As you wade through photographs of another Mum’s £2000 sling stash, or catch an oh so carefully planned glimpse of a ridiculously expensive custom made cloth bum, you could be forgiven for thinking that this whole “Natural parenting” movement is nothing but a poorly disguised cover for mass consumerism, more about making a fashion statement than it is about the baby.
To the casual onlooker it can seem utterly daunting and unattainable to be one of these “Natural parents,” and often the real message of the movement is distilled amongst the competition of the latest must have accessories.
Of course, for many of these mothers who become collectors of slings and nappies, it is a passion, a love and a hobby, one which brings them joy and compliments their parenting choices, but never overshadows the real importance – that of parenting their child lovingly and naturally.
But for others this is sadly not the case. They buy the best slings, kit out their changing table with the most coveted custom cloth nappies and proudly wear the label of “Natural mama” like a badge, all the while missing the real point of Natural parenting.
While there is nothing inherently wrong with becoming a sling or nappy collector, and these accessories are indeed useful and beneficial to baby, there is so much more involved in being a natural parent than the fabric of your latest woven wrap.
You could buy a pack of simple terry nappies, a second hand wrap or soft structured carrier and never think about nappies or slings ever again unless you wanted to.
And, provided you treated your child with love, trust and respect, kept them close, responded with care and attention to their needs and as much as possible raised them as babies have been raised since the beginning of human existence, you would be parenting as nature intended.
A true Natural Parent.
Being a Natural Parent is not something you can buy. It is a mindset.
Yes, fancy slings are fun, colourful nappies are fun, but they are not necessary to the well-being of your child, and focusing more on these accessories than the real aspects of Natural Parenting can actually take away from what your child really needs – namely your presence, your unconditional love, your intuition, your respect.
Natural parenting is not anything new. It is the way parents have always raised their children until very recent centuries. It is how our babies were designed to be treated.
It is anything but a fashion trend or a fad.
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Image courtesy of africa at FreeDigitalPhotos.net