Nikki Reed gave birth to her daughter, Bodhi Soleil Reed Somerhalder, in July 2017. After unplugging for a month to spend time with her husband Ian Somerhalder and their first child, the new mom began sharing her journey on social media. In a series of candid posts, the 30-year-old actress has opened up about everything from her hormonal shifts and insecurities to the lifestyle changes that happen after becoming a parent — and it’s clear, she is playing parenthood by her own rules.
On Tuesday, Reed took to Instagram to share that she is still breastfeeding her 20-month-old child, who now has two teeth, and wrote that she is unsure of when she will stop.
“I often get asked how long I plan on breastfeeding. To be honest, I have no idea how long her and I will be on this journey together. I follow her lead, and she tells me exactly what she needs,” she wrote alongside an adorable photo of her breastfeeding Bodhi.
She’s went onto explain that she is focusing on what’s healthiest for her daughter, with some helpful advice from friends. “At 20 months she is only just becoming interested in food. I discovered after a year of blending and smooshing and mashing, that my daughter doesn’t like mushy baby food. Wild right?” she wrote.
“It wasn’t until someone suggested I skip puréed food and go straight to finger foods that she became intrigued by what was on her plate. Who knew some kids just don’t ever go for blended baby food. I tried bananas, avocado, all the semi-soft good stuff and she rejected everything. Never in a million years did I think to skip that step when she only had two teeth.”
Reed continued: “Right now that’s where we’re at, still breastfeeding and skipping right to finger foods.”
Many moms completely agreed with Reed’s approach. “It’s actually better for them to learn to eat that way because it allows them to become confident eaters and learn how much [food] to put in their mouths,” one commented. “We do what’s best for them and follow their lead. Nothing has to be to the books,” add another. Amen to that.
But, of course, the Internet is swarming with trolls and the stigma against breastfeeding remains. A disappointing number of followers were quick to mom-shame Reed for her decision to continue breastfeeding her child. “If your kid can ask verbally for a breast, it’s time to switch to a sippy cup,” said one ill-informed commenter.
Despite the negativity, Reed finished the post by reassuring her fellow mom followers that each parent’s path with their child will be unique. “Also, in case you need to hear it again because I definitely did, whatever you’re doing you are doing it right!” she said. “Every baby is on their own path doing things when and how they need to, and our job is to trust our gut, talk to other mamas and just go with the flow.”