If you’re a fan of DIY shows, you’re probably familiar with Rehab Addict. Star, Nicole Curtis, finds older homes and refurbishes them without necessarily changing them. She tends to keep the original aesthetics and design with a goal of restoration instead of renovation.
Fans of the show knew she had an older son, Ethan, but were surprised when she announced that she was expecting another child, Harper, in 2015. Now, the little boy is 2½ and Curtis is still breastfeeding. In addition to some objecting to her continuing to nurse an older toddler, Harper’s father has accused her of using this as a way to limit his parental rights.
Recently, the 41-year-old mother shared a photo to Instagram that caused some controversy. As she lay back almost flat while getting her eyebrows shaped at a salon, Harper crawled up to nurse. Curtis included the caption:
“Just sharing for all the moms out there who always have a kiddo or two in tow 🙂 my eyebrow appointment today –Edwin somehow manages to keep both of them on my face while my little one goes from nursing to playing horsey in my lap :),” she captioned the photo. “#normalizebreastfeeding and let’s remember the rest of the world weans way past our country’s archaic thought of up til 6 mos …insert roll my eyes here.”
Just sharing for all the moms out there who always have a kiddo or two in tow 🙂 my eyebrow appointment today –Edwin somehow manages to keep both of them on my face while my little one goes from nursing to playing horsey in my lap 🙂 #normalizebreastfeeding and let's remember the rest of the world weans way past our country's archaic thought of up til 6 mos …insert roll my eyes here
Previously, she commented on the situation by telling People that she practices baby-led weaning and that “it’s not like he’s 7 or 8 — he’s still a baby. Every single day I have to weather criticism about how my child is too old to breastfeed. But when he weans, it’s going to be his decision. I truly believe it’s the child’s choice.”
For what it’s worth, the World Health Organization recommends that mothers exclusively breastfeed their infants for six months and then gradually introduce them to solid foods after that while continuing to offer breast milk. They do not provide guidance on when a child should wean.
Meanwhile, Curtis is involved in an ongoing, particularly contentious custody battle with Harper’s father, Shane Maguire. The Minnesota-based businessman has requested more time with his son and has accused Curtis of using breastfeeding as a way to limit his access to their child.
In response to this, Curtis has said, “It’s so important that children have both of their parents but [preventing] me from breastfeeding my child just so he can see the dad is not right.”
This is an interesting situation. As a mother of six, including toddler twins, I can understand why breastfeeding is important to Curtis. I nursed all of my children. My first four kids all self-weaned right around their first birthday but these 16-month-old twins are still holding on. I have postponed trips and changed plans because they are still nursing but part of this is that they were slow to start eating solid foods.
After a child’s second birthday, they should be eating a variety of foods and, typically, can use a sippy cup to drink breast milk. There are many mothers who continue to provide nourishment for their children, especially younger babies, by pumping and storing their milk. This is very common among working mothers and those who share custody with their child’s other parent.
I’m definitely not going to comment on what’s right for Curtis and her son but, unless there’s some sort of risk, it’s important for children to bond with both of their parents. Hopefully, everyone can come to an agreement soon.