You turn four

Dearest Son,

You turn four today and watching you grow has been one of the greatest experiences of our lives. Schools have tested you and have told us that you are intellectually gifted. This places great responsibility on us as parents to nurture you in a way that you truly live up to your potential.

We have found a wonderful school for you and home schooling is another option as well. Your musical acumen has sharpened quite a bit. Your mathematical skills are blossoming very beautifully indeed. Numbers are fun for you. Hope they will continue to be all life. You have atleast three inseparable friends. Our home is taken hostage by you and your friends every evening.

Aware parenting has done wonders! We only hope that as each birthday comes, you will grow strength to strength and be a worthy citizen of this world.

With tons of Love,

Dad and Mom

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Toddler stories 1

Here are two incidents from the past week:

1. By now, you know that there is a king, queen, bishops, knights and rooks in a chess board. As we were both playing some fun chess, you suddenly realised that your toy mouse could be added to the mix. So, you got your toy mouse and placed it on the chessboard and wanted to move it like other pieces.

2. We take you to the local library regularly so that you can socialise with other kids of your age group. Your mom has trained you to share the kitchen utensils in the toy kitchen with other babies. On our last visit, you did not find any baby, instead there was a lady with her almost age 8 daughter. So, you went up to that lady and gave her a utensil. As we were both watching you, you looked up and said, “This is for the big baby!”.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Aware Baby experiment : two year update

We continue to practice the aware baby parenting model. Our son, continues to express his emotions with no inhibitions, under our nurturing care. What is remarkable is that these days, he is able to identify his source of distress and verbalize it. 

For instance, sounds that are naturally present all around us, some of which we would never have guessed would be bothering him, he would say causes his stress. We do active listening on this thoughts about the situation, and give him the space to express freely.

He continues to release any pent up emotions before he sleeps. Though, hard and long cries are very infrequent, short and intense cries are quite regular. Also, it is evident that he is learning to regulate his emotions on his own, slowly, without any external pressure to do so. 

All in all, this method of parenting has yielded amazing results. Our son has a very healthy disposition inside and out. He is, in general, a very happy child and we hope he will continue this way into his adulthood.

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

You turn two…

Dear Son,

          Sharing life with you has been our greatest blessing! From the day you were born, you have been a constant source of wonder and amazement for us. Each day of these past two years, we have been filled with the joy and wonder that is you. As you take a step out everyday and soak all that this world has to offer, we re explore the world, together with you, in a completely different way. 

            Your zest for life is simply infectious. We wish that this uninhibited exploration of the world around you never stops.  Hope you find life to be immensely rich and satisfying, no matter what you choose to do.

Love,

Dad and Mom

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Tender moments of parenting

Dear Son,              
You were having a tough time going to sleep after having watched tigers, grizzlies, koalas and polar bear videos to your heart’s content. Since you would not go to sleep, your mom left you with me in my study, so that I could take you to the bedroom when you felt sleepy. It was already past your bedtime. I thought that you would be sleepy and decided to cut off all stimulus. I took you back to the bedroom, and started our usual bedtime ritual of singing the base note softly by your ear as you were getting to sleep by my side. Soon enough you were asleep. Even though you were asleep, as soon as I stopped humming the note, you would say ‘what next?’, in your sleep. This was a wonderful experience! I could not believe that you were still sub consciously tuned to me even though you were physically asleep. I kept on singing the base note and you wanted me to sing one of your favorite songs! I continued  singing the base note and soon enough you were fully asleep and I could finally stop. Moments like these make me wonder how empty life would have been without you!

Love,
Dad

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Aware baby experiment : 6 month update

The last post on aware baby experiment had ended with ” Time will tell if we got this one right”. So, it is only natural for us revisit this topic every 6 months atleast.

We have now been practicing the aware baby parenting model without fail for about 25 weeks. There are a few books that truly change the course of one’s life and certainly, The Aware baby  (http://www.awareparenting.com/)by Aletha Solter falls into that category. Babies dont come with a user’s manual and if there was one close enough to being one, it is this book.

DS was still on supplements  when we started with the practice – in about 4 weeks time, we were fully out of any supplements. DS, had gotten into a very predictable routine – his was a three hour cycle, he would be active for about 2 hours, then give signs of fatigue when his first outbursts would start, cry out for anywhere from 5min- 20min. and then sleep off for the next 30-45 min. This keeps happenning to this day except from 9pm-5am he sleeps through all three hours, waking up exactly every three hours for a feed.

The true value of practicing aware parenting lies in the bonding experience. When this tiny soul is stressed out and wants to release it (if anyone listens to us from outside, they would think a massacre is going on!), that he finds this unconditionally open arms to fall into and cry his heart out – what a relief it must be for him and what an honor and privilege it is for us to be worthy of his trust and just BE when he needs us the most.

By the time he was about 3 months, he had cried for about 250 hours! Wonder how stressful that birthing experience and adjusting to this new environment must have been. And then, slowly the cry out time shortened dramatically – from about 1 hard cry a day for sure (lasting atleast 40 min) to about 1 hard cry every few days to now, a hard cry once a week or so.

Also, as he would be crying himself out and slowly slipping into his sleep, DS would suck his thumb on and off. When he starts sucking his thumb, he would be suppressing his emotional outburst, while he would be in either one of our arms, as we patiently and compassionately, listen him out. Then he would spontaneously, remove his thumb and give out a cry. This would go on and eventually stop when he would decide to go sleep by suppressing his emotions by sucking his thumb and sleep off.

But now, as of a few days after his 6th month, he has stopped sucking his thumb fully. As we bring aware attention to him, he fully opens up and cries it all out and when done, falls off asleep. With no other sleep aids or pacifiers, he is off to sleep without any other external help and is now totally out of his thumb sucking habit altogether.

In the meanwhile, his personality has truly opened up and embraced the openness provided to him. He explores freely with no restrictions but minimal supervision to ensure his safety. We let him struggle with the challenges that come about his way and are gladly surprised to see him come up with solutions to surmount them – be it an obstacle he cannot get over or a toy/object he cannot put into his mouth or lift up.

It is a regular complement to hear people tell us that he is one of the happiest and cheerful babies they have seen. The nurse at our doctor’s office, in fact, made it explicit when she said that she is not saying it out of courtesy but out of experience from handling many babies everyday. One of the staff working at the hospital wanted to know if he is this way at home too and wondered what made him so cheerful.

When DS still was in his mother’s womb, we were taking classes for baby wearing and one of the babies, an eight month old boy, had such an outgoing and cheerful personality that we were wondering what would it take for our little one to be this way. We now think, while there might be a natural component to personality, the nurturing part, when done the aware parenting way might be the key.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Great Decision : Helpful links in making one’s choices on vaccinations

It has been a long time project of ours to make all of the websites and materials we used to make our judgement on vaccination for DS. So, finally after a lot of delay, here is the post with most of the links and notes along with them:

0. A neat article from Mothering.com that clearly goes over why should one even be worried about vaccinations. Bonus: A nice video in which the industry CDC/Govt nexus gets exposed very clearly. This is a must watch! Get your Damn Vaccine Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CMqYlnAiIUU

1. National Network for Immunization Information: http://www.immunizationinfo.org/ . A pro vaccination website with the following sponsors: Infectious Diseases Society of America, the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Nurses Association, the American Academy of Family Physicians, the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the University of Texas Medical Branch, the Society for Adolescent medicine and the American Medical Association.

2. National Vaccination Information Center: http://www.nvic.org/

Founded in 1982 by parents whose children were injured or died following DPT vaccine reactions. Maintains statistics of vaccine related injuries and vaccine ingredients calculator (mostly taken from Dr. Sears book on vaccinations it seems like). Also, has relevant information in making an informed choice about a particular vaccine. We relied on this website a lot.

3. Smart Vaccinations : http://smartvax.com/
Run by coalition for safeminds, here is their stated objective:SafeMinds was founded to raise awareness, support research, change policy and focus national attention on the growing evidence that environmental triggers contribute to neurological disorders such as autism, attention deficit disorder, language delay and learning difficulties. Our mission is to restore health and protect future generations by eradicating the devastation of autism and associated health disorders that are induced by environmental triggers. A portion of SafeMinds’ focus is on the role that vaccines might play in environmentally-induced autism, and SafeMinds members have participated in various governmental vaccine-policy and autism research committees to encourage research in this area. It has become apparent to SafeMinds that there is a reluctance amongst some government officials to pursue the rigorous science necessary to get the answers.

We found this website to be in agreement with our philosophy and approach to vaccinations. We have used this website quiet a bit and plan on revisiting it at the appropriate time for more information on particular make and brand of vaccine.

4. Dr. Sears’s vaccination book and mainly this article: http://www.whale.to/vaccine/sears.html , where in he raises concern about aluminum adjuvants in vaccines. This one is a must read.

5. Dr. Offit (inventor of the rotavirus vaccine), his rebuttal to Dr. Sears article:

http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/123/1/e164

In between these two links, there were a ton of blogs that were either Pro Sears or Pro Offit on this issue and they are certainly worth reading. They can be found with a simple google search.

6. Dr. Sears’s response to the rebuttal!!

http://www.askdrsears.com/topics/vaccines/response-dr-offits-misleading-inaccurate-review-vaccine-book-pediatrics-january-2009

This really gets interesting with all the heavy facts about vaccine and surely is an interesting read for an informed parent.

7. David Kirby’s article on the Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-kirby/top-us-panel-some-vaccine_b_211843.html

Never got down to reading this since by the time we were down to this point, our decision was pretty clear.

8. Dr. Sears’s article about the above post: http://www.askdrsears.com/topics/vaccines/government-and-cdc-finally-agree-do-extensive-research-vaccine-safety-maybe

It was from this post that we found out about HuffPo article.

9. Aluminum adjuvants study link: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21568886

A very recent and timely paper on aluminum adjuvants and their effects.

10.  Science based medicine blog: http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/index.php/paul-offit-takes-on-robert-sears/

One of those blogs that we talked about earlier. Together with the main article, the intense debate in the comments section make for a fruitful learning experience.

11. It took CDC only 50 years to admit that its Polio vaccines were tainted with SV40 virus:

By the time the material in these links are read, re-read, thought over, deliberated over, in our case the decision was pretty clear on what to do.

12. Another interesting perspective on this issue: http://www.essentialbaby.com.au/life-style/nutrition-and-wellbeing/growing-up-unvaccinated-20140108-30gck.html#utm_source=FD&utm_medium=lifeandstylepuff&utm_campaign=vacc

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment