Mayim Bialik Blogs About Her Parenting Style

Mayim Bialik Blogs About Her Parenting Style

It seems that actress Mayim Bialik is quickly becoming the famous face of “attachment parenting.” In a post written at TODAY Moms, the mother-of-two gives a glimpse into her parenting style – and explains why when it comes to parenting “labels mean nothing.”

“We had our first son in 2005, and I nursed him on demand around the clock for 26 months – no pacifiers, no bottles, no solids until 12 months,” Mayim writes. “Son No. 2 was born in 2008 at home, unassisted until pushing. He is still nursing strong and on demand, day and night, at almost 2½.

“This is not some fandangled new Hollywood trend. We parent the way people have parented for hundreds of thousands of years.”

Insisting on a woman’s right to a drug-free labor and delivery, Mayim says, “Natural birth is not something to ‘try for’ and feel bad you couldn’t do. Our country needs to step up to the plate in educating women about the benefits of natural birth, and we need to help women actually do it – not just hear about it.”

The former Blossom star goes on to reveal more of her parenting beliefs, advocating breastfeeding, baby-wearing and “gentle discipline.” She also dishes on the family’s sleeping arrangements: Bed-sharing!

“We have two futon mattresses on the floor, since it’s the safest way to sleep for babies (there’s nowhere for them to fall if they are already on the floor!). It’s usually me and the little guy on one mattress and my husband and our 5-year-old on the other, although the 5-year-old bounces around throughout the night. Sometimes we all cuddle together when we wake up; it is something we never imagined we’d do until we had our first son, and it is intimate, fun, safe and beautiful.”

In the end, Mayim writes, she does what she feels is best for her boys.

“I do not judge anyone, because that’s not what my job on this earth is. My job is to do my best for my kids: to be the best mama I can be to them.”

Read more from Mayim at TODAYMoms.com

Filed under: Mayim Bialik

Photo credit: Denise Herrick Borchert

54 Comments »»

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  1. Anonymous

    No solids until 1 year old? That just doesn’t sound right. I think once a child has teeth, that’s an indication that they should be using them to eat food.

    Reply
    • Anonymous

      Simply having teeth is not an indication of an ability to eat solids. Molars are an indication of being able to eat solids. Babies don’t chew with their front teeth and the fact that parents feed liquid “solid” baby food is a clear indication of that. Babies start getting their teeth earlier than they should be eating solids because all of the teeth cannot come in at the same time. By the time baby has his or her first molars is a better indication of being able to eat solid foods. This occurs at around one year of age.

      Reply
    • Anonymous

      I used to babysit for a kid who didn’t get teeth until he was 13 months old- teeth definitely don’t indicate a child’s readiness for solids.

      Reply
  2. Anonymous

    its easy to nurse around the clock on demand when you don’t have to go to work…

    Reply
    • Anonymous

      I worked full time as an executive and nursed on demand. My son nursed until he was 23 months old. When he was away from me he had pumped milk on demand. Your comment is completely reflective of you being raised in a culture where attachment parenting is weird and not the norm. Attachment parenting isn’t about cloth diapering, marathon breast feeding or judging others. It is simply about putting the emotional and psychological development of your child ahead of certain cultural values. Slowing down and raising a small human. Any woman can do it in any socio-economic level. All it takes is commitment and education.

      Reply
  3. Anonymous

    Thank g-d for epidurals and c-sections, they saved my life. I say don’t judge others births, and don’t ask others to do what you did. It isn’t always possible. I also don’t think it is as important as made out to be. I don’t like that Mom’s often feel like they have failed before they have started. I say if both Mom and Baby are healthy you have done a great job. Not everybody can have a “natural” birth or nurse their children (esp. for 2 plus years), nor do they all want to. One is not better than the other. Love your kids, take care of them. Mayim is a little over the top for me. I think most Mom’s fall short next to her. I kind of wonder how many Mom’s are like her. I think it is a small group.

    Reply
    • Anonymous

      Amen! I was in labor for 16 hours and then I pushed for 2.5 hours and he just wasn’t progressing down the birth canal. He was stuck on my pelvic bone. We finally decided to go with a c-section and after the doctors opened me up, they confirmed that he was never going to exit the natural way. He was just to jammed in there. When they pulled him out, you could hear a sucking sound and then a loud pop as his head disengaged from my pelvis. The poor little thing was so beat up. His entire head was bruised, he had a black eye, and he had an open wound on the back of his head. It would have been 10 times better on him if I’d have just had the c-section earlier instead of trying to deliver naturally.
      Also, my milk never came in due to severe anemia. My son lost so much weight in the hospital that he ended up with jaundice and had to be put under the lights and supplemented with formula. I tried for a month to breastfeed and my milk never did come in.
      Sometimes, things don’t always work out the way we want them too. Both my son and I are healthy now and that’s all that matters. So what if he was delivered by c-section and eats formula. That’s just the way it is. I’m not going to loose any sleep over something I had no control over.

      Reply
    • Anonymous

      Small group, not quite…..

      Reply
  4. Anonymous

    I loved my epidural. It made the birthing experience so positive for me. I was laughing and taking pics of my nervous husband and did the webcam with my parents overseas. I know some women want that painful experience to feel like they’ve accomplished something, but in the end, we get babies and that’s all I wanted to accomplish.

    As for her not giving her babies solids, well that’s her problem, not mine. If it leads to allergies or eating problem, she’ll deal with it.

    Reply
  5. Anonymous

    I don’t know how you can not give solids until a year. My son was taking my food from my hands before a year. I think that means they are ready to eat. I have never heard of waiting on solids. My Doctor told me when to start what foods. I would love to hear what a Doctor would say about waiting?

    Reply
  6. Allyson

    This woman…oy. I respect each individual woman’s choices on how to raise their children, but nursing on demand at 2 and a half??? Seriously? Ew.

    Reply
    • Anonymous

      The World health orgnization is now saying it is best to nurse til two years old, why is that ew?

      Reply
    • Allyson

      At 2.5, a child is very much a toddler. If you live in the Sudan and are beating lions out of your hut, go ahead and nurse til 2 or 3. Both of my kids were off the breast at 1, their choice. The wanted solid foods and sippy cups. Both of them used a bottle for only about 6 months before moving on to a cup. If the kid is old enough to run into the room and try to get into your shirt, they’re too old.

      Reply
      • Irene

        You’re assuming the child who runs into a room and tries to get into Mom’s shirt is too old…that child isn’t too old to nurse just hasn’t been taught appropriate behavior. Before they could speak my children were taught to use sign language when they became hungry and not to grab.

        Reply
  7. Anonymous

    can i ditto the epidural = blissful birth experience comment.

    i had one unmedicated water birth which was just exhilirating (but then again it only took 3 hours and 1 push for my 9 pound son to be born…. i clearly have birthing hips!).

    i thought nothing could beat that experience and then i had #2! this time i decided to give the whole epidural thing a whirl (my sisters had all had them and thought unmedicated birth =crazy woman). OH. MY. GOD. it was such a beautiful thing… i felt like there was warm caramel running up and down my legs, the sun was shining through my window and i could see students eating lunch on the green lawn outside (hospital overlooked a university campus)… it all seemed so incredibly peaceful and beautiful that i got a little impatient and tried a little push and voila! my baby girl was born.

    in summary i would say that if you want a calm, peaceful birth where you can really enjoy the arrival of your baby – GO THE EPIDURAL!

    Reply
    • TLM

      I had a calm, peaceful birth two times without the epidural and enjoyed the arrival of my babies (watching a Chuck Norris marathon the second time – LOL). But had things went south, I was ready to ask for one. I think it’s just mom by mom. Your second birth sounds great! :o)

      Reply
  8. Anonymous

    Nursing on demand isn’t for everyone, either…lots of moms around me put their babies on a loose schedule – obviously not set to a timer, but nursing every few hours…going a bit shorter or longer between feeds depending on the baby.

    FOR SOME, it makes it easier to know what the baby wants, because you’re following a routine of eating, playing, and sleeping in a baby-led pattern….that cycles through several times a day. The baby quickly knows what’s coming, too, when there’s a routine.

    I’m sure nursing on demand is good for some.
    But following a bit of a routine is also good for others.

    Reply
  9. Anonymous

    Has anyone asked how this demand parenting is to be achieved? Most parents male and female i have to to work, clean, cook, do all the errands for the family oh and Laundry how could I forget laundry. I take offense at her calling women failures for not choosing natural birth or breast feeding. Each being such a personal choice and no women should be made to feel like they made a mistake before the baby is born, parenting has enough of those doubts your birth should not be another question ( did I do the wrong thing?)

    Reply
    • Anonymous

      Um, I’ve read this post twice to find the sentences where she called women failures if they don’t have a natural birth and breastfeed. I don’t think she said anything like that here.

      Rather, her main message is about being nonjudgemental….

      Reply
  10. Kat

    I think many are missing the point of what she is trying to say.
    I quote her statement, “I do not judge anyone, because that’s not what my job on this earth is. My job is to do my best for my kids: to be the best mama I can be to them.”
    We all have the right to say what we believe is best for our children. She just has a bigger audience to what is her style of parenting.
    No two parents are alike, there is always something one family will do and another won’t. Just agree to disagree. I don’t see the need to write negative comments about her or her parenting skills.

    Reply
  11. Anonymous

    Giver her a break people. She’s only talking about her style of parenting and is not passing judgement on anyone else. So why are some of you passing judgement on her? I always longed to be an Earth Mother type, breastfeeding for as long as possible, being eternally patient. etc. Instead, I struggled to breastfeed and my son ended up rejecting breastfeeing from 4 months so I had to continue with formula. I cried every day becauuse I felt so wretchedly guilty and even though I have made some kind of peace with it now the sight of a breastfeeding mother brings it all back. Plus, I realized that sleep deprivation, working full-time, etc tax your patience levels. It’s all part of parenting and at the end of the day you can only love them and do your best, within your own circumstances.

    Reply
    • Anonymous

      The thing is, when people talk so glowingly about THEIR experiences – i.e. easy breastfeeding, natural births, etc – it creates a situation where some mums who were unsuccessful doing either, end up crying for days and feeling like failures.

      If we really want to glorify motherhood, we need to be more willing to embrace ALL TYPES of birthing and parenting.

      Moms who had natural births and who breastfed easily should realize the impact of their statements on people who are unable to do these things.

      I’m not saying we should never talk about natural birth and breastfeeding…I’m just saying we don’t always need to talk so proudly about whether the birth was “natural” or that the mom is still nursing the child at 2.

      Happy babies and happy mamas are the main thing!

      And Anonymous to whom I’m responding, I’m sure you are an AMAZING mama, and do everything you can to give your kids a fantastic childhood.

      In the end, that’s all that matters!

      Reply
      • Anonymous

        I totally agree with you. Thank you.

        Reply
      • Anonymous

        Get over it for goodness sake! We are reading about another moms experience….why would anyone be offended. Sounds like some of you have your own issues with YOUR choices and should work them out. I had to have two C-sections and you don’t hear me crying because some other mother birth plan worked for her. Why should anyone wake on egg shells for all these petty whinners who can’t be happy for anyone else. I SAY PROULDY…I planned a natural birth but my baby heart rate went down so they had to take her out. I breastfed a year with both because I went back to work( would have liked to nurse longer). sh*$ happens ladies… I have a friend that carried to term twice and ended up with two still borns. Relax ladies…remember not every experience is the same.

        Reply
  12. Anonymous

    Apologies for the typos in my previous post. Too fast!

    Reply
  13. Anonymous

    I just want to say that I have had one baby with no drugs which will forever be etched in my nightmares and two with epidurals. The one without the epidurals, I believe, not only made the delivery stressful and an overall terrible experience for me, I truly believe it affected my son as well. He was by far, the crabbiest kid of all three. My other two were calm and had happy dispositions right away. I also can barely remember the birth experience with the delivery without drugs because I kept passing out from the pain. I think we should try to support each other with sharing what works for us and what didn’t so we can use each other as a resource of information instead of a judgement panel to bash each other. Do what works for you and try your best and don’t feel guilty if you “fall short” in someone else’s eyes. They must not have enough to do in their own life.

    Reply
  14. Anonymous

    Nursing for that long is just wrong and not necessary..the child doesn’t gain anything from breastmilk after 6mnths….it seems to me that attachment parenting has more to do with the mom not wanting to let go than the baby actually gaining anything from it, other than just being starving hungry by the sounds of it!

    Reply
    • Jen Dugan

      Where did you get your information Anon at 5:24 am? Because the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that “Breastfeeding should be continued for at least the first year of life and beyond for as long as mutually desired by mother and child… Increased duration of breastfeeding confers significant health and developmental benefits for the child and the mother… There is no upper limit to the duration of breastfeeding and no evidence of psychologic or developmental harm from breastfeeding into the third year of life or longer.” (AAP 2005). Further, the World Health Organization emphasizes the importance of nursing up to two years of age or beyond (WHO 1993, WHO 2002). Also, The American Academy of Family Physicians notes that children weaned before two years of age are at increased risk of illness (AAFP 2001). Part of being a parent is meeting a child’s emotional needs. “Meeting a child’s dependency needs is the key to helping that child achieve independence. And children outgrow these needs according to their own unique timetable.” Children who achieve independence at their own pace are more secure in that independence then children forced into independence prematurely. Lastly, Extensive research on the relationship between cognitive achievement (IQ scores, grades in school) and breastfeeding has shown the greatest gains for those children breastfed the longest. It seems you are not only close minded to other ways of parenting but ignorant as well….

      Reply
    • Anonymous

      Well thats not true and I think you need to educate yourself before you make such a statement.

      Reply
  15. Annika

    After reading the first two sentences of her article I thought:” WOW and she is still SANE?!”
    Whatever works. If it works for her and her family, why not?
    I have a 6-year old son. I was OBSESSED with having a natural birth, I wanted it badly, didn’t happen. My son was born 4.65kg (10’4”) via C-section in the end. You have never seen a calmer, happier, healthier baby.
    When he was a baby I followed Gina Ford’s book, the “contented little baby book”, which is about following a strict routine. He knew what comes “next” and I knew when I get my break (with zero help it was essential).
    Six years down the track, my son is the best sleeper, eater, happiest kid in the World. Just recently at bedtime I got the most beautiful compliment from him a mom can get:” You are the best mommy in the whole entire Universe!”

    Reply
  16. Anonymous

    You are all so insecure that you attack someone you don’t even know!!!!! Losers

    Reply
  17. Cindy

    2 pregnancies….2 epidurals, breast fed the first for 1 month and the 2nd for 3 until I had to go back to work….and I have 2 gorgeous, healthy, calm, happy, artistic, top-of-their-classes children. The ONLY thing I would change would be my sense of failure with the first when I didn’t have a natural childbirth and the nights I would cry all night because I wasn’t providing enough milk. Give them a healthy start however you are able. Continue nurturing them with books and play and activities and tons of hugs and kisses and you’ve given them the best start possible.

    Reply
  18. Anonymous

    So sick of people commenting the details to their pregnancy, birth and feeding…..it’s like younger trying to one-up each other. My gosh, enough of this retelling of burying stories….I agree, losers

    Reply
  19. Anonymous

    Yes, we get it. Sometimes women need C-Sections. Sometimes women need epidurals. Sometimes women can breastfeed, sometimes they can’t.

    I don’t know how ANY woman can say that a calm and natural childbirth, without drugs of any sorts, isn’t the best for your baby. Of course it is. With that said, however, that’s not going to happen for a lot of women for a lot of reasons and that’s okay, too.

    If your baby is stuck in the birth canal, no one is saying “Tough! Make it work!”. If your baby’s cord is compressed, no one is saying “Too Bad! Deliver him naturally anyway, you loser!”.

    The problem is that for so long, epidurals are PUSHED onto women. You’re almost not even asked if that’s what you want. And if women were EDUCATED about the effects of epidurals, maybe less of them would jump at the chance and more women would take a breather and say “Maybe I actually CAN do this without drugs”.

    Again, this post has NOTHING to do with women who simply can’t get through the birth process without drugs, or women who MUST have a C-Section. We’re talking about women being EDUCATED about the birth process and the risks vs benefits of their options, that’s all. And like it or not, most women are NOT educated. Not by their doctors, and not on their own.

    Reply
  20. Anonymous

    Every parenting blog I read I find Mommies in constant competition with each other or at each others necks or offended with someone’s personal life, because one goes this way and another another. Chill out, were suppose to enjoy our babies and motherhood. : )

    Reply
  21. bridiejo

    oh yawn. who cares what anyone else does? I’d give birth out of my elbow if I got a healthy live baby from it.
    Celebrate the birth you were given, don’t be concerned about other people, who is this chick to you? Do you know her personally? I gave birth naturally to twins. It was natural for me to be given a general anesthetic and have a c-section. My twins survived acute Twin To Twin Transfusion Syndrome…birth shmurf…who cares! I got TWO alive healthy babies, yipee! Breastfeed, gave it a whirl for 8 weeks but yikes its hard with twins when they won’t twin feed. No biggy, popped them on the bottle and they thrived. 3 years yesterday I gave birth to my gorgeous girls the exact way it was intended for me. Good luck to you all in the journey of being a parent!

    Reply
  22. Anonymous

    To bridiejoo…you ROCK. Well said!!!!!!!

    Reply
  23. Kristine

    We all elvolve into our own parenting style and {hopefully believe and ARE} doing the best we can do for our children. It’s always the people with the platform {celebrities} who believe they are onto something better than the rest of us. They think they need to “educate and enlighten us” because somehow they are superior..I had both my boys at home/drug free with Doctor assistance only during delivery.. 21 years ago. I did not breast feed them until they were 2 and I did not sleep in the same bed with them until age 5 and up…They are great and INDEPENDENT men today who don’t cling to women as a mama figure as adults…THAT’S the future story I want to hear from Mayim….we won’t get that part though, will we??????

    Reply
  24. Sherry

    She’s just sharing her experiences because the website ASKED HER TO. She’s not judging, she’s not preaching, she’s just sharing. There’s no one way to parent. There’s no “one way” to do anything. Everyone gets so defensive, it’s frustrating. I have a group of friends who parent this exact same way – and actually even each of them have their different styles and methods. They don’t look down at anyone else who does things differently, they don’t try to “enlighten” unless someone comes to them with questions. I give Mayim a lot of credit for putting herself out there because (as is proven here) women get so catty and defensive and snarky when a mom’s parenting style seems “out there” to others. Different doesn’t mean “wrong”.

    Reply
  25. Anon

    Nursing on demand constantly at 2.5 years of age!! …..no comment.

    My kid has been eating food since 6 months old. 11 months old and loves anything you put in front of her! I think she’d look at me like crazy if I tried giving her baby food or just breast milk. Has been on whole milk @ 10 months out of a sippy cup! Walks, talks, functions like a toddler! She has never been one to sit still even as a tiny infant I could never imagine this scenario!

    And yeah I’ll take the drugs anyday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Reply
  26. Anonymous

    I had epidurals and I had one natural because I just got so darn curious about how “natural”births are meant to be better. They were all good as far as I was concerned…cannot imagine crying EVER about not being able to give birth a certain way. Just not worth it.

    Reply
  27. Anonymous

    Did the total opposite of what Mayim did, but I wish her the best. She sounds like a dedicated mom.

    Reply
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  37. Anonymous

    Oh, I am sure that she is going to home school. How could she not? She would have to wean her kids to send them to school.

    Reply
  38. Anonymous

    actually if you have done any research this type of parenting creates just the opposite of what you are saying.

    Reply
  39. Anonymous

    Anonymous 8:52 pm — Wow, you clearly have some serious anger issues. Maybe your mother didn’t nurse you, and you’re secretly jealous. I hope you do not have children of your own until you work these issues out. In the meantime, please continue to post, because this is hilarious.

    Anonymouse 10:16 pm — Bravo. Couldn’t have said it better myself.

    Reply

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