09 January 2013

Borderline Crunch

I breastfeed.
I use cloth diapers.
I babywear.
We don't do cry-it-out.
My baby doesn't eat purees from jars.
My baby doesn't use a pacifier.
We rarely use OTC medicines.

I say all of this to see if you consider me a "crunchy" mom. You might. But I don't think so.

I breastfeed, BUT I hope to wean my baby by 13 months for various reasons. And I'm okay with cow's milk--I drink it every day.
I use cloth diapers, BUT I have disposables in my diaper bag that she goes into when we're out or for the childcare at the gym. Cloth diapers are just cheaper in the long-run.
I babywear, BUT not that often any more. I love both my Boba and my stroller.
We don't do cry-it-out, BUT we do let her fuss a bit, which she often does when she's just changing her sleeping position. Mostly, it's just ME that can't handle the crying.
We don't generally do purees, BUT I do feed my baby off of a spoon often (that's a no-no in BLW if you're wondering). She loves applesauce, and Mott's natural is fine with me. She has been self-feeding since 6 months as well.
My baby doesn't take a pacifier, BUT Sometimes I wish she did. She thinks it is a teething toy to chew on. At least we won't have to paci-wean.
I had never given my baby infant Tylenol until recently, BUT I have two containers of it. She just had never really needed it until 11 months old. I originally bought it to use after her shots, but she has taken them all like a champ. With that said, I'm obviously not anti-vax either.
We don't co-sleep. Our baby only sleeps in the same room as us when we travel.
I loved my epidural, and I will probably get one again.
Oh, and you couldn't pay me enough to home school. (Not sure if that's a crunchy thing, but it seems to be running rampant on the mom-blogs I read.)

Something I've noticed is the link between "crunchy" mama and "attachment parents." I'm definitely more of the former than the latter. However, I also think that most of my own crunchiness is just frugality in disguise. I'm also kinda lazy--no bottles to wash, no trips to the store for diapers or baby food. As for you and what you do with your baby, I honestly do not care. Do what works, as long as you're not abusing them. Yeah yeah, I have a degree in Child & Family Development (which has since been thankfully renamed). I took one class on infant development and the words "crunchy" and "attachment parenting" were never used. Well, attachment itself was discussed (as in every class), but the Dr. Sears-style of parenting was never discussed. It most likely does not matter.

When I'm getting too invested in this parenting choice or another, I remind myself that in 5 years, nobody will know. If you go to a playground on a Saturday afternoon and watch a bunch of 5-year-olds run around without seeing their parents, will you know which ones were given formula instead of breast milk? Will you know which of them co-slept or weren't immediately held skin-to-skin after birth? Which ones wore cloth diapers or sucked a paci until they were 2?

Yeah, you won't know. So everybody just calm down, okay?

And if you want to laugh at crunchy attachment parents, see this video:
There's a part 2 also if you just can't get enough.

[That is seriously what almost every La Leche League meeting sounded like in Pensacola. SMH.]

So am I "crunchy around the edges"? Chewy? Just a lazy cheapskate of a mom?

Note: For those reading this later, we eventually DID do cry-it-out [a few weeks after I wrote this, mostly thanks to an email conversation with a commenter on this post], and it was hands-down one of the best decisions I've made. You can read a little more about that decision here and here.


  1. I totally relate with you (sorta). I have no idea what kind of "mom" I will be when I have kids and I'm sure eyes will roll and people will make comments about why I do or do not do certain things. But your right when those kids are 5, 6, or 12 no one will know the difference.

    P.S. Those videos are HILARIOUS!!

  2. Oh my goodness, Cat: I had seen the part 2 one at some point and found it absolutely hysterical. As a non-mom it's so easy for me to say "who cares about amber bracelets", but to see a mother actually say it won't matter- you are SO RIGHT. Each set of parents has to make their own mind up for THEIR children... I have just seen so much judgement fomr new mom bloggers that it almost makes me glad I don't have to deal with it!

  3. This made me smile. :) We use cloth diapers because they're cheap, too, not because I have some personal belief about them. I agree that most of what I did was based on being frugal, and you're right- no one will know (nor should they care) once they aren't babies anymore!

  4. I can pretty much agree with you on most of those (meaning I'm the same, not on the validity of what you do, so not interested in arguing parenting methods). I'm more crunchy by way of cheap. I do differ in that we will extended breastfeed and I want to homeschool. Although I am pretty fervently "natural birth" but not really one to preach about it, I just can't imagine ever. ever. ever. getting an epidural unless I was dying (it honestly sounds way worse to me than the pain of childbirth!. And I'm not even afraid of needles.

  5. I do a lot of the same things because they are cheaper (like breastfeed, cloth diaper, make her food). I do think breastfeeding is better for the baby but don't think people who use formula are bad people. I would like to see more education about breastfeeding, if only because of the great benefits for Mom & baby.

    And really...what ever works for you & your family is what you should!