Ice-T Admits Wife Coco Austin Breastfeeds Daughter Chanel, Almost 3, But 'It's a Comfort Thing'
"Chanel doesn't breastfeed, but she wants the boob sometimes," Law & Order: SVU star Ice-T explains to PEOPLE of his 2½-year-old daughter
But Ice-T admits his wife handles all the planning.
“I let Coco set the tone and then I try to coordinate based on her, so I wait and figure out what she’s going to do,” the Law & Order: SVU star, who partnered with Michaels for a pumpkin-decorating contest, tells PEOPLE.
“She goes on the internet and buys these cheap costumes. Sometimes she mixes and matches them and a lot of times she has to alter them to make them fit. I think she’s leaning towards a ninja,” he adds.
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With their baby girl turning 3 next month, Ice-T believes Chanel has started to understand more of what the holidays mean.
“Last year, Coco dressed her up in a Halloween costume. She didn’t know what she was doing,” says the star, 60. “She was just going along with it. Now this year, she’s [like], ‘No, Mama, Peppa Pig! Peppa Pig!’ She knows who she wants to be and I think she’ll understand Christmas a lot more and all those things.”
“This will be the first year she’ll really understand Christmas is coming,” he explains.
As the little girl is nearly 3 years old, fans took note when Austin shared a photo breastfeeding Chanel in May. Ice-T clarifies, however, that their daughter doesn’t exclusively rely on breastfeeding — that “it’s a comfort thing” more so for both Austin, 39, and Chanel.
“Coco absolutely breastfeeds because she just wanted that mama connection with the baby,” he says. “And now Chanel doesn’t breastfeed, but she wants the boob sometimes. It’s a moment where it’ll calm you down. But when people say, ‘Oh, Coco’s still breastfeeding.’ It’s not that. Chanel’s drinking everything in the refrigerator right now.”
Ice-T explains that breastfeeding hasn’t been Chanel’s primary food source since she was around 18 months old. “She went to formula and other things,” the Body Count frontman continues. “It’s more of a baby’s way of getting comfort from the mother.”
RELATED VIDEO: Ice-T and Coco Austin Say Daughter Chanel Is “The Best Thing That Ever Happened to Us”
Another form of comfort for Chanel has been co-sleeping with her parents.
“Chanel’s still in the bed with us now. She worked her way into the bed. But we love it!” Ice-T says. “The thing is, she sleeps in her room but as soon as she wakes up, she’s on her way up to us anyway. We put her to sleep in her bedroom and then maybe 2, 3 in the morning, she might wake up. So it’s not that serious.”
The actor-rapper doesn’t feel the need to quiet parent shamers, though, since he doesn’t listen to their comments in the first place.
“Social media, to me, is to broadcast, not to receive,” he says. “So when I go on social media, I just say what I want. I don’t really care what anyone is saying.”
“I never felt shame because who can shame me? Who is the perfect parent?” Ice-T adds. “Parenting is a work in progress and all kids are different. People need to mind their business and worry about their kids. We got this handled.”
Although they have parenting under control and love being a family of three, that doesn’t mean he and Austin necessarily want another child.
“She was always one and done,” Ice-T asserts of his wife. “She said, ‘I just want one. I’m going to spoil it to death.’ And I’m like, ‘Cool.’ She wanted a girl, she got the girl. She’s got a ton of nieces and nephews and she’s happy.”