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nursing twin toddlers

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
I'm curious about how many twin moms nursed their twins over a year. I guess that's considered extened breastfeeding even though the WHO recomends nursing 2 years at least.

I'd love to know if you planned on nursing so long, or it just happened, previous nursing experience, or anything about your story you'd like to share. I'm just curious because I am currently nursing my 2 1/2 yr old twins, nursed my singlton previously and had some rough times in the first couple of weeks with the twins. After Daphne came home from the hospital at a week old, she didn't bottle feed and they both nursed exclusively for 6 months and are currently nursing.

I've learned more nursing them than I did with my older daughter and I feel like helping other moms, especially twin moms with nursing. It can be hard and we lack information and exposure to nursing in our society and I wish for that to change so that more women and babies can have the nursing experience they deserve. What have you learned from nursing twins?

Pardon my curiosity.
post #2 of 23
Hey, mine are 11 mos. I am still nursing them but need some encouragement. Extended nursed my dd (singleton) and exclusively my ds (singleton) but need some encouragement now.

What changed for you? What advice to you have? Anything?

post #3 of 23
I exclusively nursed my twins, and they are still going strong at 19 (almost 20) months old. I've loved my nursing relationship with them, though it has been overwhelming at times. In most cases, though, I think most of the overwhelmingness is about *parenting* twins, not bfing. In many ways bfing makes it easier.

I suppose the only issue I have is NIP. I live in a very bfing-friendly place by U.S. standards, but it's really a spectacle at this point to nurse them both together, and nursing twin toddlers in public is a stretch even in the crunch-town I live in! When I pick them up at daycare (I work part-time) they tackle me and both want to nurse. Everyone is very supportive, but I wouldn't mind having the *option* of being a little conventional. And if I nurse one the other has a major tantrum. Sigh.

I would also really like any advice about dealing with that. I would love to have more one on one nursing time, but they really compete to nurse. Has anyone had any success with getting them used to taking turns? The best we've been able to manage is to nurse them both together for a while and the one who wasn't really hungry/thirsty/in need usually nurses for 2-3 minutes and then leaves (often taking the nipple with him/her but that's another thread!). But it's still a long 2-3 minutes.

Thanks for starting this thread. I think EN is wonderful and I am very proud of myself and our nursing relationship.


post #4 of 23
Thread Starter 

Hurray, people are responding!

I prefer to nurse them one at a time at this point. They understand now about taking turns...most of the time. Sometimes they get angry at waiting. I try to remember to entertain the non-nursing one with a story, a song or asking lively questions about something we see, such as the puppy on her dress or whatever. Sometimes they just aren't interested in nursing at the same time and then I can enjoy my nursing toddler one on one. I don't think they'll be nursing for much longer. Unless we are at someone elses house or at a LLL meeting, they don't ask to nurse durring the day.

Hotmama, I'll encourage you. Your doing great! You already know the value of nursing and that'll help keep you going. I think the thing to remember, as Cate pointed out, is parenting twins is a challenge and especially if you have other kids too. At least when you are nursing, you have an excuse to sit down sometimes.

I think parenting the twins has taught me not to be such a perfectionist. I am finally realizing (after being a parent for almost 12 years) that it's more of a disgrace to not read to my kids several times a day than to have a grubby kitchen floor. I'm learning to put people before things. I nearly ran myself ragged...no, I did run myself ragged for about a year after they were born trying to see to everyone's needs and also have a spotless house.

But in what area do you need encouragement, Cate? I know we all have various kinds of stressses in our lives. Is it something specifically about breastfeeding that you neen encouragement in? I think this will be a very helpful thread for all of us.
post #5 of 23

Encouragement, huh?

Well, part of me feels like, "don't get me started" because this could turn into a huge vent, and I don't particularly want or need to do that. Things are getting a little easier with parenting in general and quite a bit easier with nursing, so I am starting to feel some relief.

I suppose I could use some "this too shall pass" vibes about bedtime. My partner travels a lot for work and I am doing bedtime solo these days even when she's here because they're so used to it just being me that there's not much she can do for us. It's hard. I think it's pretty typical for non-CIO toddlers to be hard to put to bed--life is just so EXCITING for them! Who wants to sleep!?!?--but when it's one on two it can be exasperating. I'm VERY committed to creating a positive bedtime routine in our home (bedtime was always a battleground in my house growing up), but I find it's a challenge for me sometimes to keep from getting aggravated by all the stalling tactics and messing around.

Double nursing them at bedtime is hard. There's a lot of stretching and pulling and while I mostly cut things off that are bothering me, I find that I often let things slide that I wouldn't otherwise because when I set a limit that turns into a big stalling episode with testing and giggling and a whole rigamarole that delays sleep that much further. So I suppose it's not just about nursing, but I could use some encouragement around gentle sleep stuff.

And I suppose I could use some encouragement about not being a freak for whipping out my enormous bazongas, LOL, every day at daycare in front of 6 other toddlers and three teachers!

Anyway, thanks for posting this thread. I think it's great to provide support for each other--EN MOTs is not the biggest crowd in the world--we need each other!


post #6 of 23
Thread Starter 
This too shall pass
It really will. It is hard doing bedtime solo. My DH seldom helps. There's a book called "The No Cry Sleep Solution" than many of my friends find helpful. I try to calm things down before we actually start getting ready for bedtime. They enjoy stories now and sometimes don't even ask to nurse at bedtime anymore. But they are older than your two. They still don't sleep all night, but I don't nurse until 5am and they are ok with that if I give them water and snuggles. They're on a mattress on out floor and it's not a big deal to go down there or bring one up with me.

But my 11 yr old puts herself to bed and stays there happily and so I know some day they will too. I tell my DH to remember that someday we'll miss this time in our lives.

When your DP is home she can do other things that help at bedtime even if it's not directly with the babies. She can clean up the kitchen and stuff like that so that you can begin the bedtime ritual sooner in the evening. When they become interested in books (if they aren't already) it could be a real treat for her to read to them. My DH reads to ours sometimes and they get very happy because it's someone else reading to them besides me. So, it'll get easier as they grow.

Go ahead and nurse them at daycare. It sets a good example.
Nurse them in a box, nurse them with a fox
Nurse them here and there, nurse them everywhere LOL

Just smile a lot when you do so and if anyone says anything, quote the World Health Organization and say that they recomend nursing at *least* 2 years. Or laugh and say they'll wean by college. And I hope you know that you have the legal right to breastfeed anywhere children are allowed to be.

I do hope that helps.
post #7 of 23
I know it's been a while since anyone responded to this thread. I nursed my twins until they were about 17 months. I nursed them together for the first few months, then separately until they were sitting up, and then together again untilt he end. I don't think they would have stopped nursing, except for my milk supply plummetted after I stopped pumping at work at 15 months or so. The two biggest things I learned from nursing twins are:1. My body can do awesome things, and 2. slow down--you can only accomplish so many things in a day, and this one thing is plenty. I miss nursing so much, and it's been 1.5 years!!
post #8 of 23
Thread Starter 
First I'd like to say, good for you and your twins for nursing for 17 months! That's so wonderful. I love to hear about twin nursing success stories. I've even heard of completely breastfed triplets. That must be hard...then again, maybe easier than fixing 3 bottles. I can't imagine diapering 3...and then there's pottytraining, the grocery store, etc. But I guess none of us have kids in order to have it easier, just more fullfilling. Which brings me to my next point-
You are soooo right. Our bodies *can* do awesome things. We can nourish our babies in our bodies and also after they emerge. It is very uplifting to be able to nurse twins. I love to spread the word because not every woman knows that she can nurse one let alone twins. For many women in our culture it's not something they realize they can do and they often need some assistance in order to be successful. I hope all moms who have nursed (expecially twin moms) will encourage pregnant women and women who have small babies to nurse and offer information when needed.
I put my "Human Milk for Human Babies" next to my "Twins" bumper sticker. I guess I'm advertising. Somebody has to advertise breastmilk to combat the formula ads.
Sorry, I'm raving now. I guess I shouldn't have had that second cup of coffee. Ok, back to life.....
post #9 of 23
Wow, that's amazing dedication. How wonderful!!!

I am still technically nursing dd and ds. I say technically because I don't refuse, but they just don't seem interested anymore except sometimes at night or when they're not feeling well. It is very far from being a significant contributor to their nutrition - they only nurse for very short periods and only every now and then.

But that is also likely related to the fact that I started having to supplement with formula around 7 -8 months or so when I stopped pumping at nighttime (after they were sleeping through), and then stopped formula and switched to whole cow's milk at 14 months. All the while nursing whenever they pleased, but once they started solids (also around 7-8 months), they were just really into that. Now they drink their milk from a cup and eat practially all adult foods. I think it depends on the kids, how much you've had to offer bottles (regardless of whether EBM or ABM), and how much they eat/drink regular foods.

On the one hand, I'm pretty proud that I nursed at all. Around MDC, people roll eyes at nursing for only 3 months, but MOMs know that's a huge effort in and of itself. And a lot of people I've met assume twins are automatically going to be FF completely. On the other hand, I think I could have done things differently that would have promoted exclusive nursing past 7-8 months, such as:

* Delayed the start of solid foods until my milk supply was strong enough on its own with no pumping. I kind of gave myself a double whammy by stopping pumping AND starting dd and ds on solids. Talk about a drop in demand.

* Looked into natural supply boosters (domp., fenugreek, others), to assist with quitting pumping.

* Handled a few more days (weeks??) of hungry babies before desperately reaching for formula due to feeling scared about malnutrition.

* Even if we did use formula to get through the peak demand of that 7-8 month growth spurt, still held off on cow's milk and just weaned off of formula and back onto me exclusively around a year, and then waited months or a year or more before introducing cow's milk.

Ahhhh.... hindsight!!!

Except for middle of the night feedings during early infancy, I always nursed mine separately. They are very different nursers and bugged each other to no end. I like the separate bonding time too.

I love reading these stories!
post #10 of 23
Thread Starter 
Thanks for sharing your experience, Twinmommy. I think we have so much to teach others about bfing. Nursing each of my 3 kids taught me different things and every mom I hear from teaches me something new. It's like what you say about hindsight, but you teaching others will help them to have a fulfilling bfing experience too.

You did nurse a nice long time and that is great for you and your kids. I was just reading about how nursing helps lessen the chances of certain kinds of cancers for both the kids *and* the mom nursing them and every nursing helps reduce the risks, so you and your kids are well protected.

So, hindsight is always 20/20 (we've all experienced that and will continue to in all aspects of parenting), but you sure have done a great job and you have very lucky kids and you should be very proud.
post #11 of 23
Hi everybody!
Id like to give a huge to all of you EN to twins!It doesnt matter how long each of you did it or are doing it,just that you are or did a great job giving your children the very best.Even through the extriemely difficult times!
My girls are 3.3 years old and we still nurse and co sleep.I havent even night waened them yet,not beacuse I dont want to its because I cant! They just are not ready for it even though mama is!
I dont have much time here tonight bc they still wake alot at night and I must go running when they do or its another all nighter!
I just wanted to add that DaryLL a member here though she is not a mothe rof twins does do a support group for nursing moms of twins and she always has terrific advice.I have not been here in a while but I am pretty sure she is still here.
I know if you need anything you can PM her and she will help you.

Bye for now!
post #12 of 23

I am weaning them. I can't do it anymore and I want to be able to but my life is so stressful that I can't. They had 8 months of only breastmilk. I started some solids at 8 months and at 10 months, I got an extended sickness where I took allopathic meds (the first time in eight years) and began to give them some soy organic toddler formula (gasp) a few times in the day and continued to bf durign the day and at night. But now, at 12 1/2 months, with my dh gone and my 5 and 2 yo and no family here to help, I just can't do it anymore. They are eating foods, drinking rice and soy milk and herbal teas and nursing about twice at night.

Last night, I nursed Soren and he BIT me really hard. I think he knows. I've been doing a slow transition

I wish things in my life were different but they aren't and I am trusting that my heart for them is more important than whether or not I nurse them.

But can I just ......

post #13 of 23
hey mama 12 months is nothing to feel bad about!Thats forever in twins mommy world!
Seroiusly though,the EN relationship should continue only when BOTH (or all: ) are willing,comfortable and able to continue.
If you feel that strong of a need to wean,then you must do it or it can be very hard on all of you.Resentment can start to come into the picture and I know nobody wants that.
Be strong,you are making the right choice for you and your babies.Being a EN with twins doesnt make anybody supermom.Loving them enough to make hard decisions for thier own benefits does.
post #14 of 23

I nursed Meg for 17 months & plan on nursing P & C for at least that long...
post #15 of 23
THanks Mamas. It has been difficult. I nursed my oldest singleton 23 months and I never thought I'd wean the twins at a year. It is just too hard with the 5 yo, 2 yo, the twins, and all that is going on in our family these days. I am so thankful that I nursed them for a year, though. I am amazed that I was able to as we had just moved to a new city, had no family or support system when the twins were born and have had no means to hire any help.

ON the day that I finally weaned them. My dd, 5, lost her first MILK tooth. I feel like a transition is definately happening here.

(I am still lurking mamas)

Thanks for your love and support.
post #16 of 23
Hurray that you are still lurking! Hurray that MDC is back!

I am HATING tandem nursing my twins. It's just too much stimulation. Wondering if I will ever adjust (I avoid it as much as possibly now, only do it when both are melting down).
post #17 of 23
Great thread!

I am not officially nursing toddlers yet, but I feel like I am! Luke and Jaz are 11 months old, and are practically exclusively breastfed. They have a few bites (at most!) of solids a day. I would be happy for them to eat solids at this point, but they aren't that interested (very interested in tasting, but not so much in swallowing). They just had the flu for a week and didn't eat solids at all the whole time. So I guess my supply is still capable of keeping up with them. I am so thirsty! It is so much harder to drink these days since they always need a sip too, and then I spend ten minutes holding the water bottle for each of them, and I never get a turn. I try to stock up when they're napping.

Yesterday we went to the mall to get cabinet locks, and they started doing the sign for nurse right in the middle of everything. So we sat down on a bench and out came my udders. . . I swear I could practically hear people gasping as they walked by! I guess people are shocked enough to see you nursing one baby who's old enough to be running around, and when you add in a twin brother and two enormous breasts. . . it's quite a sight!

But, generally speaking, I am loving nursing my almost-toddlers, and don't plan on stopping anytime soon. This is the nursing time I've been looking forward too since my boys were tiny. It's easy, it doesn't hurt, I can nurse in any imaginable position, and it's nice to get to cuddle my little ones in that familiar hold and remember that they are still very much babies.

post #18 of 23
I nursed my twins until they were 4yrs and I have to say the best thing about it is that they REMEMBER it. It has been 2 yrs now and they still talk about it. What a difference that will make when they grow up and have kids of their own.
post #19 of 23
You mamas are so inspirational! I love this thread.
post #20 of 23
Good golly moongazer your just the gal I need to talk to....But I will save it for later.DDs are running around hyper with thier undies on thier heads!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hey hotmama!Good to see ya!
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