If you are pregnant and planning to have a home birth with a midwife, or perhaps are planning to practice the Attachment Parenting (AP) approaches to child rearing such as breastfeeding, baby wearing, and co-sleeping, you may be having a hard time finding books to read to your older children in order to prepare them. Most children’s books about pregnancy, birth, and babies are written for the more common practices of hospital birth and formula or bottle feeding.
Well look no further; I’ve found a couple books that will provide great information to your older child about home birth, breastfeeding, baby wearing, and co-sleeping.
Welcome With Love by Jenni Overend and Julie Vivas tells the story of a family on birthing day, awaiting the home birth of their newest member. This book will be a welcome addition to read to your older children to prepare them for the sights and words that accompany a home birth.
Included throughout the story are many aspects of birth that are common with home birth and that are probably not shown in books depicting birth in a hospital.
- What you might see during labor (mom going for a walk to help labor along, mom leaning on dad during labor)
- What you might hear during labor (mom making loud noises every few minutes)
- A midwife comes to the house to assist the birth
- Mention of items that midwife brings (oxygen in case it’s needed)
- Illustration of birth scene which involves nude mother standing and leaning on dad, baby’s head emerging from mom with midwife ready to receive the baby, other children looking on behind midwife
- Illustration of mom on knees (nude) holding baby, umbilical cord still attached and placenta not delivered
- Illustration and discussion of breastfeeding
- Whole family co-sleeping by fire
What Baby Needs by William Sears, M.D., Martha Sear, R.N., and Christie Watts Kelly shares information meant for older siblings about what the new baby will need when they arrive, which are the same things that child needed as a baby. The book provides a page of notes at the beginning for parents and caregivers which I found very helpful. One helpful tip was to refer to the child as the “older brother/sister” instead of “big brother/sister”.
The book also has a page at the end of the book that contains information about attachment parenting as well as several resources (websites and books).
Here’s how the book shares the “Five Baby Bs” of attachment parenting tools:
- Birth bonding: Skin-to-skin contact and breastfeeding are mentioned as well as illustrated.
- Breastfeeding: Breastfeeding is mentioned as the way babies eat and is shown with a lovely illustration. They also mention baby getting mommy’s milk from a bottle if mommy is away.
- Baby wearing: Also discussed is how babies need to be held and one way is by using a baby carrier. There are three illustrations showing baby wearing and two of them show the dad wearing the baby!
- Be flexible with sleeping arrangements: The book illustrates a baby sleeping in a co-sleeper near the bed because they need to be close to Mommy’s heartbeat.
- Belief in value of crying: A baby’s language is crying and it’s mentioned how important it is to respond quickly to a baby’s cries.
The book also has small boxes on some pages that share ways for the older child to become involved and help or that help the older child bond with the baby.
What I personally really loved was that there was no mention of feeding the baby formula at all! This was important to me since we exclusively breastfeed and I wanted a book that exclusively shows breastfeeding/breast milk. As you know, this is hard to find in most baby books. (In the notes section at the beginning of the book the author encourages you to change the text to fit the choices you make in your family.)
What home birth, natural birth, breastfeeding, baby wearing, co sleeping books have you found? Please leave a comment and share with us!
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Wendy – ParentingTips365.com
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