Soon to be tandem nursing-- Please advise!

Christine - posted on 02/13/2011 ( 4 moms have responded )

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Hi all- I haven't posted on here forever. Been fun reading to catch up!

I am due in 3 weeks with a baby boy. I have a 16 month old that is still nursing. My milk dried up somewhere around 20 weeks and I thought my toddler would wean at that time but she didn't care at all. If anything, her nursing has increased. She has learned to verbally ask to nurse (pulling at shirt saying "mom mee nur?") and it seems like since she learned that, she ALWAYS wants to nurse. She seriously asks 7-10 times daily. Is night weaned, though. And I am able to say later or not now from time to time without too much trouble.

My plan had been to wean her sometime around a year but when we got there neither of us were ready. I then stated that I wasn't going to tandem nurse but it's become obvious that we're going to be doing that, as well. She still isn't ready to wean. My husband wanted her weaned before a year and is 100% unsupportive of tandem nursing. He thinks it's weird. I don't know anyone who has tandem nursed nor do I live in an area where there is an active LLL group.

Is there anyone that can give me some advice on how to make this the most successful experience for the 3 of us? I did buy a moby wrap to hopefully learn to nurse the baby in so my toddler won't notice and get the idea everytime I nurse the baby. It's really important to me, however, that my toddler not feel neglected or left out. I am a stay at home mom and we are very bonded. Any support and advice would be appreciated!

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Lynn - posted on 02/13/2011

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Here is the honest truth from a person currently tandem nursing. It can be really hard. BUT I believe it is the only choice and right choice for me and my children right now. It sounds like you are in the same situation.
Dr. Sears has a children's book I found on Amazon about what a new baby requires (picture book for toddlers) this might be of help.
I tried nursing both at once but found it was overwhelming me and frustrating me so I nurse the baby first (I also have oversupply problems so I keep them to individual sides and switch once or twice daily.)
Your toddler will probably be ecstatic when your milk supply comes back in and because of this and the huge change a new baby brings may want to nurse even more. Thankfully by two months this was starting to return to normal. And even less than when I was pregnant which I think is due to a renewed supply!
My husband had to pretty much take over with my toddler except for when I was nursing for the first few weeks. She was only interested in nursing if she was around me. The only way to handle this was to have others run interference. Adventures in Tandem Nursing is a book that addresses these issues.
Good luck you are not the only one! It is possible!

Amanda - posted on 02/13/2011

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I have never tandem nursed, but i read up on it when my son was younger and still nursing all the time, We where thinking of adding another baby at that time. i found that if you are able to wean your toddler to nap nursing and before bed nursing only its much easier to tandem feed. Also be sure to nurse the new baby first on both sides so you are sure to be providing as much milk to him/her first and then let your toddler finish up. What i read was to not nurse them at the same time, so that they each get mommy time all to them self and you wont end up feeling overwelmed also to be sure that the infant ALWAYS get first nurse, a toddler can drain a breast very fast and not leave enough for a younger baby. i would actualy let your daughter see you feed the baby tell er how it help the baby to grow and be strong and heathy also might want to get your little girl a baby doll that she can pretend to nurse while you nurse the baby she can sit next to you and you can talk to her and teach her about burping the baby and changing it. you can make it fun. Also by nursing them in rotation your husband wont see it as weird. Good luck!

Alisha - posted on 02/13/2011

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I tandem nursed my first two. Its a very personal thing! I only tandem nursed for four months. It was hard for me for the sensation reasons. It feels very different to nurse a toddler than a newborn, but I know a lot of people that do it. A great book to read is Adventures in Tandem Nursing. Also going to a LLL meeting could help for support. Just do what feels right for you and your child. Good luck!

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I'm only 17 weeks pregnant (my current nursling is 21 months). So I can't really give you tips or anything, but the book "Adventures in Tandem Nursing" by Hilary Flower has tons of great information. It includes nursing positions for both babies, what changes in behavior you may see in your toddler, etc. I'm about halfway through it now and it's been very helpful.

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