5 of the Best Parenting Books for Crunchy Moms


I never thought I would be a parent who reads parenting books. They obviously never appealed to me before I was a parent, and now I’m dropping them in my Amazon cart like they are cookbooks or kitchen tools.

You should probably know I’m pretty crunchy. I didn’t start out crunchy … it’s just sort of developed. It started with changing my diet to organic, whole foods, and has slowly grown into a full on crunchy lifestyle. I really struggled with finding books that appealed to me. I am, like many of you, creating the path I feel best for my family and honestly it looks nothing like what I previously imagined.

Becoming a parent means a lot of challenging situations and decisions. We each try to piece together the path and plan that feels right and works for us. I encourage you to explore other ideas and concepts that appeal to you. Please remember that you pick and choose what tools you can use to parent. You don’t have to follow any one style of parenting to a degree that is uncomfortable for you. Do what works for you and your family.

Here are 5 parenting books for “crunchy” moms that have been helping me shape my life as a parent.

The Whole-Brain Child, by: Daniel J. Siegel, M.D. and Tina Payne Bryson, Ph.D. – I am deeply interested in learning how to communicate with my child in a way that makes sense and also helps me guide and teach her in a gentle way. This book helps you as the parent to understand how your child’s brain works and how it matures. It offers great suggestions on how to deal with daily issues in an age-appropriate way. I feel like the more we understand our child, the better tools we have to help them learn and navigate life.

Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids, by: Dr. Laura Markham – As a parent now, I know how frustrating it can be to get your toddler to listen. I’m assuming this may only become more complicated and difficult as kiddos get older. I’m really questioning if the correct parent-child relationship should involve fear. With their little brains growing and learning, I want to understand what is happening in their heads, so that I can hopefully parent, teach, and discipline with their development in mind. I want to find a way to create just as the title says, a peaceful parent and a happy kid. There is so much information in this book that I’m currently mid-way through my second read.

Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth, by: Ina May Gaskin – I had a natural childbirth, at a birth center, with a midwife, and this book was a huge comfort to be as I prepared to give birth. There are great birth stories in here and of course Ina May’s amazing wisdom, as the most well-known and revered midwife. Even if you aren’t looking for a natural birth I think reading this book would be amazing. It shows how different each birth can go, and it also show you how strong the female body is. We are amazing, mamas!

The Natural Pregnancy Book, by: Aviva Jill Romm – I know most people receive and probably turn to the book What to Expect When You’re Expecting, but I personally turned to this book. It gave me a lot of information about what was happening in my body, while also offering more natural solutions to problems that could occur. It really helped me during those moments of “what the heck is going on?” When I was between appointments with my midwives.

Beyond the Sling, A Real-Life Guide to Raising Confident, Loving Children the Attachment Parenting Way, by: Mayim Bialik, Ph.D. – I just receive this book from Amazon this weekend and I have been tearing through it. This book focuses on attachment parenting and the concepts that make it up. Yes, this is the TV actress from Blossom and Big Bang Theory, who is in real life a PhD in neuroscience, specializing in the hormones of attachment. Bialik is amazing at breaking down why people feel attachment parenting (AP) is good for child and parent, but also each concept of AP. A great read if you are interested in attachment parenting.

None of these books may be for you, and that’s okay. We are all on our own journeys here. Pick and choose what works for you. Let us know about your favorite crunchy parenting books in the comments!

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Rachel has lived in Arizona for 13 years, deeply loving all that the desert has to offer. She is originally from Pennsylvania.  She graduated from Penn State with a degree in print and photojournalism, exactly 60 years after her grandmother graduated. Rachel married her husband Scott, an engineer, in 2013, and they welcomde the sassy Dottie Grayce in 2016, on the hottest day of the year. Rachel is a professional chef, food writer and photographer, food stylist, and baby led weaning advocate. After working in many restaurants, coffee shops, hotels, and resorts, Rachel decided to launch her own company, Pistol Whipped Pastry, in 2011. Rachel has been a contributor for Arizona Vines & Wines Magazine, Stratejoy.com, Phoenix New Times, and Chow Bella blog. She has written pieces for the Christian Science Monitor, Green Living AZ, Phoenix Magazine, and YourZenMama.com. When not working, Rachel is hanging out with Scott and Dottie, fixing up their new home, traveling all around Arizona, drinking Arizona wine, gardening, and cooking for friends and family. You can also catch up with Rachel on her personal blog, Croissant In The City.


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