Posts Tagged ‘Sunday Surf’

Sunday Surf: Homebirth and Natural Childbirth: Dads and Siblings

This is the last of a series of three posts on birth. The first was on labor, postpartum and other birth information. The second included links to birth stories and videos. This post is intended to gather links for dads or birth partners as well as resources to prepare siblings.

I worried about my daughter’s role during my second homebirth. As it turns out, she was fantastic and everything was natural and easy. She makes appearances in a few wonderful shots in video slideshow of my son’s homebirth. Having her there was so special to me. In fact, when I needed to not be alone, she was the only one there! I love that girl…..




Sunday Surf: Natural Birth, Homebirth and Unassisted Birth Videos and Stories

This post has moved to the new A Living Family site!

Please check out the awesome, powerful videos and stories at this new link.

Sunday Surf: Birth from Pregnancy to Postpartum: Information

[I planned to start this birth series before baby came. I expected to be going into labor a day or two from now. Instead, my son is two weeks old(!), and I post these as a new mama of two. (This has inspired an ongoing Tandem Nurturer series.)]

This is the first of a series of three posts on labor and birth. Following this will be a post with resources for dads/partners and siblings and one with birth videos and stories. These are not all the resources out there. (For instance, I don’t have books, film and product suggestions…a fourth post?). These are some of the links I have gathered along the way and found helpful. I hope they help others, too.


This post has moved to the new A Living Family site!

Please check out the awesome, powerful videos and stories at this new link.

Sunday Surf: The Real Deal

Usually I cheat and make Sunday Surf on a theme to provide information. Today is the real deal. These are just articles and things I’ve looked at that I think are worth sharing:

Building a Table (from Palumba)

From Conception to Birth

Trying to Conceive Naturally: What Are the Next Steps? (Natural Parents Network)

TTC (trying to conceive) is a hard place to be. I didn’t explain in my miscarriage post, but trying to conceive after that felt like a whole to do. About the only thing that actually helped was acupuncture. (I had an extra long cycle that got cut down by about a week, and regulated my hormone levels a bit, I believe.) Still, I did the thermometer, ovulation kits, herbs and more. In the end, I got fed up and gave up trying and that was the time we conceived my daughter. Interestingly, it also happened to be one year to the cycle of my lost baby’s conception.

This is a great NPN post sharing the range of options available to those TTC .

Please Sign Here, You Have No Rights (Birth Without Fear)

Technically, you can go into a hospital with a napkin that says “I consent to

Mother and Baby: Positioning after Birth (Delayed Cord Clamping: Cord Clamping Information and Research)


“I do wonder if more women gave birth without interference (or out of water maybe), would we be more accustomed to seeing mother-directed third stage of labour – where women might have a short rest before attending to her baby – and have a greater appreciation and understanding of physiological fetal-to-neonatal transition?

It is instinct in some mammals to rest in the first 30s-1m or so after birth – leaving the baby undisturbed during placental transfusion. Do we have these same instincts, to be above our babies, to gaze at and touch our babies, to watch them breathe and check the cord…before lifting our babies up?



I found this company after looking for solid wood tables for my daughter. They are pricier than plastic counterparts (or DIY, if you can/are interested in making your own things). All of their products are beautiful, however, so they make a good suggestion for folks trying to buy you stuff that maybe you don’t want… grandparents. This stuff is built to last and inspire the imagination. Here’s more about them:

“We specialize in organic, natural, sustainably built, handmade children’s items created from all natural materials. Palumba’s offering of safe, non-toxic childrens toys, musical items, art supplies and clothing are all dedicated to the natural home.

Best of all, 80% of our toys are made in the USA; the rest are crafted in Fair Trade Cooperatives. All of our toys are made without any toxins or unsafe parts. They are all of heirloom quality, hand crafted and sustainably made with care and integrity.”

Understanding Brain Development in Young Children

Some recent research on how the brain develops, how it is constructed and periods of brain development (language, physical, emotional and so forth). Of course the point is that children’s brains are laying the wiring down in the first years. Here’s the conclusion:

“The development of a child’s brain holds the key to the child’s future. Although the “first years last forever” in terms of the rapid development of young children’s brains, the actual first years of a child’s life go by very quickly. So touch, talk, read, smile, sing, count and play with your children. It does more than make both of you feel good. It helps a child’s brain develop and nourishes the child’s potential for a lifetime.”

Idea List for Toddler/Preschooler Activity Bags (Intrepid Murmurings)

This post is an absolute gold mine of ideas for keeping little hands engaged and exploring — easy, quick and packed full of potential! Seriously, every one is something doable, creative and fun!

Finished Chair!


Best of 2011 from Natural Parents Network Volunteers

Take the time it takes to surf through these links — awesome stuff! These piqued my interest:

        • Why Do Children Have More Food Allergies Than Ever Before? — I don’t want to give things away because it’s an important read….
        • An-depth and informative post about the menstrual cup option, specifically the Diva Cup.
        • A bittersweet post about an (abrupt) child-led end to a cosleeping relationship — of course this made me want to stare at my daughter in the middle of the night and hug her close, especially with another baby on the way and our solo time in bed ending….
        • 80 Uses for Coconut Oil gave me lots of ideas of what to do with the super good stuff I got from a local guy at our coop. This stuff is good for you–all of you!
        • The Best First Food for Baby made me understand why my daughter might have eaten the way she did on our baby-led solids journey. Fascinating!

One Teacher’s Approach to Preventing Gender Bullying in a (1st Grade) Classroom

One of my former students brought this to my attention. It made me think about all the ways in which my environment as a parent trying to raise my daughter is gendered from before birth. Try finding a “girl” shirt that doesn’t have ruffles or puffs or shiny bits or flowers. Even Melissa and Doug has a toy in a “friendship” set (pink and flowery) and a “vehicles” set (primary colors and all vehicles). This article took a glimpse into the classroom to see how these gendered realities are affecting children and their relationships.

Don’t Fix These Toddler Struggles

Loved this post because it not only normalizes the struggles that toddlers have but gives confidence and encouragement to caregivers to trust children and their natural learning processes. What seems like a problem to the adults isn’t necessarily problematic to children…

The Tandem Mommy (

As someone hoping to see if the tandem experience is for my daughter and I (and baby #2), this post felt like a real, honest and helpful post. As always, the comments are good to go through as well.

Sunday Surf: Alternative Parenting Info for Family and Friends

Holidays and celebrations usually mean family get togethers and all that comes with those situations.

For many, this is a joyous time when perhaps people who rarely enjoy sharing the same space have a day or more to “live together” in some ways. What happens when the small family unit chooses to live differently than the family at large? For parents who subscribe to alternative/gentle/positive/natural/attachment whatever you call it parenting, the coming together of different styles of raising children can cause tension and frustration. Some families also have a hard time over the phone or the internet.

A few things I think cause trouble are a lack of compassionate understanding of the various “sides” and feelings of judgment and defensiveness that block communication. This happens for everyone, but it seems that the hows, whats and whys of a less typical type of parent are less known (and also, therefore, respected?). I know I wish that my family could read some of the articles that shape my parenting choices.

What follows is a rough draft of my dream list of 10 blog posts to give someone a sense of where I am currently coming from as a mother. (Yes, I reserve the right to change and learn and grow.)

***Last minute addition!***

I just found this post on the 10 RIE principles of caregiving, and it addresses all the main issues I’ve been trying to raise with my own family. I may even share it with said family…….

10 Articles to Help Understand My Parenting Aspirations

Sunday Surf: Playful Parenting

As I approach 33 weeks pregnant with still more to do to prepare, I’m taking it easy on the Sunday Surf this week and giving you some truly great links with little explanation. I’m hoping the excerpts speak for themselves. Many of them have links to all the Carnival of Natural Parenting articles on play. Check them out!


Playful Parenting by Lawrence J. Cohen, PhD

The Book: Playful Parenting

Book Review (PhD in Parenting)

On Being a More Playful Parent 

I swear I was a more patient mother  before I had two children. I found myself yelling at my child. As the months passed, it wasn’t getting any better. One day I came across a book: Playful Parenting by Larry Cohen. I wrote about this book here and here. Thanks to this book, I am more patient and better at keeping my cool.

Parenting through Play: Not Always Easy, but Always Rewarding

Play hasn’t always come easy to me. omewhere between childhood, the years I enjoyed babysitting as a teen, and parenthood I lost touch with play. I became a serious adult. And honestly, I felt a little (or a lot) embarrassed when I would get silly.

Preventing Tantrums through Play

Stern voice + controlling attitude = Tantrum
Loud voice + controlling attitude = Tantrum
Firm demands for compliance = Tantrum
Playing a game = a lot of extra time carved out of your day = an accommodating, happy-go-lucky kid

Parenting through Play Starts in Infancy

Maybe it seems like play would take up too much time. But a few moments making something fun can save you many moments of sadness getting in the way later.

Practicing Playful Parenting

Sometimes I feel that parenting is a skill that does not come easily to me. I read so many great books on peaceful communication and gentle discipline…and then something crazy happens in our house and I am either lost for words or get frustrated to the point of yelling. One trick I do have in my parenting pocket is playfulness. If in doubt I play. Here are a few examples…

Handling Big Emotions with Role-Playing

Play. Especially role-playing will help a child project their big emotions onto the skit you create and away from themselves. Unlike distraction, which has merit at times, playing can actually help a child to understand and resolve their feelings. And it certainly diffuses the parent’s tension almost immediately.

Parenting My Toddler through Play

I learned quickly that making everyday tasks fun made them not only go by quicker, but made them less painful. It was only natural for me to develop a healthy playful parenting relationship with my own child. These are a few playful ways I parent E….

Getting Cooperation through Play

All he did was just mix work with play, and voila – Abbey felt respected, chores got done, and daddy got the cooperation he needed. Now. . . if I could just remember to embrace play more often. Here are some ideas that have been helping me remember to get playful more often.

Grace and Courtesy Games for Home and School

grace, courtesy, conversational skills, table manners….

A Promise to My Daughter (a poem, excerpt below)

Sometimes I find it’s easy to forget
When I feel tired, annoyed or upset
That you’re just learning innocently
You don’t really mean to cause trouble for me

Sunday Surf: Discipline

[This post is a followup to Parenting with a Little Perspective.]

Here are two scenarios involving discipline that have been happening in my house, on the playground, in the car — everywhere! You know, the situations that drive you nuts because they test your beliefs and push you to your limits….those times when things creep in like yelling, threats, shame-inducing tones….

Scenario 1:

My 2 year old daughter is holding an object that isn’t safe or for her. I say “That isn’t a toy and it can hurt you. Put it back.” My daughter looks at me, her face now clearly annoyed, and throws whatever it is. (Sometimes this is dangerous and scares me.)

Scenario 2:

My daughter wants something. I don’t respond quickly enough, or she can’t have or do what she is wanting. She becomes an inconsolable heap of angry, messy sobs and spitty, mumbled words.

Here are some articles around discipline and conflict that I have been thinking about and finding helpful. Gentle, positive, alternative to spanking and yelling–call it what you want. These articles offer ways to relate to our children with clear respect and love, even in the roughest moments.

5 Reasons Why Toddlers Don’t Need Redirection

Redirection is a common trick parents are told to use, but what does it teach? I know I thought of it as a go-to strategy for a while. Sometimes distraction is an appropriate tool, but this article calls into question the effectiveness and reasoning behind redirection and distraction, especially without acknowledgement of the situation at hand.

Alternative Discipline: Life without Punishment

The transformation of this mama is clear. The intro says everything that’s on the minds of many:

I was raised to believe that children are sneaky and manipulative, and the only way to have an orderly household is to punish early and often — to include spanking, withholding meals, and liberal groundings. While I didn’t buy into all of this (I didn’t like it being done to me, why would I think it would foster a good relationship with my own children?), I still thought someform of punishment was necessary. After all, if you didn’t punish, how on earth would a child learn not to do certain things? 

…..Needless to say, she figures it out!

Positive Parenting Is Not Permissive

Clear article about setting limits, being a empathetic and proactive leader and teaching appropriate behavior all without punishment, demands or threats.

Gentle Discipline In Action (Seeing Is Believing)

Want a cooperative 14 month old? Is it possible for a child that young to cooperate? This video shows that it’s possible for children that young to show restraint and impulse control without being manipulated or forced.

Gentle Discipline: Dealing with Hitting

Hitting is such a common issue with toddlers and in general. How can parents deal with hitting without punishment when it is just not acceptable behavior?

Positive Parenting in Action: Aggressive Behavior

Similar to the above, but with 4 clear steps to consider and helpful scenarios for children of all ages. I use this one all the time!

Parenting a Spirited Preschooler

The advice for this mama, pushed to the edge, is helpful for all parents of all types of children.

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