Two year old and a new born what do I do?

Martha - posted on 04/17/2009 ( 18 moms have responded )

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I have a two year old he thows real bad tantrums if I don't brestfeed him. He throws things at me or hits me. I try tell him his baby sister needs it more as she is just three weeks old and just started to gain her original weight back.I just about had him weined before she was born but he stared all this and it is getting hard on me to do both. What can I do?

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Allison - posted on 04/17/2009

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Are you completely against tandem nursing? Have you seen the book Adventures in Tandem Nursing? He won't take the milk away from her at all, as your body will just make more and will make enough for both of them. It's normal for toddlers to start nursing a lot again once baby arrives...it's normally short-lived. The transition is hard for them!

I'm due in 3 weeks and am planning on tandem nursing my newborn and 2 year old as well. There are a couple things you can do - you can try to nurse both at the same time (try a few positions until you find one that works well) or you can tell him he has to wait until baby is done. That may be too hard for him at this point....maybe allow him free-nursing for a week or two, then start asking him to delay a bit. Or try having him nurse only for a short time, like to the count of 20 or while you sing a song.

He really needs this close time with you :-) I'm sure you'll get it worked out. I know it's frustrating, but I have several friends who have done it (even nursed 3!) and they've made it work. Do you have any friends who have tandem nursed? Can you attend a local La Leche League meeting? I think more support would be helpful, too, as you can vent your frustrations and get good ideas on how to deal with it and make it work for all 3 of you.

Good luck!

Angie - posted on 05/09/2009

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We are a tandem nursing family and I will say it is VERY hard those first few months. But adding a new sibling to the family is hrd too and remember it is even harder on the 2 year old who is used to having mommy all to himself. A few things that I found helped when my daughter started acting like your son is was to give the baby to my husband (after she was fed) and do something special with my oldest. That could be sitting in a chair and nursing, reading a book, going for a walk around the neighborhood or running out for a special treat (ice cream, a new book etc). Just something to let her know that she was still just as special to me as she had always been and to give us some one on one time. I found that it helped almost every time.

Also try making a special nursing basket for him. Put a few fun things in the basket whatever he likes (crayons, playdoh whatever) and he can only play with things in that basket while you are nursing baby sister. That way he has something fun to do while you are nursing and it's a special time for him too.

If you don't want to tandem then it really would probably be best to just go cold turkey. But I would bet if you can stick with it then it will get better. I really had a problem nursing both of mine at the same time (and still do 7 months later) but my oldest was 2 when her baby sister was born and I would just talk to her about how mama would nurse her as soon as baby sister was done. I would have her go and get me a book and we'd read a book while the baby was nursing and then let the older one nurse.

Emma - posted on 04/21/2009

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i think if you stop him having any then he will get very jelous of new baby, if you tandem feed you can feed them at the same time, at least then you'll have a bit of quiet when feeding and new baby will proberbly feed better because you wont be tense about her big brother being a lille monkey

Vanessa - posted on 04/21/2009

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Go tandem.....your body will rise to the occassion.....

and everyone will be happy.

JC - posted on 04/19/2009

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My son was 1.5 years old when we had our little girl. He would flip out when i was nursing and he wanted to, I found it really hard on him when I switching back and forth nursing them. It was pretty scary he even tried to smother her a few times. He couldnt understand why I couldnt just nurse him. so I just stop nursing him cold turkey. He would flip out here and there for about a week then he stoped and could care a less now. He loves her so much now.

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Tammy - posted on 04/04/2011

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hi martha...your doing a great job..i i am tandem fedding my 20 mth baby girl and nearly 6 mth boy it is qoit hart to begind with and your milk suply isen,t always high..but it will get easyer i would say let your boy com op for a little snuggle to it takes a way a lot of jeluxsy..he knows what he is douing so you can feed him on one side and the new baby o9n the other side ..got loock tammy x

[deleted account]

What we do is have a bag that has my son's nursing toys. When his sister is nursing, he gets to play with his bag of nursing, special toys. When we're done, he is to put the nursing toys up and take his turn nursing.

I also tell my son that, look your sister cannot eat anything or drink anything, but mommy's milk because she is too young. He can however drink water, etc.., eat his crunchies, etc... but she cannot. So he needs to let her eat first to make sure she has what she needs since that's all she can eat and he can have a snack and special toys while he waits his turn. As soon as I am done it's his turn.

If he has ever thrown a big fit I tell him that will not get him nursing at all and if he keeps it up he gets no milk from mommy. So he must be good to be able to get his turn.

My son does really well for the most part. We hardly use the nursing toys anymore too. He just tells me, mommy it's sisters turn and then mine OK? Too cute!

Martha - posted on 07/13/2009

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well so far so good I don't go in the room where I usualy feed my son and he has calmbed down abit.the father tries to help a bit when he gets home but babies him so now it is just the disaplin I have to deal with now and I got him down to feed once at bed time it makes him sleep now I am slowly trying to take him off and my daughter is now gaining weight more

Martha - posted on 05/11/2009

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The dad works he leaves at 4:45 am and comes home around 3 pm. I have no family around that would help and I am tandem feeding. I try feed her first then him after. His tantrum are because I wouldn't feed him first so he throws his tantrums. His side of the family is no help as they never come around. I am trying things that are sugested to me and my older son moved out and my other son doesn't like to hang around as he is more into his friends. The dad just doesn't like to hear all the trouble when he gets home. i guess i am just stressed out on all this as it feels i am the only one with them both all the time

[deleted account]

It doesn't sound so much like an issue of tandem nursing, but more of dealing with his behavior. If he is supposed to be weaned then do your best to enforce that. I won't sit here and tell you how you should be controlling your kid, that wouldn't be fair. If your regular disciplinary measures have stopped being effective than you might need to get some help. You don't want him hurting you or baby or even himself. I understand how difficult it is on your own with dad not helping. My kids are 16 & 20 months apart and I spent some of that time as a single mom.

Melanie - posted on 05/09/2009

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Wow Martha it sounds like things are going from bad to worse. I wish dad were more supportive. Since things are really escalating, is there a child psychologist available where you live? It sounds drastic, but I think maybe it could help? Or at least it's worth a try?

Itsamystery - posted on 05/09/2009

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I really feel for you, especially if dad is not helping out like he should.

It's natural to have jealousy between the two whether you're tandem nursing or not. Many people find that tandem nursing helps reduce the jealousy, but it's not a magical solution. You still need to work through the jealously issues with your older child, and whether or not you want to tandem nurse while you're doing that is up to you. It's also very normal for the older child to increase their nursing at first, to sort of establish their territory (and probably seek some comfort at a confusing time).

What's the situation when he's throwing his tantrums? Why is he throwing tantrums? (increase in tantrums is normal too when a new baby comes home whether or not you're tandem nursing).

Do you allow your older child to nurse on demand? It might be a good idea to do this at first so he feels like he's got free access to the breast and baby is not frustrating that access.

Is your partner wanting you to stop tandem nursing? Is anyone else in your family supportive of it? It's hard if no one is supporting you. I would tell your partner that you *need* his support. He distract the older child while you feed the baby. He could even take him on special 'big brother' outings sometimes. He needs to do this whether or not you're tandem nursing. When a new baby comes, dad needs to be more hands on with the older baby to take the pressure off you.

Do you feed them at the same time or at separate times? If separate, do you offer the older child first?

Have you explained to your older child that he is a special big brother and it's his job to teach his little brother how to nurse? Have you involved him somehow like that?

Some more information might help us give better advice as to how to deal with the specific issues that are occurring.

Martha - posted on 05/09/2009

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well I have been dealing with this and it is hard. My son now is starting to hit baby and pull her away from my brest as I feed her. I have been trying to feed both and seems to me he is getting more jelouse and am worried. Do you have more sugestions for me and the father is no help while I try do both. My boy even wakes up twice at night to feed and he feeds four to five times a day depends on his tantrums.The tantrums are getting worse the dad just leaves because he can't handle it I guess please help me with this

Chris - posted on 04/21/2009

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Don't nurse both! I had to stop nursing my daughter when my son was born. She would literally push him away from me and try to hit him for taking her :booby". Stay firm and try to get her engaged playing or watching tv or something. Put her to bed first. This way, you will be able to give the baby your undivided attention and end the battles and tantrums.

[deleted account]

I would say nurse tandom, if he wants to nurse let him, but feed her first so that she gets what she needs. Then let him have whats left

Rebecca - posted on 04/19/2009

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I agree with Allison and Kate. Plus if you are worried about your 3-week old getting enough, do you know that feeding your 2 year old too, will actually Increase your supply for both your babies?

Try to keep your energy up if you are feeling wore out by resting and drinking enough water.

If you still really want to wean your son at this time, which is understandable, then I would try to nurse the baby in a different room from him as much as possible. Also, try to give him extra one on one time with you if possible to show that you are still there for him in other ways.

kellymom.com is also a great resource for breastfeeding advice.

Itsamystery - posted on 04/18/2009

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I totally understand that you must be feeling worn out, but I think the battle between you and your son and the stress that's creating might be contributing to it. I think if you drop the battle and let him nurse for a while and THEN try to wean him off you might have much more success and less stress. With my son, although there wasn't a newborn involved, once we got into a heads on battle it was a lose/lose situation. He was miserable and naggy and I was miserable and frustrated. The more I refused the more I wanted it. I found it better to let him nurse as much as he wanted, which allowed us both to settle into a better frame of mind, and then try again in a couple of weeks.

I've also heard that it's really normal for a nursing toddler to want to nurse more when a baby arrives on the scene, but that it peters out once they get used to the situation. So what you're going through is very normal. I think trying to stop him from feeding completely while he's having a difficult time adjusting to the idea of a new little baby he has to share his parents with, will make it more difficult. On the other hand I've heard that tandem nursing is actually really good for their bonding with each other and reducing the natural feelings of jealousy that the older child feels.

If he wasn't fully weaned before your daughter was born and you don't allow him to feed, he will associate not being able to feed with her arrival. He will resent her and it will make his adjustment to her arrival more difficult and increase his feelings of jealousy. I think it would be best for you to allow him to nurse (with appropriate limits) until he settles down and has become used to having his baby sister around. THEN, once things are a bit better, try explaining to him that he's a big boy, milk is for babies, give him special 'big brother' duties, give him a fun and special 'big boy' activity to do when baby nurses, etc. Make him feel that by being a big brother/big boy, he's special.

Cynthia - posted on 04/17/2009

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INstead of saying his sister needs it more, tell him he is a big boy and he drinks milk from a sippy cup now. Try not to focus on what it is he wants, try focussing on what he needs to be doing. If his tantrum escalates to throwing, be firm (not angry) and tell him to stop and throwing is not safe. tell him he might hurt you or himself and it is not safe (consider this the warning) Tell him if he throws again he will be in a timeout until he calms his body down and stops throwing.. He's big enough to understand the safety issue. and if he throws anyway, he needs to be put in a timeout. don't be fearful of putting him in timeout. it will give him and you time to cool off. then after the timeout or if at the end of the timeout he hasn't finished tantruming have him stay there until he has calmed down.(1 minute per year of age= 2minutes in your case) then tell him throwing is not okay. it is not safe and it will hurt my body. tell him his timeout is over and ask him to hug your body better. give him a hug back tell him you love him and put him into an activity. " here sweetie, let's build a tall tower with your blocks."



hope this helps.

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