My name is Mallory and I’m a crunchy momma. If you’re unfamiliar with this term, basically the idea of a “crunchy” or “granola” parent indicates someone who has chosen a more natural approach to parenting that goes against the mainstream.
Considering my green juice lovin’ ways, my use of plants as medicine, my choice to use acupuncture in place of over the counter medicines, etc. it is really no surprise that I am a self-proclaimed crunchy momma.
We all face huge decisions in parenthood. Here are five unconventional (and well thought out/researches) choices that Tyler and I have made for our baby boy, Atch.
We delayed his first bath 2+ weeks.
Okay, I know what you’re thinking, “EWW. You mean you left your baby covered in all that blood and mucous for two weeks?!” Atchison was wiped with a towel after delivery to remove all of that without pulling off the creamy, white coating on his skin called vernix. Vernix has incredible antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds and helps retain moisture in baby’s skin. This coating helps protect their delicate immune system and may also aid in successful latching. Leaving the vernix for at least 24 hours is highly beneficial for a newborn! We didn’t plan to wait two weeks.. but he didn’t need a bath. We thought his skin was PERFECT and his smell was PERFECT and we saw no need to rush into bathing him.
We skipped the eye ointment at birth & delayed clamping his cord.
Maybe you didn’t even know this was optional in a hospital birth… everything is optional; you don’t have to consent to anything. After reading about erythromycin eye ointment on Evidence Based Birth, we realized the risk of our baby getting pink eye at birth was nearly zero. I do not, and have never had, chlamydia or gonorrhea… unless a mother has one of these at the time of delivery the eye ointment serves virtually no purpose. I encourage you to look into this for yourself if you’re expecting!
Delayed cord clamping is becoming more mainstream in hospital births, YAY. We decided to wait to cut his umbilical cord until it turned white and stopped pulsing- this took about 3-5 minutes. Why? When the cord is cut immediately the baby loses all the precious blood from inside the cord which is important for iron stores. Read more here.
We use cloth diapers.
Years ago I made the decision to cloth diaper our future children -mainly from a stance of reducing environmental waste. Did you know it takes approximately 500 years for disposable diapers to decompose in a landfill?! Literally EVERY SINGLE disposable diaper that has been used in history is STILLLLLL sitting in that landfill. Gross.
I want my son’s life to be helpful to our planet- not destructive. Cloth diapers also save you tons and tons of money. We were gifted all of our diapers and accessories from our registry, along with some disposable diapers to get us through the first month (it was overwhelming to begin cloth right away plus they were too big for him). We never have to buy diapers… that’s an incredible feeling. It’s possible to get everything you need for cloth diapering for $300-500 and you can use them until your child is potty trained (heck you can use them for multiple children.) Disposables will easily cost double that, plus the cost of wipes AND let’s not forget the cost to our beautiful earth. We LOVE using cloth! Atch has never had a diaper rash or a blowout; I credit cloth diapers for that.
We practice Elimination Communication.
This is the craziest and most hilarious part of our journey in parenthood. Elimination Communication (EC) is essentially potty training from birth/infancy. Atch first pooped over a potty, while being cradled in a supportive position, at FIVE WEEKS OLD.
This topic deserves it’s own post. Read more here. Basically, babies who practice EC from infancy can be fully potty trained (or close to it) by the time they are walking. EC is natural and practiced all over the world. Diapers aren’t an option for everyone. Lately we have slacked off with this early potty training but we plan to start again soon. Atch even has his own baby potty!
We co-sleep, more specifically, we bed share.
Cosleeping is an umbrella term that encompasses everything from sharing a room with your baby to sharing an actual bed. We always planned to co-sleep with baby in his bed beside ours, but we never intended to bedshare. It happened organically and through many phases of trying different sleep methods. I tried sleep training him from 5 weeks – 12 weeks and we never made much progress. One night he decided to REFUSE his own bed and go nuts every time he was in it. We aren’t on board with cry it out although we do let him cry for a certain period of time to try to settle himself.
I was scared to admit we were sharing our bed because it’s so discouraged. I learned about the research from Dr. James McKenna and it confirmed how I truly felt: bed sharing is natural and beneficial when done safely. Bed sharing is CLEARLY what our son needs at this point! Read more Here.
Moms, dads, legal guardians… you know what is what is best for your family. Do it, own it and don’t be afraid to go against the grain.