July 12, 2012
Babies belong in this world. I don’t mean we need to procreate – I mean in our daily lives. I believe one of the strongest challenges to breastfeeding is our culture. Babies are so precious that they cannot be seen or taken out.
We make a separate room, we separate the laundry, we keep babies away from people. My goodness, what are babies but people? And most babies are quite social.
Let’s take the wedding for example. How many women have said “I have to go to a wedding when my baby is three weeks old – will I be able to pump?” Guess what? A baby is not going to steel a brides’ thunder. But maybe the big wet stains on the front of your dress from your leaking breasts just might.
I recall several years ago my friend Deb was planning her wedding. Two of her closest friends were having babies about a month before the wedding. “Deb, you should tell them to bring their babies,” I suggested. “No way!” was her response. “They will be miserable,” I pleaded. “No they won’t and babies do not belong at weddings. “
(My dad says weddings and funerals are for families – babies belong!)
At Deb’s wedding I greeted Alexandra with a cheery “Hello!” and she nearly bit my head off. She was pacing back and forth like a caged animal. She was lost without her baby.
Lisa sat in the corner looking lost and uncomfortable (which she was!) They both left early – thank goodness for their babies and for them.
Another challenge that many moms encounter is siblings.
“I can’t breastfeed all the time, I have a toddler to tend to”.
“I need time with my other children.”
Here is the thing – all of your children need you. But they do not have to be separated. You have created a family. You can do things as a unit. Including the baby in the care of the older child and vice versa creates a family atmosphere. Strap the baby on and take that big kid to the park.
Strap the baby on while you are home and playing a game of hide and seek or reading a book together. Let the older child help with a diaper change. Let the older child care for a doll or teddy bear.
If the big brother is old enough you can let him hold his little sister.
You are modeling loving care for this older child. You can remind her that you cared for her in this way.
When the baby is asleep and in someone else’s arms or in a bassinet you can “baby” the older child. Who doesn’t want to be cared for lovingly?