I am not a normal mom, not by a long stretch if you look at the moms in my life. Sometimes I feel as though I am outsider and people think I am not doing this mom thing right. Silly and slightly ridiculous–I know.
So what makes me not a normal mom–I breastfeed, feed on demand, cloth diaper, baby wear, do not sleep train, co sleep, Adalynn did not have anything but breastmilk until 6 months, don’t do solids every meal or even every day (gasp), believe in baby led weaning (I don’t do purees), and will not feed my daughter grains before her first birthday. Yep, I am into attachment parenting. Maybe thats not strange to everyone but its downright odd to many people in my life. I have done a ton of research to back my choices and decisions.
I am also a foster mother.
I have three beautiful children and two of them I never carried or gave birth to. My twins H bug and little man are my foster children and have brought more joy than I ever thought possible. They are crazy, demanding, energetic 19 months old. Then there is my miracle, Adalynn. We waited and prayed for so long for this beauty of a child and she is actually here.
Its strange because a little over 13 months ago we accepted our twins into our household. I raised them how you are suppose to, how I was raised–formula fed, crib, sleep trained, and purees galore. Of course they are foster children and I have rules and regulations to follow. I never thought I would raise Adalynn much different, well I always planned to breast feed. I am not quite sure when our mindset changed but boy oh boy did it.
Years ago I got interested in cloth diaper but never gave it much thought. I got pregnant and we talked a little about it and then we gained custody of the twins and that went out the window. When the twins were probably around 8 or 9 months we saw cloth diapers at Target and thought we would give it a try. We loved it, then we found different brands and we knew this was what we were going to do for Adalynn.
Early in my pregnancy, my husband asked me to breastfeed. I toyed with the idea and we decided to do it, after all it is free. Later in my pregnancy we went to breastfeeding classes and we were even more convinced to breastfeed. I also planned on having a a natural labor (that went out the window when her heart rate plummeted) and was looking forward to her doing the baby crawl to my breast. After I gave birth and was in the recovery room and Adalynn latched the first time brought tears to my eyes. I fell in love with breastfeeding.
When we brought Adalynn home, we had every intention of her sleeping in the playpen next to our bed and then transitioning to the crib. Adalynn didn’t like her playpen, she liked being in our bed.Thus our co sleeping has been born. In the past month or so Adalynn is starting to sleep in her crib.
I feed on demand, its essential for your milk supply. Adalynn eats whenever she wants, sometimes that is every hour, every two hours, or every three hours. She is not denied food or rocked to sleep in order to hold off a feeding. This thought process makes sleeping training out of the question. Adalynn has slept through the night once or twice in her 6+ months of life. I am perfectly fine with this and have no intention of forcing her to sleep through the night. She wakes up anywhere from 1-4 times a night.
I did not feed Adalynn anything but breastmilk until 6 months (this includes cereal, besides I am not doing grains). I do not feed Adalynn purees. I feed her from the table (baby led weaning) except I do not feed her grains. I have done research and found that babies can not digest the enzymes in grains until they are at least a year.
I guess I am not a normal mom and I am okay with this. I won’t knock the way someone else chooses to raise their child (as long as the child is not in immediate harm) but I believe I am raising my children to the best of my ability.