The Power of NO!


One of the first words a baby says is “NO!”

Why is that?

and how do you react?

I read somewhere in my early daze of parenting (perhaps this sound familiar and you can reference it) that should ask my baby permission to touch and talk my baby through what I am doing.  This helps language development, but also has one other very important element:

Teaching Respect.

By modelling respect, our baby can learn this skill.

Why does this matter?

Respect is a skill that allows us to get along with others, and to hold our own.  In respecting ourself and knowing we are respected by others, we can in turn show respect.

By ‘Respect’, I mean: Due regard for the feelings, wishes, or rights of others.

By asking permission to do things for your baby, you are showing respect.  You are letting your baby know that how they feel is important.  As you baby grows and starts to express more complex feelings, the word ‘NO!” will get a workout.


Listening to this N0 and trying to work through it shows respect for your child.  Sometimes the No is unreasonable and you need to distract your child or hold them as they express their disappointment.  

Here are 10 ways to teach respect:

1. Ask Permission (from birth)

2. Honour their reasonable NO!

3. Understand their unreasonable NO! and help them work through it.

4. Teach them the names of their body parts 

5. Explain ‘private’ parts

6. Model Manners and insist on their use

7. Explain about differences and variety

8. Say No to unreasonable requests from your child and stick to it.

9. Say NO! to extra-familial* activities that you can’t commit to whole-heartedly

10. Volunteer generously to extra-familial activities that you can commit to whole-heartedly

This helps to lay down a foundation for the future, where the child understands that bodily autonomy is a human right and goes both ways, that it is important to say thank you and acknowledge what others have done for you, that helping others is important but is not limitless.  And hopefully, they will also learn that they can ask for help because they are loved and supported.


There is power in saying NO.  No is not a negative.

Further reading:

baby wearers beware!

Babywearing is a big industry…so this means that of course there are rubbish products. At best they are uncomfortable, at worst they are deadly.

So before you wear your baby, be informed about what is considered a good option and which options are to be avoided.

You will never regret a great sling/wrap/carrier…but get it wrong and you will wonder why other mums rave about it!

Baby does not belong in a BAG (This link explains the problem with bag slings (this is the style connected to tragedy)
Baby should not be dangling
the straps should be comfortable

the front carry position of the baby should be kissable!

Be informed on babywearing safely.

Feel free to link to your favourite baby wearing sites.

*back frame carrier shown in picture is a toddler carrier.  Not suitable for babies.  I will add photos of the hugabub stretch wrap and ergo close carrier as I find them.  (I really need to organise my photos!)

, blogs, products….talk about what you use and why, point out the ones you don’t like. We have some VERY experienced babywearers in our bellabirth community that we can learn from. I will compile responses into a bellablog.

VOTE #1 Informed Birth Planning!

Voting will close on Monday 5 May 2014 at 5pm (DST)

Vote for this blog and help spread the word about Informed Birth Planning.   This is a great opportunity to get conversations started.  Share your favourite posts and ask your friends to vote for this blog.


"pweeeeze vote for me"

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You can only vote once, but you can select as many blogs as you like from the list.  

You will find this blog listed as “Catherine’s Soapbox” (on page one)

Please also take a look at The Little Leaf, and consider voting for that blog too! (on the last page)


I have more than One child…


I feel compelled to respond to this (I hope) tongue in cheek blogpost.

It starts off great.

When we are pregnant with our first it is a self-centred experience.  People gush, we have time to ponder and enjoy.   We have time to think, read, absorb copious amounts of misinformation and feel like we are the world expert on all things baby, and well prepared.  We got this - we are afterall the only pregnant and birthing woman ever.  In these modern times, the baby we first birth is more often than not the first newborn we have met and the first birth we have been apart of.  This is usually true for our birth partner too (whether it is the father or someone else important we choose).

And as the blogpost states: 

When you have your first child, you become the center of the universe. No one has ever had a baby before, this is the most important event in the history of the world.

And yet…for many woman, this all encompassing experience leaves them feeling void in some way.  

The rest of the blog kind of highlights the fall from grace that seems to be the stereotype of Motherhood.  In part, because our first pregnancy is all about our first birth (though, let’s be honest - how many first births do you know of that had an Informed Birth Plan), and having a BABY.  All the cute little products and tiny booties and outfits.  Sure we ponder on what our child will become but rarely do we consider the reality of the toddler-adult years, save to egotistically declare that Our Child will neeeeever…..or I am looking forward to all the activities I will do with my child…

"You know the only people who are always sure about the proper way to raise children? Those who’ve never had any.” - Bill Cosby

The blog goes on to suggest that we kind of ‘give up’ when it comes to the second, and throw the towel in by the third.  We descend into the chaos and frumpiness that is motherhood and lose all sense of ourself as we continue to add to our brood.

This is where I beg to differ.  No tongue in cheek and my feet firmly planted on my soapbox.

Motherhood is a Life.  Motherhood is an Identity.  Motherhood is raw, instinctual and  - in this modern world - difficult.

It is difficult because of expectations.  Ridiculously and unattainable expectations heaped on us by a society that has devalued motherhood, sexualised children and institutionalised life.

And it begins well before we are pregnant.

There are women who are breaking free from this stigma, embracing Motherhood and all it encompasses and claiming it back.  Biological Feminism is a Thing.  

These women have learned that birth is not a medical event, but a normal and life changing event.  They understand that how we give birth matters.  Who supports us matters.  And that motherhood is not something to be done in isolation.

Be Informed and Live your Life - YOUR WAY.

You ARE a Mother.

and that Matters.



After a wakeful night, I woke feeling sensations.

Mild contractions?

Braxton hicks?

I wasn’t sure.

I lay a while concentrating. They weren’t very strong or long, seemed fairly spread out. Might be the beginnings of labour. Over breakfast I timed them, and was surprised to find they were 5…