Are you a CRUNCHY mom?


As if society isn’t competitive or insensitive enough, there are labels for moms who use particular methods or products to raise their children. Aye ei ei. A few days ago, while talking to another mom whose children are grown (two are married and the youngest graduates from college next spring), we got to talking about all things babies, parenting, feeding, diapering, etc. She was amazed to hear of all the advances and conveniences in baby products and I sat in awesome wonder and listened to her sage advice and life experiences. Before we parted ways, she made a comment that both shocked and surprised me, “So it sounds like, Nicole, you’re in the middle of the spectrum between crunchy and silky.” I’m sure my facial expression caught her off guard as much as her statement did me, but in my typical happy-go-lucky way, I laughed and asked honestly, “What on earth are you talking about?!” I genuinely had no idea what she was referring to but I had a hard time believing it had anything to do with the ‘crunchy’ granola bars I eat on occasion or Silk soy milk I drink! She gave me a tight squeeze and replied, “Google it later, I think it’s great you’re a little of both.” Of course, as soon as Kamden went down for a nap that afternoon, I fired up the laptop and typed “crunchy mom” in the Google search bar. There were only 11.6 million results – obviously I had some reading to do! Turns out, there is an entire community of people choosing and living the “crunchy” way just like there are families choosing to be more “silky” too. After some light-hearted reading, I think my friend is right. Husband and I are double-dipping, using a few things crunchy and being a little silky too. We’re right in the middle. Fortunately (or unfortunately?), there’s a nice label for folks like us too: we’re scrunchies. (I thought those were hair ties that I wore in the 90s! Are they coming back in style?)

What is a CRUNCHY mom?
A crunch mom has an all-natural mindset and most likely associates with natural birthing, home-birthing, placenta encapsulating, breastfeeding, babywearing, baby-led weaning, cloth diapering, gentle discipline, chickenpox parties, ECing (elimination communication), co-sleeping, bed sharing, anti-vaccinating, anti-circumcision, attachment parenting, homeschooling, natural medicine, essential oils, gardening, natural living and cleaning, organic eating, recycling, and crafting.

Okay, first of all, I’ve heard of women doing strange things with their placentas after birth (including encapsulating) for health benefits, and supposedly it helps with breast milk supply, but that is totally not my style. I was fascinated by my placenta for about two seconds after Kamden was born. I wanted to see it to say I saw it and Whitney (our birth photographer) even snapped a picture of it. Don’t worry, that picture won’t be shared publicly. Second, what does elimination communication even mean? I don’t have a clue. (Okay, I Google’d that too and it’s a method of infant potty training. Basically, parents watch for cues that their baby needs to go and they don’t use diapers. Obviously, this not does apply to our family either!) Third, I also Google’d chickenpox parties and my jaw hit the floor. Let’s just say I’m not a fan and I will kindly decline an offer to attend one if the opportunity presents itself. Geez Louise.

What is a SILKY mom?
A silky mom is often referred to as modern and relies on convenient, conventional methods and products.

Here’s where I am on the crunchy/silky spectrum: I had a hospital birth, including a dose of Pitocin to induce labor, and an epidural. I nursed (breast fed) Kamden for a while before I began pumping exclusively. We’ve used Dr. Brown’s (albeit BPA-free) bottles from the beginning. I’m new to essential oils, but I use them, diffuse them, ingest them, and apply them directly to skin. I’ve made a few homemade cleaning products, but I still keep Clorox, Windex, Scrubbing Bubbles, and Dawn soap in the cabinet. Kamden drinks breast milk, water (filtered from the fridge), and organic whole milk with DHA. I made some homemade baby food (purees) but, at the time, Kamden didn’t like eating from a spoon. Nowadays, he likes bananas (not organic), Cheerios (not organic), whole wheat bread or Mommy’s homemade yeast rolls (not organic), Goldfish (baked but not organic), Puffs (organic), yogurt (organic), and a green bean or carrot (not organic) when we can sneak them in his mouth. We use disposable diapers and wipes. The stroller is a must because Kamden is 26-plus pounds of deliciousness and too heavy to carry all the time. Kamden was circumcised at birth and has received all appropriate vaccines, including a flu shot. He finds crumbs on the floor and eats them, and I don’t always stop him. I love my front-load washer and dryer and I’m a devoted Tide HE detergent user. You’ll only find Charmin Ultra Soft toilet paper in our home. Kamden slept in a Pack-N-Play in our bedroom for one month, then we moved him into his own bedroom where he slept in his crib and we all started sleeping through the night again. I won’t deny that there have been a FEW instances where we have slept together in the same bed or on the couch for a nap, but we do not co-sleep or bed-share. I like sharing a bed with one guy and one guy only: Husband. While my Camry is not as eco-friendly as a Prius, I have no shame about wanting a large SUV or crew cab pickup truck. I regularly wash my hair with shampoo and wear deodorant daily. I could maintain a chicken coop or garden, but I’m lazy. Kamden watches TV, particularly Looney Tunes (the original one) and Wheel of Fortune on a daily basis.

Before someone gets their tinsel in a tangle, I’m not saying being crunchy is wrong as much as I’m saying it’s not right for our family. But neither is silky, which is why I/we use a little of both and sit happily on the fence. I’m just a mom doing and trying my best. I love Kamden and Husband so much it hurts and my eyes light up when one or both of them enter a room. I have friends who are really crunchy and some who are extra silky. We can agree to disagree on things and keep on keeping on. I also have friends who, like me, are a little of both. We share some common ground, making it easier to talk about issues or bounce ideas off each other. Regardless, I don’t care if I’m labeled as crunchy, silky, scrunchie, or chewy as long as I am NOT labeled as judgmental. Being a mom is hard enough, I don’t want to add more difficulty and petty drama to someone’s life. I don’t care if you formula feed or give your kid jarred baby food or use cloth diapers. More power to you, in whatever you choose!

But I have to ask, if you’re a parent, are you more crunchy or silky or a little of both?!

By |2015-01-15T10:35:26+00:00January 15th, 2015|Blog|0 Comments

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  1. Nichole H. January 15, 2015 at 10:52 am - Reply

    Most “crunchy” moms fall on spectrum too! It’s silly (and obnoxious) to judge another mom based on their choices. With few exceptions, the choices don’t harm the child – SO WHO CARES!?!?! I am probably pretty crunchy comparitively…

    I breastfeed, and problably will do “extended” breastfeeding if my supply holds up with all this travel. Jackson is taking some organic cows milk. I’m on the fence about this because I personally don’t drink cows milk. Jackson obviously has had some milk from a bottle since about 4 months since I went back to work
    We babywear, because I HATE lugging that stupid stroller around (except when we go for walks). Jackson weighs about 25lbs too and strapping him on my back in the Boba or wrap is awesome for getting things done when he wants to be held. Also awesome that I don’t have to “watch” him when we are at the store or airport or something. He’s secured and safe (and cuddly!)
    We bed share, because the baby room is upstairs and I’m too lazy to carry him up and down all the time and there’s no room in our room for his crib. We started this about 5 months when he outgrew his co-sleeper and was still nursing multiple times a night
    I tried cloth diapering and they leaked through EVERY SINGLE TIME so I gave up in frustration
    We vax on schedule because SCIENCE
    We didn’t circumcise for a looooong list of reasons, the primary one is that I believe God made my baby perfect
    I had an in hospital birth (after my water being broken for 36 hours and preeclampsia, I had planned a birth center birth) with pitocin but no pain meds until after (which I actually regret and won’t do again). I don’t respond well to pain meds and I have serious control issues LOL
    I have used essential oils like Tea Tree, Lemon and a couple others topically and diffused. I’m interested but they are spendy!

    • Nicole January 15, 2015 at 11:23 am - Reply

      Nichole, you’re absolutely correct on essential oils being spendy. I totally agree! I’ve been using Young Living EOs for several months, mostly lavender and lemon and thieves or peppermint on occasion, when Kamden’s got a stuffy nose from allergies. I’ve also been rubbing Joy on my neck and shoulders, it smells great and adds a little pop to my step. Or so I tell myself, right?!?! I was shopping in HEB last week, in the cosmetic section, and they now carry essential oils. I don’t remember the name of the brand and I don’t know their validity, but they are MUCH cheaper. I grabbed a bottle of lemon because 1) it’s cheaper than YLEO and 2) I use it often to flavor my water and it smells great when added to cleaners, especially for the kitchen. I would have gotten a bottle of lavender oil but they were sold out. I diffuse lavender (three or four drops) every night in Kamden’s bedroom. It’s one of the things I look forward to most at the end of every day. Our nighttime routine has been the same, every night, since we brought the kid home from the hospital. After a bath, I massage him with lotion, dress him for bed, and he and I sit in the rocking chair while I feed him his last bottle of the day. With the diffuser, his room smells spa-like, so peaceful, relaxing, and tranquil. More times than not, I drift off to sleep but I try to put him down as soon as he’s done with the bottle. He’s a great sleeper and I don’t want to mess with his style!!!!

      Speaking of bottles, Kamden has done well with the organic whole milk with DHA. I was hugely skeptical since I have a dairy (cow’s milk) allergy but he’s done great. I’m still pumping, of course, but I’m mixing half breast milk and half whole milk. He’s only taking two (maybe three, if we have an unusual day) bottles a day, one before nap and one before bed. Of course, my excess milk is put in freezer bags and will be donated to the milk bank. I’m not quite sure how I feel about this transition. I’m sad that my baby boy is growing so fast and doesn’t need/want as much breast milk as he used to and it’s going to be difficult to stop pumping and donating to the milk bank. But, it will be nice to not pump too. I’ve had a great experience pumping exclusively, I don’t hate the pump by any means, but it’s definitely a time consumer and it will be really nice when travelling and I won’t have to find a family restroom or pack all of my supplies. I won’t know what to do with myself and all this “free time” I’ll have…..yeah right. Maybe I should use that time to vacuum and mop our floors since Kamden just ate a Cheerio he dropped at breakfast. Oops.

      Happy Wednesday — Kamden and I get to see your two goobers in less than an hour at The Little Gym. It’s the highlight of our week for sure! 🙂

      Sincerely, Fence Sitter Too 🙂

      On Thu, Jan 15, 2015 at 10:52 AM, Three 31 wrote:


      • Nichole H. January 15, 2015 at 6:24 pm - Reply

        Jackson is bullet proof with food and it was the same for the cow milk. He drank it happily and no tummy upset. He’s only begging to nurse a few times a day, and the other night he finally went all night with no nursing. (He doesn’t wake for a bottle with daddy, only if mommy is in bed – figures!)

        I’ll be honest… I am sooooooooooooooo ready to be done pumping! God, to be able to schedule my work days (and nights) without worrying about when I can pump or smelling like milk or waiting in line in the mother’s room for a stall. On the other hand, Jackson loves to nurse when he falls asleep and a couple times a day… and it’s so great for soothing him when he falls down (or flips over the bed rail… ahem)

        • Nicole January 15, 2015 at 10:00 pm - Reply

          BUWAHAHAHAHA you missed the week that Kamden came to the Little Gym with not one but TWO bruises on his head. The round one happened when he face-planted on the tile floor in the kitchen beside the dining table. Less than an hour later, while playing in our master bedroom, he bonked his head on the bottom bed rail. Two nice shiners for a couple of days, but who’s counting?!?!?! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

          On Thu, Jan 15, 2015 at 6:24 PM, Three 31 wrote:


  2. greengoround January 15, 2015 at 1:14 pm - Reply

    Fence sitter here!
    Hospital birth, epidural with Hud during induction & then three c-sections. Breastfed my sons for 12months. Emma is 6 months and nursing like a champ. We diffuse essential oils and recycle. I make baby food and buy jarred food too. I love my Ergo carrier but it’s an essential for me to have two hands for the other kids. I also have a stroller and a dirty floor for her to roll around on. My kids sleep in their bed most nights but still sneak in our room in the middle of the night. Emma has a bassinet beside our bed but always ends up snuggled between us with a tit in her mouth. 😊.
    I love OxiClean & Tide AND pampers. I do try to watch the ingredients of the sunscreen the kids use bc we use it so often. But at the end of the day, it’s better that they wear sunscreen than not. All of my kids are vaccinated including flu vaccinations. I’m all about doing what works for your own family. Live and let live. I truly believe mothers are all just trying their best to raise happy, healthy children.
    Funny story about chicken pox parties- when I was little my mom heard that my babysitters little brother had the chicken pox so she invited him over to play with me so that I would go ahead and catch it. Lol! Seriously, mom?! Ha!

    • Nicole January 15, 2015 at 1:27 pm - Reply

      DEENA!!!!!! But really, just think of all the shenanigans we did as kids – drank from water hoses, rode in the back of pickup trucks, our cribs had lead paint, and so on. Did you contract chickenpox at the CP party?! That’s hilarious but so gross at the same time. You know, I should probably ask MY MOM if she took me to one because I, not kidding, had chickenpox TWICE. No lie. I love you, Em, why can’t we be neighbors? Although, coming to your house/beach sounds so much more fun than you coming to boring Texas. Blah Blah Blah.

      On Thu, Jan 15, 2015 at 1:14 PM, Three 31 wrote:


      • greengoround January 15, 2015 at 2:56 pm - Reply

        Crazy, huh? I did contract chicken pox….from Jimmy Ashby. Lol!
        I love you too! We would have so much fun together with these kiddos. Maybe you can talk your man and your mama into a Destin beach vacation. Kamden NEEDS to experience the beach & salt water. It’s only a ten hr drive from KY……just sayin’😄

        • Nicole January 15, 2015 at 3:05 pm - Reply

          Oh my word, there’s a better chance of pigs flying than me getting Husband to take a vacation. Now, Mom and I might take you up on the offer. We’ll go at the drop of a hat!!!!!

          On Thu, Jan 15, 2015 at 2:56 PM, Three 31 wrote:


  3. hesitantsahm January 15, 2015 at 3:31 pm - Reply

    I’m a fence sitter too, but leaning toward crunchy. I babywear when my baby lets me, had a natural birth but in a hospital, vaccinate (because like Nichole said, science), bedshare (because I like sleep), cloth diaper (because its cheaper), and breastfeed.
    I hate that there is a constant mud slinging contest between “crunchy” and “silky” mamas. Lets just all agree that we love our kids and are doing the best we know how!

    • Nicole January 15, 2015 at 3:45 pm - Reply

      Absolutely, Rachel, we’re all doing the best we can! We’ve been very fortunate (blessed, actually) that Kamden is such a great sleeper and we’ve never considered co-sleeping or bed sharing as a possibility. I think all moms are amazing and special, let’s celebrate instead of stirring the drama pot!!!!!

      On Thu, Jan 15, 2015 at 3:31 PM, Three 31 wrote:


  4. Anonymous January 15, 2015 at 4:11 pm - Reply

    Seems I still learn something new every day – until reading your blog, I had never heard of this! Just do what’s right for you and your family! I actually tried cloth diapers 25 years ago. Bless her heart, Katie was so little, the rubber pants didn’t fit tight enough around her legs – you can guess how long that lasted! Plus, I was scared to death I was going to stick her with those big pins!

    • Nichole H. January 15, 2015 at 6:19 pm - Reply

      The cloth diapers now are so fancy, no more rubber pants or diaper pins… however, getting some to “fit right” is so frustrating!

  5. Rebekah January 15, 2015 at 4:48 pm - Reply

    I love the name scrunchy! I’d never heard silky or scrunchy before but since I definitely sit in the middle of the two I had dubbed myself “chewy”! I breastfed exclusively until 6 months, but also used my pump for work & me-time & am considering pumping a lot more for baby #2. We do both cloth & disposables, I honestly prefer cloth, but sometimes sposies are just easier! We cosleep but now I hate it & am ready to be done with it. Planning to do it differently with #2 on this as well. We use EOs but I’ll also crack open a bottle of Tylenol!
    In a previous comment you talked about different brand oils for cost efficency. I’m not brand loyal in oils at all but for oils we apply topically I use Butterfly Express because they come highly recommended by my crunchy friends who use them therapeutically in their midwifery & doula practices. They did the research & I trust their judgements because I don’t feel like doing that leg work. They’re much more cost efficient than YLEO but I also use some YLEO. For cleaning I get cheap EOs, I believe Now brand. I’d be happy to share the website I order Butterfly oils from if you’re interested!

    • Nicole January 15, 2015 at 9:58 pm - Reply

      Rebekah, I thought of CHEWY for myself too ….. or YOGURT PARFAIT. Don’t you think that works too? The yogurt is nice and creamy, like a silky mom, while the granola topping is crunchy. HAHAHA!!!!!! I am not an “oily” by any stretch of the imagination, but I’d love to know the website you order oils from. I’m not loyal to YLEO and always looking for ways to save a buck. I thought Husband was going to have a heart attack when I explained I was using oils on Kamden, he nearly had a coronary when I told him how much the “starter kit” cost. Oops!!!!!!!!!!!

      On Thu, Jan 15, 2015 at 4:48 PM, Three 31 wrote:


  6. Theresa January 15, 2015 at 6:53 pm - Reply

    Im pretty sure the only “crunchy” thing i did was breastfeed 😳

    • Nicole January 15, 2015 at 10:01 pm - Reply

      Well there ya go, Theresa! When I see Kamden pick up a Cheerio off the floor and eat it, I feel like a pioneer woman ….. or a Neanderthal. Whichever. HA!!!!!!!!!!!!

      On Thu, Jan 15, 2015 at 6:53 PM, Three 31 wrote:


      • Theresa January 17, 2015 at 12:33 pm - Reply

        I tell myself they are building their immune systems 🙂

  7. babyjill7...Marilyn Griffin January 15, 2015 at 7:50 pm - Reply

    I have to grin…so far removed from all that…but, love hearing about all this “new” stuff… and labels…

    • Nicole January 15, 2015 at 10:02 pm - Reply

      It’s craziness I tell you, craziness!!!!!!!! I wish I could publish some of the SHENANIGANS that people post in the Facebook groups for moms. Oh. Em. Gee.

      On Thu, Jan 15, 2015 at 7:50 PM, Three 31 wrote:


  8. Celeste Zachry January 15, 2015 at 9:22 pm - Reply

    I made it 43 years w/o knowing I needed to be called any mom other than Kirsten and Britton’s mom or Katie’s God mom. I’ll gladly go the rest of my life being called the same until the three of my daughters allow me to be called a “grand” mom. I have no need for granola-soy descriptors; too judgy if you want my two cents. Ain’t no body got time for that!

    • Nicole January 15, 2015 at 10:06 pm - Reply

      With the exception of indoor plumbing and air-conditioning, I’m pretty sure I would have made a great pioneer woman and Kamden would have survived just fine ….. he’s a master at eating Cheerios when he finds them on the floor. Neanderthal. I think I like the label “yogurt parfait” better than all of them though. I’m a little creamy, like the Silkies, and a little rough around the edges like the granola bits, or Crunchies. Hey, whatever floats your boat and makes your skirt fly up is fine in my book. Sure wish I had a glass of Dee Nasty to go along with my encapsulated placenta and organic kale chips grown in my garden with fresh compost and chicken shit spread on top. HA!!!!!!!!!! 🙂

      On Thu, Jan 15, 2015 at 9:22 PM, Three 31 wrote:


  9. vintage1973regina January 17, 2015 at 11:46 am - Reply

    Oh my goodness! This is great.

    There has to be a version for parenting teens – though I’m sure “crunchy” means something completely different then.

    Be a proud scrunchie mom lady, they were very practical (and sometimes cute) accessories back in the day!

  10. Baby Dinosaur Goes Outside | Three 31 January 18, 2015 at 5:30 am - Reply

    […] we’re semi-crunchy parents, Kamden has just one pair of shoes and they’re actually sandals but we put them on him […]

  11. […] recently saw a blog post about “crunchy” vs. “silky” (you can read it here, and this blog has a great chart illustrating the differences between the two methods of […]

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