My oldest is almost 4 years old. She went 7 months without nursing while I was pregnant with #2. Now they occasionally tandem nurse, but that is usually unsuccessful. One of them gets annoyed with the other, sometimes it is totally fine, and sometimes it is just uncomfortable to me.
I need to come up with some plan for my oldest. I feel like she would be better if she nursed everyday, but most of the time she asks to nurse I turn her down. I'm still not used to nursing her and can't figure out when is a good time to do it. What kind of schedules do mama's with two nurslings have for older children? How often do they nurse? Is it always tandem nursing? Advice and stories appreciated.
Also almost everytime I nurse her, she wants to nurse forever. I can't just sit there with her for over an hour and nurse her if the baby is not also nursing and it drains me horribly, she's heavy.
Whenever I ask her to stop, or tell her I need a break she completely freaks out, it makes dh think she shouldn't be nursed anymore at all, and it makes me hesitant to offer or approve her requests to nurse again because I know when I can't sit there as long as it takes her to "finish" she will have a complete fit...
I have a 3 month old and a 25 month old. I never, ever, nurse them at the same time. my 25 month old nurses quite a bit, first thing in the morning, probably 6 times during the day, and at bed time. and she gets unlimited nursing time at bedtimes. it really helps that she knows even if I have to delay or cut her short during the day she can nurse all she wants at bedtime. the important thing to keeping everyone happy is consistency, if the child has no idea when you're going to let them nurse next, then they nurse as much as they can when you do let them nurse. I think you should set aside a special time of day when you can nurse her without interruptions, and always give her that time. and maybe try nursing laying down so you it isn't so draining for you.
part-time and through infancy. planning a
Thanks for that. I think it was because the first time she nursed again it was when I was already nursing the baby, I kinda got used to that. She always asks when I'm nursing the baby. I'll have to figure out a time to nurse her separate of the baby, maybe when she wakes up in the morning and then when the baby takes a nap during the day time. Thanks for sharing that with me, I thought it was just normal to nurse both at once.
I was tandem nursing until a few days ago, so I'll share what (sorta) worked for us. My children are exactly 3 years apart (9 months and almost 4). I gave up nursing them together within the first few months because the baby is too distractible. I also had to place limits on DD1 in order to save my sanity (she was nursing more than the baby). Initially I tried just limiting the number of times DD1 nursed to "less often," but that led to lots of arguments and tantrums. So finally I limited her to once in the morning when she woke up and before bed. After several months of this I dropped the morning nursing session. When she was still nursing 2x per day only one of the sessions would be "long" (15-20 minutes) and the other one would often be very brief. Frequently I could talk her into cutting the morning session short by offering her something better (food, a story, getting ready for a fun outing).
I'll admit that after the first few months of tandem nursing I totally lost my commitment to child led weaning, so there was a lot of talk about "one day you'll be too big for mommy milk" and time spent reading Maggie's Weaning. Reducing the number of times she nursed made tandem nursing easier, but it also probably resulted in her weaning earlier than she would have liked. Once the frequency decreased her latch got progressively worse until she couldn't figure out how to cause a letdown. Consistency and firm limits (with exceptions for illness/injury/etc.) DID seem to help her adjust emotionally to sharing her nursing relationship with her sister. I think DD1 was on her way to weaning prior to the arrival of DD2 since her obsession with nursing more often coincided with a "baby" phase that has been going on for 9 months now. I don't know if this would work for you, but DD1 is actually perfectly happy if I hold her and pretend to nurse (in the same way that she calls her underwear "diapers").
One other thing my husband pointed out is that it isn't unusual for a 3 year old with a new sibling to need reassurance and/or for 3 year olds in general to test limits/boundaries. He claimed that if she weren't still nursing we'd be dealing with a different behavioral issue. Adventures in Tandem Nursing has a section that mentions something similar where she lists normal reactions to a new baby and how they might look in a child who is tandem nursing.
Ok, I realize that probably isn't super helpful, but it's the best I've got :) Hang in there, tandem nursing is a challenge!
daughter #2 10/08/10