Nikki Reed is not here for the mom-shaming over how to feed babies and toddlers, and she urges parents to support each other in general.
Earlier this month, the Twilight alum and founder of the sustainable jewelry and beauty company BaYou with Love posted on her Instagram page a photo of her breastfeeding her and husband Ian Somerhalder's 1 and 1/2-year-old daughter Bodhi. The post prompted mostly positive reactions but also some mom-shaming about breastfeeding toddlers as well as criticism of moms who choose not to breastfeed their children at all.
"I don't believe that mom-shaming is ever OK," Reed told E! News. "Fed, whether that's with formula or breastfeeding or whatever works for your child and for you is what's best. All moms are just trying to do what's best. And for some moms, breastfeeding just doesn't work out, whether that's an issue with milk supply or going back to work right away or whatever that thing is, and it is not our job and responsibility as parents to judge or shame other parents. It's our job and responsibility to support and spread information and uplift and share tips."
"Children are born who they are born, that's the one thing that I think I've really discovered is you're a part of it, sure," she said. "And you're nurturing that development and you're hopefully in some way encouraging that development but they are who they are, and they gravitate towards what they gravitate towards. That's why I wrote that piece on social media a couple of weeks ago just about our journey with food is because I'm a first-time mom, this is my first child so I'm learning as I go."
In her Instagram post, Reed also said Bodhi had recently shown interest in also eating food and didn't like it served mushy, so the actress took someone's advice and started her off on finger foods.
Reed was recently named a celebrity advisor to Raised Real, a plant-based baby food meal service focused on helping parents eliminate time-consuming tasks of making baby and toddler food while maximizing nutrition.
"No one told me that not every baby wants to eat mushed banana and jarred sweet potatoes," she told E! News. "I didn't realize that. I thought it was that you go from breastfeeding to mushy food to solid food to finger food and that's just the way that is it."
The Twilight star added, "That's something that I discovered that all kids are different and they're all on their own path, and I really felt compelled to share that because the second a mom shared that with me and I discovered Raised Real, that was what led me to discovering Raised Real was finger foods. The second I discovered that, I was like, 'Wow, what a relief.'"
"I was a genuine fan of the company," she told E! News. "I was just another mom who discovered a wonderful and let's face it, convenient—which is what all moms are looking for—stress-free way of incorporating this into our daily life."
"I think that all moms are on this journey of trying to make the best decisions they possible can for their kids," she said. "That's what all moms want in the whole world, that's it! And so as we sometimes face challenges in those areas, I think it's really important for us to be supportive and also vocal about the things that we discover along the way."
In her interview with E! News, Reed also talked about Somerhalder's parenting skills.
"I think it's really beautiful to know that you're aligned with your partner and important as you become parents to talk about those things before the journey begins, and during the journey and keep an open line of communication," she said. "Luckily, we have a very similar approach to lifestyle and to parenting, which is wonderful. And I'm sure you can imagine what it's like to see him as a dad, he's a very, very special, very caring person and I knew that by the way he parented our animals prior stepping into this chapter."