Baby Love: links for new parents.

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I have no less than five friends expecting a baby or snuggling up with a fresh sweet newborn at this very moment. Five beautiful mamas (and supportive papas) spreading baby fever far and wide.

In the past four years I have written some relevant posts for new parents that are a bit buried in the archives.

I thought it would be helpful to round them up and put them all in one place so that you can use them yourself or share them with friends.

Helpful Clean links for new parents:

New Baby Checklist A no-frills list of what you really need for baby.

Honoring Motherhood: The Blessingway A meaningful alternative to the ubiquitous baby shower.

What is a Meal Wheel? Get your best friend on the task of organizing a meal wheel for your family, or organize one in your own community. Meal wheels are transformational.

What I Did Not Know: Reflections on Motherhood This is the closest thing I ever had to a viral post. It clearly hit close to home for many parents.

Your Words: Thoughts for New Parents Your thoughts and advice to new parents. Thank you for what you shared.

Peaceful Parenting  A series of posts to inspire more connection-based, non-violent parenting.

Child-Led Weaning One approach to weaning your child.

Safe Co-Sleeping My thoughts (and a few great links) to help you bed-share safely with your little ones.

Co-Sleeping, Night-Waking, and Growing-Up And this post – a bit of perspective when you haven't slept in days…

There is No Label for What You Do On rejecting labels and ebracing authenticity in parenting.

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While I'm at it, here are a few of our favorite books for pregnancy, birth, and babyhood.

Ina Mae's Guide to Childbirth Ina Mae is an inspiration. This book is a must-read for expectant parents.

Birthing from Within Preparing you emotionally and spiritually for birth.

Your Best Birth This I have not read but I have bought it for friends hoping for VBAC births. Looks wonderful.

A Child is Born This book rocked our science-geek minds when we were expecting Sage. A photographic week-by-week view of developing baby. Amazing.

The Baby Book By Dr. Sears. I'm so grateful that I had this book when Sage was small.

The No-Cry Sleep Solution Another worthwhile read as you navigate night-time parenting.

Sign With Your Baby Simple baby signs reduce frustration and increases communication between you and your little one.

Diaper Free! The Gentle Wisdom of Natural Infant Hygiene We did it. We loved it. I can't imagine doing it any other way. Truly. It was life-changing.

How about you? What would you add to these lists? Links to other blogs, books, or websites are welcome!

Love,
Rachel

 

Mothering Magazine Musings

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We mentioned briefly the recent feature of LuSa Organics Baby Wipe Juice in Mothering Magazine.

For those who's mags are not yet in their hands, here is a peek inside. There we are in the bottom right, peeking out from a wipes warmer full of cotton reusable wipes. We're still smiling.

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Mothering Magazine has played prominently into our growing into our roles of mama and papa; into become the parents and family that we are today. Mothering helped guide our decisions about vaccination and made us feel "normal" in our decisions about natural birth, homebirth, cosleeping, and gentle parenting.

If you are a parent and haven't picked up a Mothering Magazine yet (or for a while) I urge you to do so. It just might change your life.

 

Celebrations : : Blessingway for new mothers

When I was pregnant with my first babe in 2001, a friend hosted a baby shower for me. It was so sweet and thoughtful, but after it was done I longed for something deeper – a connect with birthing mothers throughout history, a connection with the vital women from my life. I was grateful for the "stuff" that the shower guests provided, but really, more than onesies I needed spiritual guidance for the journey I was embarking on.
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Fast-forward four years, to my second pregnancy. By the time Lupine was on her way I had discovered the ancient tradition of the blessingway. My blessingway before Lupine's birth was magical. I gathered  women around me to celebrate and prepare for birth and baby. We made prayer flags, they wove me a flower crown and brushed and braided my hair. We sang songs, told stories, and read poems.

My blessingway was small – just four friends: one first-time mama who was pregnant as well, and three other friends who were my birthing and mothering mentors from Sage's early years. It wasn't all of my girlfriends or all of the important women in my life – just those who's energy I longed to help guide my transition from "Mama of One" to "Mama of Two".

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This weekend the friend who attended my blessingway pregnant three years ago celebrated her second blessingway with a group of women friends. Most were mamas and all had much to give. We gathered in the yard beneath the tent, shared positive mothering and birthing stories, and gave of ourselves to this woman we care so much about.

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We pampered her with scented massage to remind her to receive the gifts that mothering brings and to remind her that in the coming months we are here for her – to listen, to serve, to hold space for her. We gave her written and verbal promises of the help we will give as her family grows – for baby-holding, dessert-making, toddler-sitting, dinner-cooking, hot-tubbing, and many loving arms, listening ears, and strong shoulders to support her journey.

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We shared food (including this luscious pregnant mama cake!) and drink, our stories, many laughs, and a few tears.

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As we sat in the shade and created a gift for the baby with our many hands, I reflected on how important community and connection is to mothers, and to the rest of us. We are bound together and supported by each other, and our communities are only as strong as the support we offer to one another. These celebrations are a part of that fabric of support.

In this journey that is motherhood I find myself comforted by these rituals and celebrations that we shape our lives around. Old and new intertwined, forming the rhythm of these days.