May 10th, 2012
04:37 PM ET

Breast-feeding: Too much of a good thing?

It's hard to avoid staring at the cover of Time Magazine this week. If you're on social media like Twitter and Facebook, the widely shared image may have arrived on your screen before you ever saw it in the supermarket.

The provocative cover shows Jamie Lynne Grumet, a 26-year-old mother from Los Angeles, breast-feeding her son. This isn't your typical mom-and-baby shot: Grumet's son is 3. In case you were wondering, Grumet told CNN's Erin Burnett that her son is actually breast-feeding in that now-iconic image.

Grumet said her own mother breast-fed her until age 6, and Grumet still remembers it. "I'm proud of her," Grumet said.

The picture promotes an article about the growing popularity of "attachment parenting", a theory first advocated by Dr. Bill Sears and his wife, Martha, in their 1992 best-selling guide “The Baby Book.”

The Searses argue that co-sleeping, “baby wearing” (where the baby is attached to the parent with a sling) and extended breast-feeding will help parents respond better to the individual needs of their babies.

Celebrities such as Mayim Bialik of "The Big Bang Theory" are also promoting ideas about attachment parenting. Bialik said on Friday that she still breast-feeds her 3-year-old son. "He's not done breast-feeding, and I'm not ready to tell him not to," she said.

Many moms and dads have strong opinions about these practices, especially the breast-feeding advice.  The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends babies be breast-fed exclusively for the first six months of their lives.

"We don't all nurse older kids," Bialik said of mothers who subscribe to attachment parenting ideas. "But the notion that a child's voice matters, that every child is different, that's the basis of attachment parenting."

Heather Curtis, wife of Fark.com founder Drew Curtis, told CNN's Geek Out that she practiced breast-feeding for an extended period, carried her babies in slings and practiced co-sleeping, as Bialik did. So did Caryn Rogers, a science writer for the Preeclampsia Foundation.

"I didn't really choose to eschew conventional care so much as chose to get what I believed was the most evidence-based care," Rogers said.

Grumet said that sleeping with her baby does not affect intimacy with her husband.

Watch: Breast-feeding cover-mom defends pose

"I think intimacy is extremely important in a marriage and I think a strong marriage is going to be a great foundation to show your children how to be raised confident and happy and I had that with my family, too," she said.

Time: Extended breast-feeding is more common than we think

CNN.com readers expressed mixed views on the subjects of the best age to stop breast-feeding and the appropriateness of the Time cover in general. See what they said.

We want to know what you think.  Is it OK to breast-feed well past toddler-hood, or is it too much of a good thing?

soundoff (3,790 Responses)
  1. Joe Smith

    This freak show shouldn't be allowed kids.

    May 11, 2012 at 09:12 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Liz Jacobson

      You're an idiot

      May 11, 2012 at 09:23 | Report abuse |
    • Wes Scott

      I am in my 60's, and I still breast feed every chance I get. Of course, not with my own mom, but certainly with somebody else's mom who is usually several years younger than me. We both enjoy it immensely! ROTFLMAO!

      May 11, 2012 at 09:39 | Report abuse |
    • Bob

      yo mamas a freak show

      May 11, 2012 at 09:40 | Report abuse |
    • lulz

      I approve os Wes Scott's message

      May 11, 2012 at 09:40 | Report abuse |
    • PeteInOhio

      Wes Scott: I'm with YOU buddy! LOL!

      May 11, 2012 at 09:46 | Report abuse |
    • Zilx

      Women have a biological clock that tells them when to stop breastfeeding. If their bodies are no longer producing milk, obviously its time to stop, till then, i guess its fair game... Biology will trump logic every time.

      May 11, 2012 at 09:51 | Report abuse |
    • Ed

      I hope he's independent by the time he's 25. Doesn't look like he's off to a very good start.

      May 11, 2012 at 09:56 | Report abuse |
  2. PeteInOhio

    Wow! Mothers are getting a lot of attention lately! Breast-feeding, chewing and regurgitation, Ann Romney! What's happening! Between that and Global Warming and we'll be back in the "Little House on the Prairie" in no time! ROFL!

    May 11, 2012 at 09:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Ohioan

    Let's all just cut to the chase. I'm all for breastfeeding. But the Time cover was totally inappropriate. If the mother wanted to get her point across there are other ways. The child is the victim here.

    May 11, 2012 at 09:13 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Phyl

      YAY !!! you hit the nail right on the head..good for you..

      May 11, 2012 at 09:15 | Report abuse |
    • clarinets

      Mother's victimize their children with grand stealth.

      May 11, 2012 at 09:20 | Report abuse |
    • N. Smith

      I agree...Time's use of this photo on the cover is in poor taste, and very tacky.

      May 11, 2012 at 09:23 | Report abuse |
    • LostinSLC

      Oh please, stop being such a prude! This is the problem with our country, we are trying to shelter ourselves so much and then cannot understand when the world laughs at our ignorance....grow a skin

      May 11, 2012 at 09:37 | Report abuse |
  4. Phyl

    Ok...enough said about the breast feeding....do as you may but I think the REAL issue here is the picuture on Time Magazine...VERY DISGUSTING.....just another celeb wanting her picture and body in public view...Can you just imagine a mom and her 4-7 year old walking thru the store and they BOTH see this??!! Lot's of questions are going to be asked....

    May 11, 2012 at 09:14 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Datch

      Oh my god.....there is nothing worse than having to answer your child's questions!!!!! (give me a break)

      May 11, 2012 at 09:21 | Report abuse |
    • chip

      Come on people, mammals feed their children. We're talking about feeding CHILDREN. get it together you stuck up morons

      May 11, 2012 at 09:32 | Report abuse |
    • LostinSLC

      Phyl....go back into a closet. Disgusting? Really?......wow

      May 11, 2012 at 09:39 | Report abuse |
    • Daniela

      Phyl, I agree with you...good point.

      May 11, 2012 at 19:12 | Report abuse |
  5. clarinets

    Breastfeeding til the cild is 3 forms an attachment to mom that is detrimental to the child's independence and bonds with others.

    May 11, 2012 at 09:15 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Datch

      Evidence, please?

      May 11, 2012 at 09:22 | Report abuse |
    • JJC

      @clarinets – It must be nice to just "feel" something in your gut, and to instantly believe that just because a thought has gone through your head that it is correct. Who needs facts or evidence? You just feel it, so it must be true. You don't even say "I think", you just declare. I personally have evidence to the contrary of your assertion, but I'm sure you are correct because of your perfect gut.

      May 11, 2012 at 09:25 | Report abuse |
    • Tom

      studies show the opposite. Studies show that kids breastfed for quite awhile are more secure and more independent.

      May 11, 2012 at 09:48 | Report abuse |
  6. Jen

    I feel like a lot of people that judge extended breastfeeding are also the ones that have no issue plopping a binky in their child's mouth at bedtime. While there may be arguments on both sides of the merits of extended breastfeeding, there is no debate that giving your child a pacifier past the age of 12 months will result in a lifetime of dental problems. My friend still gives her three year old a pacifier because 'she needs it for sleep'. Umm...nope...you're still giving it to her because you are too lazy to deal with the consequences of taking it away. At least be honest about it!

    May 11, 2012 at 09:16 | Report abuse | Reply
    • lulz

      I think there's less of a debate about the use of a pacifier because typically, pacifiers aren't up for debate on whether or not they can be seen in a sexual context. a 48 year old man walking down the street sucking a pacifier gets strange looks, a 48 year old man walking down the street sucking on a boob gets arrested.

      May 11, 2012 at 09:28 | Report abuse |
    • TX mom

      Whoa, that is a ridiculous exaggeration!!!!!!!

      It is true that extended use of a pacifier can cause SOME and dental issues in SOME children but that is not anywhere close to "lifelong" dental problems. What an untrue and sweeping statement!

      One of my children used a pacifier extensively and compulsively past age two and yes, she did have mild speech issues that were solved easily with just a few months of speech pathology at age 3 1/2. She was an explorative toddler who put EVERYTHING in her mouth including small objects, leaves of plants, animal feces on the playground, bugs and spiders etc. Encouraging her to use the pacifier kept her from putting potentially harmful stuff in her mouth. It was a tradeoff we were very happy to make. She had a mild overbite easily fixed with braces and which the dentist and orthodontist said was the result of her genetics not necessarily pacifier use. We were told her teeth were great and the main reason for choosing to go with orthodontia was just cosmetic – she had ZERO dental problems in fact she had wonderful healthy teeth throughout her childhood and now at 16 after a short stint in braces her smile is simply gorgeous.

      My future stepdaughter was still using a pacifier at age 5 because evidently when her folks divorced when she was a toddler they felt it was in her best interest to let her keep the paci for comfort during that tough transition. When I met her I was concerned about the pacifier use but she had zero speech issues and today has beautiful, healthy straigh teeth that didn't even require orthodontia. And no cavities.

      Just setting the record straight.

      May 11, 2012 at 10:23 | Report abuse |
    • Jen

      Hate to break it to you but if you took your child to an orthodontist that is 'dental work.' Pacifiers are famous for causing overbites. My one year old used to put everything in her mouth too (like about 99% of other babies), so I just watched her like a hawk. Now that she is almost 13 months I just say no – not sure how you were letting a child less than a year peruse a playground unattended. And can't say either of my children have ever been in a situation where I was worried about them eating feces (and I have pets).

      May 11, 2012 at 10:51 | Report abuse |
    • TX mom

      Oh my goodness Jen, thanks for the laugh 0' the day. You made my day.

      Your original obnoxious assertion was LIFELONG dental problems, remember? LIFELONG. 🙂

      Why don't you sleep on it tonight, then tomorrow re-read your post, then re-read my post, and then re-read your response.

      Great for you that you are so hyper attentive! Very well done!

      BUT... there just may come that one day when you are sitting in the sandbox playing with your toddler, perhaps you might be occupied in nursing your other child while simultaneously doing your best to entertain the first and suddenly the toddler fishes around under the sand and then pops a dried up, sandy piece of cat poop into her mouth before you can say boo! Or a dead and dehydrated earthworm! Or a beautiful, juicy red berry of unknown toxicity that happened to fall off the yew shrub that some unthinking municipal gardener planted next to the sandbox!

      If you have never had, or will never have, any such cringe-worthy moments in motherhood then I applaud you because you are obviously doing a magnificent job!

      May 11, 2012 at 12:05 | Report abuse |
    • Jen

      Okay, you are right. I should have just said dental problems, and conceded that there will be exceptions. So I apologize for that.

      BUT, as I said my child is almost 13 months old. A normal 13 month without developmental delays knows what is food and what isn't. I have no concerns that she would put a worm in her mouth – she's too smart! My three year old knew better too.

      May 11, 2012 at 12:37 | Report abuse |
    • TX mom

      I'm flabbergasted. You are embarrassing yourself so I will stop encouraging you. Have a nice weekend. Enjoy those babies. We moms are in this together really aren't we? God bless.

      May 11, 2012 at 12:42 | Report abuse |
    • Jen

      Whoops – put this in the wrong place so it posted twice.

      And TxMom, I see you responded before I had a chance to clarify. I couldn't care less what moms choose to do. I'm not an extended breastfeeding mom (both girls breastfed just past one year). I'm just responding to those people that judge those moms. We can all judge each other for something. I'm far from perfect just like everyone else. I do things for selfish reasons – but I own up to them and don't try to portray it as being best for my children. What bothers me is moms that aren't honest about why they do things (and I do think you were honest). I was just pointing out that moms that say extended breastfeeding is gross sometimes have no problems with other things that are not typically the 'best' for your children. It's hypocritical. And yes! We are all in it together. Formula feed, breastfeed, breastfeed indefinitely, give your child a pacifier, let them carry a blanket around until they're five. Whatever. Just because we wouldn't choose some of those things ourselves doesn't mean we have to jump all over each other. I had already put this in other posts but just wanted to clarify it to you.

      I don't think I was embarassing myself. I conceded that my statement was too sweeping and apologized.

      May 11, 2012 at 13:20 | Report abuse |
    • mom of 1

      Jen – I have to wonder if your really are a mother because you just sound to perfect to be real.

      May 11, 2012 at 17:40 | Report abuse |
  7. Guntherette

    Im a mother, and I personally find this creepy. Breast feeding is okay for babies til the teeth start to come in, but at this age, arghh sorry moms its just plane wrong. To those of you that choose to go the route, breastfeeding is why woman have breasts, yeah thats true, however, we as humans, most of us anyway,have evolved and live in places where this is not a need anymore after the first few weeks of a childs life. This crap about it creating a bond is just that, crap. That boy of that magazine cover, oh man, did anyone at all stop to think how that one picture will affect him later in life, say Highschool? when one of his classmates gets a hold of that picture, wow, way to go mom, stand up for what you think is right no matter who you hurt, even if its your son....

    May 11, 2012 at 09:16 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Vic

      He looks 6 years old not 3. She might was well breast feed him until he's 15.

      May 11, 2012 at 09:27 | Report abuse |
    • Botosel

      A response to Guntherette:
      You mentioned " most of us anyway,have evolved and live in places where this is not a need anymore after the first few weeks of a childs life". We have found ways to cope with some mothers' inability to feed their babies; HOWEVER, formula is not a replacement for breastmilk! Every day scientists discover new components of breastmilk that were not noticed before. We cannot replicate it! And until a baby can eat most solid foods that give him/ her proper nutrition, breastfeeding is a must. That means until at least 12 months old, regardless of whether they have teeth or not! Babies start sprouting teeth much earlier. For hundreds of thousands of years women have fed their children and all of a sudden in the 21st century we think as humans that we beat nature? I don't think so. Getting back to Time, I personally don't think there is a need for breastfeeding after the toddler age, and that picture is a bit disturbing, but I don't think it can be called 'abuse' or 'victimized'.

      May 11, 2012 at 09:29 | Report abuse |
    • Tom

      Globally the average age of weaning is 4-5......meaning that some stop older, some younger. So 3 isn't too old ot be breastfeeding. Seems we are the backwards culture for most to stop at 3-6 months in our society.

      May 11, 2012 at 09:34 | Report abuse |
    • camrynfouroux

      You are a moron. If people stopped breastfeeding when their baby's teeth came in, then some would be stopping at 4-5 months. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breastfeeding EXCLUSIVELY for the first 6 months of life, but optimally for the first year of life. The World Health Organization recommends breastfeeding for at least 2 years. Breastfeeding does create a bond with your child. Not only does it provide the BEST nutrients for your child, nutrients which cannot be replicated by formula, but it also aids in kids having less illnesses and a lower chance for obesity. In addition, it is better for the mother as it helps her heal after childbirth. Even in America, why wouldn't we want to give our kids the BEST and most natural food for them? Your logic makes no sense. Kids need these vital nutrients and antibodies far past the few weeks of life.

      May 11, 2012 at 09:53 | Report abuse |
    • WhatNow

      Tom...Over half of the people in the world live on about $2.50 per day. That doesn't leave a lot of extra money for formula. For many of these women, it is a matter of breast feeding or the child starves.

      May 11, 2012 at 09:56 | Report abuse |
  8. Ohioan

    The sad part about this whole subject is that Time is getting exactly what it wants; people talking about the magazine. We are all buying into this media hype. I'm signing off as I'm guilty as charged.

    May 11, 2012 at 09:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. TEET Fest

    I bet this chick's family reunions are interesting....and repulsive. Out of the diapers and off the teets simultaneously folks. Anything beyond is just irresponsible parenting.

    May 11, 2012 at 09:17 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Liz Jacobson

      You're an idiot. Hope you don't have any children. FYI... Most babies are weaned around a year old. You think babies should be potty trained by then too???

      May 11, 2012 at 09:21 | Report abuse |
    • TEET Fest

      No, if you can read, what I'm saying is that children who are out of diapers should not still be breastfeeding.

      May 11, 2012 at 09:24 | Report abuse |
    • lulz

      Why wear diapers in the first place? They are unnatural, uncomfortable etc. These "attachment parenting" mothers should go that extra step and allow their babies to pass feces on them and wipe it with a bare hand. If not, you're a lazy and uncaring parent.

      May 11, 2012 at 09:30 | Report abuse |
  10. clarinets

    Breastfeeding til the child is 3 years old forms an attachment to mom that is detrimental to the child's independence and bonds with others. It is for mothers who can't form positive relationships with adults.

    May 11, 2012 at 09:17 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Father of one

      Again... evidence to your assertion?

      May 11, 2012 at 09:43 | Report abuse |
    • RcktSrgn

      And what exactly makes you qualified to determine this?

      May 11, 2012 at 09:47 | Report abuse |
    • Tom

      average age to stop breastfeeding in the world is 4.

      May 11, 2012 at 09:52 | Report abuse |
    • TEET Fest

      why stop at 4......mom, could you add a shot to my coffee pleeeesse...I promise to behave at work today.

      May 11, 2012 at 10:17 | Report abuse |
  11. Liz Jacobson

    Dr Sears' Baby Book came out when I was pregnant with my first child. What a breath of fresh air it was! Someone of authority was confirming that my natural instincts were RIGHT! Coming from an unhappy, Dr. Spock type of childhood, I refused to follow that lead, and instead allowed my mother's instincts and my baby's wants and needs to guide me. In reading the book, I learned that the most content/happiest babies were the ones who were "worn" (carried a lot), and nursed until child and parent were ready to stop.
    The book also made it clear that we are all different, and so make different choices. And that's okay. Babies who are bottle fed still somehow manage to survive, and will continue to do so. Babies that are breastfed however, have a jump on the health game, and have been given the best natural immunity boosters possible. (No formula can do that.)

    May 11, 2012 at 09:19 | Report abuse | Reply
    • lulz

      I'm sure many thought Dr.Spock was a person of authority confirming their beliefs too.

      May 11, 2012 at 09:33 | Report abuse |
    • mab18

      I will never say that breastfeeding isn't the best option for the child, because I do think that is the case. However, I get so tired of people saying that babies who are breastfed are the happiest and most content kids (yes, I know you also said carried, etc., and this is not necessarily directed at you, just to people in general). My baby was formula fed from day one – not by my choice, but because of health complications (to me) after her birth I could not give her my milk, and as a result I stopped producing. It tore at me for so long, I felt guilty, etc. Finally I realized there was nothing I could do, and I just had to let go of the guilt. Fast forward 2 1/2 years – my daughter is completely healthy, happy all the time, ahead in height and weight, and ahead of most of her "classmates" in daycare mentally. Yes – breast is best – but that does not mean that formula fed babies are only going to "survive".

      May 11, 2012 at 09:39 | Report abuse |
    • angryersmell

      Your "instincts" are wrong, because they're not instincts, they're psychological needs. YOUR needs. You see your baby is happy when you give it whatever it wants, thus you give it whatever it wants. This teaches the child no matter what it does, the world will always give it whatever it wants. The problem is, your baby would do a lot of things forever if it could get away with it.

      This style of parenting is born of a weak understanding of developmental psychology in the general population, and people looking to make millions by selling books that promote the latest fads. A child raised this way may end up being great at fulfiling their own individual needs all of the time, but otherwise they also end up being awful, awful people who the world is very, very hard on. If that's your goal, then fine, that's what you're going to end up with.

      There is nothing wrong with breast feeding, but taking this style of parenting to the extreme creates little monsters. Do your kids a favor and make them get their own damn milk. If they spill it, teach them to clean it up. If they can pull it all off without a problem, close the fridge and put their cup in the sink when they're done, praise them for it. They're learning to be functional human beings that don't need you to survive in the "wild" (p.s. this should be the goal of every parent anyway).

      May 11, 2012 at 09:45 | Report abuse |
    • Tom

      @Liz......that is your opinion but it has no foundation. Average age in the world to wean is 4, meaning there are actually many that go LONGER. Newsflash: In many countries people in the world can't afford formula. Breastfeeding for quite a while is the norm across the world. WE are backwards compared to the rest of the world. And studies show that breastfeeding for a few years (now keep in mind it's not exclusive breastfeeding at 3-4 but maybe just a few times a day) creates children that are more secure and independent. I've done the research.........why don't you instead of spouting off what society has told you is socially acceptable?

      May 11, 2012 at 09:57 | Report abuse |
  12. angryersmell

    Heck, why not just keep the milk train rolling well into puberty? Think of the savings in the food budget for that growing teenager! Just keep the tap on forever, for that matter. Little Timmy can stick around into his 30s sucking away, and he'll be perfectly happy. After all, why bother putting in the effort to go out to look for another pair when you get it for free from mom (especially if mom looks like the one on the TIME cover...meeeeee-ow)?

    There is a reason animals expect their kids to learn to stand, walk, defend and feed themselves practically from birth, then kick them out as early as possible. Know why? Because mommy has to feed herself, and her other kids, and baby has to eventually learn to make it on their own out there in the big bad world. That way, they don't starve or break into my garage to steal power tools for drug money because they're too lazy to get a job and mommy taught them the world owes them something.

    May 11, 2012 at 09:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Molly

    "This freak show shouldn't be allowed kids????" I cannot believe that so many people are so uncomfortable with the idea of a woman providing the most natural, nutritional and perfectly balanced food for the child. A baby is born with fuzzy vision, but they can see just far enough so that when they are being breastfed, they can see their mom's face. Listen people- please stop alienating women for doing the most natural thing since the dawn of man. We as humans are to be intolerant of treating others badly, or making a group of people feel isolated– Well, to make a breastfeeding mom feel this way, who in her very arms cradles the future of are world, its tragic. Thank you to all current and former moms who breastfeed and provide the best source of nutrition, and the most supereio form of comfort and peace to their children; giving them the best beginning possible in this world. We so OFTEN FORGET that toddlers are very small and young! You make a huge commitment and sacrifice seem easy... forget these others who are "uncomfortable" because they only want to sexualize breasts and make women feel ashamed!! SHAME ON THEM. Breast is best!!!

    May 11, 2012 at 09:22 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Just me

      Breast is best ... for baby, not for cover of Time, for Pete's sake!!!

      May 11, 2012 at 09:35 | Report abuse |
    • BioHzrd420

      I don't think it's the breastfeeding that has people talking. It's that women are doing it up until preschool and kindergarden.

      May 11, 2012 at 09:36 | Report abuse |
  14. Stephanie

    I understand that in other parts of the world breastfeeding toddlers until the age of 3 or 4 is normal. In the US we want our babies to grow up fast. An older child seeing this picture and asking about it is great because it normalizes breastfeeding. How can new moms be expected to breastfeed their babies when they have never in their entire life actually seen a mom breastfeeding? Breastfeeding is a normal activity, breastmilk adapts to your childs age, and moms should never have to cover up when feeding their children.

    May 11, 2012 at 09:24 | Report abuse | Reply
    • TEET Fest

      Sex is normal too. I agree Stephanie, we should be able to do that in public as well without covering up. All is right in the world once again....

      May 11, 2012 at 09:26 | Report abuse |
    • Botosel

      I completely agree with this comment. In our high-powered society where we don't even sit down for a cup of coffee we started to find that one of the most natural things in the world, breastfeeding, is repulsive. We should be ashamed of ourselves.
      On the item of growing up fast, as much as want our kids to be independent and wean them as soon as possible, in the US, we potty train our kids later than most developed/ developing societies! And that is because we are somewhat brainwashed by diaper makers to take our time in potty training and keep spending money. In Europe a child that still wears diapers by age 3 is not something to be pround of!

      May 11, 2012 at 09:34 | Report abuse |
    • lulz

      I shouldn't have to find a public restroom to evacuate my bowels as it can lead to IBS, colitis or even cancer. So long as I clean up after myself, I should be allowed to drop a natural load anywhere I please.

      May 11, 2012 at 09:34 | Report abuse |
    • Molly

      Ridiculous comment "TEET fest." By the very nature of you comparing nursing a child to "sex which is also normal," its just ridiculous. Eating in public ( which is what these children are doing) is QUITE different from having sex in public; again, sexualizing this due to your own discomfort OR inability to see a wonderful nursing mom and baby w/o viewing the breasts as sexual. I could not agree more with Stephanie

      May 11, 2012 at 13:50 | Report abuse |
  15. Steven Bulcroft

    The mother who is breastfeeding her child at age 3 is the one with "attachment" issues as she can not let go of the child's "babyhood" . If she was being "natural" her child wouldn't be still breastfeeding as her milk would become less appetizing as he grew older. She is creating a problem for her child later when he gets in a relationship as he will be overly dependent on his partner for all of his succor and attachment needs. The same with sleeping with your children in your bed – who is this for? the Child? or the mom? We need to allow our children to grow up and move away and the truth is we all sleep a sounder sleep when we sleep alone, notwithstanding we like to cuddle and be with someone as well.

    May 11, 2012 at 09:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. maeflowersdoulaservices

    Reblogged this on maeflowersdoulaservices and commented:
    I am 100% for extended breast feeding if that's what you choose for your family. But I have to say that this photo does not portray what real extended breast feeding is. The sweetness of breast feeding is not in the photo. If anything I think that with a cover photo like this it will make people want to not breast feed at all. Breast feeding is about the snuggles and love between a mother and her child and that doesn't happen with a child standing on a chair. ~Sydney

    May 11, 2012 at 09:27 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Vic

      That's what I think. If you can't pick the baby up and hold her/him in your hands, it's time to pull the plug not bring a chair.

      May 11, 2012 at 09:33 | Report abuse |
  17. SuperWhy

    Does attachment parenting suggest a time when it's proper to STOP breastfeeding? I'm thinking TIME did a disservice to the concept by publishing a picture disturbing to some. (Yeah, like that never happens)

    May 11, 2012 at 09:27 | Report abuse | Reply
    • N. Smith

      Wonder if the Editor at large over at Time (Belinda Luscombe) has any children? And if she does,did she breastfeed her children, and for how long...2 years,4 years, maybe 5 years?
      I feel sorry for the kid in the photo– I'm sure at some point down the road the photo will be used to ridicule him.
      Selfish mother, victimized child.
      There's nothing wrong with breastfeeding...but way to go Time for laying yet another guilt trip on non-breastfeeding mothers everywhere. How about the same story,but a cover showing a mother bottle feeding her toddler–hypocritical,doncha think?

      May 11, 2012 at 09:42 | Report abuse |
  18. Scott

    I think we need to listen to nature on this one. Why would we think we are different than any other mammal that stops breastfeeding when their offspring have teeth? That's why the teeth come in, so they can eat food!

    May 11, 2012 at 09:27 | Report abuse | Reply
    • AM


      May 11, 2012 at 09:30 | Report abuse |
    • Molly

      Weaning is a process; a baby cannot eat a solid food completely with one tooth, but with practice, exposure, more teeth and time. Weaning does happen naturally over the course of time. In the same way that some children enter this world extroverts or introverts, some children gave NEED to nurse longer, and others are ready to quit after a few months.

      May 11, 2012 at 13:55 | Report abuse |
  19. Danielle

    "The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends babies be breast-fed exclusively for the first six months of their lives." – Not quite accurate. They recommend the introduction of food at 6 months, but the continuation of breastfeeding, with no formula supplement, until at least 12 months. The World Health Organization recommends breastfeeding until at least age 2.

    May 11, 2012 at 09:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Tombomb

    Not a good thing if to the detriment of husband wife relationship as it can become with obsessive attachment mothers. Seen it several times leading to stress and divorce

    May 11, 2012 at 09:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Kelly

    I am all for breastfeeding. I breastfed my first and plan to do the same with my 2nd here shortly. But IMHO, this cover is too much. Its not that breastfeeding well into toddlerhood is wrong, but blasting it for everyone to see is just too much. Most humans enjoy sex...but wouldn't we find offensive a TIME cover showing a couple mid-coitus? My main point is some things just are not cover material. You can support something without having to put it on blast for the world to see.

    May 11, 2012 at 09:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Kim Maskalenko

    The World Health Organization recommends breastfeeding for up two years and beyond: http://www.who.int/topics/breastfeeding/en/

    May 11, 2012 at 09:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Alex

    I'm a father of a 4 year old girl. She was breast fed until she was 2 years old. There are hundreds of studies done all over the world, which shows that the longer you breast feed a child the better it is for that child. The child in this picture is not a victim. There isn't anything wrong with this cover. If my daughter asks about this cover, I'll explain to her exactly what it means. It is nothing sexual, it is something that mothers are meant to do. It is something that she did until she was two. She only stopped because my wife had to go back to work. The US is finally talking about an issue that must people think is sexually in nature and it is not. It is about the bond of a mother and child, something innocent. That is, until someone makes a stupid comment.

    May 11, 2012 at 09:31 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Kelly

      I don't think anyone was referring to breastfeeding as being sexual in nature. I don't know a single educated woman or mother that would think that breastfeeding is sexual in nature. I don't think that the discussion here is really whether breastfeeding beyond 2 is right or wrong. We all know that the WHO recommends breastfeeding for 2+ years. The debate is centered around the actual cover photo. Was it necessary? Maybe to some it was; to others, maybe not. I really don't think that any educated human being sees anything sexual about breastfeeding. After all, breasts were made to feed...not to be a source of pleasure for a man...or a woman.

      May 11, 2012 at 09:39 | Report abuse |
    • Molly

      Thank GOD my husband shares your views!! Divorce over nursing? Please

      May 11, 2012 at 13:57 | Report abuse |
  24. Johnny Z

    Breasts are made for one purpose: feeding offspring. They obviously are a good indication of gender, but other than that, where is it written that a mother has a time limit in breastfeeding? AND! What business is it of ours anyway? These subconscious morals that blossom without any reason aside from "it is wrong" are wrong. They are useless if not feeding a child. Why do people feel the need to control their use?

    May 11, 2012 at 09:31 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Merp

      I agree, it's nobody's business what you want to do with your kid. If your kid is three, he/she can wait until you are somewhere private to be breast fed. I don't want to be seated on airplane next to a toddler attached to his mother's breast. Just as people accept mothers that breast feed their kids until they can go to kindergarten so should they accept the fact that people are not comfortable looking at it.

      May 11, 2012 at 09:51 | Report abuse |
    • Johnny Z

      Some people find it offensive to look at? I saw a lady breastfeeding her kid in a shady area on a beach. I also saw a group of fat young ladies with tattoos all over their bodies. Wish I could have found the lady who was breastfeeding to bring me back to reality and sanity.

      Breastfeeding isn't beautiful. It is just breastfeeding. I can accept it anywhere, anytime.

      May 11, 2012 at 11:08 | Report abuse |
  25. Theresa

    What most of the people commentating fail to recognize is that what we call "extended" breastfeeding was (and STILL is throughout most of the world – "civilized" and traditional) is actually the norm and what is best for children's immune systems, bonding maturation, self esteem. It is also most beneficial to the growth of a healthy family paradigm. Most Americans are quite ignorant about the instinctive natural nursing relationship and also fail to realize that this photo was a shock value item. As infants grow, they add solid foods and insatiable activity to their daily regimes! Most child-led weaned toddlers and young children nurse fairly infrequently, at times of distress or to fall asleep, usually early in the morning before getting up, or at bedtime and less and less until they wean – usually sometime between the age of 4 and 7. It is most healthy for a child to self wean, and like other "growing up" activities, this takes a few years. Throughout the world, the average age of weaning is about 3, and it is not unusual for children to nurse to 7. Americans are prudes who only see the breast as a sex object. Pathetic.

    May 11, 2012 at 09:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Phil

    If you think religious fanatics are over the top – try out any member of the Le Leche League. Attachment parenting is really attachment mothering – back off dad! and good luck with that marriage buddy!

    May 11, 2012 at 09:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. pshark

    Breastfeeding burns an average of 500 calories a day, with the typical range from 200 to 600 calories burned a day. It’s estimated that the production of 1 oz. of breast milk burns 20 calories. Moo!

    May 11, 2012 at 09:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. William

    It's a nice idea but maybe the focus should be on maintaining the family unit.
    I personally know a person who is a doula and claims to have this sense of motherhood superiority who is a person born out of wedlock, had her child out of wedlock and actively looks to destroy family's.
    So maybe the focus shouldn't be on breastfeeding, which is just one component, but on what a healthy family unit is supposed to be.

    May 11, 2012 at 09:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. P.J.

    What would people say to a 3, 4 or 5 year old drinking formula from a bottle? Hmmm?

    May 11, 2012 at 09:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Fancybum

    I thought we already had a generation or two of "attached" children. Just look at how so many children never leave home these days and it started even before the economy went in the tank and young adults had trouble finding work. Why leave home and take care of yourself when society has "guilted" your mother into taking care of all her childrens needs from their cradle to her grave.

    May 11, 2012 at 09:33 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Talofa

      Yeah... there is that whole "coddled" thing going on that may be contributing to a generation that expects everything to be handed to them. I'm a parent and I'm probably guilty for not creating an environment that fostered independence. Good point. And hats off to Time for creating a cover that will sell magazines! Isn't that the bottom line? It's not about breastfeeding, it's about selling magazines and they're pretty good at it. Throw a beautiful woman on the cover bearing her breast and bingo! you've got another best seller. Brilliant.

      May 11, 2012 at 19:14 | Report abuse |
  31. eroteme

    Reminds me of the nightmare a baby had when Dolly Patton bottle-fed her baby.

    May 11, 2012 at 09:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Mike

    She's hot.....I think we can all agree on that. Why are white people so weird? I mean most pedophiles and serial killers are white...at least in this part of the world. Of course you to Asia and Mid East and its "ok" and "normal" to have sex with young boys.....SHUT IT! I been there, spent four years serving throughout the regions. I am white BTW and DANG this is some weird stuff.

    May 11, 2012 at 09:34 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Lars Babaganoosh

      When you are the race with the money, power, brains and control, you get to do crazy s*** like this because the only people that judge you for it can't do a d4mn thing about it except eat fried chicken and talk piegon.

      May 11, 2012 at 09:41 | Report abuse |
    • lulz

      Your statistical assumptions are as inaccurate as saying most Asians are bad drivers and most blacks are... oh wait a sec...

      May 11, 2012 at 09:43 | Report abuse |
  33. Tracy

    Wait til this young lad is 15v and one of his friends pulls this picture out in front of him... I wonder how that's going to make him feel..hmm... poor taste Time... poor taste.

    May 11, 2012 at 09:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Jack Dawson

    I hadn't see the cover before, and when scrolling down I didn't initially realize the child was standing on a chair. Yikes, I thought it was a 12 year-old! I can't believe how many people are saying it's damaging to the child to breast feed them up to 3 years. Hmmmm, why do I think those people are voting republican?

    May 11, 2012 at 09:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. opinate

    The lacatation specialists are obsessive about this – making women who choose formula for any reason to feel bad about themselves. They have been crazy for a long time and this confirms it.

    May 11, 2012 at 09:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. zorroprimo

    It's spelled C-R-A-S-S.

    Oh. Was it spelled E-X-P-L-O-I-T-A-T-I-O-N?

    Or was is "S-K-A-N-K?"

    Anyway you cut it, this cover is swillish. Vile, and uncouth.

    Motherhood made into a trollop who sprays disinfectant into bowling shoes.

    I hope you're proud of yourselves.

    No wonder you C-*-N-*-T-s can't get a husband.

    May 11, 2012 at 09:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Anonomous

    While I can not speak to the child's long term benifit or detriment from this practice I will state that this long term breastfeeding drove a wedge between my Ex wife and I. Her breasts (even touching) were off limits to me. It also ended our sexual relationships during the extended breastfeeding. She didn't desire any sexual encounters until she once again wanted to become pregant and restart the cycle.

    May 11, 2012 at 09:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. bardmorgan

    I believe that excessive breast feeding is directly related to the whole "helicopter mother" phenomenon going on today. Mothers who refuse to let anything bad happen to their child, even when it is a consequence of the child's own actions. These are the parents racing to school to bring little Jimmy the school books he left in his room that morning, or practically writing the paper that Jimmy is supposed to be doing on his own. Let your children experience consequences.

    Now I know someone is going to ask, "So I suppose you want to let your child pull a pot of boiling water on himself, just so he can learn consequences." Of course not. But a good swat on the bottom will definitely get the point across much better than picking little Billy up and cuddling him for almost parboiling his face. Shield your children from the world enough, and the world will grind them up without a second thought when they go out in it, because they will never have learned to deal with it. You can't shield them forever.

    May 11, 2012 at 09:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. helene

    I think we should focus on greater issues than what should be an individual decision between parents and child. Shame on time magazine! Is it running out of important world issues to discuss! This reinforces my decision not to renew my subscription. An article like this is for "Parenting" magazine, not Time.

    May 11, 2012 at 09:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Mamahawk

    I am all for breastfeeding... Had two boys, one I breastfed until he was 1 year old and the other for 6 months. They are now 21 and 18. They are 6'5" and 270 and 6'4' and 260. They are big healthy boys and football players. They also slept in the bed with me and my husband. We are an extremely close family, but I don't think they would have appreciated me having my picture taken with them at 3 years old attached to my boob on a national magazine now..... It just doesn't start and stop at breastfeeding and co-sleeping. Parenting is a 24/7 job.

    May 11, 2012 at 09:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Lars Babaganoosh

    Lucky kid if you ask me.

    May 11, 2012 at 09:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. cmc

    Breastfeeding BABIES is good and I don't have a problem with people doing it in public. However, once a kid is old enough to have the dexterity to make their own sandwich, it's time to get off the breast. For an excellent example of how creepy this is, watch a Little Britain clip of the character Bitty.

    May 11, 2012 at 09:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. shiraz_dd

    It seems to me that in nature animals wean their young as soon as they are able to eat regular food. I can't recall ever seeing a mother horse or dog nursing their young at 3 years old. If we went back to what nature intended, i would guess that humans would do the same. If the child can bite with teeth, in my opinion it is time to stop breast feeding. And certainly if he/she can verbalize the request, it is way past time.

    I think there are better ways to bond with a child, rather than using a breast. What happened to story time, sitting at the dinner table together and just talking. These tools seem more well rounded for both the parent and the child.

    May 11, 2012 at 09:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Mike

    One word - EXPLOITATION. The mother should be arraigned immediately.

    May 11, 2012 at 09:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. Jason

    Good nutrients plus you mom's antibodies. Yay antibodies!

    May 11, 2012 at 09:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. rika33

    Just a fad for insecure yuppies.

    May 11, 2012 at 09:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. John

    I am a pediatrician and most people do not realize that many of our beliefs about breastfeeding were pushed by formula companies. In the 1950's and 1960's they made breastfeeding look like it was for the uneducated and poor. The well educated and weathly would formula feed. Prior to the creation of formula most children breastfed into the toddler years. Formula wasn't progress. It was a step-back from what was natural, physiologic, and better for children anyway.

    May 11, 2012 at 09:46 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jim

      Oh, Please you must not be winged either

      May 11, 2012 at 09:49 | Report abuse |
    • mommanurse

      Absolutely, as a nurse of 12 years I can count on one hand how many babies I cared for in the hospital that was breast fed, versus too many to count of babies formula fed. I understand that breast feeding is very difficult and there are many times it just does not work for momma and baby. But to deny that breast feeding is the best nutrition for an infant is wrong. Breast feeding is very natural and if it makes you uncomfortable look away. Not so sure about posting it on the cover of TIME but if it helps us become more comfortable with the uncomfortable then maybe it is not a bad thing.

      May 11, 2012 at 10:10 | Report abuse |
  48. Jim

    No wonder we have all these pansy ass kids running around it's because their mothers don't want to wing them.

    May 11, 2012 at 09:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. JenSim

    From the US society standpoint, the picture is disturbing, and will probably backlash on the poor kid if his classmates get a hold on it in middle school.. But from a psychology point of view, the attachment theory has alot of support behind it for the mental health of our children. This means no cry it out method, no separate rooms right away. I was never able to breastfeed, due to health problems, but if you can breastfeed, it is nutritiously best (and helps a mom get her figure back faster :D). I nurture and love my children, this article is not just about breastfeeding late, its about how raising children has changed from the harsh separation of dr. spock to the nurturing of dr. sears. It just so happens to be true that studies have found that children who cosleep with their parents for long periods of time do not end up being pansies, in fact they end up feeling more self-assured and independent because they had that strong support base in their childhood, because they bonded to strongly at such an early age.
    I don't love the picture, but I'm guessing thats more due to my societal upbringing then what is necessarily best for a child. Our society is not kind.

    May 11, 2012 at 09:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. Sid Airfoil

    I'm not interested in discussing the magazine cover. I'm not interested in discussing the virtues of breast feeding (there are benefits, but they are not absolutely necessary. Case in point, my perfect children who breast-fed only briefly for medical reasons). I AM interested in discussing "attachment parenting". Never heard of it. A couple of questions: 1) What is the problem "attachment parenting" is trying to solve? 2) What evidence is there that it solves that problem? I

    Anyone know?


    May 11, 2012 at 09:47 | Report abuse | Reply
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