How do you deal with tandem / triandem at night? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 17 Old 12-27-2007, 12:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Dd1 is 3.75 y.o., dd2 is 2 y.o. and I'm pregnant with dc3 (a happy surprise). In the past, they seemed to wake at different times, so in general no big deal to night-nurse both of them. However, dd2 nurses a LOT at night these days, after some intensive teething and then a bout with a croupy cough. I find it extremely hard to nurse both at the same time at night (uncomfortable, hard to breathe and recently, nausea-inducing) so I often ask dd1 to wait. Sometimes not a great scene...she cries, yells and is very upset at having to wait. I feel terrible about it and do nurse both if I can manage it. We have talked about it and things seem better in general, but still can be tough at times.

I am a bit stressed at the thought of three nightwaking children wanting to nurse at once. Any good ideas here? (Obviously not looking for "wean the older ones at once sorta' advice, as I posted in CLW) On a funny note, dd1 thinks I can take turns nursing, where she goes first and dd2 (jokingly) suggested that Dada nurse the baby.

In case it helps anyone else in the same boat, what sometimes works is to ask her to snuggle while she waits, tickle her back while she waits or to do a quick nurse and count.

Oh, and dd1 definitely wants to stay in the family bed...we've asked. TIA for any ideas.
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#2 of 17 Old 12-29-2007, 09:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yikes, am I the only tandem mama having problems at night? If so, it's encouraging in a way! Trying to be relaxed and work my way through it all as gently as possible for all of us.
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#3 of 17 Old 12-29-2007, 09:27 PM
 
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I am nursing 3 but only 2 at night.My 3 year old is night weaned.What does work is reading a book to the older ones and having someone around to help out.I am kept quite busy.I hope I can come back and post more.

joy.gifme, herding 5 critters a cat and a dog. DS 11/01, DS 10/04, DD 2/06, DS 5/07 and DD 9/10

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#4 of 17 Old 12-30-2007, 10:28 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks crittersmom! Encouraging to know others are dong well with this. Dh sleeps in a separate room since he doesn't get sleep in with all the action but maybe we'll have to revisit this. He's very helpful at bedtime, so that's not an issue...mostly the 5 a.m. and on wake-ups
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#5 of 17 Old 01-02-2008, 06:10 PM
 
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I'd like some advice here too. I'm 37 weeks pregnant, and I'm nursing my co-sleeping 13 month old. How on earth does it work with a newborn too? First of all, the sleeping -- I'm BIG and DS moves a lot at night. He will flop off the bed, over my face, around my legs, etc. during the night, without any disruption at all to his sleep. How could it be safe to keep him in bed with a newborn? And how do I tandem nurse at night? As it is I'm always exhausted.
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#6 of 17 Old 01-02-2008, 09:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Dov'sMom View Post
I'd like some advice here too. I'm 37 weeks pregnant, and I'm nursing my co-sleeping 13 month old. How on earth does it work with a newborn too? First of all, the sleeping -- I'm BIG and DS moves a lot at night. He will flop off the bed, over my face, around my legs, etc. during the night, without any disruption at all to his sleep. How could it be safe to keep him in bed with a newborn? And how do I tandem nurse at night? As it is I'm always exhausted.
Keep one on each side...at that age they aren't really aware of their bodies to be safe around a newborn. I switch sides most nights (i.e., different side this night than last night). Does that work for you or is he all over the place as in on both sides of you?
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#7 of 17 Old 01-05-2008, 11:52 AM
 
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This is just the thread I was looking for, and lucky for me, timely!
I am 15 weeks pregnant with #3, nursing my 4 year old and 2 year old the rest of the time. Shortly before I got pregnant, or perhaps even at the beginning of the pregnancy, I kept thinking something has got to give, because my older daughter nursed an awful lot...think like, as often as the 2 year old, and at night, and the 2 year old was nursing every hour or more. Luckily, my milk disappeared, my older daughter turned 4 and she had this mass maturing where she could totally be reasoned with and now we are down to one or two times a day and she responds well to my counting from 1-20.

My husband even said the other day "it probably wouldn't be awful if you had to nurse her after the baby is born." He's right, I can sort of imagine three nursing now, if my older daughter keeps the routine she has now.

The one problem I am having has more to do with the family bed, so perhaps I should move this post....but maybe you mamas of three have an idea...because my oldest is not really ready to move out of the bed, and my 2nd daughter is basically still attached to me half the night.

I'm really concerned about the sleeping arrangement. They both want to be on top of me at night. As soon as my belly gets bigger and I have to pull out the body pillow, I don't know how either girl will cope.

I'd really like to get them into a bed of their own. Preferably in their own room across the hall, but that is probably a pipe dream. If I get them on a separate mattress, how can I prevent the crawling into bed at night that is sure to happen, with a newborn next to me.

I currently have a crib side-carred to our king size bed, and both girls are used to climbing over me to get to the side they want. I know that I will have to put a stop to that, but how?

It was definitely doable when I had the two--my older girl just stayed in between me and daddy, and the baby was on my other side....but now they are used to being right next to me.

We're gonna try a queen mattress in their room tonight, and I guess that gives me five months to work with the coming into my room aspect. I figure I'll be sleeping in the queen for a while
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#8 of 17 Old 01-05-2008, 12:00 PM
 
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I meant to say to Nan's mom--
My older daughter did wake a lot at night too...I don't know what the turnaround was...I guess she nightweaned. I started by telling her that "nanas" need to sleep at night--that didn't always work, and of course if she was upset, I'd nurse her at night. Then I tried, "ok, just cuddle me and wait until Allie is done" or "cuddle me and wait just a minute" and she'd fall back asleep, sometimes. It was a long process, but eventually she stopped waking at night. Oh, I'd also keep a sippy of water in the bed, because often times she was just thirsty. She kind of stopped waking for good once my milk disappeared. How far along are you in your pregnancy? Maybe your once your milk disappears, if it hasn't already, that might be a turning point. Another option is to make her birthday a big deal for "no more night time" Good luck! I was there, a short few months ago, and I feel so lucky she really doesn't wake much anymore. My biggest problem now, is she'll get cold in the middle of the night, wake up and want to cuddle on top of me!
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#9 of 17 Old 01-18-2008, 07:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by elysium269 View Post
I meant to say to Nan's mom--
My older daughter did wake a lot at night too...I don't know what the turnaround was...I guess she nightweaned. I started by telling her that "nanas" need to sleep at night--that didn't always work, and of course if she was upset, I'd nurse her at night. Then I tried, "ok, just cuddle me and wait until Allie is done" or "cuddle me and wait just a minute" and she'd fall back asleep, sometimes. It was a long process, but eventually she stopped waking at night. Oh, I'd also keep a sippy of water in the bed, because often times she was just thirsty. She kind of stopped waking for good once my milk disappeared. How far along are you in your pregnancy? Maybe your once your milk disappears, if it hasn't already, that might be a turning point. Another option is to make her birthday a big deal for "no more night time" Good luck! I was there, a short few months ago, and I feel so lucky she really doesn't wake much anymore. My biggest problem now, is she'll get cold in the middle of the night, wake up and want to cuddle on top of me!
Dd1 is waking less at night and I'm mellowing and finding better positions so I can nurse both at once. Stressing a bit about nursing three at night but it's 6 or so months away at least. She really really really does not want to nightwean but we're sorting it out together...I think. Although some nights feel longer than others!

Thanks to everyone for the helpful responses!!!!!!
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#10 of 17 Old 01-19-2008, 04:11 AM
 
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I can't imagine Tridem nursing........

Not much input really, I found it hard enough with 2 nursing at night.

I am just sat here in like total AWE......... Feeling totally, inspired, you are totallly amazing mommas!!!!!!!

Wow.......

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#11 of 17 Old 01-19-2008, 08:43 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by elysium269 View Post
The one problem I am having has more to do with the family bed, so perhaps I should move this post....but maybe you mamas of three have an idea...because my oldest is not really ready to move out of the bed, and my 2nd daughter is basically still attached to me half the night.

I'm really concerned about the sleeping arrangement. They both want to be on top of me at night. As soon as my belly gets bigger and I have to pull out the body pillow, I don't know how either girl will cope.

I'd really like to get them into a bed of their own. Preferably in their own room across the hall, but that is probably a pipe dream. If I get them on a separate mattress, how can I prevent the crawling into bed at night that is sure to happen, with a newborn next to me.

I currently have a crib side-carred to our king size bed, and both girls are used to climbing over me to get to the side they want. I know that I will have to put a stop to that, but how?

It was definitely doable when I had the two--my older girl just stayed in between me and daddy, and the baby was on my other side....but now they are used to being right next to me.

We're gonna try a queen mattress in their room tonight, and I guess that gives me five months to work with the coming into my room aspect. I figure I'll be sleeping in the queen for a while
No good suggestions here. We've been talking about this too. We're going to try to get an Elmo bed (bed with Elmo sheets), per dd1's suggestion, that will be in my room. We're getting a double bed so the girls can share if they like. Good luck and please let me know if you have any revelations on this!
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#12 of 17 Old 01-19-2008, 08:49 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by tireesix View Post
I can't imagine Tridem nursing........

Not much input really, I found it hard enough with 2 nursing at night.

I am just sat here in like total AWE......... Feeling totally, inspired, you are totallly amazing mommas!!!!!!!

Wow.......

Ours wasn't really planned...we had planned to wait until dd2 was nursing a lot less. So not really a cause for awe...just practicality, which I hope I handle well. Honestly, I find two at night to be a bit much at times as it is. So trying to be calm and work it through in a good way.
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#13 of 17 Old 01-21-2008, 06:26 AM
 
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when we found out I was pregnant with my youngest DH started taking over putting my two older boys to bed in another room.It took him about 4 months before he was able to sleep with me again.This was also how my 3 year old was night weaned although I'm sure if I was near him he would wake up rooting.When the baby was born DH took over taking her to bed after I havew nursed her.I go to bed later after the baby's last night feeding and DD usually starts rooting so I nurse her and switch back and forth.The baby usually sleeps more.I also tried some of the twin nursing positions and have found them really helpful.I have found that nursing 3 is very stressful sometimes because my oldest usually has to wait and he cries,the counting advice doesn't work for him,he is too little to understand.There have been times when I have felt like a bone.If someone had told me I was going to be doing this I would have laughed at them.

joy.gifme, herding 5 critters a cat and a dog. DS 11/01, DS 10/04, DD 2/06, DS 5/07 and DD 9/10

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#14 of 17 Old 01-21-2008, 10:30 AM - Thread Starter
 
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when we found out I was pregnant with my youngest DH started taking over putting my two older boys to bed in another room.It took him about 4 months before he was able to sleep with me again.This was also how my 3 year old was night weaned although I'm sure if I was near him he would wake up rooting.When the baby was born DH took over taking her to bed after I havew nursed her.I go to bed later after the baby's last night feeding and DD usually starts rooting so I nurse her and switch back and forth.The baby usually sleeps more.I also tried some of the twin nursing positions and have found them really helpful.I have found that nursing 3 is very stressful sometimes because my oldest usually has to wait and he cries,the counting advice doesn't work for him,he is too little to understand.There have been times when I have felt like a bone.If someone had told me I was going to be doing this I would have laughed at them.
Thanks! I much appreciate the practical advice! And I also find that if my older daughter wants to nurse very much, usually in the early morning, nothing works to distract her. She screams and cries. Usually I nurse her a bunch and ask her to wait until after breakfast, since I'm usually exhausted and hungry and thirsty by then and really just can do any more. I feel horrible about it.

Dd1 wants a toddler bed but in my room...she definitely is not wanting to sleep in another room, with or without dh. Trying to stay calm through all of this and not borrow trouble ahead of time!

And yes, a bone is much like what I feel like at times...and that's with only two. Yikes!
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#15 of 17 Old 01-24-2008, 07:44 PM
 
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Wow, it's good to see others who are doing this. I am done now but tandem nursed for 7+ years and nursed three for 1-1/2 years of that.

When I was pregnant with #3, my first two were 3-1/2 and 2. My oldest nightweaned with encouragement around 3-1/2. We have a queen futon right next to our king mattress (which we put on the floor) and bedtime with three was...everyone in the big bed, with #2 on my right, #3 on my left, and #1 on the other side of #3 holding my hand. First I would nurse #3 holding #1's hand the whole time, then I would turn and nurse #2, then I would slip out of the bed and over to the futon with #1 and nurse him to sleep there. Or, sometimes, if the baby was ready before the boys were, I would nurse the baby in the big bed and then do the usual tandem thing in the futon - nurse the second oldest first, then turn and nurse the oldest.

I hopped back and forth between the big bed and the futon all night as needed. Or the kids would crawl up and down. If I couldn't offer a breast, I would hold their hand.

And then I got pregnant with #4, and the others were just-turned-5, 3-1/2, and 12mo. A couple of months into that pregnancy I encouraged my oldest to wean. Pregnant and exhausted, I couldn't stay awake through nursing two kids to sleep to then nurse the last one to sleep. It was very hard for him. I was open to continuing to nurse him, but I couldn't promise it would happen every night, and he is very black-and-white and this was unacceptable to him - he preferred not nursing over nursing not-every-day. : He was about 5-1/2 when he weaned.

My second weaned shortly after the fourth was born. We put a crib mattress horizontally at the head of the futon and a similar size mattress at the foot. #1 was at my head and holding my hand, and #2 was at my feet and holding my foot. I did the usual tandem thing with #3 and #4 - nursed the baby first and then rolled over to nurse the next-youngest.

I hope that helps some. It was challenging but everyone's needs got met. My youngest just weaned and I figure that through tandem nursing I crammed 18-1/2 nursing years into 9-1/2.

All of you tandeming and triandeming mamas...your babies are lucky to have mamas with such a strong commitment to their needs. I am proud of you.

Amanda, mom to Everest (12), Alden (10-1/2), Ellery (7-1/2), & Avery (6)
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#16 of 17 Old 01-25-2008, 09:35 PM
 
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I haven't been around the board much lately, but came here to check on this very thing! I have no advice, but am glad to see it being discussed. I am currently cosleeping and nursing 2 all night,but we are thinking of trying to get pregnant again and I just don't know how it would work with three!!?? I would really like to do CLW, but am not sure if I can if I get pregnant and the three year-old is still going strong. I am hoping that when the milk supply diminishes, he will give up night nursing, but guess I can't count on it! I hope those with experience will keep posting. It is comforting!
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#17 of 17 Old 01-26-2008, 10:49 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I hope that helps some. It was challenging but everyone's needs got met. My youngest just weaned and I figure that through tandem nursing I crammed 18-1/2 nursing years into 9-1/2.
Thanks! This really helps me to get a picture of how it would work. Much appreciated!!!
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