Alternative parenting practices

Celebrity mums Alicia Silverstone and January Jones recently made headlines around the world for their parenting choices - Silverstone for feeding her son pre-chewed food from her mouth, and Jones for announcing that she ate her placenta in capsule form after the birth of her son Xander.

Public opinion was divided on the benefits and risks of each practice, but they were far from being the only controversial ways parents can choose to birth and raise their children.

From freebirthing to lotus birthing, raising your children with no gender to raising them with no formal education, it seems there's a parenting philosophy to suit everyone.

Actresses Alicia Silverstone and January Jones have both chosen to take part in practices that are outside the ...
Actresses Alicia Silverstone and January Jones have both chosen to take part in practices that are outside the mainstream parenting culture. 

But will they be considered 'alternative' for much longer? Attachment parenting - a philosophy which includes extended breastfeeding, communal sleeping and baby-wearing - was once seen by many as a fringe practice; now that actress Mayim Bialik has written a book on the subject, Beyond the Sling, it's hit the mainstream consciousness. Regardless, Bialik's support of elimination communication - training babies to go nappy-free from birth - is a step further than most parents would go. 

Click through our gallery to read about more alternative parenting practices.

Public opinion is divided on the benefits and risks of each practice