Crunchy Acronyms

Like any organization or group, crunchy families have a whole set of acronyms to describe typical crunchy materials and methods. Here’s a list, although I’m sure I will miss a few!

Table of Contents


Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is a type of vinegar made with fermented apples, yeast and sugar. It smells more pungent than regular vinegar.

ACV may be used as a(n)

  • facial toner
  • all-purpose cleaner
  • mouth wash

Some crunchies also drink it straight from the bottle, or in a glass, for gut health.


Attachment parenting (AP) is a form of parenting involving co-sleeping, babywearing, and feeding on-demand. The purpose of AP is to promote a close relationship between the baby and its caregivers.


Breastfeeding (BF) is when a baby is fed straight from its mother’s breast, though breastfeeding may also include pumping milk and feeding the baby via a bottle.


Baby-led weaning (BLW) allows babies and toddlers naturally lose interest in breastfeeding. Research suggests the baby-led approach reduces stress and may aid in pursuing higher education.


Breast milk (BM) is milk from a lactating human. Mothers who do not produce enough milk, or parents who cannot produce milk (adoptive, LGBTQ+, etc.), may obtain breast milk from a milk bank.

Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas serves the DFW area and may serve outlying areas as well.


Cry it out (CIO) refers to a parenting method wherein infants and toddlers are left to self-soothe, especially when falling asleep.

CIO is not crunchy.


Circumcision (circ) is typically frowned upon in the crunchy community and perceived as gender mutilation, unnecessary surgery, and child abuse.


A Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM) is a registered nurse who graduated from a nurse-midwifery program.

Not to be confused with certified midwives, who are not registered nurses.


Coconut oil (CO) is one of those “I use that for everything” things in crunchy communities.

People put coconut oil in their hair, use it for cooking, make soap with it…so. many. things.


A certified professional midwife (CPM) is a professional independent midwifery practitioner who has met the certification requirements of the National Association of Certified Professional Midwives (NACPM).


Colloidal silver (CS) is utilized as an at-home remedy in the crunchy family community to treat wounds and infections.

Taking colloidal silver internally is controversial due to the health risks involved. It’s also not safe, in general, to anyone allergic to silver.


Dairy-free (DF) pertains mostly to food products made without dairy.


Exclusively breastfeeding (EBF) is when an infant is only fed through breastfeeding.

EBF can also stand for extended breastfeeding, which means that a baby/toddler continues to breastfeed beyond the typical standard.

The context matters for this one.


Expressed breastmilk (EMB) means squeezing milk out from the breast, either manually or via a machine pump.


Essential oils (EOs) are used for aromatherapy, in diffusers or added to wax melts, and cleaning products for fragrance.

Ingesting essential oils is controversial and not recommended. Essential oil companies claiming their EOs are “natural” and “safe to consume” are doing so for the sales. Taking essential oils internally, even in teeny amounts, can lead to symptoms of poisoning.


Extended rear-facing (ERF) refers to car seat safety.


Fermented cod liver oil (FCLO) is a fish oil supplement taken for the nutritional benefits.


Forward-facing (FF) refers to car seat safey.


Gluten-free (GF) means a product has been made without gluten.

Certified GF products have been rigorously tested; some companies — especially beauty ones — will label products GF without the certification label, so be careful.


Grains, legumes, nuts and seeds (GLENS) are all in the same food family: seeds.

You may see GLENS used in allergy community spaces, because being allergic to one increases the chance of being allergic to another.


Home birth after cesarean (HBAC) is what it sounds like. There are risks involved, hence the concern, and typing out an acronym is much easier when you’re discussing it online/in writing.


Lactation consultants (LC) help mothers breastfeed. Getting the baby to latch is one of the most common struggles breastfeeding mothers experience.

A lactation consultant can also advise you on how to increase your milk supply, if you are low, or what alternatives you can seek (like receiving milk from a milk bank).


Midives (MWs) provide support and care before, during and after birth.


Nut-free (NF) refers to foods made without nuts — both peanuts and tree nuts.


Natural family planning (NFP), or the rhythm method, is where you track your menstrual cycle and avoid unprotected sex when you are most likely to get pregnant, as a form of birth control.


Nursing in public (NIP) is the act of nursing in public spaces instead of entering a space away from public eye to breastfeed.


Stay-at-home-moms (SAHM) and stay-at-home-dads (SAHD) stay home while the other parent/caregiver goes to work.

Stay-at-home parents (SAHP) may also be single and/or run their own business.

This is one where the context also matters.


Trying to conceive (TTC) means you are trying to conceive, whether with your partner, via a surrogate who will be having your baby, or as a surrogate for another family.


Tea tree oil (TTO) is used for a variety of ailments in the natural healing community, but it is also toxic/poisonous to pets — so be careful.


Vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC) is when you have a baby after a C-section. It is not without risks and concerns, and the acronym makes discussing VBAC online/in writing much easier.

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