Another celeb mom is talking about her attachment parenting practices. The Wonder Years star Danica McKellar is talking about extended breastfeeding her son. "I breastfed my son 'til he was 2 and a half years old," she told ABC News. "That was just, like, a few weeks ago that we stopped. Big transition."
But I think what's really interesting is what made her decide to wean at that point. A lot of moms who do extended breastfeeding do baby-led weaning. That means you allow the baby to continue breastfeeding until they just stop on their own. But that's not what Danica did. "I just sensed that it was time that he needed to be a little more independent," she says.
I think most moms who do extended breastfeeding actually do a combination of baby-led and mommy-led weaning. That was definitely the case with me, and I nursed my son until he was almost 3. But you definitely hear a lot more about baby-led, and for some of us, there's pressure to be all baby-led. So it's refreshing to hear someone say that she made the judgment herself -- and that she based that decision on noticing that her child needed to be more independent.
I think Danica putting it that way puts a new spin on attachment parenting. It gets a bad rap for producing needy, dependent kids, even though it can actually do the opposite -- produce secure, independent kids. Danica is pretty clear on the difference between closeness and spoiling:
Cuddling, being close, you know, sleeping in the same bed sometimes, wearing him in a sling, long-term breastfeeding, all have to have this closeness. On the other hand, doing everything your child wants you to do right when they want you to do it is another thing. Spoiling them is completely different.
Exactly! The difference is that you use physical closeness to help your child feel loved and secure. That just feels right for some moms. And hey, if that's not right for you, Danica isn't judging. But she does believe in setting boundaries, too. And that's a smart way to make it all work. Anyway, the reason why she's speaking out is to throw more support behind women who do extended breastfeeding, because it's still definitely not the norm for most families.
How did you decide when to wean your baby?
Image via GMA