I think because I started cloth diapering my son people assume I am a “crunchy mom”. In actuality I am just a cheap mom, and my husband and I probably lean more on the side of main stream parenting than not.
So yes, we cloth diaper in the beginning. Why? Because a newborn goes through A LOT of diapers in the beginning–something like 12 times a day. But when you are washing the diapers yourself to reuse them, it actually will work out cheaper when you reuse them with your second child (which is what we are doing). The initial cost is a lot, but ultimately in the end you may even make out a profit when compared to disposables (I plan on selling my used cloth diapers when we are done with children). It also really isn’t difficult, especially when you are dealing with breast milk. You are already doing a lot of laundry anyways, what’s one more load of diapers every other day?
Why I don’t think I am crunchy? We stop cloth diapering when the kid grows out of the diapers or starts solids, whatever comes first. It’s harder to deal with solid poop (like putting the poop in the toilet, spraying, treating, etc.). We start using disposables, and at this point they aren’t going through as many diapers as they were in the beginning. Now we probably go through 3-5 diapers a day. And it’s just easier to roll the poopy diaper up and toss it in the trash while my kid tries to break free from the diaper changing–there’s just no time to deal with cloth diapers then. We have always used disposables at night and whenever we are going out of the house for the entire day.
I guess we did a form of co-sleeping in the beginning. We had something similar to a co-sleeper that we used next to our bed. It made sense cause the newborn will be fed every 2-3 hours in the beginning. It was also nice to know that he was still breathing cause I could easily just look over and stick my hand on his chest (yes, I did that a few times that first couple of weeks).
Why I don’t think I’m crunchy? Cause we immediately stopped this sleeping arrangement when we sleep trained him when we knew he could sleep through the night. My husband and I wanted an independent child who has the ability to put himself to sleep on his own. Admittedly it was selfish at first; it was completing exhausting for both my husband and I to physically put him to sleep EVERY SINGLE TIME. We were no longer sleeping well again, which meant that we were not pleasant to him or each other during the day. We also realized we couldn’t have him sleep in our bed with us. As easy as it was for him to fall asleep next to me in our bed, I would never sleep well between him kicking me out of bed or just the sheer worry that either my husband or I would crush him. Though it was tough at first, we now have a son who is able to sleep on his own after we tell him goodnight for both naps and night time sleep. He doesn’t need a pacifier to soothe himself; just his own voice singing himself to sleep. He very rarely wakes up in the middle of the night and our naps have more often than not been good, long naps.
I do admit that we occasionally have him sleep with us. These special occasions are when he is sick (basically he’s miserable with a fever) or we are in a hotel cause he just won’t go to sleep in a hotel. Otherwise, he’s a good sleeper and we in turn as parents sleep well.
Yes, this is quite a progressive parenting choice. Babies usually get their first taste of solids at 3 or 4 months, something like rice cereal. But here’s a progressive method of introducing solids that requires you to delay the introduction of solids till at least 6 months and the parent should be ok with the baby not really consuming foods in the beginning. This was totally us, after a trial and failure at purees (but at 6 months instead of 3 months like it was suggested to us).
Why I don’t think I’m crunchy? I did this because I was tired of struggling to get my son to eat solids food. It was honestly just easier to give him the food we were eating and letting him explore vs. trying to force food down his throat while one parent ate food. This ended up being my son and husband having dinner together and me eating later. From that point forward, it was just pleasant to (kind of) eat dinner as a whole family, which we still do now. It wasn’t because we believe that baby-led weaning is the best way to introduce solids. I mean if my son took to purees easily, we would have done that. But again, we did what was easiest and less stressful for us as a family.
Yes, we wore my son in the beginning. It was nice to have him close to us and bond in that way. He enjoyed it, and we figured out which carriers worked best for us.
Why I don’t think I’m crunchy? We didn’t nearly wear him a lot when compared to other parents. The only times we wore him were times we could not use the car seat and/or stroller. Again, it was out of convenience. This new baby will probably be worn more than her brother just because he will be in the stroller (and I don’t want to buy a new double stroller for the both of them to use).
So while others may think (judge) that I am a crunchy mom and that my husband is a crunchy dad, in actuality we just parent how we think fits our family’s needs. This is usually whatever is easiest and convenient. As I told my friend earlier today, there’s no right or wrong way to parent. If you find the balance, you and your partner are on the same page, and you are happy (albeit, tired) at the end of the day, then you are doing it right.