5 Modern Parenting Tips From Freud


Breast is Best...But Not Too Much!

Freud probably wouldn't be on board with bottles.
Freud probably wouldn't be on board with bottles.
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Breastfeeding advocacy group La Leche League (LLL) formed in 1956 when nursing mothers in the United States were more of the exception than the rule [source: La Leche League International]. In the following decades, the LLL has been influential in bringing breastfeeding into the mainstream, stoking debates about whether breast is best or if bottle-feeding will suffice. Nursing debate aside, if Sigmund Freud were still alive, he would likely be on board with the LLL's pro-suckling stance -- to a point.

Freudian psychology maintains that breastfeeding is one of the pivotal occupations of an infant in the oral stage, which lasts approximately from birth to 18 months [source: Burton]. On the one hand, weaning a baby too quickly from the breast would cultivate oral fixations and pessimistic personality traits, but letting an infant latch on for too long could also have the undesirable effects of honing helplessness and overindulgence [source: Firestone]. By that logic, Freud would probably tisk at attachment parenting models that encourage mothers to breastfeed as long as children wish, even into their third and fourth years. But that's not the only tenet of attachment parenting that Freud might frown upon.