Friday, 20 August 2010

The incarnating child - Book review and the things I cannot live without

I started reading this book a few days before Pumpkin's arrival.

It is a Waldorf oriented book about infancy. Having read Montessori from the start at the arrival of Pea, I wanted to see the Waldorf intake about child rearing in the first few days.

Overall, the book was interesting. It contains views that both really made sense, and that I have always applied with my newborns, but also ideas that I had never heard before, and that are not part of my own personnal "culture" (not having been brought up with the Waldorf principles) , but that had me meditating a lot upon.

I am always in awestruck when I see really young babies in a really crowded environment like the grocery store or the shopping mall. If those places have ME feeling overwhelmed sometimes, I can just imagine that a newborn just out of the womb environment must be feeling! So this idea of really protecting the senses of my newborn as long as possible by not putting him in contact with mecanical noise, and bringing him where there is a lot of people (and thus noise) is just something that is completely natural to me. I have to admit that I was extra careful this time though, a lot more then I was with Pea and Peanut, spending a lot of time babymooning alone with Pumpkin in my room. I did have to bring him at the osteopath for nursing issues, but this place is such a haven of peace that he did not have to go through the hussle of a typical waiting room. I don't know if that 4 weeks that we just spent really made a difference to him, but it sure did for me. Having this time of peace, and surrounding my son with peace, quiet, calm really made ME feel peaceful and calm.

The book also stresses the importance of warmth, choosing adequate colors for the baby to see and a beautiful and peaceful room. Warmth was a little hard to deal with, as we have been in a really hot patch of summer. I tried to stick to the hat idea all the time, but Pumkin was not impressed at first. I finally found a Ruskovilla silk hat that he can live with (most of the time...)

it is a little pricy, but at least, he keeps it on!

I got out my lambskin, something that I have since Pea's arrival, but that I did not use to it's entire potential with Him and Peanut. We have been using it a lot this time. Pumpkin sleeps on it, and I also use it to put him aside us when he is awake. THis time around, I wouldn't trade this for anything else. And neither would he ;)

Pumpkin sleeping on his lambskin in an antique cradle that my great grand father
made for his family.

Still on the topic of warmth, I cannot say how happy to have made this blanket for him. It is perfect in every aspect. I really hope he keeps it as his security blanket for a long time.

I also was more mindful about colors. It was harder though since we do not have a room for him per se. So I didn't get to decorate a room for this newborn. I must admit that I missed that. But on the upside, I got to keep him in our room, something that we didn't do wth the other, DH not being totally on this idea. Cosleeping really is the best and easiest way to deal with a newborn. And I cannot say how I enjoyed having him by my side, in my arms all the time. But back to colors, I used a mauvish voile in our window, that really let the daylight shine through. I have to admit tht it does create a a peaceful atmosphere, something that I wasn't as aware with the other 2. But I wasn't fond of the idea of putting a silk over the baby's bed. I'd rather put the silk right at the window. THis is something I would do again with another baby.

I have also been really mindful for a while now when buying clothes and things for my children not to get branded, logoed, bright colored. I am also really careful of tags, material or comfort of the clothes. I cannot stand something that is itchy, so why would my kids? But can I say how HARD it is to find neutral, comfy clothes that fits in all those requirements? Thank god for knitted longies and home made kimonos...

I was not completely in tune with the topic of diapers in this book. We are EC'ing, and I know that it might not be totally in league with Waldorf. But I feel good responding to my child's signals wheter it is for food or for elimination. We got a puddle pad that I lanolised and that does a wonderful job at keep him dry and comfy while he is out of diapers. I love this! We are also using cloth diapers, prefolds have always been a favorite here, for their ease of use, and cleaning. For night, I have always loved Disana's tie nappies and Diasana wool covers. This time is no exceptions...

There are things though that really putted me off in that book, mostly the part about breastfeeding. I felt like it was not in league with AP. But as with everything, you have to take what works for you and your family, and leave the rest.

So overall, I enjoyed this book. It gave me food for thoughts on many topics, things that we have already integrated in many ways.


  1. sounds like an interesting book- I agree with so much of what you have is the ultimate bonding experience, i think! (Breastfeeding closely rivals!)
    what does the book say about Breastfeeding?
    you little one is so dear and beautiful:)

  2. Hi, funny I read this book at probably around the same time you did. My ds is now 9 weeks and I found it gave me help with preparing for his arrival. LIke you it helped me tune in and tone down. Although like you there are parts that I have left and that won't necessarily fit in with our lives. The blanket is so lovely, you did a great job. hugs Laura

  3. Hello Friend Thanks for the Review

  4. Well, she couldn't understand why people would breastfeed for so long. So basically, she is pushing the idea of weaning at a very early age (IMO). And I also felt that she was suggesting to put the baby on a schedule, I personnally rather just follow my child's cues. Eventually, a pattern emerges anyways... As I was saying, not really AP friendly in that department.

  5. Welcome!

    I agree. It really did help me prepare a bit more spiritually I guess. THis is something I needed this time.