I am very amused by the term "crunchy" used in online parenting message boards and forums to describe moms who lean toward a more natural and involved way of raising children. This usually includes all or some of the following: breastfeeding, babywearing, cloth diapering, organic food eating, only using natural bath and cleaning products, co-sleeping, natural home births, and more. Everyone has different interpretations of this and though I do not label myself, I did find many of our own parenting choices falling under this label. They do not all apply, but in a perfect world they would. Especially the natural birth and breastfeeding. Some mamas online wear their "crunchy" title with pride and other moms criticize these beliefs and styles. Personally, I just do what I think is best for my baby and for our planet. Coincidentally "crunchy". Want to know how crunchy you are? Take this quiz. I fell under the Pretty Crispy category. Please share your results with me!
Another child-rearing "style" that Todd and I sort of just fit into before even knowing it had a label is Attachment Parenting. It pretty much means you respect your child and want to develop a relationship with him or her that is based on your baby relying on you for comfort and security. It does not involve implementing strict schedules or using sleep training methods like "cry it out". Some criticisms of AP are that children grow up too co-dependent or that strict schedules are actually better for the child's routine. Dr. Sears and other supporters of AP argue that parent and child attachment actually teaches children confidence and independence through the felt presence and support of her parents. Click here for more info on Attachment Parenting and what it entails. You may be surprised, just as I was, that there is an actual term for the decisions that just came to you naturally.