New parenting styles and mom identities are constantly popping up, so it wasn't until recently that I realized I would classify myself as a "scrunchy" mom. A scrunchy mom incorporates traits from more than one kind of parenting lifestyle and tends to land somewhere in the middle. And coming to this realization had me wondering how being a scrunchy mom affects your kid later in life.
A scrunchy mom is a mixture of "silky" mom and "crunchy" mom. Not sure what a "silky" mom is? You're not alone. A silky mom is considered the modern mom who often prefers a medicated birth, would rather bottle feed, and uses disposable diapers on her baby who will not bed-share. On the other hand, a crunchy mom tends to opt for a home birth, co-sleeps, practices extended breastfeeding, uses cloth diapers, and makes her own baby food, according to Scary Mommy. Although these definitions or traits set in stone, a scrunchy mom is generally defined as one who pulls from both sides of the spectrum. For example, I breastfed, co-slept, and cloth diapered but also preferred a hospital birth and sleep training at 4 months old. Because my way of parenting pulls from both parenting styles, I'd classify myself as a scrunchy mom.
There are plenty of opinions and insight into how being a crunchy mom or silky mom may affect kids, but what about parenting as a combination of styles? The answer is complicated, and to be 100 percent honest, it' really hard to say. Because there are so many different variations of a scrunchy mom, there are several traits and mixtures to take into consideration. That being said, looking at your preferred parenting techniques could be of use.
A common practice that may be used among scrunchy moms is bed-sharing, or breastsleeping. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), bed-sharing isn't responsible for any future effects on your baby and contains no negative associations with behavior. Similarly, according to Riley Children's Health, sleep training doesn't affect a child's emotional or behavioral health. Overall, both approaches, when done responsibly, are simply a choice that's made based on what's best for each individual family. The long-term effects from either parenting trait have no negative associations.
Another common parenting trait that varies between scrunchy moms is the desire to breastfeed or formula feed. Although there are several studies that show the benefits of breastfeeding during the first few years in relation to health and immunity, the Journal of Pediatrics concluded that there's no long-term cognitive benefit to breastfeeding. So regardless of which side of the fence your scrunchy parenting falls on, this is another area where you don't need to worry about long-term effects.
As a scrunchy parent, it's less important to focus on the label and more important to focus on the parenting traits you're adopting. As you can see from the studies above, the long-term effects of several parenting approaches don't have negative outcomes. They're simply a way for families to raise their children how they believe is best. There are, however, a select few hot topics among the possible approaches you may take as a scrunchy mom. These are topics such as vaccinations or spanking that could potentially affect your child later in life. At that point, it's important to focus your decision on legitimate research and input from the medical or psychological professionals around you to find out what's right for your family and exactly how your decisions could have an effect later in life.
Overall, the type of parenting a mom chooses is what she believes is best for her family. In the end, silky, crunchy, and scrunchy are simply labels, and "mom" is the title that matters most.