Coco Austin Defends Breastfeeding 5-Year-Old Daughter

Reality star Coco Austin takes an unorthodox approach to parenting, allowing her 5-year-old daughter to continue to breastfeed. Austin shares daughter Chanel with her longtime husband, rapper Ice-T (real name Tracy Lauren Marrow), and she opened up to InTouch about her decision to keep breastfeeding. "Chanel still likes my boobs. It's a big bonding moment for a mother and your child," she explained. Austin said that at her age, Chanel is able to "eat steak and hamburgers" but she "likes a little snack every now and then."

"Why take that away from her? … If she doesn't want it, all right, that's where you stop it," Austin said. "But I'm not just going to say no." Austin previously spoke to InTouch about her controversial decision to keep breastfeeding in 2019, saying she was "so thankful" to still have this way to bond. "I actually I give up my blessing during that time, like, 'Oh, I'm so glad that God gave me this moment with my child because I'm going to be so heartbroken when she's not going to want to do this anymore,'" Austin explained at the time. "And that's going to come, eventually it's going to come."

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Ultimately, Austin is planning on it being up to Chanel when she wants to fully wean. "When she doesn't want me, she's going to not want me," Austin said at the time. "Believe me, she's not going to be like 16 and be like, 'Mom, can I have the boob? and then a car?' She's going to go through a time in her life where she's like, 'Okay, I got this Mom, I don't need you.' And right now she still wants me so I'm just going to accept it." Austin talks about her decision to keep breastfeeding often on Instagram, often clapping back at the critics of this unconventional choice. However, she acknowledges that at this point, Chanel was nursing "just for comfort," not nourishment.

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Austin and Ice-T have been married for 20 years now, and Chanel is their only child together. Ice-T is also a father to daughter Letesha Marrow and son Tracy Marrow Jr from previous relationships. When asked whether he thought that Chanel would follow in her parents' footsteps into the entertainment business, Ice joked he doesn't know if he and his wife will be able to "stop her" from pursuing the entertainment industry. "She says she wants to be a doctor, a YouTuber, a model, a singer and a Kung Fu artist," he joked. "We're going to push for doctor." Spending more time together during the pandemic has been a blessing for his family, but Ice said his wife will have a "very emotional day" sending Chanel off to school for the first time this fall.