This week’s provocative TIME Magazine cover features a woman breastfeeding her 3-year-old son, inspiring Soledad’s panel discussion this morning. Belinda Luscombe, editor of TIME, expands her view on the article.
"We could not have attachment parenting if we hadn't first had feminism," Luscome explains. "If you want to be a successful woman, you have to over-deliver. You need to work harder at what you do and be better at it. And I think women have brought all that energy and engagement and education and said, 'I'm going to be the mother of all mothers.'"
Attachment parenting is, according to baby guru Dr. Sears, "a style of caring for your infant that brings out the best in the baby and the best in the parents."
There are seven "Baby B's" that go along with attachment parenting. They are:
1. Birth bonding– Parents should be vigilant about developing an intimate bond with their child as soon as possible post-birth.
2. Breastfeeding– The subject has been a debate among parents, but facts are facts: breast milk contains nutrients unique to the mother's body, and that physical attachment familiarizes body language.
3. Baby-wearing– Wearing your baby allows you to develop familiarity while allowing your child to absorb many environments in a quiet, alert state.
4. Bedding close to baby– Co-sleeping gives time for working parents to bond with children at night, as well as reduce nightmares and separation anxiety.
5. Belief in the language value of your baby's cry– Crying is the baby's primary form of communication, and parental responsiveness encourages a trust bond between infant and parent.
6. Beware of baby trainers– Base your parenting on your child, not previous "how-to" styles.
7. Balance– Remember to give attention to yourself when you need it.
Dee Snider, musician/author and guest on the panel, acknowledges the style as similar, if not identical, to his family's mechanics.
"Baby, baby, baby, baby," he says, laughing. "Those are the four 'B's' of my life."
It's true, as Luscombe points out, that parenting has evolved: smoking while pregnant is, nowadays, heavily discouraged, and television isn't the cure-all for a bored child. However, she poses the question: "Has the pendulum swung too far?"
I am a believer in the importance of nursing. But, I think by age 2 or 3 bonding time with Mom means reading bedtime stories together, playing Candyland, making Play Dough creations, and working on potty training. I still have memories from the age of 3. If those memories included breastfeeding I'd be traumatized.
There should be a thought bubble above that little kid's head that reads, "Milk... it does a body good!"
I am a mother of three and have been blessed with the ability to breast feed each one of them. It was my privilege and honor to supply and nurse them just as nature intended. With that said I am also a firm believer of nursing my children in 'taste'. What does that mean, I am glad you asked that means not whipping my breast out to other who may take offense. Or perhaps it is best said that there should be modest and privacy allotted to my children, myself and others around me that do not share my values.
This cover is an embarrassment and was done in poor taste. A child who can handle a bottle, spoon, a bun by themselves are more than ready to be weaned off the breast. This cover seems as if it were done for publicity. Items such as these should be left to the privacy of your own home and not stuffing these private decisions for everyone to view and critic. Time magazine has sold covers, however this was tasteless by all parties involved.
This is a bit too far....I mean really.....this is almost like a reverse Oedipus complex on the mothers part.
im still breastfeeding my 2 in half yr old son i think what ever its the mother wants they can get
Ah......the word milf comes to mind......
I'm not going to argue about whether or not you should breastfeed your babies. I will, however, say that this woman should have put more thought into allowing her child to be photographed breastfeeding for this magazine cover. Did she think of the nuts out there getting some kind of enjoyment out of this picture? Or of what this child's life is going to be like when he's a bit older (junior high?) and one of his classmates brings this picture into school? As a mom, protecting your child should be your number one priority. While some people may hail this mother for her devotion to breastfeeding, I think she failed in the most basic of all maternal roles.
I think this is great!! In fact since it's so nutritional I think that we should make it a law that all women, especially those that are democrats, be given a drug (since we are all addicted to drugs and drugs are always the answer for everything) that keeps them lactating throughout their lives so she can allow any man or woman (for that matter, since man/woman doesn't matter any more) no matter what the age be required to let them nurse anytime they are hungry. Since it is healthy for everybody and we could all live longer, if she denies him/her this nutritional requirement for him/her to live longer, then she must be fined at least $1000 for denying him/her. Just think of how much better our socialist society will benefit from such a law!!!!!!!! Wow look how much progress we have made in last 3 1/2 years.
if the cover mom was fat, unattractive or even dare i say.. Non-White... I guarantee you... This would not be an issue... No one would be talking about it and everyone would probably think that "it's just fine!" Get over it people.
I also questioned the quality of TIME magazine. Why in the first place should it allow this on the front or any of the pages? I believe nowadays TIME only interested in attracting more customers and increased its revenue. Quality is not priority.
As natural as being gay
when that kid go to school he might go to the lady breast and try to some milk that would get that kid into big trouble
Time magazine must be losing subscribers big time to stoop this low. Provocative pictures create a stir, yes, but I still won't be subscribing.
I knew a woman who breastfed her son until he was 5. She told me it keeps her breasts large and firm. Totally weird to me. Sick, I would say. Nothing like screwing up the kids head. When a child can drink out of a cup, it's time to stop breast feeding. If your excuse is the "good nutrients" then..... pump on your on time! You can also cuddle anytime. The photo on the Time magazine made my stomach turn. Don't make your kids so dependent on you, this is a very tough world to live in, and it's only getting tougher.
Shes obviously fighting some mom dad issues. I think everyone who breast feeds like this are fighting mom dad issues. Its like saying ohhh I was never grounded as a child, so when I have children ill never ground them. Give me a freaking break!!! Your kid is not going to want to grow up knowing that he has been sucking on your tit for most of his child hood. Pull your kids Tit out his mouth and let the boy grow up. Just because you are trying to satisfy your sexual desire... and yes i said sexual desire... doesnt give you the right. I mean common.. does the kid rub you down while you are doing this because obviously he isnt getting much nutrients from your small boobs.
That cover is loaded and designed to stir controversy
Anthropologically speaking, it is normal for humans to wean between 2 or 3 and 5 or 8 years old, depending who you ask. We basically evolved to breast feed well into early childhood. We have studies showing that kids who are breast fed longer turn out fine. The whole weaning at one thing is a modern, western invention. Without modern formula and modern nutrition weaning sooner would be downright dangerous.
And before the personal attacks come out, I have no kids, and when I have them I don't know if I'll breast feed or how long I will. But the idea that breastfeeding a three year old is wrong or gross is a very new, and very western idea.
Looks like some wierd combination of incest and child pornography. Kid's almost old enough to ask her on a date.
When you see a mother breast feeding a baby its beautiful ... When you see a young boy breast feeding it is NOT.
Not to mention the fact this boy will pay for this cover for the rest of his life.
Way to go Lady.. You have set your son up for a lot of ridicule and probably rejection by some women later in life..
I know if I met a guy with a image like this out there of him.. I would be repulsed. And his mom would repulse me.. This image is in itself provocative and inappropriate.
You did your son no favors by doing this.. And one day he will tell you so.
I practice attachment parenting and I am disappointed with the Time magazine cover. Like others, I think it was chosen to evoke sales and controversy and, in the end, it did not pay a service to attachment parenting, Dr. Sears and The Baby Book or any families who practice this method of parenting. Toddlers who are still breastfeeding do not stand on stools to breastfeed. The photo appears to add a sexual component to evoke a strong response and thus it was effective in it's purpose. It is very unfortunate and just creates a further misunderstanding of this method of parenting. I think that how long a child is nursed is a personal decision and that there is a lot of pressure out there for a mother to wean prematurely and instead of informing the population about the benefits of extended nursing, it just demonizes it.
The issue of this action is something that is going to go on and on until we're sick of haering about it. But, this is the thing that I juast don't understand. But, then again, Television is the media, and so is a magazine. In watching and hearing many morning newscasts about the Time Magazine cover, not once did I hear anyone except Kelly Ripa mention anything derogatory about Time printing this picture on it's cover.Kelly at least alluded to times that magazines will print things just to sell issues. I cannot believe that there hasn't been a deluge of comments about how disgraceful it was of, of all magazines, Time, to print a picture this out of taste on it's cover. I'm not even talking about whether it's right or wrong for a Mother to breastfeed her child. My issue is the printing of a picture allowing anyone, adult or child, to be able to view it. Disgusting!
What is civilization coming to ? We are falling rapidly into rant and ruin worse that the Romans at the time of Christ's death. This little boy is being EXPLOITED!! Mom has either boundary issues or control issues or both. This practice needs to be put into some definition of child abuse. Is this mother a single mother? Letting the child decide (CNN excerpt) when he is ready to stop is merely delaying her responsibility to begin the real "rub" of raising children. How is this boy going to feel when he hears classmates not being involved with this and he is the only one?
What is happening to common sense? This little boy is being EXPLOITED
No animal treats their offspring like this woman on Time magazine's cover. Humans are making up their own rules because of mental deviancy of mothers. Stop the madness!
So by "stop the madness" you mean "don't stand on a chair while suckling" ?
PPRTY says "No animal treats their offspring like this woman on Time magazine's cover. Humans are making up their own rules because of mental deviancy of mothers. Stop the madness!"
All the upper primates (which Humans can be counted among), nurse their offspring for the equivalent of 5 to 7 human years. Yea, PPRTY, stop the madness, ever thought of therapy?
I breastfed my daughter since she was 5 years old and she was the one who decided to stop. I agree that for many people would look really odd and it might even look disgusting, BUT I wanted this experience to be totally organically for her and for me, without being pressured by stereotypes or general opinion. If I had been left alone in an island with my baby not knowing anything about breastfeeding, that's exactly what I'd have done. As a Mom you don't get any instruction manual to race your children, but you are given your maternal instincts to follow. Unlike most popular opinions about handicapping your children socially and emotionally by breastfeeding past a year or so, my daughter turned out to be very social and extremely independent.
The CONTROVERSY is the exploitation of the issue and the cover doesn't help with the topic or taboo of breast feeding.
I agree, it does bring attention; but how does the rest of the world perceive this cover; the basic right of those MOTHERS that wish not to be associated with this form of breast feeding, kids walking by newsstands and the right of religion . ITS THE LACK OF RESPECT FOR THE MANNER IN WHICH ITS PRESENTED. I UNDERSTAND WE HAVE BASIC CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS, BUT THIS IS NOT HUMAN NATURE; ITS MEDIA MARKET AND AN IDIOT ON THE COVER
Now, breastfeeding is something that I see as very important in raising a child. How does it develope the social skills and their indepenence breastfeeding that long?
What dim bulb.
It's just a lack of basic manners.
Why is it, that mothers breast feeding past the age of two seem to be doing it only with male children?
Where did you get this information?
I am african born in a city and am 57 years old. As the last child, my mom breastfed me until the age of six when I started elementary school. During the first few months, after school I would go home and jump to my mom's breast where I use to feel protected against my brothers who were bugging me. Also, I was sleeping in the same bed with mom until that age. I was a bright student in school, and since then I feel young and very healthy. I say that because doctors are telling me my blood pressure is that of someone of 35 years old. Because of that very close attachment with my mom, I am very sensitive to women and children causes.
Interesting story, thanks for sharing
A 3 year old is not a baby. This kid is too big. When he can ask for a b00b to drink from, he's too old.
This is overkill.....breast feed for your nutrients but this is overdoing it. If you are that into breast feeding for whatever excuse you want to make then after the age of 2 then breast feed in your home. Breast feed your 16yr old but Not in public. Can you imagine?? "Hey Mom can I have a drink before I get ready for Prom?"
AND.....I'm with several that have posted. I have friends that are in Law Enforcement and the first thing that came to mind was "How is a Child Molester going to look at this picture?" "It's ok honey look this Mommy is doing it. You can do this to me." (and yes Child Molesters are not just men there are women child molesters too in case someone brings up) Child Molesters don't look at this to be a Scientific , Adult breastfeeding rights article. They don't care what the article is implying or what it's saying in the least. I'm sure they are not even going to read it! They are looking at how it makes them FEEL. It's putting another idea way for them to prey on small children.
It's sad.......The video Barbie was Banned for potential Child Molesters to use it for inappropriate filming on children but TIME is going to run this on their cover?
Yes I have seen these types of moms and in our area they are called helicopter moms because the moms are always hovering over the child.
The breast feeding of a three year old male child is nothing more than sexual abuse of that child, the mother is doing it to get a sexual thrill out of it plain and simple.
I have seen pot smoking mothers breast feeding their children for three years and the UN study proves the drug goes right to the mother milk and gets the child stoned out of his mind for the first three or four years of it’s little life. You see folks for many babies HELL IS FOR CHILDERN.
What the heck? Where did you come up with sexual abuse allegations here? Were you abused?
You should really be embarrassed to post such an ignorant comment. The benefits of breastfeeding are well documented. Try reading. The World Health Organization recommends breastfeeding until at least 2 to 3 years of age. There is nothing at all sexual about it. I breastfed both of my children until they weaned themselves at ages 2 and 3. They are incredible happy, healthy, well adjusted and self confident young adults. I did a lot of research on the benefits of breastfeeding and self weaning and my decision was an educated one which I do not regret. I did it for my childrens' benefit not for some self serving purpose as many people are implying this choice is (obviously they haven't ever breastfed or they would understand there is nothing self serving about it) Grow up people and get a book or two.
the reporting on CNN is lacking in any reasonable understanding of well know scientific principles that can inform an attachment approach to parenting, we know a lot now, what has not worked, and what we might consider for the well being of children and parents. Our record in the United States for child health and safety compared to other nations is nothing to brag about, and here was an opportunity to simply inform. Time magazine printed such an obviously provocative picture in order to sell magazines, so obvious a motivation, self serving and sad, CNN joins right in to dumb down the debate, and miss another opportunity to provide the simple service of education for parents,
Mothers can coddle to much, which absolutely does not prepare their kids for the real world. Mine did it.
They can run covers like that for any reason they want, that was hawt.
I agree breast milk is healthy but at a certain age a breast becomes sexual to a child so at that point I think a mother should use a pump and give her child the milk in a glass.
If you understood child development, you would know that sexual development happens MUCH later than three years old! Try reading a book.
I am just a man, but one that has 7 children and I don't think I quite fully understand the whole TIME cover thing. If the article is about infants, then I believe at the age of 3 they should be called a toddler. If all a mother needs to do to be called a mother is to nurse, then my wife is an expert, but if she were to still be breastfeeding my children past the age of 2…I would consider that it is no longer nourishment for the baby but pleasure for the mother. And for my wife to be successful she needs to be an overdeliverer? Just wait until I come home and tell her that she isn’t up to the standards! (She stays at home and is actually a full-time mother…her choice—satisfied husband.)
Only a man would consider breast feeding a pleasure for the mother. You should have the pleasure of breasts that change sizes all day long, that leak whenever a child nearby cries (and it doesn't have to be your child), and that hurt – really hurt – when they're too full of milk. You should enjoy the pleasure of those suction pumps! You should enjoy the pleasure of being bitten by teething babies, and you wouldn't want to miss out on the pleasure of a clogged duct and the sudden flu-like symptoms it brings on. Breastfeeding is a natural process and some kids nurse longer than others – so what? It's nourishing. It's MUCH better than cow's milk. Breasts aren't sexual organs, only a man would think so.
I'm sure the previous poster, Just a Man, wasn't talking about sexual pleasure.
I would imagine, he is saying that she enjoys motherhood, and nusing her baby, and doesn't want to give it up.
That being selfish, on her part, for not letting her baby grow up, the way nature intended.
All animals, humans included, will ween their baby when the time is right.
Yes! Thank you Katie. The ONLY sane response in this whole sorry debate. People have been brainwashed to think it's great to drink cow's milk yet they get all offended about a mother breastfeeding her children. And you are so right: breasts are not sexual organs – people need to face their own distorted perceptions about the female body and reflect upon what it is that makes them feel so uncomfortable about seeing a woman's breast, and a mother nurturnig and caring for her child.
Can't we simply enjoy the process of raising our children rather than turning it into a competition and obsessing about every little detail pertaining to child-rearing? It seems in America we overanalyze everything–including raising our children. It's time to relax and enjoy the process and accept the good with the bad, mistakes and all. That's what life's about, and we (the adults and children alike) actually learn something along the way.
I'm sorry, there's everything wrong with this...1 year on the breast and you're good to go!!
I agree a year is enough, I nurse all my children, but could remember my 1st son would latch on me when he had his 1st teeth and bite me and he was only 10 months old . At 3 years old this child has a whole mouth full of teeth, good for her this child should be feeding himsel
It doesn't look like this poor kid has much to work with. It's amazing he didn't give up years ago.
CNN – Yes there are RESPONSES! Post them!!!!
I hope Time follows the life of this kid to see how he turns out, and how he deals with his peers in High School who will know that his mother did this to him.
May 10, 2012 at 3:55 pm | Reply
This whole article shows how far the horrible feminist movement of Gloria Steinem has gone. Women have absolutely no right to be in the workplace unless its totally necessary. Ever since the feminist movement, this country has gone downhill!
Were you raised by men? Taught only by men? Waited on only by men? Served only by men? Did only men cook for you? Clean for you? Do only men entertain you? Do you only read books written by men?
Next time you feel your primal urges coming on, I suggest you deal with them yourself.
Gandalf [the wizard] is trolling. Go figure.
Growing up, my brothers and I were raised breast feeding and sleeping in our parents bed as infants. As an adult, anytime I see someone put there child in a crib for the the night, I think it's weird and the equivalent from an evolutionary perspective to putting a baby in a separate section of a cave to sleep by themselves. It may be socially accepted, but it's unnatural.
that time magazine photo of the 6 year old being suckled is something that might cause pedophilia behavior in viewers. look at the freshly fucked look that the mother is getting from the suckling process of hormone production. the same pleasure in the womb as the lover tantalizes the labia. all the boy needed to do is stick his hard weewee out and stroke it. this woman is shameless and a disgrace. we know there is a kinky person in everyone but this is ridiculous. this is child molestation. this boy will not be able to get off unless he has fantasies of his mom suckling him even when he is with a woman he is attracted to. this is a sad scenario. the magazine did not even have the decency to censor that portion in the picture. next stop: little 6 year old girl wants 'poppycock'. why don't all of you at the 'time' magazine staff headquarters, just drop your pants and show your two year-old dicks and state that you are people from the rajneesh ashram in pune, india. they invented adult swinging there in the 60s.
WOW! Angry much?????
news media including Time is so hungry for eye catching scoop by all meant. they are getting more shallow.
it is pretty sad
i agree. TIME is not selling well so this is giimick to get people to buy TIME. I am 40+ , i use to buy and red TIME magazine with great interest, but now have seen it declined in its real value.,..it is becoming like POOPLE magazine....
i was about to get subsrciption for a mere $15...but now am emboldened not to...i cann't patronize a magazine that seems to just keep threatening what most people accept as acceptable and something that is not really wanted.
i mean putting up snaps like this, i cannot have magazine tlike that in my home with kids 7yr, 10 yrs, 12 yrs....what will they think after looking at these pictures...breast feeding is natural and personal and should be kept in home, not publicising for public consumption...Islam allows for upto 2.years...
Breast feeding – beyond age 2? Why? The child doesn't need that brain cell nutrient builder any longer . . . but does the mom still need to display and manifest that 'super woman' label after two years of service? Perhaps!
Gotta say, that looks like a healthy 3-year old.
Three years old?????? What a freak.
This is a child you're talking about! What a terrible thing to say.
Look Ma. No hands!
Genetics gives children a set of teeth for a reason....3 years old is pushing it....I saw a woman flop out her boob for a 5-6 year old once in an outdoor eatery....I almost choked. I then got up , along with others and left that establishment....I have never gone back....To this day I believe I should have called the police.....
That looks like me last night at the gentlemen's club. I believe men should be allowed to practice the act of breastfeeding off of their girlfriend or wife in public, in order to develop an intimate bond.
As a mid-level provider who worked in family practice for several years I am a big proponent of breastfeeding. However, my opinion is such that the only reason a woman breastfeeds a child this old is she is receiving primary gain from the experience.
I'm all for breast feeding, but come oonn, that child attached to her breasts looks like its a year or two away from getting his driver's license. That's just creepy! She's a little too "close" to her son. Gross!
How aggravating and insulting it is to question breastfeeding! breastfeeding is the best that a mother could do for his/her child! Nobody would make a comment if they see a dog breastfeeding its puppy?? that is considered cute..but a mother to his child is not?
We're not questioning breastfeeding. We're questioning breastfeeding a 3 year old! Do the puppies in your example suckle long after growing a set of teeth and start eating solid food?
A dog breast feeding gets the pups weaned at about 6 weeks. After that, Momma dog starts telling her pups, by snapping, to start eating the solid food she's bringing to them.
I think you are missing the whole point of the article... Do you see dogs breastfeeding at 3??
Has the pendulum swung too far?"
I don't think the um, "pendulum" is the problem here :P
There is absolutely no reason to breastfeed a child at 3 years of age. By that time they can get all of the necessary nutrition from solid food and they can get all of the emotional support they need from hugs. The only reason these mothers have for doing this is for themselves. They can’t bear to see their kids grow up and attain any form of independence. In nature, every mother eventually forces their child out of “the nest”. It’s only human mothers who have an unrealistic and unhealthy desire for their children to stay young and helpless forever.
Shucks, Now I fell like I may have been neglected as a 3 year old.
so sad to see report on TV so superficial and dismissive of important contribution of attachment principles to child development/parenting, the level of dialogue and understanding remains so trivial, such and important topic with such apparent scientific illiteracy, another missed opportunity to contribute to the culture of parenting.
There is a difference between letting an INFANT dictate their needs because they are otherwise helpless and letting an older kid run the house. I did all the above list and worked full time. My 5 year old sleeps in her own bed now, goes outside and plays in the backyard unsupervised, sets the table and feeds the dog. She knows what the rules are and is a well behaved child in public. I think people assume that because you cater to the INFANT's needs that you continue to do so into childhood which is not healthy for your CHILDs development.
I'm not going to weigh in on the debate of whether nursing a 3 year old okay/not okay, but I do feel really bad for the little boy. He may be embarrassed by that picture when he is older. Mom, what were you thinking?
Breast feeding? Amazing, healthful and something all mothers should practice for the benifit of their children. Breast feeding a three year old AND having that photographed for the cover of a major magazine? WEIRD and a bit creepy!!!
I want to be that boy so bad..
I feel dirty after seeing that Time cover. I fully support a woman's right to raise her child how she sees fit within the law, but could someone please explain where the line is between this and child pornography? I thinik the look on both of their faces makes it even worse...
what an incredibly bourgeois mentality, this lifestyle of living according to the baby's demands... Most people in the world don't have this luxury. Of course, i held her when she cried, changed her when she was soiled then toilet-trained her at 3, nursed her for 6 months then taught her to eat from a spoon, and went back and forth between having her in my bed, to being next to my bed, and finally moved her to her own room so that mom and dad could get enough sleep that we're not cranky all day (with her or with each other). But we also work, so putting her on a schedule was an utter necessity. I know so many kids whose parents answer their every beck and demand (even now at the age of 6), and their kids basically only know instant gratification (hard welcome to the real world), me-first narcissism, and don't know how to deal with failure. My parenting's not perfect, but I'd like my child to know how to face reality, but also know unconditional love (with a lot of vision) whenever she sees mom and dad and aunties/uncles.
Just wait till the kid's friends come over and ask for some milk.
Sorry..This picture gross's me out..
There is a limit and no child in developed countries, where food is plentiful... Needs to breast feed after they are at least a year..
And absolutely NOT after he is old enough to take it out himself.~! Thats when the line gets drawn..~!!
Mom looks good...junior looks healthy and happy...what is the big deal? Quit attacking motherhood in the USA! If Hugh Hefner were sucking on her, the typical idiot in this country would be cheering that old, sick pervert on.
I'm more annoyed by Soledad O'Brian's voice than the Time cover (which is in itself - inappropriate).
Yikes! - I find her to be like a mosquito buzzing near your ear.
This cover is disgusting and sickens me. I'm a mother of 3 and can't STAND this breastfeeding display frenzy. I breastfed ALL of my children, but never felt the need to parade it in front of the world. To quote the editor of Time, "We could not have attachment parenting if we hadn't first had feminism." Well.....there you go.....
Why is Dee Snider on this panel?
wait! I meant "thirsty!" ;)
That boy is NOT 3 years old!!!!
I wish I was that kid on the front cover
disgusting cover. Why would they have this child go upto this woman and put his mouth around her breast for a picture? Total exploitation.
A four year old breastfeeding? Really? What a crock!!! I have no problem with a woman breastfeeding her infant but this is nonsense. It’s on the verge of child abuse.
I don't think majority of Americans will ever understand this, but I'll say it again anyway:
All things in moderation.
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