Danica McKellar warmed our hearts with her sweet innocence playing Winnie Cooper in the 1990s show The Wonder Years. Now the actress is all grown up, and she has some strong feelings about parenting.
McKellar is part of a growing group of Hollywood moms focusing on attachment parenting, a view that believes in forging close bonds by being close to your children, and encompasses activities such as co-sleeping (allowing the child to sleep in your bed), positive discipline, and extended breastfeeding.
“I breastfed my child ‘til he was two and a half,” McKellar recently shared in an interview with ABC News. “That was just, like, a few weeks ago that we stopped. Big transition.” When ABC News asked McKellar how people perceived her when she was breastfeeding her son, she said she would “get looks sometimes, from some of the older patrons” in restaurants.
Although critics warn that extreme attachment parenting can lead to later behavioral problems, McKellar isn’t worried. She said, “I … bring him into the bed with me sometimes at night and we snuggle and go to sleep together which is, the cutest thing in the world. I love being close with him.”
Indeed, she says she and Draco are so close that they share their own language. She describes how her son would act when hungry, “...he would say, ‘Nam nams?’ Just because I remember seeing some kitten video and they’d put, like, ‘Nam, nam, nam,’ like it was a yummy thing the kitten was eating. It was so cute that I was like, ‘I’m going to call it ‘Nam nam,’” McKellar said.
In addition to acting, McKellar is also a bestselling author who writes math books for children, “When he was young, I had it mastered where I — learned to type with one hand for a while... I like to say that the only type of formula I use is in a math book,” she said, laughing.
McKellar said weaning Draco was a bigger transition for her than for her him.“I just sensed that it was time that he needed to be a little more independent,” she said. She encourages other mothers to follow their own instincts, “As long as it works for both you and your child, you know?” she said. “For me it was two and a half years, for you it might be three and a half or three months or whatever it is that works.”
On her website, the actress had this to say under the headline, “Breastfeeding on Good Morning America,”: Hi Everyone! No, I didn't actually breastfeed on television. ;) This morning I appeared on Good Morning America...to talk about my choice to breastfeed my son Draco until the age of 2 1/2. It was a fun interview, and I was glad to have the opportunity to share my experience with other mothers who might be considering "extended" breastfeeding! I know there can be judgment out there, and I encourage moms to do whatever feels right - and if they choose to breastfeed longer than is "typical," I say this to them: You go girl! ;)