Becoming a Crunchy Mom

Posted on: 10/01/2011

I recently was told that I am a Crunchy (as in granola) Mom. Some people also refer to my method of parenting as natural, attachment, hippie & new age. I refer to it as… my method of parenting! I don’t follow a guidebook. I don’t subscribe to any carved in stone rules of parenting. I just do what feels best, to me, for my family.

So what crazy things have I been doing to receive this label? This post will be baby related things. I’ll expand on some of them later, but here’s a rundown:

I breastfeed. Everywhere. Whenever my baby is hungry. Yes, that means in public. *GASP!* I do not pump so that I can use bottles on outings. (In fact, we’ve skipped bottles all together & have started offering small amounts of water in a cup.) I do not throw a huge shawl over my baby or go to sit in the restroom when it is time to feed him. I wear a regular shirt & a nursing bra. I turn for privacy while getting the baby latched, but then continue with what I was doing while he eats.

We co-sleep. This is just the most logical choice for a mother who nurses on demand. (Why force him into a schedule just for convenience?) I’m a very light sleeper & have co-slept with all 3 of my children. I do not go bumbling around in the dark when my baby starts crying at night. I bring him closer & nurse him back to sleep. I then (usually) fall right back asleep myself.

I make my own baby food. We use a delivery service for local produce & regularly visit the farmer’s market  (more on both of these another time) so we always have fresh, local organic produce on hand. I steam or bake fruit & veggies (depending on the item) as these methods retain far more nutrients than boiling or microwaving. I then puree them in the blender using only small amounts of cooking water to thin the food when necessary for the blender. (Do not use cooking water from carrots to thin the food of young babies. This water contains a high level of nitrates that is not safe for infants.) I pour the pureed foods into a BPA-free freezer tray with a lid that I bought just for this purpose. Once the food is frozen, I pop the cubes into labeled & dated freezer bags. Right now the baby doesn’t require a lot of solid food, so I get one cube out every morning & place it in a covered bowl to thaw throughout the day.  At dinner time I take the bowl out & check the consistency of the food. Many of the veggies he eats (particularly summer squash) become very watery & thin after freezing (hence the reason I don’t add much water while blending). In the case of watery food, I add infant cereal to thicken up his meal. If his food is still thick, I add either breastmilk or water (depending on how much time I have) to thin it out.

The latest addition to this natural parenting adventure has been cloth diapering. We have almost used up our stock of disposable diapers. At that time, we’ll be a 100% cloth diapering family. I’m both excited & frightened by the thought of this.

I don’t, however, wear my baby. I’m rather petite & have yet to find a sling that fits me comfortably. My DH wore one for the first few months while pacing the halls at night with the baby. We usually just carry our baby around in our arms, it is more natural than a pouch afterall 😉


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