Feed with Love and Respect

Attachment Parenting International‘s second principle of parenting is to “feed with love and respect.” From API:

Feeding a child involves more than providing nutrients; it is an act of love. Whether providing for the very intense hunger needs of a newborn, or serving meals at the family dinner table, parents can use feeding time as an opportunity to strengthen their bonds with their children.

The newborn’s rooting, sucking, and crying reflexes evolved to ensure the close proximity of a mother or other caregiver that the baby can depend on to meet her intense needs. The more parents learn to identify and meet their baby’s needs, the more securely attached the parent-child bond becomes. Although older children are better able to feed themselves and to communicate their needs, parents should continue to respect the child’s hunger cues, offer healthy foods, model healthy eating habits, and make mealtimes a time for love and connection.

To learn more about feeding with love and respect, take a look at the resources below. If you have specific questions about this category or know of additional resources that should be on our list, please contact us.

Topic List of Feed with Love And Respect Resources
Breastfeeding Troubleshooting
Breastfeeding Beyond Infancy
Breastfeeding Alternatives


  • 101 Reasons to Breastfeed: ProMom offers 101 reasons to breastfeed your child (with links to research and articles).
  • Association of Breastfeeding Mothers: A UK based organization that offers information, a list of local support groups, a hotline, and more.
  • Average Growth Patterns of Breastfed Babies: The growth charts at your doctor’s office were likely not designed to show the average patterns of growth for breastfed babies. Try using these instead, and feel free to print them out to show your pediatrician.
  • Breastfeeding Basics: An online course on the fundamentals of breastfeeding designed for medical practitioners, but open to anyone interested.
  • Breastfeeding, womenshealth.gov: A government website with information, resources, and a hotline for breastfeeding mothers.
  • Breastfeeding After Breast and Nipple Surgeries: A site with information on breastfeeding after breast and nipple surgeries for those who have undergone procedures, their friends and families, and healthcare providers.
  • Dr. Jack Newman’s Breastfeeding site: A comprehensive site on many breastfeeding topics
  • kellymom: A site with a multitude of articles on everything related to breastfeeding, a forum to connect with other breastfeeding moms, and links to more resources for reading and research.
  • International Breastfeeding Center: This clinic and its website provide consistent and evidence-based information that empowers mothers to successfully reach their own breastfeeding goals.
  • Ronnie Falcao’s Archives on Breastfeeding/Nursing/Infant Nutrition: Home Birth Midwife Ronnie Falcao, LM MS, shares information on breastfeeding, covering topics from the first latch to tandem nursing.
  • The 7 Natural Laws of Breastfeeding, Nancy Mohrbacher IBCLC and Kathleen Kendall-Tackett PhD (Psychology), IBCLC: The Australian Breastfeeding Association provides a succinct breakdown of how babies’ and mothers’ bodies work together to breastfeed and why breast truly is best!
  • AskLenore.com: Doctors Lenore Goldfarb and Jack Newman and lactation consultant Carole Dobrich offer support to mothers who are preparing to breastfeed or breastfeeding their adopted, premature or surrogate-carried babies.
  • Breastfeed.com: From basic positioning tips to advice from experts and breastfeeding moms, this site has loads of information on all things related to breastfeeding and pumping.
  • Exclusive Breastfeeding for Six Months Best for Babies Everywhere, by The World Health Organization: The WHO recommendation states that exclusive breastfeeding for six months best for babies everywhere.
  • Best for Babes: This organization’s focus is on making sure expecting mothers are prepared for breastfeeding, know what to expect, and have the tools to overcome any hurdles.
  • 10 Things Every New Breastfeeding Mother Should Know, by Connected Mom: An excellent blog post that every new mom should read if they’re planning on breastfeeding.
  • Breastfeeding During a Baby’s Growth Spurt on About.com: A very helpful article based on the American Academy of Pediatrics Section on Breastfeeding “10 Steps to Support Parents Choice to Breastfeed Their Baby” (1999) regarding feeding your baby through his or her growth spurts.
  • The Latest on Latching, by Best for Babes: This link offers some great information that has stood the test of time about letting babies do their thing when it comes to latching on.

Breastfeeding Troubleshooting

  • Average Growth Patterns of Breastfed Babies, by kellymom: If you are concerned your breastfed baby isn’t growing enough, check out these growth charts from the CDC. The growth charts found in many doctors’ offices are based on growth patterns of formula-fed babies. These growth charts are based on data from infants who were breastfed for at least 12 months.
  • Plugged Ducts and Mastitis: Written by Kelly Bonyata, IBCLC of kellymom.com, this article compares the differences between plugged ducts and mastitis, and suggests management and treatment techniques for both challenges.
  • Natural Remedies for Increasing Milk Production: A blog post by Peaceful Parenting on remedies for low milk supply (this is a series on natural remedies for problems in breastfeeding, and this links to one part of it).
  • Fast Let-Down & Oversupply, by kellymom: Signs and symptoms that you may be experiencing a forceful milk ejection reflex (let-down) which is commonly associated with oversupply. Also included are suggestions for how to help you and your baby cope with these situations until your milk supply adjusts.
  • When Baby Bites, by kellymom: A list of articles and suggestions for what to do if/when your baby bites during a nursing session, including many biting prevention techniques and troubleshooting the cause.
  • Nursing Strikes, by La Leche League International: An explanation of a “nursing strike” or when baby seems to wean suddenly. This article lists common causes for nursing strikes and suggests possible troubleshooting techniques to get baby nursing again.
  • Nipple Blisters, by kellymom: Also called “milk blisters,” this is a painful white, clear, or yellow dot on the nipple or areola. This article explains why they occur and how to help them go away.
  • Breastfeeding After Breast and Nipple Surgeries: A site with information on breastfeeding after breast and nipple surgeries for those who have undergone these procedures, their friends and families, and their healthcare providers.
  • Find a Lactation Consultant: If you have a breastfeeding issue that needs more specific atttention, please consider meeting with an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) near you.

Breastfeeding Beyond Infancy

  • The Joys of Breastfeeding Beyond Infancy, by NPN’s own Code Name: Mama! An extensive series of posts by dozens of women describing their experiences breastfeeding their toddlers, preschoolers, babies and sometimes all three at the same time.
  • Still Nursing, from Toddler Tips; LLLI: Whether your family and friends have congratulated or interrogated you for breastfeeding past infancy, every nursing mother can use a few new tactful, intelligent or snappy responses to the question, “Are you still breastfeeding?”
  • Six Misconceptions About Extended Breastfeeding, Tanya @ Motherwear Blog: Myths abound surrounding breastfeeding past one year, but this rundown blows many popular misconceptions out of the water.
  • Breastfeeding Until Age 3, 4 or 5: More Common Than You Think, Crunchy Domestic Goddess: Think you’re the only one breastfeeding your four year-old? So did this mama, until she turned to her blog readers and found a more supportive community than she’d imagined!
  • Breastfeeding Toddlers, Barbara Higham Ilkley: This mother’s relatable account of her own experience with breastfeeding includes a list of advantages for mom and child, plus tips for handling criticism.
  • How Can I Get My Family to Support My Decision to Nurse Past One Year, Dr. Bill and Martha Sears: Dr. and Martha Sears give a run-down of how to convince the naysayers in your family that your continued breastfeeding is best for everyone.
  • Beyond Toddlerhood: The Breastfeeding Relationship Continues, Barbara Young Colletto: Though mothers who breastfeed past infancy may not be the norm in Western culture, this article points out they are doing what’s normal and natural to everyone else, from Sioux to Bangladeshi to Chimpanzee.
  • Grateful for Toddler Nursing, Tara Stephens: In this anecdote, a mother is thankful she’s able to nourish her child through illness thanks to their breastfeeding relationship.
  • I Breastfeed My Toddler. Got a Problem With It?, Mayim Bialik: This sassy take from actress (and Doctor of Neuroscience!), Mayim Bialik blows out of the water every commonly-asked question about breastfeeding a toddler.
  • Adventures in Tandem Nursing: Breastfeeding During Pregnancy and Beyond, by Hilary Flower: This full-length book ever on the topic of tandem nursing gives comprehensive and in-depth answers to a wide range of questions related to breastfeeding during pregnancy and tandem nursing.
  • Nursing During Pregnancy and Tandem Nursing, by Kellymom.com: This comprehensive overview covers questions about nutrition, potential discomforts and sibling issues, among many others.
  • Court Letter by Kathy Dettwyler: Kathy Dettwyler is a biocultural anthropologist who is a world expert on extended breastfeeding and weaning from both evolutionary and cross-cultural perspectives. She has shared an open letter to courts, attorneys, GALs, and any other interested people. You can contact Ms. Dettwyler for a signed copy and more information.

Breastfeeding Alternatives


  • Natural Weaning, Norma Jane Bumgarner: A great article from The Natural Child Project about what to expect with true child-led weaning.
  • Weaning: How It Happens: Information from kellymom and links to further reading on the different types of weaning (child and mother-led).
  • The Whys and Hows of Child-led Weaning, Jessica Woods: Woods answers some common questions from those considering child-led weaning, such as what to expect, how long it will last, and more.
  • Do Babies Under 12 Months Self Wean?, Kelly Bonyata, IBCLC: Wondering if your baby is ready to wean? This article explains what developmental changes may mislead you, and what you can do to continue your healthy nursing relationship.


  • How Do We Get Started with Solids?: Information from kellymom and links to further reading about transitioning to solids. Includes information on when, signs of readiness, how much, and more.
  • Feeding the Whole Family, Cynthia Lair: In her book and website of the same name, Lair offers whole foods recipes that the entire family can enjoy together.
  • 12 Foods to Eat Organic, the Daily Green: While high prices may keep us from switching to all-organic diets, this list of the most pesticide-laden foods offers a place to start.
  • Vegan Nutrition in Pregnancy and Childhood, Reed Mangels, Ph.D., R.D. and Katie Kavanagh-Prochaska, Dietetic Intern: Dietary recommendations that will take your vegan family from conception through childhood and beyond.
  • The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook, Alissa Segersten and Tom Malterre: With whole foods recipes from Thai fried rice to hazelnut brownies, this cookbook also offers information on elimination diets and includes gluten, dairy and soy free recipes.
  • Feeding Toddlers, Dr. Sears: Seventeen ways to (try to) please picky toddlers while providing the nutrition they need.
  • Baby-Led Weaning: The Essential Guide to Introducing Solid Foods – and Helping Your Baby to Grow Up a Happy and Confident Eater, by Gill Rapley: Written by the UK’s leading authority on the subject, this authoritative guide to baby-led weaning explains the benefits of infant self-feeding in terms of nutritional health, eating habits, motor development, independence and confidence.
  • Why Delay Solids?, by Kellymom: Kellymom’s answers to why delaying solids is beneficial for the health of our babies.
  • First Foods, by Kellymom: Kellymom’s page offering great suggestions for first foods and the ages at which certain foods are best introduced.
  • To Win Toddler Food Battles, Take a Softer Approach, by Sarah Varney, NPR.org: After consulting a nutritionist, one parent realizes that she should let her child lead the way at mealtime.
  • Helping Children Be Good Eaters, by Ellyn Satter: Ellyn Satter explains what makes a “good eater,” how to understand your child’s eating habits and respectfully enable good choices at the table. PDF
  • Eating Issues in International Adoptees, by University of Minnesota International Adoption Clinic: When welcoming a child into your family through adoption, unexpected issues may arise around food. This article gives tips on helping your new addition to gently transition to eating in a new environment.

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