Sunday, May 20, 2012

Why I might be considered a "crunchy" mama.

There has been a lot of talk about attachment parenting and parents being "crunchy." I guess I might fall into those categories a little bit, and I'm totally fine with that. I want to preface this post by stating that these are our family's preferences and I know every family differs. If someone chooses to do things differently from us, I am not going to judge them. These are all things that work for OUR family.

I cloth diaper. We decided before Eli was born that we wanted to cloth diaper to a) save money on buying disposables and b) send less diapers to a landfill where they will stay for 500 years. Plus, cloth diapers are just too cute! I love putting Eli into cloth diapers because I know they are soft against his skin and don't contain any of the chemicals that are used to make disposable diapers.

I breastfeed. Again, before Eli was born we decided that we wanted our child to be breastfed for many reasons. Breast milk has the best combination of nutrients and antibodies for my baby. It is easier for my baby to digest and it helps protect against disease. Breast milk is free. Yes, I did have to buy a few nursing bras and a manual pump (which was actually a gift), but in the long run it is cheaper than buying formula. Breastfeeding is convenient. I can feed my baby whenever he gets hungry and not have to mess around with a bottle. This is especially convenient in the middle of the night! Also, I am comfortable nursing him in public with a cover so it doesn't bother me when we are out and about and he gets hungry. Plus, breastfeeding is good for my health too because it helps protect against certain cancers and diabetes.

I babywear. I love putting Eli into one of the carriers I own when we are out somewhere or just around the house. It is so much easier to put him into a carrier than mess around with our stroller. I like our stroller and am glad we have it because we do use it when we take family walks to the park and I intend to jog with it when Eli gets a little older, but it can be bulky in certain places. For example, I go to our local farmer's market on Saturdays and I see how hard it is to push a stroller on the busy sidewalks. It's also easier to just put him into a carrier when I run errands rather than carting his car seat in and out. Eli also likes being close to me, even when I am doing everyday things around the house. He is usually in my ring sling while I cook dinner. He also is in a stage where he loves to look around and take everything in. With him strapped to me he is in the center of what is going on!

Those are the three main things I do as a mother that some would consider "crunchy." I'm not really sure why, but so be it. I also try to be eco-friendly at home too. I use cleaning products that don't contain chemicals (for the most part), use CFL lightbulbs in all of our lamps, use a low-flow showerhead, and use an energy-efficient washer and dryer. I also am trying to buy locally more often and purchase meat and produce at the local farmer's market. The one thing I really miss is recycling. Recycling was free in Ashland and they picked it up from our curb. We have to to pay for it now in Columbus if we want it picked up or take it to a recycling bin ourselves. I might try to start taking it myself again, but it became cumbersome after awhile.

So tell me...what do you do that is considered to be "crunchy?"


  1. We also used cloth diapers (we've since switched to training pants), I breastfed until he was 15 months, and we were definitely baby-wearers. Funny,I never knew there was a term for that until the recent "debate". I wonder if location has something to do with it - here in Santa Cruz, those three things are pretty much the norm. Our hospital used cloth diapers (and showed us how before discharging us), provided around-the-clock lactation consultants to make sure we had a handle on breastfeeding, and part of our childbirth class included trying on different kinds of carriers to find the one that we liked best.

    1. I think that location definitely has something to do with it! I think that these things are finally starting to become the norm in other parts of the U.S. too. Most of my friends who have kids also cloth diaper, breastfeed, and babywear and it all seems very normal to us. Hospitals do not use cloth diapers here though, at least not where I delivered and I am in a big city. They do heavily promote breastfeeding and have lactation consultants and breastfeeding groups and classes which I think is awesome. We didn't take a childbirth class, but I don't think they have future parents try on different carriers. I think that is a great idea to incorporate into the class though!

  2. I wore my babies, breastfed (for a looooong time), co-slept, and use gentle discipline.

    I still have that book on pharmacology for breastfeeding moms if you ever run into a doctor who has NO clue about what you can take for various illnesses. Enjoy your little one!!

    - Ann

  3. I'm about half and half. There are crunchy things we do totally, partly, and not at all.