|11-months-old, first time in the front of the shopping cart, looking like a pro|
I never intended to have her grow up in a sterile environment. We don't use antibacterial soap or hand sanitizer in our house, because I feel that it simply isn't necessary and the negatives far outweigh the positives, but we do wash our hands thoroughly. I do sanitize pacifiers and bottle parts with boiling water every now and then, especially after a cold or illness. My husband and I take vitamins, drink juice from fresh fruits and veggies and enjoy outdoor activities. We very rarely get sick. When I started teaching, I used nearly all of my sick days because my immune system was overloaded with every bug being passed around the school. I remember distinctly the feeling of doom that washed over me with every droplet of spit aimed at my face by a sneezing or coughing kindergartener that first year, because I knew without a shadow of a doubt that I would soon be sneezing or coughing too. At that point, my immune system was still recovering from having mono in college. This year, I haven't been sick at all yet - praise God!
|changing a diaper in the woods - on a log|
As I am writing this, our daughter is 11-months-old and has had thrush as a baby, a fever on 2 occasions, a runny nose a few times and one cold that made her cough. I really don't like to take medicine unless I absolutely need it, and I don't like to give it to her either, though I have given her a fever-reducer once. For myself, I usually try everything else first - cinnamon, vinegar, honey, garlic...you get the idea. When we had thrush (which is basically a yeast infection), I made a paste from 1/2 capsule of acidophilus and breast milk and put it in her mouth, and on her tush three times a day. I was also swallowing acidophilus to fight off the thrush in my body, since it is easy to pass it back and forth from mother to baby. After three weeks it was nearly gone when I got a clogged milk duct that turned into fire-like mastitis and had to go on antibiotics to kick it, which made the thrush exponentially worse over night. We eventually used medicine to get rid of the thrush, but I do believe that acidophilus would have taken care of it if I hadn't gone on the antibiotic. I still don't know why she had the fevers or where exactly she got the colds, but nothing has really knocked her down yet. Nursing helps babies to develop their immune systems because the baby communicates his or her needs to the mother, who then makes antibodies and feeds them back to the baby. Cool, right? I would rather have her exposed to colds and illnesses when she is still nursing and I can still "help" her fight them than keep her so isolated that she gets sick all the time when she is older. I am hoping to nurse her until she is at least two.
|normally she'd wear the safety belt, but it is broken|
I am not saying that using a shopping cart liner makes you a bad parent or that pacifier sanitizer is inherently evil. I am merely sharing my thoughts and feelings on a subject that I feel gets very little press. I know that I had to consciously make a decision about whether or not to wash the car seat liner or diaper bag before the first use (I didn't) or to wash new toys and stuffed animals before letting her put them in her mouth (I did). Now I usually let her have her new toys without washing them. These are decisions every parent has to make. If my daughter had been a preemie or had a compromised immune system, you can bet I would be doing things differently. Mum says that we all have to eat a peck of dirt before we die, and I am finally ready to let my daughter taste it.