Tandem nursing a "Nursing dependent to sleep toddler" and a newborn? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 4 Old 10-30-2012, 10:39 PM - Thread Starter
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Hey so I'm newly pregnant (8 weeks) and have a 19 month old boy who is still nursing. I intend on nursing him till he's done with it but am a little nervous about nursing two at a time. He nurses mainly for comfort, thirst and mainly, to sleep. The comfort part only really happens when he hurts himself or is upset, the thirst issue I've been able to deal with pretty easy by offering him our raw cows milk or water instead...but the sleep issue is the one that worries the most. He never EVER falls asleep without nursing unless he's in the car seat. I've never been able to get him to sleep without nursing. It's not important enough to me to force him to learn how to fall asleep without, that just seems like unnecessary torture for both of us :( But I'm concerned that when I have my new one that there will be times where they both need milk at the same time in bed (we all co-sleep) and I don't know how I'll be able to do that!! I feel like no matter what I'm going to have one child getting less nursing time and sleep because I can't nurse them both in bed. Anyways, I was just hoping there was SOMEONE on here that could help me out with some personal stories or tricks or what not. I don't know how my son will transition to sleeping without nursing. He still wakes up every hour to 2 hours all night, every night so he can nurse (pretty sure it's when he hits his REM cycle and is a very light sleeper so he wants to nurse to fall back asleep) so any tips or tricks I'd greatly appreciate! Thanks.

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#2 of 4 Old 10-31-2012, 02:05 AM
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I'm still a couple of weeks away from tandem feeding so this is not a tested solution. However, my plan for feeding together in bed is to lie on my side with a pillow behind my back ( which I do already) and get my toddler to lie on the pillow to feed from the top breast while my newborn lies on the bed a feeds from the lower breast. My toddler already feeds this way sometimes so I'm hoping it will work ok. She lies half on the pillow and half draped over my side.

The other think I ended up doing was night weaning when she was about 2y4mo and i was about 34 weeks.I hadn't planned to but my nipples were so sore one night I just couldn't do it. I still feed her to sleep daytime and nighttime and whenever she asks during the day but, once she's asleep at night I don't feed her until 5am. She sometimes sleeps through but more often wakes once or twice. Sometimes she asks for mummy milk and I just tell her it's sleeping and she settles again. Sometimes she asks for water ( we keep a bottle by the bed) and sometimes she seems to be half-dreaming and just needs reassurance. Last night it was "I need my dinosaur. Where's my dinosaur?" I told her she could have dinosaur in the morning and she went back to sleep.

I hope someone who's actually done it will post wih some tips. I'll try to remember to come back once the new baby is born.

Mother of two spectacular girls, born mid-2010 and late 2012  mdcblog5.gif

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#3 of 4 Old 10-31-2012, 07:05 AM
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first, a LOT can change over the next 7 months - it is likely that your milk supply will drop or even dry up in the 2nd trimester and that could change your DS's nursing habits..  your DS may even wean due to pregnancy, it does happen..  Personally, my milk dries up around 15 weeks and between then and 20 weeks i usually night wean (i've done that part with 3 kids now, i'm 25wks with #4) because my toddler will usually start to want to stay latched on all. night. long. and i can't sleep while nursing because it becomes painful and being pregnant i HAVE to sleep ...  this doesn't happen to everyone, obviously, some moms continue to sleep through nursing and some toddlers don't react that way .. 2/3 of mine have needed water cups in the night after the milk dried up, so offering water may help,  my toddlers have always continued to nurse to sleep even though we stop nursing during the night .. (my kids are 26, 28 & will be 29 mo apart)  my #2 and #3, i did nurse them both at the same time in bed most mornings, it is more doable than it sounds, you will figure it out if that is what you need to do..though it diidn't really work until the newborn was a month or so old for me..    at bedtime, there were times that #3 needed to nurse at the same time as #2 and i  held them both in a chair, i would try to nurse the baby first and then hand her off to DH but she didn't want any of that (she would just scream, even though she was done nursing, she wanted me...) but we adapted, my toddler got use to it - sometimes he fell asleep and sometimes he didn't, so eventually he learned how to lay down in bed and go to sleep after nursing, sometimes i had to leave and DH came in and sat with him, he didn't like this very much at first but the loving comfort of a parent is not a bad thing just because it is not the first choice of a toddler - toddlers are more adaptable than they seem,  bottom line, don't stress about it now,  and don't change the way you do things now because of the way you think it might be later unless you want to change..     i am currently gently pushing my toddler to fall asleep without nursing to sleep becasue nursing is super painful for me, a benefit of this will be that she won't need to nurse to sleep after the baby comes, but i'm not doing it to prepare for that, i'm doing it because i can't handle hating nursing right now due to the pain, if it wasn't painful i would keep doing what i have been doing and not worry about it .. 

- Staci, Mommy to Mollie (3/06), Jamie (5/08), Annie (9/10), Bently (2/13), Robin (11/15)... and SURPRISE! (3/18)
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#4 of 4 Old 11-01-2012, 09:38 AM
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We have always nightweaned during pregnancy (before 20 weeks or so, so there is plenty of time for adjustments and getting used to it).  I honestly don't know how we would have done it otherwise...I've tandem nursed during pg and gone on to triandem nurse, and I do most nights by myself (hubby works 24-48 hr shifts) so I doubt I would have been as willing to stick with it had we not nightweaned. (and I'm afraid I would have gotten frustrated and resentful)  But we just replaced nursing with a sippy of water in the night (we co-sleep as well), and it always went pretty smoothly.  Of course, there was some resistance the first few nights, but I don't regret it one bit because it worked out best for all of us.


That said, I still nursed my older ones to sleep at bedtime.  Since the little baby generally stays up with me longer anyway that never turned into an issue.

Me (30) - DH (32) 12 years!
DD (9.5) ~ DD (7.5) ~ DS (5.5) ~ DS (2.5)

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