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Tandem Nursing Mamas - Page 2

post #21 of 41
Thread Starter 

Thanks for your perspective, Dionne. My MIL comes in town for 4 days today, so obviously we won't be starting anything drastic today. That's a little frustrating, but also good to give us some time to think about it. I'm so worried about night crying. There's the huge mama guilt, for one, and we also live in a tiny apartment. Two weeks of crying means a good chance that not only do all 5 of us lose sleep, but my neighbors as well, which sucks.

post #22 of 41

It's been awhile - wanted to check in with everyone who's been tandem nursing. 

 

It hasn't been a picnic for us lately, for all that I liked it in the beginning. I've been finding it emotionally draining to nurse both all the time, and found myself getting annoyed with DD over breastfeeding.  She wanted to nurse ALL THE TIME. And instead of making her feel more secure in our breastfeeding relationship, it just seemed to make her more and more needy. 

 

And I'm so torn - DD hasn't nursed once in the last 5 days because I got food poisoning and my supply dipped drastically, so I totally cut her off to make sure there was enough for baby. And it has been so wonderful for me - I feel free. But the poor dear clearly misses it a lot, and asks about it all the time, and we've definitely had some emotional repercussions. And I did so want to let her nurse until she was ready. She was primarily using it to go to sleep, and for the last 5 days she's been going to sleep fine without it, no tears at all for the last 3 days. But emotionally, I don't think she's ready to stop altogether. But I am. So much. I just don't know what to do, I feel so bad for her. This isn't exactly the way I would want to do it either. Gah, I don't know.

post #23 of 41

Oh, and I forgot to mention that DD only nurses out of the left breast, and that is causing supply havoc between the two breasts, as I can't just nurse baby on the right. Somehow, I have had the supply in the right almost disappear. And I was having trouble nursing two babies from just one breast!

post #24 of 41
Thread Starter 

It's gotten better here, but I'm still not in love with tandem nursing. DS1 will just be 2 in a few weeks. That's so young to wean, but I'm not 100% happy nursing him anymore. :/ I have cut him down a lot, which helps. He nurses to go to sleep at night, when he wakes at night (anywhere between once and 5 times...ugh), and if he's really hurt/upset during the day. I can't nurse the at the same time; it makes me too crazy. I think if DS1 started sleeping better at night, I could handle the amount he's nursing a lot easier.

post #25 of 41

My DD1 self weaned during pregnancy due to my milk drying up..  Anyway, she started to ask to nurse again after the baby was born.  Since I really didn't want to do that (plus I've never known anyone to have good success with reestablishing a latch), I offered her some breastmilk in a cup.  Now I've been pumping a few oz's a day and giving her some special milk.  You might try that for a day or two and see if it will satisfy her needs. 
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by KayPea View Post

It's been awhile - wanted to check in with everyone who's been tandem nursing. 

 

It hasn't been a picnic for us lately, for all that I liked it in the beginning. I've been finding it emotionally draining to nurse both all the time, and found myself getting annoyed with DD over breastfeeding.  She wanted to nurse ALL THE TIME. And instead of making her feel more secure in our breastfeeding relationship, it just seemed to make her more and more needy. 

 

And I'm so torn - DD hasn't nursed once in the last 5 days because I got food poisoning and my supply dipped drastically, so I totally cut her off to make sure there was enough for baby. And it has been so wonderful for me - I feel free. But the poor dear clearly misses it a lot, and asks about it all the time, and we've definitely had some emotional repercussions. And I did so want to let her nurse until she was ready. She was primarily using it to go to sleep, and for the last 5 days she's been going to sleep fine without it, no tears at all for the last 3 days. But emotionally, I don't think she's ready to stop altogether. But I am. So much. I just don't know what to do, I feel so bad for her. This isn't exactly the way I would want to do it either. Gah, I don't know.



 

post #26 of 41

I'm not tandem nursing, but I do offer DS1 milk in a cup.  He loves getting mommy milk!  I highly doubt he could relatch (he weaned before I got pregnant, so it's been nearly a year!)  but I do love that he gets the benefits from the breastmilk.  He caught the same cold that I have so I am going to give him some milk today (it's not usually a daily thing).  We're vegan so I love that he's getting "real" milk instead of soy milk. 

I agree with Abra- maybe she would like just the milk?  Or you could reduce how often you let her nurse?

post #27 of 41

Michele, while I agree with wanting to nurse as long as a child wants, I also think that balance is crucial to the mental health of the family.  He can still reap the benefits of breastmilk by only nursing during the day, so I would highly suggest nightweaning.  At 2 this might be a relatively quick process of simply explaining that the milk is going night night (or whatever you say).  Once he stops getting milk at night he might very well STTN and help with your mental state and allow you to continue tandem nursing during the day.  And while everyone is different and every child is different, I have to say that my ds1 is doing just fine after having weaned at 17 months.  It was very emotionally difficult for me b/c ideally I would have nursed him well past 2, but with the pregnancy affecting me how it did, I just couldn't.  The weaning process was exceedingly simple- far surpassing my expectations (especially compared to night weaning dd!).  He hasn't seemed emotional disturbed at all and hasn't asked to nurse once since the baby was born.  I took all these things as signs that he was emotionally ready to wean.  Just a thought!

post #28 of 41

I definitely agree with Jaimee!  I had to wean my son because I was incapacitated- literally bedridden with influenza as well as mourning the death of my father (a week prior).  I would have loved to continue nursing my son, who was nearing 23 months.  He didn't *seem* ready to wean AT ALL before I had to- he was very attached, BUT I let him know that the milk was going bye bye and he totally comprehended that.  He asked for it maybe twice, and wasn't upset at all when I reminded him it went byebye.  He immediately started STTN- he had previously been waking around 3-5 times a night.  Seriously.  It was INSANELY easy and he did so well with it.  I think your mental health is so very important, and you should do what is best for everyone.  Your feelings matter- if you are hating it and don't want to do it, find a way to gently wean or reduce the feedings to something you find manageable.    Those are just my two cents.  I know it's hard though.  So hard.  I wept- literally sobbed over it.    


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaimee View Post

Michele, while I agree with wanting to nurse as long as a child wants, I also think that balance is crucial to the mental health of the family.  He can still reap the benefits of breastmilk by only nursing during the day, so I would highly suggest nightweaning.  At 2 this might be a relatively quick process of simply explaining that the milk is going night night (or whatever you say).  Once he stops getting milk at night he might very well STTN and help with your mental state and allow you to continue tandem nursing during the day.  And while everyone is different and every child is different, I have to say that my ds1 is doing just fine after having weaned at 17 months.  It was very emotionally difficult for me b/c ideally I would have nursed him well past 2, but with the pregnancy affecting me how it did, I just couldn't.  The weaning process was exceedingly simple- far surpassing my expectations (especially compared to night weaning dd!).  He hasn't seemed emotional disturbed at all and hasn't asked to nurse once since the baby was born.  I took all these things as signs that he was emotionally ready to wean.  Just a thought!



 

post #29 of 41
Thread Starter 

We seriously considered nightweaning towards the end of my pregnancy. The biggest issue is we have a tiny apartment, so it wasn't just DH up with him crying, it was everyone. And probably our neighbors, lol. If I nightweaned now, he'd be completely weaned, because he rarely nurses during the day. I've briefly wondered if allowing him to nurse during the day would get it out of his system and he'd sleep better at night, but I'm afraid I'll just be stuck nursing him all the time again! It's not the number of times that he's nursing that bothers me, I'd just like a little more solid sleep. Now that the baby is sleeping better, they alternate wake up times. It's better than when they were waking up together, but it still kind of sucks. (I have to say, though, that it's been nearly 5 years since I slept all night, and I think I'm starting to function better on less sleep!)

post #30 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by meesh933 View Post

We seriously considered nightweaning towards the end of my pregnancy. The biggest issue is we have a tiny apartment, so it wasn't just DH up with him crying, it was everyone. And probably our neighbors, lol. If I nightweaned now, he'd be completely weaned, because he rarely nurses during the day.


Have you attempted it in the past to know that he'll be crying?  My ds didn't cry at all.  It was seriously so easy.  And sometimes a night weaned kid will increase daytime nursing if there is still a need for it.  Otherwise if he weans completely, well, maybe he's just ready.  Plus there is often a noticeable change in maturity right around two that you might notice in the next few weeks that might be more conducive to weaning as well.

 

post #31 of 41
Thread Starter 

For a while he was going back to sleep for DH pretty easily, but right before hte baby came, that was over. He will raise all kinds of hell if he doesn't get to nurse at night, and DH either has to take him to the playroom (which shares a wall with our neighbors' kids' room) and cry till he passes out, or drive around with him for half an hour. Neither of which is ideal at 3 am. I don't think he's anywhere near ready to wean; he still seems closer to "baby" than "preschooler" if that makes sense. He just somehow seems really young to be 2. (And it's not just me that sees it - the other day a mom at the park told her son to be careful with the baby. Turns out her son was only 5 days older!)

post #32 of 41

I know what you mean...  Ds1 has seemed much less mature in a lot of ways than dd at the same age.  I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that he's much less verbal than she was.  But he's also more laid back, which has allowed him to sail through certain milestones with little emotional turmoil (like weaning).  I'm sorry it's so challenging for you!  I know that you and I were both worried about the small gap between our second and third kiddos.  It's hard to balance the needs of a baby-baby and a baby-toddler for sure!

post #33 of 41
Thread Starter 

DS1 is soooo much less verbal than DD was. But like you said, a lot less intense in a lot of ways. I remember 18-24 months being rough with Avery, but Will is honestly a JOY to be around 99% of the time. I have distinct memories of having full conversations with her at this age, and Will has just started putting two and three words together. They're very, very different people!

 

As far as weaning, I think in a week or so he'd be over it, but the actual weaning process would be rough.It doesn't bother me enough to put him through all that, although night weaning may still happen in a few months. And I know it's not as bad as it could be - a friend's oldest nursling stood at her feet and SCREAMED every time she nursed the baby. I was just really hoping the irritation with nursing him would go away with the pregnancy hormones, and it didn't. I'm thankful it hasn't become an issue when nursing Jack, though.

post #34 of 41

I'm not tandem nursing currently but I wanted to chime in with a few thoughts. 

 

Its a lot easier to wean a kid when you milk is really drying up. 

 

When my milk came in with my DD, DS was asking to nurse more than she was, so we had to have limits. He could nurse wwhenever he wanted at home (we were no longer NIP at that point) but he could only nurse for as long as it took me to sing one song, then he could go pick a book.  If I felt very milky and into nursing it was a long song and if I felt busy and annoyed it was a short song. He was happy with the system. If he really felt like he needed more milk he would just ask again after 2minutes later but he rarely did. 

 

I block nursed anyway, so I just traded them sides every few hours. 

 

This summer DP and I will both be tandem nursing but it will be different since they will both be babies and all the responsibility won't fall to just one mom. 

 

 

post #35 of 41

So I have to chime in--my 2yo nursed again last night!  yikes.gif

 

After all the drama in my head, assuming he'd tandem, and coming to terms that he abruptly self-weaned....yeah.  He asked to nurse last night, and instead of just patting me like he usually does, he latched right on and nursed for several sessions, both with and without his brother!  

 

I am not sure how i feel about it!  He asked again several times this morning, and I told him later, and he seemed cool with that.  Those toddler teeth are brutal compared to a baby's suck.

 

Crazy, huh??!

 

post #36 of 41

That's AWESOME, Krystal!joy.gif

post #37 of 41

Wow, Krystal!  What a surprise!  You said you're not sure how you feel about it... keep us updated with how it's going!

post #38 of 41

So how's the tandem nursing going, mamas? I think we're done here.  The tantrums we were having around nursing, the nursing to sleep and the constant demands to nurse from DD were really getting to me, and I started to put more and more limitations on nursing her. Then I got some kind of stomach illness, became very dehydrated  and my supply went way down, so I cut her off entirely to make sure the baby got enough, and overall she was OK with it. There were a few heartbreaking tearful moments but she really did accept the fact that the baby really needed the milk and that I didn't have enough for both of them while sick.

 

She didn't nurse for a week, and I thought maybe that was it. She was 33 months.

 

But it was clear she was really depending on going back to nursing when I got better. I really enjoyed my nursing vacation, especially finally, finally not needing to nurse her to sleep. So we made a deal - she could start nursing again, but not at bedtime or naptime, nor when she woke up. Not when she was upset (because she was getting upset just so she could nurse) and not while the baby was nursing. And not if I was making food or we were eating it, or cleaning up from it.  Once in the morning and once in the evening.  And she agreed and I stuck to it.  But she often forgot about nursing, and we rarely nursed twice in one day, and then she started going one, two, three days between nursing. Then more days.

 

We also discussed turning 3, and how when she turned 3 she wouldn't nurse any more. I needed a time for us to be done - it hadn't been a special time for me since becoming pregnant, and now her latch was horrible, I was getting teeth marks and bruises and even though our restricted access relationship was much easier than the previous all-access pass that she had (MUCH easier) I was still ready to be done. I wanted to connect with her in other ways. And so I set a deadline. She totally agreed whenever I brought it up - to her, 3 was big, and it made sense that big girls didn't nurse.

 

And then, suddenly, it was the night before her 3rd birthday. I hadn't nursed her to sleep in 3 months, but that night I told her that because it was the last night that she could nurse, she could nurse to sleep as a special treat. She was overjoyed! And I cried as I nursed my first nursling for perhaps the last time, and she fell asleep to the comfort of my breast for perhaps the last time.

 

It's now 4 days since then, and she has only had a couple of moments of insisting that she was 2, so that she could nurse again. We had one instance of grieving, where she cried in my arms, and I honoured how deeply she felt about it. I didn't offer distraction, I didn't go over all the other ways we could show our love, I just held her and let her cry, and told her how right it was to be sad about it, that I was sad too. She has been way more volatile, and more mama-centric, but we also have had sugar around because of Easter. She also is doing some oral stuff that she didn't do before - sucking her finger, chewing on Oren's pacifier.  And her eczema has returned, and the cradle cap too.

 

I am sad about it (I cried typing this out) it has been such a journey for me. And of course I feel guilty. But I am proud of having nursed her for 3 years, and proud of knowing where my boundaries were, and proud of setting those boundaries in a respectful, gentle way for her. I know it wasn't her choice to wean, and I really did want to make it her choice, but knowing her and knowing myself I feel this way was best for us both. That being said, if I feel like it is something that is very hard on her, I am open to starting the nursing again, but I honestly think she'll be OK with it. She doesn't love it, she wouldn't have chosen it, but she'll be OK.

post #39 of 41

What a sweet story.  A year ago I would have doubted that my dd1 would ever wean, but we, too, are finally there.  I slept with dd2 for a spell after she was born, and dp slept with dd1.  That got her out of the habit of nursing in the morning, which was her only remaining 'habit' feed.  I continued feeding her when she asked, usually once or twice a day, often restricting it to a few seconds.  I think the tandeming did help her adjust to sharing me with a sibling in the first few weeks.  Her nursing certainly increased when she felt unhappy.  Anyway, about 3 weeks ago I finally decided enough was enough.  I disliked feeding her (some sort of instinctual thing, since dd2 arrived) and I knew she'd be fine without it.  So I just started saying no, and after a few days she stopped asking.  She has made up her mind that she is a 'big girl' now, and I don't think she misses it at all.  She's 3 1/2, sleeping through in her own bed etc - I just think she's totally ready.

 

Interestingly, her eczema has returned as well.  I didn't connect that with nursing until I read your post Kaypea...

post #40 of 41

I agree, what a sweet story, KayPea. It really moved me. You're such a good mama, gently helping your daughter wean and honoring her sad feelings over it. I know when the time comes for my baby to wean, I will be feeling a whole wave of emotions myself. I never would've thought that the breastfeeding relationship was so powerful on both sides until I've been doing it myself. It really is such a source of bonding, and a source of comfort for our wee ones.

 

And good for you for nursing her for 3 years! thumb.gif That's AWESOME!

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