“He’ll sleep with you.”, said our dry-humoured English midwife.
“What do you mean?”, I replied. “He’ll sleep in his expensive organic non-toxic crib I just ordered”.
“No”, she said. “He’ll sleep with you – I can tell.”
I walked out of our prenatal visit thinking our midwife was a little odd. But she’d aroused my curiosity, so I started reading and I couldn’t stop. One author suggested that babies were safest sleeping with their parents. That babies could use the potty instead of diapers. And that we didn’t need a stroller – we’d form a stronger bond with our son by carrying him.
While unconventional, the concepts I uncovered felt natural, logical and authentic. So when our son was born we chose to embrace natural parenting and ignore the “rules” of modern parenthood. He slept with us from night one. Used the potty from nine weeks. And our crib? We sold it, unused, on Craigslist.
But the journey didn’t end with babyhood. Because natural parenting isn’t a parenting style. It’s a way of life. It’s an empathic attitude that has opened my eyes to my son. To see his young soul so that I can be responsive to his individual needs.
As he’s outgrown his onesies and sprinted through toddlerhood into childhood, this approach has allowed us to effortlessly sidestep traditional discipline techniques like timeouts, threats and rewards. It has encouraged us to embrace simplicity as we recognise that an overscheduled, tightly controlled and cluttered childhood isn’t serving our children well.
I can help you experience the same shift in perspective and give you the confidence to choose a countercultural parenting path that will result in your children not merely surviving childhood, but thriving.
And the bonus? Parenting becomes easier, smoother and infinitely more rewarding.
Parenting as nature intended has shifted our perspective and enriched our connection with our son beyond our expectations.
I believe choosing to see parenthood as a relationship rather than a set of strategies will have a tremendously positive effect on his long-term emotional health, attitudes towards relationships and above all, his happiness.
I believe in simple childhoods, in quality over quantity, downtime over busyness and rhythms over schedules.
Western society expects a parenting approach centered on adult’s wants rather than children’s needs. But when we meet children’s needs they thrive. It’s where the magic happens. Pure unadulterated magic.
Babies cry less.Toddlers have fewer tantrums. Children are less anxious. Why? Because they feel safe, secure and unconditionally loved. They’re free to be the best versions of themselves. And it makes parents glow.
When we consciously consider how nature designed us to parent, look beyond the baby store selling mother replacements and instead, soften our hearts and surrender to the journey, magical things can happen.
As a parent, I now see that children need a strong voice to advocate for their needs. As do you – their parents – who are pushing the boundaries of western conformity and may be struggling to find acceptance as you bravely parent your way.
This is why I created Raised Good: a community to support you without judgment on your natural parenting journey and to offer sound, well thought out, scientifically-backed advice.
I’ll remain forever grateful to our midwife for shifting my perspective on a cold, misty Tuesday morning, as a path I didn’t know existed opened up and has taken me on the most incredible journey of my life.
This is our story – and it’s one that’s still being written.
I’d love to hear yours and help you navigate your natural parenting journey.