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Tandem nursing support thread? - Page 2

post #21 of 31

just wanted to say TIlly that my DS has to test limits to know where he stands.  They are trying to figure out their new role and make sure that you're still there for them.  Quickly while I have a few seconds a few things that have worked for us - clear expectations on the nursing and a song that we sing when nursing is over. Also eating a ridiculous amount of food and sleep/resting when you can - food and sleep deprivation give me huge aversions to DS nursing, but fixing those things will clear the aversion.  I'll post more later, but thought I would share that!

 

DS is 3 and DD is 5 months

post #22 of 31
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tillymonster View Post

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.

Tilly, how are things now? I've been wanting to reply to this for a few days, just finding the time now...

You mentioned your DH inevitably waking your daughter...is it possible to have her sleep somewhere else? Maybe her own mattress in the same room? Could she start out the night in her own room?

I'm sorry to hear that the aversion is still so strong. I read a story from one mom talking about how she didn't want her nursing relationship to end on a bad note. She couldn't get over her aversion either, and she began weaning her older nursling. You've done amazing, nursing her for almost 4 years, and alongside the new baby, too. Do you still feel like it's time to stop? Your own sanity is so important. Feelings of resentment don't help anyone.

Thinking of you and hoping things are improving...
post #23 of 31
Subbing, since I'm currently nursing my 20m DS2 and due with DS3 in Jan. We've already starting talking about how baby will have milkies too, but he can't have big kid food for a long time. I'm really nervous as to how DS2 is going to handle being a big brother though.
post #24 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by BushMama83 View Post

Tilly, how are things now? I've been wanting to reply to this for a few days, just finding the time now...

You mentioned your DH inevitably waking your daughter...is it possible to have her sleep somewhere else? Maybe her own mattress in the same room? Could she start out the night in her own room?

I'm sorry to hear that the aversion is still so strong. I read a story from one mom talking about how she didn't want her nursing relationship to end on a bad note. She couldn't get over her aversion either, and she began weaning her older nursling. You've done amazing, nursing her for almost 4 years, and alongside the new baby, too. Do you still feel like it's time to stop? Your own sanity is so important. Feelings of resentment don't help anyone.

Thinking of you and hoping things are improving...

Thank you for your kind words! I'm still not doing so well with tandem nursing and made bedtime a struggle tonight because I just can't stand it anymore. It seems to be a bit easier if I'm not tired but those days are few and far between. I am finding my new baby to be quite the night owl! She'd currently keeping me up till 3am most nights. Then I'm up with DD1 at 10am but it's been earlier lately. And that's with one wake up in between to nurse. It's really hard right now. But fussy time has pretty much subsided so there is that!

I understand the sentiment of not wanting to end on a bad note. I don't either, of course, but now am finding it so hard to think back when I actually loved nursing DD1! It was a long time ago. Almost a year since I got pregnant to say the least.

I'm going to start really talking to her about her 4th bday and how we are going to stop. I wanted to think of something symbolic that just her and I would do to mark the event. I'm worried I won't have the commitment to stick with it though. Bedtime is so much harder when I can't nurse her. But it's also not something she needs. She stopped asking for it most times. Especially during the day and hasn't in a long time. I'm so torn. I'm not sure how it'll all pan out and she's been through so much I'm afraid to take this away from her too. But yeah, 4 years is amazing right?

Here's another question though, I was really hoping she would be done on her own. Perhaps by offering it for bedtime I'm not letting it happen by offering and need to stop that! I bet if I did it would just gradually taper off.
post #25 of 31
Thread Starter 

Yes, I wonder what would happen if you stopped offering? Maybe gradually replace it with something else, like a story or a back rub? Or try nursing for a little bit, then reading a story and then sleep time. That way she stops needing to nurse to fall asleep. Eventually the story may take over. I think having something special and symbolic to mark her weaning would really help. You've got some time to really talk about it with her, especially if you start now. I hope it goes smoothly for you.

 

Keep us posted! I hope you get some more sleep soon. 

post #26 of 31

I would also try not offering - it sounds like she is really close, and she could be picking up on your stress about it and that's why she's clinging - sometimes when I am stressed, DS will ask to nurse because he thinks it makes me feel better too.  (He told me this at one point).  I hear you on it being *enough*.  I am teetering at that point with my DS...but DS asks to nurse all the time still.  He has GI issues that we are still working through and doesn't eat much, so I can't in good consciousness wean him.  But it's incredibly overwhelming and I have to try really hard not to be resentful at times.  I feel like we are so close to solving his issues and that if we can just do that, he will cut down significantly on nursing.  Then I think I will like it again...or at least not have to stress over it so much. 

 

Bedtime for us is also a little wacky.  I used to do the entire thing basically on my own, but the past few months DH has been doing a little "routine" with DS.  Then DS comes to bed with DD and I and nurses and goes to sleep.  Most nights he does not nurse to sleep, but rather nurses and then I tell him that the nums need to go to sleep and he rolls over and either puts himself to sleep or gets up looking for DH again.  If he got up I used to nurse him back to sleepy when he got back, but now the "rule" is that once the nums go to sleep, he can't have more....but I don't refuse him in the middle of the night.  I am going to night wean soon.  He had nightweaned on his own before DD was born, and even for a while after that he was doing pretty well, but then things sort of unraveled.  He's up 4-6 times per night.  It stinks.  The few times DH hasn't been around at bedtime, I just nurse them both down, which is hard because they entertain each other now.  Typically DS will want to find something else to do, but if I leave all the lights off and he knows DH isn't home, he won't leave the room, since there is no one to play with.  Then he will eventually just go to sleep.  Not ideal, but nor terrible. 

Tilly, I don't think it would be the end of the world if DH locked the door, and you explained to your DD that bed time is bed time and that she needs to sleep.  She will likely test to make sure that you mean it, but so long as it's done in a pleasant manner, it shouldn't be a negative thing.  I also like the idea of your 4th birthday thing - that could be turned into a really special positive thing. 

post #27 of 31
Thread Starter 
How is everyone doing these days?

I've had a rough couple of nights. I decided that I didn't want to nurse both at the same time. During the days, DS1 takes that quite well. At night, though, is a different story. When I tell him he must wait, he immediately starts kicking and screaming. The first night, I stuck with my policy and I felt great about it, although it was hard to listen to him scream. I was pretty tired the next day, though, because it took everyone longer to get back to sleep. The second night, I nursed them at the same time the first time he woke, and then stuck to the policy the next time. I got a bit more sleep, but was still pretty tired. Last night, I was exhausted, and didn't want to listen to kicking and screaming for a third night in a row, so I decided to nurse them simultaneously. I remember feeling a lot of resentment towards DS1 each time he woke (I think it was every time the baby did, so 5-6 times), but we all seemed to get back to sleep faster. This morning, though, DH informed me that I was pretty awful to my son through the night, saying some really mean things to him. It made me cry. We're all so vulnerable at night, and I know that's why I said things I would never say in the light of day, but I feel awful that I treated my son so poorly when he was even more vulnerable. DH has suggested we think about weaning DS1 (25 months) only because the relationship is getting so negative. He is worried about my mental health, and about how things might be affecting DS1.

I wonder if DS1 would be waking so often if there wasn't a baby in the bed. He doesn't seem to have reached any new milestones lately, and I don't think he's teething or sick. I sometimes wonder if the bed-sharing is the problem, especially last night because DS1 and DS2 seemed to wake up almost at the same second each time, if not then within a minute or two of the other. I've thought about moving DS1 to another bed completely apart from us (we don't have another bedroom), but we live in the far north. Winter is quite cold, and our loft is not well heated so I think we all need the shared body heat at night.

I keep asking myself...if so many cultures have taboos against nursing through pregnancy/tandem nursing, and if so many women have such strong aversion to it, then maybe it's not supposed to be? What would weaning look like now? We're spending the next couple of months with family, away from home, so I think now would be an awful time to do it. I am trying to gently get the process started, though.

Hope everyone else is having a better time!
post #28 of 31

We have been walking the same road! Hugs Mamma!!! The night time stuff is so hard and it really does set a standard for how the rest of the day goes.  How is your son in terms of setting limits? My DS (a year older, so a bit different) does much better once there is a clear and consistent boundary.  He has a bit of trouble trying to learn and accept the new rules, but once they have been accepted, he does better.  Even if the new rules are more "strict" than the old "whenever" attitude, he does better knowing what to expect.  I ended up just setting some hard boundaries, and now we both enjoy the nursing relationship a lot more, and I have a lot less resentment over it.  Which makes him feel more secure and more likely to handle the boundaries.  It's kind of a self perpetuating cycle either way.  

So I was having a lot of trouble and feeling resentment towards DS (3) - his sleeping was bad, he was asking to nurse ALL.THE.TIME. and it was driving me nuts.  DH had escaped to the couch months ago, so I do all of the night time stuff by myself.  I knew that I needed to make a change before things got bad....because the more stressed about nursing DS I was, the more he sensed it and wanted to nurse.  So, one night I just up and said "no num until the sun comes up".  He doesn't like it, but he's exhausted at night so after a little whining and thrashing he goes back to sleep.  If he seems thirsty I give him water.  He still wakes up occasionally and will ask to nurse, but I just tell him not until the sun comes up, and give him hugs.  It hasn't been all that bad, actually.  At about the same time, I started limiting his daytime nursing to after breakfast and after lunch.  So he gets to nurse 4x per day, unless he's distracted by other things.  It's made a HUGE improvement in my own psyche.  And that translates to him.  Again, there are times where he asks to nurse and I have to say no, and he gets sad, but I just remind him of the next time he can nurse and offer hugs instead.  So that's been going on for a week now, and I feel much better.  Unfortunately though, it doesn't make me like nursing him any more.  I get the same joy from cuddling him...actually maybe even more since I don't feel as stressed by the nursing.  I would be happy if we could cut it down to 2x per day.  But I'll have to let this settle for a bit first.  He had been nursing an awful lot so this is a huge change.  But it's a good one.  And overall he's tolerated it really well.  

I think my overall aversion to it is just due to stress and pressure of being the only one who can do certain things.  So long as I am eating well enough, there is no real aversion to it.  But is is really hard on my body.  I want to like it a lot more than I actually do.  But I also need to address the non nursing aspect of the stress and pressure and I think that will help the nursing part.  I learned at the beginning that I was projecting a lot of the issues I had adjusting to being a Mom of two onto the nursing relationship with DS and that wasn't really fair.  So I would suggest to others that finding ways to decompress and get the much needed time to take care of yourself might in and of itself take care of at least some of the nursing struggles.  

post #29 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by BabySmurf View Post  I learned at the beginning that I was projecting a lot of the issues I had adjusting to being a Mom of two onto the nursing relationship with DS and that wasn't really fair.  So I would suggest to others that finding ways to decompress and get the much needed time to take care of yourself might in and of itself take care of at least some of the nursing struggles.  

 

I so agree! I also strongly agree with all those who have mentioned how eating well (and drinking a LOT!!) makes a huge difference. My boys are (just turned) 3 and 16 months. The three yr old is by far the needier, and always has been high-maintenance--that has been really hard, since I often resent how his needs take so much of my attention from the baby. He has been nursing at least as much as the baby since our littlest was born, but that (thankfully!!) has started to taper off. He has actually slept through the night without nursing maybe five or six times in the last month, which is HUGE!! I did nurse them together during the night for the first 9 months or so, but I really, really didn't like it. The "big guy" would sit up and lean over my back (and yes, he did fall asleep that way--and usually I could lay him back down, but sometimes I had fallen asleep too, so he would sleep like that for a few hours and my rib cage would definitely feel it). After those first months, my older was getting heavier on my back/side, and the aversion was getting worse, so now he has to wait if he wakes up while the baby is nursing. That was really hard at first, with some of his (and my!!) worst tantrums resulting. My husband was amazingly helpful, he held the kicking, screaming boy and would often take him out of the room, offer water, banana, bread, etc., until the baby was done. Just in the last month or so that has gotten so much better--he now waits calmly almost always, sometimes even goes back to sleep without nursing, or (occasionally) doesn't even wake up! Which is hugely encouraging. He still nurses to sleep for nap and bedtime, and nurses pretty frequently throughout the day unless he's distracted, and usually once or twice during the night. Now I'm concerned about what we'll do if/when we get pregnant again with both boys still nursing so often. I guess we'll cross that bridge when we get there.

post #30 of 31
I just found this thread, yay! We have been tandem nursing for 2weeks now, and my 2 year old is having a tough time. First we had an emergency c section which meant my toddler was without me and nursing for 3 days, then she got a cold shortly after me and baby came home. Lots of reason to be clingy.... Long days and longer nights. Reading this gives me hope 😊 I'm feeling better today. With surgery recovery, newborn and tandem nursing I was frazzled.
post #31 of 31
Thread Starter 
Bohemian mama, that sounds like a lot to deal with! Do you have a good support person now? It is intense, and I felt like I was losing my mind for a good 2 months.

We're now 5 months in and it is a LOT better! My toddler is now down to nursing only at nap/bedtime, and I've just this week gotten him to sleep better at night. He nurses to sleep and not again until 5 am. Before that, it was 4-6 times a night!

I feel like tandem nursing helped to ease the transition for my toddler. I've never really sensed any jealousy from him towards the baby. I hope to continue on a path of gentle mama--led weaning with him, though. I am ready to be done!

I hope your recovery goes well!
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