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Tandem nursing support thread?

post #1 of 31
Thread Starter 
Hey Mamas,

So I'm almost 48 hours into tandem nursing my newborn and my 2 year old. I'm finding it rewarding and overwhelming all at the same time. I live in a very small town, no LLL, no other tandem nursers I know of. Is there a support thread around here? Other tandem nursing mamas who might want to start one?

post #2 of 31
I am not nursing both at the same time but might soon enough! DD1 is 3 and will be 4 in Dec. and quite frankly I'm still shocked she's nursing even one time daily. We only nurse before bed and sadly, it's the only way to get this kid to sleep without too much pain and suffering.

My newborn is 2 months now and nursing around the clock so I'm completely DONE when DD wants to nurse at night. Doing it now currently and I still have that urge I had while pregnant to throw her off my lap. It's strange. I don't have that urge with DD2?!?! My DH thinks it's Mother Nature trying to tell me something. Lol.

How is it for you then? We SO NEED a support thread because it's hard nursing two.
post #3 of 31
Thread Starter 
Hi Tillymonster, thanks for your reply! That's great that your daughter still nurses once a day. She must still need it! Did you find she started to nurse more when DD2 was born? My DS1 asks a little more frequently, but mostly seems to accept it when I tell him mama needs a rest. It is most difficult at night, because DS2 is still trying to figure this whole thing out. We night weaned DS1 a few months ago, but now he's waking and asking to nurse. I gave in last night because I was engorged on both sides!

Nursing both at the same time is heart melting (although I still occasionally experience the aversion with DS1, like you mentioned). DS1 will pat his brother, pop off the nipple and whisper "he's very cute". Ahhhhh! Makes it worthwhile.

About the aversion...you DH's argument makes sense to me. I've often wondered if it's a biological response, like supply dropping during pregnancy.

Again, thanks for replying. Hopefully some other tandem nursers will find us here!
post #4 of 31
I'm here! I don't often nurse at the same time, but my dd2 is nursing a few times a day. She is 3 and ds is 8 months. I did tandem nursing with my 2 girls for almost a year then weaned dd1 (with pressure from dh when dd1 was 3.25 years. ) not planning on forcing dd2 any time soon. I am pretty strict with the older one nursing, mostly in the morning, nap time (very infrequent) and bed time. Once in a while if dd2 really needs it (or if I have a plugged duct or am engorged and ds isn't hungry .... hurray for toddlers that nurse!!!!) I had much less support when dd1 was still nursing at 3... no one says anything now about dd2. So glad.

Good luck mamas!
post #5 of 31
Thread Starter 
Hi, Chloesmama!

I'm so glad you've got more support now. It must be so difficult to keep nursing when you're feeling pressure from a LO.

I'm just reading Hilary Flower's book "Adventures in Tandem Nursing" now. Wish I'd found it while I was pregnant! It's very encouraging.
post #6 of 31
Thank you so much for starting this thread- I'm also here! Nursing a 2yr8mo DD & 7wk old DS...my DD definitely ramped up her nursing since her baby brother arrived. She nurses first thing in the morning, before her nap and before bed. Sometimes she manages to fit in a few snacks here and there. Luckily she has been sleeping through the night unless she's sick since 25 months of age so I didn't have to night wean her.

Just curious if any of the more experienced tandem nursers out there nurse both babies to bed simultaneously....DD will go down for my DH but I think she'd prefer to nurse, I just haven't figured out how to position the two babies.

Also, I have suffered a bit w a forceful letdown and the baby is pretty gassy as a result. Does anyone know if that will settle out on its own later? I have been offering DS one breast at night bc it seems easier for him to handle. When DD wakes up I have her drain the breast that's had the night off, as it were. She's getting so much milk, she's barely interested in breakfast!

It's great hearing others' experiences. I don't know any other tandem nursers even though I'm in NYC (I guess it really is rare). In my experience, it seems to have made the transition to having a baby brother a bit easier for my DD.

Edited for spelling.
post #7 of 31
Thread Starter 
Hi Reilly!

I nurse both at night. I didn't plan to, and I'd night weaned DS1 just before he turned 2, but he's been night waking and I'm finding we all get more sleep if I just nurse him back down. What works for me: I lie in a semi-recline, propped up on pillows. DS1 lies along one side of me, with his head in the crook of my arm, and nurses. DS2 lies in a similar position, but with a pillow beneath my other arm. If works pretty well, I think it will get easier as DS2 gets a bit more proficient at nursing.

I don't know anything about over-active letdown, sorry I can't offer any advice. Maybe try posting it to the breastfeeding forum separately?

I totally agree with you about tandeming making the transition easier for the older child. I still struggle, but it's early. DS1 is nursing a LOT now. Like you mentioned, Reilly, he's really ramped it up since DS2's arrival. One thing I've read commonly in other mothers' stories of tandeming is that they themselves don't enjoy it, and that they have to work hard at managing their dislike in order to continue. I wonder what it is that makes us keep at it? I have to admit that I'm trying hard to love it, but mostly I find it irritating. I just don't think DS1 is ready to wean yet. It is so difficult to respect and honour their needs while compromising our own. But I know soon his need to nurse will taper off again.
post #8 of 31
I actually nursed both tonight at the same time and whew did I NOT love it. Then I pulled DD1 off and she said "I don't like the baby!!!" Because she wanted to go to sleep with the boobs and didn't get to. I said I know and it's hard having a sister. It really made me sad that I couldn't do that for her. I need to start taking about why its so awesome not to need nom noms I think. DD feels deprived and I don't want her to, resentment stems from that which isn't fun either and the whole point was to tandem nurse. I just can't manage it at the same time and ugh I get super crazy aversion while doing it. I have to draw the line somewhere, right? If anyone has tips on along these lines-- bring it!
post #9 of 31
Thread Starter 

Yes, you do have to draw the line. I was talking with my midwife about it, and she said that it's really important to put our needs first. Our older nurslings still have a need to nurse, but they can begin to understand that mama needs to set limits. Also, somewhere in her book "Mothering Your Nursing Toddler", Norma Bumgarner says something like about nobody liking a martyr. If we're going to nurse two, we have to be happy to do it! We need to find some way to balance everyone's needs. Not easy! It is tough to nurse both at the same time, I get the aversion, too. It's getting better. I've started a count to 10 with DS1, which helps me to feel in control a bit and gives me an end in sight. He seems to accept that well. 


Baby is waking now, I hope things get better for you, tillymonster!

post #10 of 31
Sorry I don't have time to type much now but I wanted to pop in and say, "me too!" I have a 2 yo and an 11 week old. DS1 has been asking to nurse a good bit more than before the baby was born, and is much more emphatic about needing it. That has led to a few simultaneous nursing sessions but normally we don't nurse together. I still have a pretty significant aversion with the older kiddo. He does a lot of twiddling and picking at things on me and it drives me out of my mind. I frequently count him down off of the boob. Things are settling down now but we still have screaming tantrums occasionally if he is asked to wait to nurse. Fun. :-) DS2 is very easy going and rarely demands anything but a clean diaper and full tummy.
post #11 of 31
Thank you BushMama for the tips! Thus far I haven't really felt the aversion when nursing my toddler unless I have had zero time to myself and she's taking forever at the breast. This only happens about once a week so far, but I'm managing it. I had a serious aversion while PG so this feels like relief from that at least.

Can anyone remind me at what age the baby will become a proficient, co-sleeping, side-lying nurser? I don't remember, and I am so tired, I would love to be able to doze through these night nursing sessions. We are at the nine week mark now...he's still too gassy to go w out a good burp after every feed. And he does latch side-lying, but I need to hold my breast in a way that supports his latch, if that makes sense.

Hope everyone is hanging in there!
post #12 of 31
I don't nurse both at the same time, I lay with my girls and nurse dd2 while ds is with dh. The girls fall to sleep pretty quickly then I sneak out and hild and nurse ds until I go to bed. I am feeling ready for another bedtime routine so I can have more time snuggling with dh at night... . Iwhen dd2 was 9 months, I would nurse dd1 then tell her it was dd2s turn and roll over. I would do that now except that there are already 2 in the bed...
post #13 of 31
Thread Starter 

rielly, I don't remember when DS1 became proficient at side-lying but I'm with you on hoping it happens soon! I also need to hold my breast to help DS2 latch while side lying. 


For those of you who tandem at night, have you ever had the older child hang over your back while you're side-lying to nurse from the top breast? Are they able to go back to sleep being up like that?


I've been trying some meditation techniques to get over the aversion, and it's really helping! 

post #14 of 31
I probably should start meditating. The aversion is really hitting me these past few days. I am just finished w nursing past the ten minute mark w the toddler. Last night we did thirty minutes. I thought I would climb the walls! Today seems better so far and DH will be home to help w bed time for the first time since Monday. Thank goodness.
post #15 of 31
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by rielly View Post

I probably should start meditating. The aversion is really hitting me these past few days. I am just finished w nursing past the ten minute mark w the toddler. Last night we did thirty minutes. I thought I would climb the walls! Today seems better so far and DH will be home to help w bed time for the first time since Monday. Thank goodness.

Wow, I think I rarely go ten minutes with my toddler these days! Glad to hear today is going better for you, and you'll have some help tonight.
post #16 of 31
I am having the hardest time with my almost-4yo in going back to sleep once daddy inevitably wakes her, she sleeps with him. She's very demanding and definitely my higher needs child. I feel like DD2 is so much mellower in comparison but it might be me knowing more. She slept through a terrible tantrum this AM from DD1. I did not handle it well.

The nursing aversion is really bad. I don't want to put baby down nurse DD1 and couldn't stand even a minute when I had to to stop her from screaming. I was hoping because she's older that she could deal with this better. No, she's really not and I lashed out at her. The emotions completely took over and I'm in tears trying to figure out how moms tandem nurse! I can't stand it. I feel a lot of resentment toward nursing DD1 now and just think it's time to stop. DD1 won't just lay down and go back to sleep! It's driving my DH and I bonkers.
post #17 of 31

So sorry for you mamas that are having such a hard time.  I really go through stages too... seems like when my LOs are more needy and I don't have any personal space that I don't want to spend any extra time with the bigger ones attached to me (DD1 doesn't nurse any more, but she is very touchy and needy sometimes).  I try to take deep breaths and think of something I love about my DD.  most of the time I actually end up really appreciating the time together.  


Tilly, that sounds like a really rough situation.  Any chance that your DD1 can change sleeping situation?  It may be time to wean, but that is completely between you and your DD.  She is old enough to talk it through.  Hope it gets better soon.

post #18 of 31
Just posting to offer myself as a resource. I just finished a 3.5 year tandem journey, just in time for my 3rd baby to arrive! Looking forward to singleton nursing but happy to share!
post #19 of 31
Do tell dinahx!

I feel terrible things are so difficult for me and DD1 in regards to sleep. This new baby (2mo) is a loud little thing so I can't even be in the same room at night. Last night when putting DD1 to sleep she wouldn't stay in her room with me and the baby because of the noise. greensad.gif I felt bad because she ran into where DH was and woke him up to rock her to sleep! So he did. Then this AM she wanted me and I couldn't give her what she wanted, so she proceeded to freak out. The stupid thing is I could have put the baby down and just nursed DD1 back to sleep. My brain doesn't work well on 4 hours of sleep so it didn't occur to me and I was nasty to DD1 because she couldn't just lay down and be quiet. Ugh!!!
post #20 of 31

subbing...will come back later!

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