As parents we have learned a new vocabulary, starting with the different meanings of the word latch. First was the Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children (LATCH) system, which makes it easier and safer to install carseats. In fact the number of LATCH positions was a deciding factor in choosing the Honda Odyssey over the Toyota Sienna (the former has five, the latter has three). We anticipated that the extra positions would provide us with more flexibility when configuring the car to accommodate friends and family such that the most limber people (i.e. children) could get in the third row of seats. This technology might seem like a mere convenience, but in fact was developed in response to the fact that motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of mortality among children, and continue to be a significant cause of injury.

We also learned of the sacred nursing latch. Before having children Chris had a very pragmatic view of breastfeeding: Mom produces milk; baby is hungry for it; put baby to breast and all is well. In reality it can be much more complex. The most concise explanation we have heard is that breastfeeding is natural, but it doesn’t necessarily come naturally. Mom and baby need to get into a rhythm that works for both of them, and there seems to be little room for anxiety or impatience. Many years ago the dynamic between Mom and baby was explored by Edith Jackson, a child psychiatrist who directed the Yale Rooming-in Research Project at Grace-New Haven Community Hospital from 1946 to 1953. Her research was based on the revolutionary idea (at the time) that Moms and babies should room together after birth. She and her team observed many families during this project, and one result was the identification of different breastfeeding personality types: the barracuda; the excited but ineffective; the procrastinator; the gourmet; and the rester (a.k.a the nip and napper, which was Everett’s type).

The latch has become a subject for children’s clothing,¬†and has also entered politics. You may have heard about the Latch On NYC initiative last year from the beloved but controversial Mayor Bloomberg.
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Lastly, we note that after Everett was born we started making onesies with artwork we couldn’t find anywhere else. We might soon make one like the following to serve as a conversation starter between children.
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Comments (1)

One thought on “Latch

  1. and we will now need to find and use the cabinet/drawer/door baby proof latches
    and put them to use!

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