Alanis Morissette, Now a Mother, Dives Into 'Attachment Parenting' and Breastfeeding Controversy

Pop rock star talks about breastfeeding and parenting her 17-month-old son.

May 31, 2012, 3:20 AM

May 31 ,2012 —, 2012 -- Alanis Morissette, known to be one of the angrier women in the 1990s pop scene, is speaking out about the controversy over "attachment parenting," saying she would allow her 17-month-old son to decide when he is ready to stop breastfeeding, even if it's not until he's six-years-old.

The seven-time Grammy winner, best known for her downright anger on her 1995 breakout hit "You Oughta Know," is now, at 37, in a much different place. Morissette is now happily married to rapper Mario "MC Souleye" Treadway, and is a devoted mother to their son, Ever.

Fueled by that infamous Time magazine cover depicting a 3-year-old feeding at his mother's breast, Morissette is now stepping head on into the raucous over "attachment parenting," specifically, how long mothers should breastfeed their children.

"I don't even really consider it 'extended,'" Morissette told ABC News. "I just consider it appropriate for that particular child and that mom and that family."

Like most supporters of "extended breastfeeding," she's still nursing her son, who's almost 2, and has no plans to stop.

"[Ever's] particular style is that -- wherever we are, if he sits down and looks at me, it's time to snuggle, you know? It's peppered throughout the day, more and less, depending upon what he needs," she said.

Morissette said she'll only stop breastfeeding when Ever says it's time.

"I know some children who have weaned naturally at two years, some kids wean naturally a couple of years later. I mean, it's up to every child," she said.

But attachment parenting is not only about breastfeeding. Attachment parenting can, in some cases, mean 24-hour devotion to a child, with the parent rarely leaving his or her side. And not everyone agrees that's such a good idea.

"I think what they are talking about is extreme, and I don't think it's what attachment parenting was meant to be. It was meant to be that 'mindfulness,' being with your kids and nursing your kids those first few months of life," Corky Harvey, owner and founder of the California-based Pump Station and Nurtury breastfeeding centers told ABC News.

Morissette said her style is not for everyone, and not everyone's lifestyle could accommodate her and Ever's way of bonding.

"I'm in a privileged position, where I can afford the time and to pay for the resources that would support this kind of lifestyle. That's not possible for a lot of families," Morissette said.

Morissette said that she barely left the house for the first six months of Ever's life, and hardly ever let him cry. She told ABC News that the most he had ever cried was six minutes. She said that she spent as much time as she could by Ever's side, even while she was recording her new album, out this summer.

"I basically have built a makeshift studio in our house," she said. "And when Ever needed me, I was in and out the door, was knocking constantly."

She told ABC News that when she goes on tour soon, the whole family's will come along. Chances are next time Alanis Morissette is rocking out on stage, her little boy won't be far away.

Other than in the middle of the show, if he needs me, of course, if it's an emergency, I'm available," she said.

The family's philosophy is to have as much skin-on-skin contact with Ever as possible. And then there's what this world-renowned musician called the musical beds.

"The bed is -- consistent in that Ever is always with one of us," Morissette said. "I'm always available if he needs me, period. I love snuggling and sleeping next to him."

Which raises the obvious question: How does that affect her marriage and sex life?

"When don't we get it on?" Morissette asked, laughing. "To be totally transparent, after a baby is born, hormonally, physiologically, [it's] not necessarily the time the woman is moving toward low-cut dresses and wanting to get pregnant again."

The rock star mother admitted her style of parenting might not be for everyone, but in the end, she wants what all parents want -- for her child to feel safe and protected. Some might wonder what happened to that angry young woman who took the country by storm 17 years ago.

"I'm healing," she laughed. "I'm healing."

ABC News Live

ABC News Live

24/7 coverage of breaking news and live events