I’m so happy to have Julie from directorjewels.com guest posting today and sharing her tandem nursing tips with us. As a mama of 2 nursing toddlers she is definitely someone to seek advice from!
Until you find yourself breastfeeding two kids at the same time, you might not even realize it’s possible. I sure didn’t. My first baby struggled with latching, and I wasn’t willing to wean him before he was ready since we had worked so hard to make breastfeeding a reality for us. When I found out his little sister was on the way, we decided to take it a day at a time, all the way up to her natural delivery at a birth center. The first time my kids met each other, they held hands as they nursed together. Now, I have a 41-month-old and a 20-month-old who both still breastfeed multiple times a day. For a mama who had a goal to breastfeed until 12 months, it seems I’ve come a long way.
Breastfeeding is amazing. It cures toddler meltdowns, fixes bruises and boo-boos, puts newborns to sleep, and is the healthiest choice for mom and baby. So while I never anticipated nursing a child until he was almost halfway to age four – especially while also nourishing his little sister – it has worked beautifully for our family.
Are you thinking about tandem nursing? Here are a few tips to keep in mind!
1. Prepare, Prepare, Prepare! Do lots of research, find some like-minded mamas to share your struggles, and be ready when that new baby comes home to do nothing but nurse. Have multiple entertainment options for your toddler in your nursing station, and make sure mama has plenty of water, nipple cream, and comfy bras to wear.
2. Anticipate Obstacles. In my tandem nursing relationship, I have struggled with over-supply, as well as dietary restrictions due to Adelaide’s milk protein intolerance. It’s hard to think ahead to a problem that you may not encounter, but researching and asking for advice while in the midst of a trial can be stressful! Just having the knowledge that something could go wrong will help you when something does go wrong.
3. Remember Their Differences. Nursing a toddler and nursing a newborn are two very different experiences. When I brought home my second child, I had to remind myself constantly that she needed help with positioning to make sure that she could breathe and swallow correctly. My toddler, however, was quite talented when it came to nursing sideways, upside-down, or while lying on top of me.
Tandem breastfeeding is not a solution for every mama, but it has been a beautiful, frustrating, crazy, magical, wonderful journey for my family. Happy nursing – however many kids at one time!
Julie is a stay-at-home mom of two who stays busy freelancing, crafting for her Etsy shop, teaching drama classes, and – of course – nursing her toddlers. In between diaper changes and fort-building, she blogs at directorjewels.com.