Time Magazine Breastfeeding Cover Renews Debate Over Attachment Parenting, Raises Eyebrows

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Time magazine’s latest cover photo, accompanying an article on attachment parenting, has sparked controversy. Why? The breastfeeding image below.

A super-trim, blonde 26-year-old mom in skinny jeans and a tank top, chest thrust out with an exposed breast ... feeding a 3-4 year-old from it.

Attachment parenting advocates keeping a baby as close to your body as possible - at pretty much all times, and well beyond infancy. Exhibit A:

Attachment Parenting Time Cover

Time is marking the 20-year anniversary of “attachment parenting,” a term coined by Dr. Bill Sears and his wife Martha in 1992's The Baby Book.

Parents are supposed to wear their babies in slings, instead of pushing them in strollers. Some moms breastfeed toddlers through nursery school.

Parents co-sleep with the kids in the same room, with babies in attached bassinets and older kids in the bed, for a period of several years at least.

“The essence is about nurturing strong connections between parents and their children,” reads the website of Attachment Parenting International.

“It is to raise children who will become adults with a highly developed capacity for empathy and connection. It eliminates violence as a means for raising children."

"Ultimately, it helps to prevent violence in society as a whole.”

Sears claims that the latest research reveals that infants’ brains are “hardwired with strong needs to be nurtured and to remain physically close to the primary caregiver, usually the mother, during the first few years of life.”

That’s most likely true ... but is this taking it a bit far?

Where’s the fine line between being an attached parent and becoming one of those nuisance helicopter parents that never let their kids be independent?

Does the image above paint a fair portrayal of the parenting approach taken by millions, or does it paint it in an unnecessarily unflattering light?

Sound off on the Time cover, and the issue in general, in the comments below.

Attachment parenting is ...


I'll be glad when the societal "pendulum" swings back. We need to develop a new appreciation for privacy. Breast-feeding is a wonderful gift of Motherhood. (Though, my child's pediatrician would not have condoned breast feeding at an older age as is suggested here.) This photo seems inappropriate. I think there's something attractive about a woman who doesn't flaunt it all with wild abandon. Yes, maintaining one's dignity leaves a few things to the imagination--and that is most alluring actually. There's something seriously detracting about giving a "view" to hundreds of strangers...instead of sharing/exposing it to only a very select few in one's personal life. By doing the latter, as far as I'm concerned----it does enhance a woman's overall beauty.


thats sick


I have no problem with woman breastfeeding an infant as I have 5 children but there is a limit as to when to stop and it isn't apparete for a 3 yr to be attached to a woman's breast in public sorry but its not right


I say do what you think is best, its really only taboo to breast feed your toddler in America, every country does it. Not to mention it is the parents decision to nurse as long as the please. Why should Americans judge or say when or when you should stop?!


It just ain't right!!!


I had an aunt who breastfed my cousin until he was about 4. He was her first child and i dont think she did it with her second. He would just walk over to her lift her shirt and.... Lets just say it was awkward and i think the whole family thought she was nuts. If you live in a 3rd world country, it makes more sense as food is scarce. But there is no reason to breastfeed a 4yr old. That seems too clingy. They have to learn to be independent too. How does that happen if they cant even walk cuz they are in a sling. JeeZ talk about cut the cord or the apron strings or whatever. Many woman work and children go to day care. Its going a bit far.

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