I am so sick and tired of everyone telling me that I am doing everything wrong with my child! Everything I do gets some kind of criticism, or at the very least, condescending skepticism. I really don't want to hear it anymore.
I don't keep my baby on a schedule. I know your baby goes to bed at 6:30pm and sleeps until 10:00am. Good for you. As for me, I don't force my baby into a schedule. I like to think his needs come before my comfort, but hey, that's just me.
I use cloth diapers and elimination communication. No, it's not a hassle to wash them, and at least I'm not polluting the world with human feces in landfills and chemicals used to manufacture disposable diapers. In addition, elimination communication is not really infant potty training, but that's apparently all anyone understands so I bill it as such. I am not training my baby to go to the bathroom through EC any more than I am "training" him to eat by breastfeeding. He just does it naturally. Really. I'm just not "diaper-training" him like most people in this country do, and then wonder why they have such a hard time "potty training" when they've constantly reinforced elimination in a diaper for two years. Yes, it's a commitment. Yes, they DO have some control over their bladder and bowels from birth. No, it is not "mommy training". It is simply communicating a need and fulfilling it. You can laugh and call me ridiculous all you want, but I don't remember the last time I changed a poopy diaper and my 3-month-old has not worn a diaper in three days. How much money have YOU spent on diapers this week? Yeah, so shut up.
I breastfeed my kid. I breastfeed in public without a cover, because I don't think it is obscene, and neither does the state of California. If this offends you, stop staring. I shall continue to breastfeed him until he weans himself, whenever that may be. I will not force him to wean by any means. If that means that I will be nursing a 5-year-old then so be it. He's not gonna be chewing on your tit, so what do you care? Back off.
I intend to practice baby-led weaning. I will not be giving my baby cereal or pureed "baby food." He can eat regular solid food like everyone else. That's what he was intended to do. That's what God made teeth for. Babies can't move food from the front of their mouths to the back before they can chew, and they can't chew before they can pick the food up and put it into their mouths themselves, so if I allow him to naturally follow his own development, there should be no problems. I happen to think that letting him control what goes into his mouth is better and safer than shoving pureed foods down his throat and teaching him that he does not have to chew his food.
And since he is breastfed, he DOES have to be fed more often. Babies are actually efficient at digesting breast milk, so no, it doesn't last long. The fact that he is eating every hour or so does not mean he is not getting enough from the milk!. He has been gaining weight at a rate of almost 1 lb. per week. Trust me, he's getting PLENTY of food. I don't need to supplement with cereal early just because he's frequently hungry. He is hungry because he's growing. That's what most babies tend to do. He will not die without cereal. I promise.
I don't carry my baby around in a car seat everywhere. I wear him or carry him in my arms, because I realize that wearing or carrying your baby has tremendous benefits on his cognitive and psychological development. Not only does it assist him in forming proper attachments, it also helps him learn balance and movement, which drastically improves physical and cognitive development. I know it's inconvenient at times, and he is getting heavier, but at least I'm getting a workout and losing that baby weight. Besides, his brain and muscle function are a little more important than my convenience anyway. I'm not asking you to carry him, so leave me alone.
I do vaccinate my baby, but I do not intend to give him all the vaccines recommended, and I delay many vaccinations. He's not going to die from any STDs as a baby and he's not going to give your child some deadly illness just because he hasn't been vaccinated for it. Measles doesn't just appear out of thin air - it has to be contracted from someone, and when was the last time you saw a kid with measles? I've researched the risks, and by "research" I don't mean talking to my pediatrician about it. I'm not going to explain my reasoning to you. If you think my kid is gonna give your kid diptheria then stay away from him. It's probably for the best anyway.
I co-sleep with my baby. Lordy, Lordy, God save her soul! Don't go preaching to me about how "dangerous" that is. If anyone cares to actually READ the studies, rather than just quote what they've heard, they will see that bed-sharing is only dangerous if one does not take the same precautions one would take under ANY sleeping conditions. If you are not under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and make sure your baby can't be strangled by loose bedding or wedged in between pillows or mattresses and headboards, co-sleeping actually DECREASES the risk of SIDS. Bed-sharing helps to regulate an infant's heart rate and respiration and allows the mother to wake more easily if something is wrong with the child, in addition to facilitating breastfeeding and reinforcing good sleeping habits. So wipe that shocked look off your face and let me sleep!
Of course, I AM planning to have my next child at home as well. Don't even approach me on this one. You will not win. That's a whole 'nother blog. Go read it.
So yeah, just stop condemning me and let me raise my child. I have enough stress trying to take care of a baby - I don't need your constant bitchy comments as well.