Carrying our babies close, breastfeeding on cue, co-sleeping and responding to our babies needs with love and respect is how parenting has looked across the globe for the majority of our evolution.
In fact, it is only in the last few hundred years that parenting has begun to take on a very different form.
These days this natural parenting style is still widely practised the world over, from Africa to Asia and beyond, mothers still hold their babies close as they go about their business. But it is no longer the case in the majority of the Western world.
In the quest for efficiency, progress and modernising, many of these natural practices have been cast aside.
Breastfeeding takes longer and means the child is more dependant on the mother, so quicker and supposedly easier formula feeding steps in.
Holding baby close and wearing them in a sling has been replaced with prams, buggies, strollers and other containers which allow the mother to “get her body back,” and keep the baby at bay.
Bedding down as a family is considered unhealthy and even dangerous, with parents now choosing to place their tiny babies alone in a cot, barred in and often in their own room in a bid to help make them better (deeper) sleepers, and less dependant on the parents.
And cries are dealt with, not as a matter of urgency, but instead, at the parents convenience, with disposable nappies left unchanged until “nappy change time,” with feeding and sleeping scheduled, with the attitude that cries for attention or cuddles are manipulative and to be ignored, unless you want to make a rod for your own back.
With our modern tips, tricks and techniques, for many babies the natural parenting style we have evolved to expect, doesn’t get a look in. These methods have so widely infiltrated our society that now it seems as if anyone who turns their back on them in favour of the age old ways, is looked at as a hippy, an eccentric, to be scorned and ridiculed.
For many, their strong belief is that our children are adaptable and these choices are simply a matter of personal preference.
Continue reading Is Natural Parenting Outdated?