pass it on!

Note:  This post is not intended to make an argument against circumcision, that is a more complex issue to be addressed in a future post.  It's a message for the non-circ population, so please don't waste your time attacking me for not giving any facts.  If you're looking for information, check out some of our links at the bottom.

While following an on-line debate about routine infant circumcision (RIC), one poster asked if we were actually doing anything about it or just talking about it.  They said that no one listens to non-circumcision arguments and that talking about it is a joke if we don't actually do anything.  In reality, what they said could not be further from the truth.

Talking about circumcision is probably the biggest thing we can do.  Most people don't even realize there is something to talk about when it comes to circumcision.  Like me, many people don't even think twice about it until someone brings it up.  Once they know there is something to actual research, many parents decide that reasons not to circumcise out weigh the arguments for it.  But before they can even ask themselves if they would circumcise their child, they need to know there is a question to ask.

Sure, being politically active or donateting and joinging groups that work to inform people definitely helps.  But just talking about it changes so many lives.  Everyone I know that has made the choice to keep their child intact was influenced by someone they knew.

Despite what that person believed, people do listen and talking about the reasons not to do routine circumcision is doing something about it!  You may not change everyones mind, but if you even change one, that is one baby that will be left intact.  Then he will influence people in his life and it will continue.

So keep talking!  Keep telling people why you chose to keep your child intact.  Keep giving people the facts about routine infant circumcision and letting them know there is something to talk about.  Keep passing informational articles along on Facebook and discussion boards.  Our words are our strongest tool and people do listen.  We can change our world one person at a time and someday it might just be routine to leave our baby boys intact, just they way they were born!

For more information on the circumcision debate, check out these resources:
As Nature Intended: Infant Circumcision Info

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Why I co-sleep

Like so many other parenting choices, where your baby or child sleeps seems to be a constant source of controversy.  People are often too embarrassed to admit that their children sleep in their bed even though surveys show that co-sleeping, at least part of the time, is actually more common than not with 68% of parents admitting to co-sleeping with their babies.

Since day one, we have enjoyed co-sleeping with our babies, or bed sharing in our case.  Although often used interchangeably, co-sleeping is technically when a baby shares a room with their parents and bed sharing is when they actually sleep on the same surface.  We bed share in our house, with two huge mattresses side by side so that we can all comfortably sleep together in a giant family bed.

Why Co-sleep?

Everyone sleeps better.  Babies fall asleep and stay asleep better when co-sleeping.  Baby sleeping more equals mom sleeping more which is always a good thing!

Co-sleeping is so convenient!  It makes night time parenting so much easier when baby is close to you.  You will be able to respond much quicker to your baby and get back to sleep that much sooner.

Breastfeeding is easier.  Nursing mothers naturally tune in to their babies and wake up easily when baby shows signs of being ready to eat.  This means mom can nurse her baby without baby needing to fully wake from sleep.  Since neither mom or baby have to get out of bed to nurse, it is much easier for both to get back to sleep.

Co-sleeping is not only safe, but research shows it can actually reduce the rate of SIDS.  Although not a significant enough amount to be the reason to co-sleep if you don't want to, it is nice to know that when done safely, co-sleeping is actually slightly safer than having your baby sleep alone.

But the biggest reason we share our bed with our babies?  WE LOVE IT!!!  We love sleeping with our kids.  Sure, it can be crowded and sometimes we get a foot someplace unpleasant, but it's all worth it.  How could you not enjoy having the last thing you see before you close your eyes be the angelic face of your sleeping child?  It is one of the greatest joys in my life.  That is why we co-sleep.

Life is so busy, babies grow so fast, toddlers are crazy, and pre-schoolers are hard to snuggle with.  But at night, in bed, we all snuggle together as my children are transformed from crazy monkeys into peaceful angels.  No matter what kind of day we've had, in that moment, everything else seems less important and the only thing that matters is how much I love my kids.  Someday my kids will be grown and want a bed of their own.  So for now, we co-sleep and share our bed with our babies, even the big ones!

Dr. Sears: Safe co-sleeping

The Natural Child Project: Cosleeping around the world

Mothering:  How the stats really stack up: Cosleeping is twice as safe