Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Me a Crunchy Mama???

According to Urban Dictionary, a crunchy mama is: 

The definition of "Crunchy"
hippie-esque; ALL-NATURAL. Refers to the crunch of granola, which (as goes the stereotype) hippie-esque people are likely to eat.
Alright, sarcasm aside, a real definition of a crunchy mama is:

A Crunchy mama is pro-breastfeeding, pro-natural birth, makes own baby food, uses cloth diapers, baby-wearing, pro co-sleeping, uses organic chemicals for cleaning and sterilizing, and in other word; trying to be as natural as possible. 

When I was pregnant with Forrest, I was overwhelmed by all the choices on the market for expectant parents, and I had absolutely NO CLUE what I was doing for when Forrest arrived. I did not do much of researching of what may come. I was very in the moment with my pregnancy. I remained focused on my growing belly, and read weekly updates about how my baby was developing on the inside. I simply wanted convenience that came with products, and tools that were used to raise a baby. That was good enough for me for my entire pregnancy.  

There was only two things I knew I wanted to do, and stick with them. First was breastfeeding, and other one was making my own baby food for Forrest. I was very vocal that I wanted to both, and there was no question that I was not doing them. As for rest of things, I figured that I was going to wing it. You know how people say this about your first child......My poor child....he was an experiment baby in the past 5 months. How true. 

Upon giving birth to Forrest, Stu and I knew that we wanted to co-sleep with Forrest, and at first; it was more for...ah, you got it, convenience for breastfeeding. It was just easier to pick up Forrest from his bassinet, and breastfeed him every 2 hours in the wee hours of night/morning as opposed to sleepily stumble over our array of animals to the baby room to feed, and change Forrest. Eventually, Forrest was able to have stretch of hours in between of his feedings, and we still had him co-sleep with us. It was no longer about convenience because we ended up having to stumble sleepily to the baby room to use the changing table for diaper changes! Later, we learned that it was essentially best to have your baby to sleep in the same room with you to reduce the risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). 

Time came for us to transition Forrest to his crib in his bedroom at 4 1/2 months old. How did we know it was right timing for us? We needed our space back. Forrest was out of risk for SIDS. He was getting way too big for his bassinet, and sleeping in car seat long-term was just not a good idea. 

Based on this experience, we knew we wanted to co-sleep with our future babies because it was what worked for us. 

When Forrest had his month old shots, he was beyond cranky, and clingy. He wanted, no, he needed to be on me constantly. I had stuff to do. My mom had just left. My husband returned to work. I was all alone with an infant that desperately needed me. It was when I pulled out my Moby Wrap, and started baby-wearing Forrest. To our great surprise, both of us loved it! Sure, it was pain to assemble the wrap together in the beginning, and once I got a hang of it; it was home free. I started learning the benefits of baby-wearing, and loved how it impacted so positively on baby development. 

Admittedly, I was sad when Forrest grew heavier, and heavier because, despite me trying to continue using moby wrap, it was no longer as secure to my liking. It was when I started looking into baby slings! Baby slings were destined to fit all sizes especially a growing baby like Forrest. 

I haven't 100% decided to purchase one for Forrest, or wait to use it for the next baby. It is possible that I may wait until next baby because by the time warmer weather rolls around  Forrest will be jiving, walking, and dancing. He may no longer want to snuggle with Mama. 

The big thing I've been researching lately is cloth diapers. It has piqued my interest. It is funny because during my pregnancy, I shied away from cloth diapers, thinking they were too much work, too much mess, and frankly, I was too lazy to do my homework. Now Forrest is 5 months old, and in the past 5 months; I have tossed out probably close to 1,000 disposable diapers. In a year, I'm looking at spending $1,500 alone on diapers. And throw in a new baby in the mix. That cost doubles. Oy vey! Also, that doubles the amount of dirty diapers going straight to the landfill. Poop will dissolve. Plastic won't dissolve as easily. Matter of fact, it takes 500 years to decompose. Imagine that! So, poop will dissolve in matter of days....and diapers...500 years. Eh. 

I am planning on posting a separate post about cloth diapers, and what I've learned about it. It seems that several of mommies, upon learning that I am considering cloth diapers, are also interested to learn about it! It can be really overwhelming at first. I admit it, I was overwhelmed, and slightly intimidated by cloth diapers. One of my traits is stubbornness. So I continued to plow through all the information out there, asked tons of questions, talked to wonderful mommies that uses cloth diapers, and received advice. I plan on going to a shop that carries cloth diapers, and see in person what brand I like.

The more I learn about cloth diapers, more excited I become, and it is becoming a likely possibility that we will switch to cloth diapers. I just want to do a bit more of looking around before making a final decision! I'll keep you posted about cloth diaper option that I am looking into!

Making my own baby food is no brainer! I've always known I will be making my own baby food. I mean, jarred food is so gross. You don't know what is in them. According to my baby bullet nutrition guide, a jarred food has a shelf life of 3 years....gross. 3 years of sitting there on the shelf. What the heck. I would never feed Forrest 3-year old banana. Jarred baby food is full of preservatives, additives, and sweeteners. 

I've always been a big advocate of eating fresh food. I can't stand the taste of preserved, canned vegetables and fruits. They taste either too sweet, too stale, too over-processed, no flavor, and they end up soggy while cooking. Its nutritional value drops big time once it is processed; the critical vitamins that comes in vegetables and fruits are evaporated...and gone. It doesn't even benefit your baby! I don't even want to touch it with ten-foot pole. Yuck. I do believe that with my passion of cooking, and baking; this has opened my eyes to tasting how food is, and in my personal experience, the fresher vegetables and fruits are, the tastier the result is. 

To make this worse, jarred food is manufactured in factories...which means non-food parts can find its way into processed crap of jarred food for babies. You know what that is? Non-food consists of bug parts, rodent hair, dust, rodent droppings, and many more. Don't believe me. Go ahead and check it out. It is acceptable standard in the food processing industry because first of all, they can't control EVERYTHING that goes into the food, and what goes in there will be over-steamed, over-grounded, and over-heated in order to kill all the disgusting things that may have found its way into our food. Basically, the germs are killed off....but just thinking about the fact that crap has found its way into baby food revolts my stomach. No way I'd feed that jarred crap to Forrest. I'd rather use fresh vegetables and fruits from the food store, Farmer's market in spring, or straight from Gramps Dave's garden this summer. 

Breastfeeding is also no-brainer. As many of you know, I've struggled so much with breastfeeding, and I could have given up multiple times after suffering what-you-name it...I had it, so many times. I am glad I refuse to give up. I am a strong believer that boob milk is the champ food that my baby needs. I'm not saying that it is what YOU HAVE to do for your baby. It is what I NEED to do for my baby. My goal is to try breastfeed for up a year, but we will see how it goes, and if Forrest self-weans before then. 

I sterilize Forrest's baby toys, teething toys, and everything that he touches with vinegar. Vinegar is a natural disinfectant. I throw teething toys, and toys in the sink full of hot steaming water that consists of vinegar  and soap designed to clean baby things. Then I allow the water to cool down completely, and I rinse the toys, and let them air dry. Viola! I also scrub down on things that Forrest touches with vinegar mixture. Because of this, I am starting to become interested in learning about natural household cleaning products. 

It is funny how having a baby propels you closer to things that interests you. I want to leave a better future for Forrest, and if that means recycling, and being more environmentally conscious than before then so be it. Honestly, I just want the best for my child. If that makes me out to be a crunchy mama,then I'm okay with that. 


  1. Can't wait to hear about the cloth diapers! I'm still debating about it. I want to do it but then I think about those massive blow outs and get disgusted :(

    1. Cloth diapers can actually reduce the number of blow-outs. The matter is finding the RIGHT brand for your baby. That's where it can be tricky!

  2. Cloth diapers?
    You are a very brave soul.
    (Not speaking from experience but of imagination).

    And I like "crunchy" Ashley....doesn't mean you can't be a hot, sexy, cool crunchy mama...right?

  3. I am looking forward to see what you find about the cloth diapers i asked around a lot yesterday and got a variety of opinions.
    And I defintely like the crunchy mama its awesome i hope i can be one too lol, i am defintely going to make my own baby food its not only better (no presrvitives and extra sweetners) but it seems like it would be cheaper, and not to mention so much fresher.

  4. I plan to be just like you when I have kids! Minus the natural birth thing... drug me up!

  5. I have already bought my choice of cloth diapers for my first child due in June. I cannot wait to see him in them! We chose to start with prefolds and covers. I have a few one-size pocket diapers as well. I think the hardest part is that what works varies drastically for each child. I feel like I have researched so much that I've wanted to throw in the towel on the whole thing. It can be so very very confusing. I just figure that with covers and prefolds, if we end up not liking them, the prefolds can always double as inserts for a pocket diaper, and/or a burp cloth. Plus the you don't have to wash the covers every time baby pees in them, you can just spray them out with a disinfectant and let them air dry. So that cuts down on washing so much as well.

    I know I just want someone to tell me the best brand and then I'll buy a stock of them and live happily ever after in my cloth diaper goodness...but since that's unfortunately not the way of it, I think the best is to try out a few different kinds and see what fits your baby and your lifestyle the best.

    My favorite websites for cloth diapers: greenmountaindiapers.com, gogonatural.com, kellyscloset.com, I hope you find something that works!!

    Kudos on wanting to cloth diaper! It really is a wonderful thing for your child, your pocketbook, and the environment!

    1. Thank you for sharing your favorite websites. That will help so much! I agree that there are so many options out there to the point where it can be intimidating and overwhelming. I am definitely considering pocket diapers since they are the easiest option even though they are probably a bit more work than prefolds!

  6. What an informative post. While TTC for as long as we have sucks, it does have it's perks in really diving into the world of post pregnancy and the do's and dont's new mothers suggest.

    I am uneasy with cloth diapers but as you pointed out the costs and the environment is saved. It's something I'll have to research as well to see if it's really something that's for us. We also plan on having kids close together (or at least try).

    The vinegar I use right now as our main cleaning solution. Water and a little bit of vinegar is great for windows and mirrors, streak free :) I'm not per say into natural cleaners but it's my go to cleaner.

    The photos are beautiful btw!

  7. I really prefer cloth diapers! When we were between houses it was a pain, but I find it actually less stinky (and we do flush any number 2s in disposables before putting them in the Diaper Genie!). We didn't start until she was about 6 months (I was using some hybrids with disposable inserts before, but not full-on cloth).
    Gorgeousbaby.ca and Caterpillarbaby.ca have been my go-to sites!

    It's amazing just how crunchy motherhood can make a person! Between babywearing and amber necklaces, I'm just amazed at how much I'm willing to do for my kid to make her life hopefully better and keep her healthy and happy :)