Monday, August 23, 2010

The Ashley Method

I never read parenting books. None. After my craptastic voyage with infertility, I would like to think that my body is able to do something naturally, like parenting. I thought mothers were supposed to have instincts, so I want some.

I honestly have no idea what I'm doing, but I just want to do what seems right for us. Here is a I list of things that I do "wrong" and why I do them:

1. I let Ever eat solids before 4 months. She was a huge fuss bucket all the time and was eating like a little piggie. We let her and Ocean try organic brown rice cereal mixed in with their soy based formula at three months. It didn't do anything for Ocean so he tried again yesterday for his 4 month birthday and he loved it! Ever was much happier since eating food.

2. The babies sleep in our bed sometimes. Okay, they sleep in our bed every night. I swore I wouldn't do this. They sleep longer and better with mommy and daddy. Ocean is very restless and he needs a pat on the butt or a back rub or just a snuggle to stay comfortable so I give that to him as he needs it and frankly I don't want to get up every time he needs that. They go to sleep in their beds and then once it gets out of control they end up in ours. I'm also not going to lie, I love to wake up to their sweet little faces. We have not rolled over on them yet, knocking on wood but I am so aware of them I can't imagine doing that. I also don't sleep well enough at night to be in that deep of sleep.

3. I do not keep my twins on the same schedule. This is crazy, I know it. But they are NOT the same baby. They don't need to eat at the same times or the same amount. Yes, it would be smarter for me to put them on the same schedule, but if one needs more sleep than the other I'm not going to wake one up for my own needs. If one needs to eat more often but the other is satisfied, I don't feel comfortable with either not feeding them or force feeding them.

4. I talk to them a lot so that they start learning. When I am in the store I tell them about everything as we go along, even if it sometimes makes no sense. People stare at me like I am crazy and/or annoying, but I don't give a f&*(.

5. On the flip side, I rarely ask people to wash their hands before holding the babies. People think I am absolutely insane. I am a little on the crazy side. :) I just want them to have healthy immune systems.

The basics: they're formula fed, disposable diapered, Ocean is circumsized, we don't do tummy time because they hate it and mommy doesn't like them to scream, we are going to start working on a bed time routine soon, they are immunized and we just started reading books last week. Am I missing anything?

When we were in Hawaii, there was a 3 year old on one of the tours with us. He kayaked in the river, he went off of a rope swing into a cove of water, he hiked, and he loved it. He never whined and he wasn't afraid of anything. Hubby and I both really wanted to have kids like that. They said the key was to expose them to everything. Let them do things with us and let them experience things at a young age. We were really impressed.

I have to ask for advice on a regular basis so maybe it would be easier to just read a book, but I want to make some decisions on my own. I'm sure (and I have been told) that I'm making some mistakes but I'm mostly okay with it. I did read a great article in a magazine about how every child, every parent, and every family is a little different so it's okay to try many things and if your kid isn't like other kids at the exact same time it's okay. I am lucky to have two babies at once because you can see everyday how different each kid can be (and boy, are these two different from each other).

I follow lots of blogs about families who do everything totally opposite, but I like to see what else is out there and I know that our ways may not work for others and vice versa. I just thought I'd share these things since we get asked about this stuff in real life all the time.

We're four months in and everyone is still alive and healthy, woo hoo!

I had a moment this weekend that I haven't had in awhile with all the chaos of non-sleeping babies and working full time. When the babies first came out, and I know this is true for many moms, I would just look at them and sometimes cry because I was in so much shock that these little beautiful people belonged to me. On Saturday night Ever wouldn't go to sleep. I put her in my bed while I was watching TV and she just sat there holding onto the strap of my tank top, looking straight into my eyes with a little smile on her face. She did this for so long trying not to fall asleep. It was so cute, I had to cry a few happy tears.

Bathing beauties:




  1. This was a great read, Ashley. From what you wrote, it sounds like you have plenty of mothering know what your babies need and you give it to them. Our daughter is also four months old, and she...has yet to sleep in her crib, is formula fed, wears disposable diapers, is immunized, and does not really have a feeding or sleeping schedule. Like Ocean and Ever, she is a happy, healthy baby and that is way more important than what any book may say.

  2. Love the bath pics!

    See , that's the great thing about being parents. You get to do what is best for your family. A couple of the things you do, we did the opposite (the feeding schedule with my twins was essential for me, but they really did adapt to it and were very happy babies. They slept in their crib from day 1. They shared one crib until 8 months old)

    But, honestly - infancy lasts only a year. By this time next year, they will be on the same feeding schedule - it will be table food meals. That will happen whether you follow advice to keep a feeding schedule or if you allow their bodies to dictate their schedule now.

    I would recommend doing tummy time for their muscle tone - and to keep their heads from flattening on the back side. That could lead to PT if it doesn't develop correctly. Maybe a piece of plexiglass mirror to place under them will help them like to be there more. They get to look at the cute baby! Or a very colorful, textured quilt to lay on for satrters.

    My kids drank formula, wore disposable diapers, got shots on schedule, spent time playing in a playpen, saw TV, slept in a room separate from me... and *gasp* their nursery did NOT having matching bedding or even matching cribs! So far, I think they are growing OK. We did have one single sick child appt until they were over 4 years old. And then, it was swimmer's ear and pink eye. Carl is reading Level 1 books and has a year still before kindergarten. I pretty much follow my instincts around here, too.

  3. oops - type-o. We did "not" have one single sick visit until after 4 years old.

  4. I love you and your blog!! Your rock!!!! XOX

  5. Those look like perfectly happy, healty babies to me. (Okay, and beautiful) You are doing a good job, Mama.


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