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Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Things Sarah Got Right and Wrong: The First 4.5 & 1.5 Years

A reader, Sarah, was kind enough to add her experience to the exercise I did on the first five years! In case you haven't seen that post, here is a link:

She wrote:

I have used your hypothesis as I had none of my own before having children. I was rather naive and just followed the advice from brief readings on attachment parenting.

I have a 4 1/2 year old son and a 1 1/2 year old daughter. I only learnt of RIE when my son was 2 1/2. With my daughter we've used RIE techniques from birth.


-By eating a healthy diet I won't get morning sickness: WRONG. I ate extremely healthy WAPF diet for several years before and during first pregnancy. Had rather bad morning sickness and nausea. (But after the sixteen week mark, pregnancy was lovely and no issues. Second pregnancy I was eating a Ray Peat inspired diet and still suffered horrible morning sickness. In hindsight it was more fear/stress/suppressed emotions related.

-By having my baby at home, where I feel safe, I will have a complication-free birth: RIGHT and WRONG. Both planned home births. First transfer to hospital after twenty-five hour labor. Second straightforward fast home birth. Well ... "free birth" as midwife didn't arrive in time!

-By having my baby at home I will have a peaceful birth: RIGHT Second birth was blissful, intense, but freaking amazing. Third stage not so much though ;) Ina May Gaskins's work helped immensely with this. As did hypnobirthing. Once I surrendered and allowed the process, it was much less painful/horrific.

-By having my baby at home I will have a fast birth: RIGHT and WRONG First - twenty-seven hours hospital transfer, forceps delivery. Second - forty-five min of active labour. (Roslyn updated her post because of Sarah's response here and in the last question. The fast birth isn't just from having the baby at home, but from studying birth psychology, which Sarah had done for her second baby.)


-By eating a WAPF diet I will have a baby that does not spit up. RIGHT

-By eating a WAPF diet I will have a baby that never gets cradle cap, eye infections, or other illnesses. RIGHT (There were mild snotty noses.)

-I don't need to hire a lactation consultant as breast feeding is natural and easy. WRONG WRONG WRONG haha. Breastfeeding is not natural and easy in western society (not exposed to it often enough, not the support, and our health will never be as good as hunter gathers despite our best efforts). First didn't get enough milk for the first six weeks! Tongue tie diagnosed at three years old when his sister's was diagnosed by an IBCLC. Oh the hindsight! My daughter's was revised at six days old and rarely any issues (a few bouts of mastitis though).

-By eating a WAPF diet and nursing until my child is three, he/she will not get cavities. UNSURE No cavities here, but we no longer eat WAPF, and do include raw cane sugar in our diet. Limited grains and no beans or indigestible foods (leafy greens, etc). No fermented foods anymore either. So cannot attribute his healthy teeth completely to WAPF diet. My first cleans his teeth once a day if I'm lucky, so not sure what it is. I have also read children with ties are more likely to get cavities. So far not the case here.

-By following Baby-Led Weaning I will have a baby that does not choke on food, regardless of the size presented i.e. I will not have to cut anything into baby-sized portions. RIGHT

-By following RIE techniques I will have a secure and respectful relationship with my child. RIGHT I have a brilliant relationship with my daughter. With my son I followed attachment parenting - baby-wearing, never allowing him to cry, never met my needs, etc. (You know the drill.) Not the best first two years for either of us. I somewhat feel cheated by AP as all the "promises" (for lack of a better word) never eventuated for us. Although I often wonder if I completely misinterpreted the concept of attachment parenting or didn't implement the techniques correctly. Or has the popular version of the attachment parenting model misrepresented the whole attachment theory?! Either way, my AP raised child is still rather insecure and is anxious often. This furthers solidifies my belief in RIE

-By following RIE techniques I will have a self-confident baby. RIGHT

-By following RIE techniques my baby will develop good communication and cooperation skills at a very young age. RIGHT


-By feeding my child whatever I am eating, I will have a child who enjoys flavorful food, including fish, sushi, and spicy foods. RIGHT

-By never having an opinion about whether or what my son eats when meals are presented to him, I will raise a "good eater." RIGHT. I did not to this with my son, unfortunately, and he is very picky. I am doing this with my daughter, and she is a brilliant eater.

-By inviting my son into the bathroom with me, discussing what is interesting about poop and pee, and allowing my son to spend time naked, I will have a child that is a) not afraid of toilets b) not afraid of pooping c) potty trains himself with ease. RIGHT

-There is no "no" phase for respectfully raise children. UNSURE My daughter definitely says, "No" often, ha!

-By raising my child respectfully, he will not throw tantrums. RIGHT  (Well depends of your view, really. She shows strong emotions which most of society would class as a tantrum, I guess?
My son never "tantrumed," he suppressed. He is beginning to show his emotions now, which I am delighted with.

-By never hitting my son, I will have a child that never hits. RIGHT so far. I mean there was some investigation early on, but nothing that was an intentional, "I want to hurt you" hit that I can recall.

-By focusing on creating a secure attachment and respecting his needs, I will have a child who never protests when I drop him off somewhere or have a sitter come. RIGHT Maybe. My son always protested, and he was extremely upset in these situations from about eighteen months old, but he was not raised the RIE way. I have not yet tried with my daughter.

-By not engaging in helicopter parenting and having a secure attachment, my child will choose to sleep in his own room RIGHT I assume. My son does not like to sleep alone which confirms this. Yet to find out with my daughter.

-By inviting my son to life with me, I will have a child quite advanced for his age in the study of real life. RIGHT I think so. I haven't compared much, and I am not sure where other children his age are at to be honest.


-By eating a WAPF diet, we won't get colds. WRONG Always mild though, no more than two to three times a year (if that) and nothing lasting more than three or four days.

-By eating a WAPF diet, I will have a child who is not overly freckled despite a lot of time in the sun without sunscreen RIGHT Although we no longer eat WAPF, no freckles still.

-By eating adult food from a young age and having absolute authority about what goes in and what does not go in to his mouth, I will have a child who is an "adventurous eater," willing to try new things. RIGHT so far with my daughter. Also confirmed with my son's lack of experimentation.

-Children allowed to freely choose will choose to wipe their noses. With a tissue? WRONG well sometimes he does. With his t-shirt, hand, or nearest towel? He even used my dress once :o

-Children allowed to freely choose will choose to clothe themselves around the age of 5. RIGHT

-If I am not violent and threatening, my son won't play games in which he uses threats and pretend violence. WRONG

-If I raise my child in reality, he will not get nightmares. WRONG somewhat. While not always completely raised in reality, he never had a nightmare (that I am aware of) until he saw a picture of a skeleton in a library book. He has the odd bad dream about skeletons now.

-Because we don't watch other types of television, my son will enjoy documentaries. RIGHT Although he has been exposed to some cartoons on TV when I had morning sickness, he enjoys documentaries.

-If I homeschool my child, he will make friends with people older and younger than he is, including teenagers and adults as well. RIGHT but he does not get along with children his same age, especially boys if they are boisterous. I am confused by this. Children who are not socialized at school generally prefer kids a little older than they are. A five-year-old, for example, will prefer playing with kids 6-9 or even older if the kid is interested in him. But they shouldn't be too picky. If there is no one else to play with a five-year-old generally is content to play with a three-year-old, for example.

-If I homeschool my child, and we are television free, he will happily play with girls in addition to boys. RIGHT

-By opting out of preschool and bringing my child to life with me, I will get along with him better, have more in common with him, and like him more than other parents with children the same age. RIGHT So many parents seem to detest their children and can't wait for the holidays to be over.


-Children raised with information and freedom will choose to eat healthy foods in addition to unhealthy foods. RIGHT (my son eats both now that I've implemented this.)

-Children raised to see their bodies as their responsibility will take good care of their bodies. RIGHT

-Children can be exposed to reality (including death and violence shown documentaries) and it will not make them anxious if they have competent parents and a secure attachment. RIGHT. My son is very curious about death, yet not anxious about it.

-Children who are brought to life with their parents rather than put in a room with other people their age will act more mature than their peers. RIGHT from what I have been told

-By doing the above, parenting will be easier, less stressful, and more fun. RIGHT the other way is waaaay harder and confusing. I enjoy parenting more thoroughly now (but we also now live in the country away from mainstream so that probably helps).


-Diet makes a big difference. RIGHT as does amount of screen time/quality of show.

-Bentonite clay poultices can cure impetigo. Essential oils made it worse.

-Four-year-olds are competent to purchase items on their own.

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