Time Magazine Cover Shows Mom Breastfeeding Her (Almost) 4-Year-Old Son

Time Magazine thought it would be pretty cool to put a picture of a real, 3-year-old boy standing on a chair with his mom’s boob in his mouth on the cover of their nationally syndicated magazine for an issue on “attachment parenting.”

So they did it … and here it is!

From Time.com:

The subjects on this week’s TIME cover aren’t models in pose. Jamie Lynne Grumet, photographed by Martin Schoeller with her 3-year-old son, is a mother from Los Angeles who subscribes to attachment parenting, the subject of staff writer Kate Pickert’s cover story.

Attachment parenting has been on the rise over the past two decades, since the publication of “The Baby Book” by Dr. William “Bill” Sears and his wife Martha in 1992. Its three main tenets are extended breast-feeding, co-sleeping and “baby wearing,” in which infants are physically attached to their parents by slings.

Martin Schoeller says he spent an entire day photographing four different women from various parts of the country who practice this odd method of motherhood.

“When you think of breast-feeding, you think of mothers holding their children, which was impossible with some of these older kids,” Schoeller explained. “I liked the idea of having the kids standing up to underline the point that this was an uncommon situation.”

Jamie Lynne Grumet says she isn't shy about breastfeeding her almost 4-year-old son in public.

Jamie Grumet from Los Angeles says she isn’t ashamed that she still breastfeeds her 3-year-old son, who will turn four next month and will still continue to be breastfed. “I don’t consider breast-feeding immodest at all. I’m not shy about doing it in public.”

Jamie also has a 5-year-old (adopted) son of a different race who she breastfeeds as well. “I know so many amazing women who have induced their lactation, but I had milk [from feeding my biological son], so I had one of the easier situations as far as adoptive breast-feeding is concerned,” she said, “but it was considered extended breast-feeding. And it was transracial. And he was adopted. I was ready for attack as soon as I posted one of the pictures [on my blog].”

Grumet says she and her sister — who also practices attachment parenting — were breastfed up until she was six years old, and she still remembers how she felt when she drank milk from her mother’s teet over 2 decades ago.

“It’s really warm,” she recalled. “It’s like embracing your mother, like a hug. You feel comforted, nurtured and really, really loved. I had so much self-confidence as a child, and I know it’s from that. I never felt like she would ever leave me. I felt that security.”

She said, “I grew up this way and never thought about raising my kids differently.”

Dionna Ford, who lives in Kansas City, Missouri, says when she was pregnant, she watched a video of a British woman breast-feeding her 7-year-old daughter, and she thought she could never do the same … until she found out how hard it was to wean her son off breast milk.

“After six months, I decided I’d wait until he turned 1,” she said. “But after my baby turned a year old, he was still a baby — not talking, barely walking — and I wondered why I’d stop now.”

Dionna’s son is now 4-years-old and she not only breastfeeds him, but she also breastfeeds her 5-month-old son.

Melinda Larson pictured here with all her children. She breastfeeds all four of them.

For Brooklyn, New York native Jessica Cary — who still breastfeeds her 3-year-old daughter — she says attachment parenting is a way of life. “I don’t think about when I’ll stop. For us, it’s a life philosophy.”

Melinda Larson from Long Island, New York breastfeeds all four of her children, aged 6, 4, 2 and 1/2 and 9 months. “The philosophy resonated with us, and it felt comfortable. Other forms of parenting felt like I wasn’t in my own skin.”

Not only capturing photographs of attached parents, but also their reasons for attachment parenting, was Schoeller’s biggest goal for this very … “interesting” photo shoot.

“It was important to show that there’s no stereotypical look for a mom who practices this kind of parenting,” he said.

There’s no doubt about it that not only this magazine cover — but the ENTIRE pictorial feature — is shocking, but…

What are your thoughts on this whole “attachment parenting” thing? Are these women out of their minds or what?

  • scallywag

    What’s interesting is the implied sexuality of the cover (and perversely the sense of indecency of a young boy suckling on his mother’s breast)  which if we are to go by popular culture, has sexualized the breast as a phallic symbol whilst at the same time neglecting to realize that breasts actually exist for a biological reason- to provide milk for the rearing of the young.

    Turning a personal child rearing decision on a polemic on aesthetics is merely pandering and an ingenuous attempt by Time to stir the boat….


  • My thoughts are that if you are still breast feeding a kid of this age then it’s all about the mother and not the kid. My wife concurs so not just a male viewpoint. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DSEk64wX6oo

  • Miva Valle

    I found Jamie’s family really cute, sure that cover was sort of strange,
    Found these pics of her hubby Brian and their children—->

  • Ardell Garrick

    ..this twit/mother, must have deep rooted “issues”…I was a mother, I breast fed..but god lady..once they get teeth, can walk and talk and EAT…only reason u are doing this..is for u..gettin’ off on it or something..sick…kid is going to grow up to be a prev..

    • Ardell

      ..sorry..typed too fast..I meant PERV…she’s ruining this poor kid..

  • Matty

    They’re just trying to sell magazines and make $. The mom sounds like someone who should teach about 80% of current(and too late now, former mothers of young kids)  Now, she’s also a hottie so naturally this is gonna be bigger than if she was Nat’l Geographic.  I’d sure like to be 3 for a few days.  Aside from MY personal adult interest, she sounded like a very, very nice person.   I could go on with the adj and verbs but point is I say who cares, it’s her kid. No one is being hurt. You wanna F* up a kid for life for real? Call my mother or better yet, step-mother. 

  • Guest

    Once a child reaches the age of being able to drink from a cup/glass, etc. regular Homo milk, that is when it should stop. As far as I can recall, when looking at other cultures, and/or the African tribes, whereby the woman are topless and breast feeding, you never see a child any older, then say 2. I tend to agree with some of the comments being that it is all about the mother. As for the bonding thing, lots of love, kisses and hugs go a long way!

  • Ec_thief

    Breast feeding may be a natural way to supply nurishment to a child, but to advertise this on the cover of a magazine is not. Many people know this fact and do not have to be shown a demonstration of it. Whats next? Some individuals’ photo of how to prevent spreading disease by properly wiping his or hers bum? What ever happened to the rights of other indivuals who may feel embarrased by these photos? 

  • As I do believe that bonding is important.  I belive is right type of parenting between mother/child,maturnal bonging is truly a gift.  It may be right for some mothers but not all.  I believe that this type of parenting and bonding.  More importantly less chance of phyical/mental child abuse.

  • AbbyT57

    Ms. Grumet is into health food and natural living.  She writes a blog http://www.iamnotthebabysitter.com/   she posted a recipe for healthy MOJITOS  on that blog.  Is she drinking and breast feeding?

  • Social_butterfly666

    wow a whole lot of ignorant people commenting…..clearly uneducated….you think you know everything…hows about do some research on extended breastfeeding then put your 2 bobs worth in!! who are we to judge the lives people live! maybe this picture wouldn’t be such a hot topic if u ignorant people learnt a thing or 2, then breastfeeding would be accepted no matter what age!

    • aren’t you kind of asking to be judged by doing time magazine?People read it and make an opinion;