25 Signs that You Might Be a “Natural” Parent

Written by Laura on June 21st, 2013

Attachment Parenting, Parenting Philosophies
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25 Signs that You Might Be a

Do you ever wonder about your parenting style?

Do you have friends who look at you oddly when you talk about raising your children?

Ever hear phrases like “natural parent” and “hippie” whispered at you, but you still wonder if you are really, truly a natural parent?

Fear not- here are 25 signs that indicate you, too, might be a natural parent!

  1. Your kids are on a selective or delayed vaccination schedule.
  2. You’ve given birth at home, in a birth center or in a hospital without pain medication, or would like too.
  3. You’ve used Baby-Led Weaning or made your own baby food.
  4. Two words: Extended Breastfeeding.
  5. If you bottle fed, you mimicked breastfeeding in the way you fed your baby.
  6. You’ve used organic formula, made your own formula or used donor milk.
  7. Your baby saw a chiropractor before she saw the pediatrician.
  8. When illness strikes, you reach for the essential oils and coconut water before over-the-counter medications and Gatorade.
  9. You home school or know more than one family that does.
  10. When someone says, “What are you doing?” you reply, “Making my own laundry soap!” You’ve also made your own household cleaners.
  11. You have eaten part of your placenta raw, in a smoothie or had in put in capsules. If you haven’t, you know of someone who did!
  12. There was a doula at one of your births.
  13. You pack homemade and/or organic food in your children’s bento lunch boxes.
  14. One (or more!) of your Pinterest boards have titles like, “Natural parenting,” “Vegan treats!,” “homeopathic recipes,” and “baby carriers I must have!”
  15. You’ve told a stranger you like their baby carrier.
  16. There’s a compost pile in your garden.
  17. Your children’s chore list reads like the chapter heading of a natural-living book: fold the family cloth, empty the compost bucket, take out the recycling, feed the chickens.
  18. There’s more in your recycling bin than in the trash can.
  19. You have a wish list of the cloth diapers you will buy with your next paycheck.
  20. A friend calls you to ask if you have a pot “big enough for canning.” And, yes, you do.
  21. Within minutes of meeting a new friend you’ve swapped birth stories and compared midwives.
  22. You know the best places to get local, raw milk and a variety of organic, local fruits and veggies.
  23. It’s the middle of winter and you are planning your vegetable garden for the spring.
  24. You or your children own “activist” wear.
  25. You feel conflicted over how much TV your family watches.
  26. Add to the list! What signs might indicate that you too are a natural parent?

About The Author: Laura

Walden Mommy: Life Behind the Red Front Door My NPN Posts

Laura is the mother to a herd of four small children, wife to her Engineer Husband, and owner of a pesky dog. She blogs about her life in the Midwest at Walden Mommy: Life Behind the Red Front Door.

45 Responses to 25 Signs that You Might Be a “Natural” Parent

  1. sarah

    Your kids think kombucha and bone broth are juice.

    Your kids eat more vegetables for breakfast than most people eat all day.

    You make your own sunscreen, deodorant, face wash or toothpaste.

    You donated breastmilk.

    • Laura

      I never thought about making my own sunscreen. I will have look into that!

      My kids will not eat veggies for breakfast! They chow down the rest of the day and snack on frozen peas/corn but won’t touch them before 10 am! Silly kiddos!

    • Jessica

      I make my own deodorant and I use coconut oil as sunscreen. :)

  2. Onelove

    So what does it make me if I go through this list and roll my eyes at how mainstream it is??

    1. Your kids are on a selective or delayed vaccination schedule. – how about no vax, and neither do most of your fiends.
    2. You’ve given birth at home, in a birth center or in a hospital without pain medication, or would like too. – how about free birth? And without pain medication is only the tip of the iceberg… It’s not natural if there was pintocin!
    3. You’ve used Baby-Led Weaning or made your own baby food.
    4. Two words: Extended Breastfeeding. – nope, one word: breastfeeding. However long the child wants to. That’s normal, not “extended.”
    5. If you bottle fed, you mimicked breastfeeding in the way you fed your baby. – how using a cup or dropper instead of an artificial nipple?
    6. You’ve used organic formula, made your own formula or used donor milk.
    7. Your baby saw a chiropractor before she saw the pediatrician.
    8. When illness strikes, you reach for the essential oils and coconut water before over-the-counter medications and Gatorade. – “before”?? How about I would NEVER reach for artificial food coloring?
    9. You home school or know more than one family that does. – how about unschooling?
    10. When someone says, “What are you doing?” you reply, “Making my own laundry soap!” You’ve also made your own household cleaners. – this is a “natural” thing to do? I thought most people did?
    11. You have eaten part of your placenta raw, in a smoothie or had in put in capsules. If you haven’t, you know of someone who did!
    12. There was a doula at one of your births.
    13. You pack homemade and/or organic food in your children’s bento lunch boxes. – …doesn’t everyone??
    14 One (or more!) of your Pinterest boards have titles like, “Natural parenting,” “Vegan treats!,” “homeopathic recipes,” and “baby carriers I must have!”
    15 You’ve told a stranger you like their baby carrier.
    16. There’s a compost pile in your garden.
    17. Your children’s chore list reads like the chapter heading of a natural-living book: fold the family cloth, empty the compost bucket, take out the recycling, feed the chickens. – how about you don’t believe in chores?
    18. There’s more in your recycling bin than in the trash can.
    19. You have a wish list of the cloth diapers you will buy with your next paycheck. – or wraps ;-)
    20. A friend calls you to ask if you have a pot “big enough for canning.” And, yes, you do. – and then you have a canning play date.
    21. Within minutes of meeting a new friend you’ve swapped birth stories and compared midwives. – doesn’t everyone??
    22. You know the best places to get local, raw milk and a variety of organic, local fruits and veggies.
    23. It’s the middle of winter and you are planning your vegetable garden for the spring.
    24. You or your children own “activist” wear.
    25. You feel conflicted over how much TV your family watches. – how about your children NEVER watch TV and you know people without a TV? Nothing to feel conflicted about if pure making the best choice ;-)

    • Dionna  

      I think it means you’re at a part of the crunchy spectrum that fits your family’s needs! No need for anyone to roll eyes, feel judged, etc. – the list is not exclusive, nor is AP/NFL one size fits all!

    • Laura

      Exactly what Dionna said. This list was meant to be fun and silly. I also tried to include NP/NL items that went beyond the infant and toddler stage. For example, now that my youngest is three, I rarely talk birth with random people because it is not a big part of my life right now.

      I think unschooling falls under the homeschooling umbrella, don’t you? :)

      A canning play date goes without saying! :)

  3. Wendy

    1. Absolutely no vaccines!

    4. Full Term / Normal breast feeding….no such thing as extended

    • Dionna  

      There have been so many articles written on what to call breastfeeding past infancy ;) It can cause arguing even amongst breastfeeding advocates!

      • Laura

        Yep! I prefer “extended breastfeeding” and have no problems labeling myself as a (former) extended nursling! My third weaned at 8-9 months and went to a bottle and formula. I don’t like “normal” because it implies that his weaning was “abnormal” but yet he weaned for a very normal reason: decrease in milk supply.

        It’s all what people prefer though!

  4. Kendra

    I’m definitely more on the mainstream side. My daughter is mostly vaccinated because I didn’t start looking at it until she was almost a year and she never had any sort of instant reaction to them to scare me.
    I had pitocin but no pain meds, so I never considered it a fully natural birth.
    We don’t compost because I am lazy and our city does it for us in the yard waste.
    And I admit that my recycle bin is more full than trash only because of our Amazon shopping habit…
    I think the list can be all levels, since I think most of us take these things one at a time and don’t jump in 100% right away. I do think breastfeeding and baby wearing are the gateway naturals, though!

  5. Elizabeth

    26 your child uses an amber necklace for teething and never takes it off.
    27 you “no-poo” your hair
    28 you use or have thought or switching to “family cloth”
    29 you “talk it out” with your 16 month old
    30 you get annoyed when people don’t try to see or understand the difference between organic produce and Oreos.

  6. Sarah

    Does it still count as natural if you had pitocin after the birth, so that your uterus could expel excess blood:)

    • Laura

      Personally, I consider people who had pit for a variety of reasons to have had a natural childbirth. I had pit with one of my children for medicals reasons and I still consider his birth “natural.” Like everything, there’s a spectrum and it’s just on a different part of it!

  7. tree peters  

    still laughing!
    I already knew what I was…
    Actually, this list makes me wonder about all the things I “didn’t” do… and if I’m really worthy…

  8. Erica

    You despise the term Extended Breastfeeding because of what it implies and prefer instead “Full term breastfeeding”.

  9. Victoria

    Love this list! Lots of great ideas to extend my learning about natural parenting!:)

  10. Little Mountain Haven

    Love it all.
    I’m gonna add:
    Elimination Communication!!

  11. Elizabeth

    *Giggle* I didn’t think I was a “natural parent” but after reading this list and some of the others people posted, I definitely if into this category. Love it!

  12. Mumma J

    There is no need for so much judgement ladies. We all try our best as mothers and sisters.

  13. Stevi

    - Your mother fed you fried Day Lilies as a child
    - Today you learned that Hostas are edible
    - You co-sleep
    - Your kids love to forage for wild foods
    - You know that Coconut Oil has about 1,000 uses
    - You make your own yogurt, kefir, kombucha, bread, …
    - Your kids think that frozen kefir/yogurt is ‘ice cream’
    - The kids think that soda is a cleaning agent

  14. Sarah O @ Two Os Plus More  

    I hit 17. What a great (and fun!) list. Love it.

    Another: “You own more cloth than paper.”

  15. Paige @ Parenting Gently  

    I love this!

    I’d add to #11 – Or your placenta(s) are in the freezer to plant with a tree when your kids are older!

  16.   

    I am not a natural parent on most of these items, but a lot of them hit home. And on the ones I am not personally, I do know someone who is on a lot of them. Here is my list…
    1. We do not vaccinate at all. Used to, but been vax free for 3 years now.
    2. I had all c-sections bc of a birth defect that would not have allowed me any vaginal births. But, my grandma was a midwife. I might would have went for a midwife at home for my last pregnancies if I had been able.
    3. I have made my own baby food for the last 2 babies.
    4. Breastfeeding was very important to me, but I had health issues that caused me to dry up at 3 months. I am in support of baby breastfeeding as long as needed.
    5. I believe in letting the child potty train when they are ready and not on a schedule.
    6. I am not 100% against all meds. But, I am trying to learn more about natural remedies. I personally don’t take any meds and reach for a food that will give me the desired healing property.
    7. We unschool :)
    8. I am interested in making my own household cleaners and products. Most I have done so far is use vinegar and baking soda to remove stains from old countertop.
    9. I am planning on going NO-POO soon.
    10. Trying to learn about organic. We just switched eggs and working on other things.
    11. Gave up all store bought canned foods a long time ago.
    12. Do not use a microwave at all on purpose.
    13. We do not have TV service on purpose. (We do have DVD and internet, etc.)
    14. I do have a Pinterest board for pinning natural remedies.
    15. Even though I did not know about co-sleeping at the time, my babies fell asleep in bed with me or in a chair while I was nursing many times.
    16. We only recycle cans right now. But, that might be something we look into later on.
    17. We drink almond and coconut milk because of milk allergies. I am in support of local farmers right to sell raw milk and get upset at all the trouble the Amish and other farmers have had on this.
    18.I feel conflicted over how much TV your family watches and we do not have TV service because of this.
    19. I just bought a juicer and will be learning to make our own juices soon.
    Well that is my list. I am surprised I came up with that many we do! I am proud of myself actually. But, I have a long way to go. My goal is to get to a sustainable lifestyle and eat and live the way God intended and designed our bodies for.

  17. Megan

    The gateway naturals comment is HILLARIOUS :)

    As for vaccinations BOTH options horrify me. Do you A)Vaccinate your child and risk the side effects or B)Don’t vaccinate and risk it being your fault if your child dies from something preventable

  18. Dee

    I wish that matching even ALL of these things on this list automatically made you a good person or parent.
    Unfortunately, there is an awful lot of “fitting” boxes that goes on EVEN in the effort to not “fit a box”
    Personally, love and communication is the most important thing I can give my kids. I meet some of the requirements on this list, but it makes me NO better a mother than a mother who doesn’t. AND IT MOST certainly DOES not mean I LOVE my kids MORE or better.
    I always have been miffed by the notion of not fitting into “society” by trying to fit into some other different “society”.
    just be good people, and above all else, try to teach your kids to be good people too!

  19. Lauren  

    We welcome discussion and debate at Natural Parents Network, even on lighthearted posts like this one. However, I’ve seen some comments come in that are disrespectful in tone or wording. Please remember you can disagree without name-calling. I’ll be moderating and editing comments in line with our comment policy. Thank you for helping us keep NPN a safe place to express an opinion!

  20.   

    I agree with Dee. I don’t actually try to fit into any natural parenting model. Each decision I make is based on my research of that issue and sometimes gut feeling or personal preference. I am just interested in getting back as close to the earth as possible. Love above all things is what makes a good parent. Like with vaxes (since Megan brought that up) we choose no vax because we have done the research on them and believe from that research that is the safest thing to do. But, I also realize that the parents who do vax or do selective vaxes do so because they are basing that decision on the research they have done and act accordingly to the love they have for their children also. Every parent needs the freedom to make those decisions. We also need love for one another when we don’t agree with the other person’s decisions.

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