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Old 08-18-2011, 11:24 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Mamas,

 

I'm at the end of my rope. I want to jump off a cliff. I'm over this. . .and we are only 5 weeks into tandem nursing my 5 week old and my 18 month old. I've searched and searched and can't find a reasonable way to explain nursing guidelines to my 18 month old daughter. I know she understands EVERYTHING I say, but I cannot get through to her that I cannot/will not be able to nurse her on demand. She demands milk every single time I'm nursing DS. I am nursed out. IF I don't give in then she cries on like I've broken her heart and starts slapping or biting me. I can't take the noise and commotion so I give in and I resent it. I resent her. I read and re-read Adventure in Tandem Nursing looking for ways to compromise but all the examples seem geared towards older toddlers who can have a talking relationship with you about limits and solutions. I've tried special toys, books, snuggles, extra time with her, snacks, songs. . .I've tried covering up the baby when the baby nurses. I've tried nursing in a ring sling. (I don't feel like it is safe to nurse in as I'm a very big boobed mom and his face is smashed into me in an awkward way making his breathing impossible to monitor.)

 

If given the choice today I'd wean her cold turkey BUT here I am. ..asking for ways to limit her, looking for way to set boundaries so I don't feel like pulling my hair out when she "needs" milk as much as my newborn. I never thought I'd be here. . .the guilt is tremendous.

 

I talked to my doula who knows us all well, and knows how head strong, strong willed, and smart my toddler is. She said go cold turkey. I can't. But if I can't find age appropriate limits I'm going to have to because I loathe nursing her right now. greensad.gif

 

Help?

 

 

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Old 08-18-2011, 01:17 PM
 
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I am so sorry honey! Bravo to you for breastfeeding. Let me tell you what has worked for me and I tandum nursed my 1st and second, Second and third, 3rd and 4th and alas by the time 5th came (he's 2 and nursing as I type this) along my forth had weaned himself.  TONS of boobie experience from this mama! :)

When the baby would nurse and the oldest wanted to nurse (which was every single time) I would let the oldest. Even though you may not want to be welcoming and loving about her wanting to nurse. It will make her nursing from you more satisfying.   I started to tell the oldest in happy loving way how proud I was for her/him for sharing mama milk with their little brother/sister. Oh what a good big sister she is! Then I would tell the oldest that he/she could have "10 seconds" of mama's milk with brother/sister. 

When I first started doing this I counted VERY VERY slow (with a HUGE smile on my face and a very enthusiastic tone) usually with about 10 seconds in between each number and REALLY exaggerating each number . I'd lightly tickle up their little leg as I counted or anything else loving I thought they would like. When I got to nine I would really extend saying it and use a sing song tone. Then I'd say 10.  Every single one of my kids were fine with this. I counted at the same tempo for the first couple days or week, then I began to count a little faster. Slowly decreasing the amount of time between each number every day or other day.   Then it finally got to the point that I could count one number after the next and that's all the mama milk they would need.

I would get her a little doll that she could nurse (if she doesn't already have a baby doll) and have her give her baby mama's good milk after she nurses a little from you.  Tell her what a good mama she is for giving the baby num nums (or what ever you call it). Be REALLY enthusiastic about it. Positive reinforcement is an amazing thing!!!

 

Try to keep in the back of your mind that your little lady isn't trying to complicate things for you. She's not trying to make you angry. From her perspective you were her mama first.  You and your milk are her comfort and security to her and a new baby is a situation that can be  confusing.  Cold turkey is going to be crazy stressful for the both of you. Good luck! :)

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Old 08-18-2011, 06:12 PM
 
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I just posted a similar question the other day on the main thread and have yet to get an answer...  I feel your pain.  My eldest is 3, though, but still throws massive tantrums and cries like I've just broken her heart.  It's terrible.  I feel guilty, but like you, feel so done with it.  In the past two days I have start implementing a bit of limits.  She can nurse for two minutes at a time during the day currently.  I told her in a few days that she is only going to be able to nurse to sleep...however, she is now saying she needs to sleep every few minutes.  eyesroll.gif  Anyway, I'm planning on gradually getting her to only nurse at morning and night and see if that helps my sanity. 

 

Good luck to you.  Hugs. 


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Old 08-18-2011, 06:48 PM
 
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i agree with the advice about counting to 10. doing the ABCs works, too. you could give her the choice -- do you want to nurse to the count of 10, or to the ABCs. let her choose each time. will help her learn her numbers and letters, too.


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Old 08-19-2011, 04:19 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you for your suggestions, and for listening. I'll try anything to maintain our nursing relationship not just because it is my DD security but b because she has done so well sharing mama with her brother because we tandem nurse. She LOVES him, but doesn't seem to understand that although she eats food he can only have milk. At this point if she could only have milk she would too!

 

My question: she's only 18 months. She knows how to count to three. Would counting to 10 mean anything to her? I sing the ABC song to her so I will try that too. Is it confusing to her if I let her nurse to sleep as long as she wants, but limit nursing during the day to the ABC song?

 

Did anyone have to stop nursing the newborn around the toddler you were trying to limit? She sees me nursing her brother and that means milk for her too. She's gained five pounds in five weeks! Did this happen to anyone's nursling? If she's only gaining weight due to breast milk should I be concerned?

 

Thanks.

 

Anyone else reading the tread, please chime in. There isn't enough information or thoughts or suggestions or advice in the world about tandem nursing! greensad.gif

 

 

 

 

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Old 08-19-2011, 04:21 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Amaayeh, keep us posted on your challenges, please.

 

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Old 08-19-2011, 01:31 PM
 
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my two are 22 months apart, so my DD was a little older than yours. a few things worked for me, first was not nursing them at the same time. I would tell DD "brother's turn, you can have a turn when he's done" sometimes she would have a meltdown, but after a week or two she got the idea and stopped asking while he's nursing (I did follow through and give her a turn as soon as I could put her brother down). for a month or so I would have DF get her up and start feeding her breakfast before she saw me for the first time in the morning, this got her into the mode of eating solids for the day, and after a month she started eating more solids without having to eat before nursing. it took a little Patience, and a few tantrums, but she eventually started nursing less and less, almost 5 months out she usually nurses 3-5 times a day.

 

and with the weight gain, 3-4lbs in the first month. I think it's the weight she would have gained over the last few months of pregnancy if I had had milk


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Old 08-19-2011, 02:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you, Marissamom, for your suggestions too! Daddy is only here on week ends so that's exactly what we do with breakfast time. I'll try to nurse them at different times. That might help my stress level. Did you find that your nursling still ate the same amount of food while the nursing was amped up?

 

One thing I've been doing is telling her her milk is going night night and to take a few more drinks before kissing it good night. I don't know why, but it works. A little fussing but she kisses my breast, whichever side she's on, and we say night night then I pull up my nursing flap. The baby is still nursing on his side, and she doesn't say anything. Not yet anyway. I hope this works for the long run!

 

I'm also asking her to say "milk please." I hear milk, milk, milk, milk a zillion times a day so a please would help ease the nails on the chalk board effect of demanding milk. thumb.gif I love this little girl more than words. I just want to hear some nice words as we share mama's body. I don't think that's being too demanding. smile.gif

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Old 08-19-2011, 02:42 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lellian View Post

Thank you, Marissamom, for your suggestions too! Daddy is only here on week ends so that's exactly what we do with breakfast time. I'll try to nurse them at different times. That might help my stress level. Did you find that your nursling still ate the same amount of food while the nursing was amped up?

 


she did decrease her solids intake for a while, but I found if I could get her to take solids she nursed less (less often and for shorter sessions)

 


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Old 08-21-2011, 05:44 PM
 
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I wish I could offer lots of suggestions.  I have been there and, boy, is it hard.  Our first two are 19 mos. apart.  My DS, the oldest, stopped eating solids for a few months after DD was born.  He gained a LOT just on breastmilk.  I had a very plump 2yo!  We were also moving around that time, so instead of finding limits I would just let him nurse.  

 

What I would like to say, though, is that all of this gets better, or at least changes, very quickly.  By three months, I started feeling as though I could handle tandem nursing most days.  I started feeling overwhelmed and touched out less and less.  Those first three months were really long, though!  

 

Now I'm nursing a new one, with the first two still nursing every day.  Looking back, I definitely feel that not weaning was a good choice for us, especially since we've moved two more times since that first one.  

 

Kids can really respond to taking turns.  Even really young ones understand "my turn!"   I also have tried telling the baby that one of my older children needed me, when the baby was already happy and not nursing.  Sometimes saying this out loud helps, something like, "Baby, your sister really needs to nurse right now, so can you wait for your turn?"  This during those times when the baby really isn't needing to, just so that the older sibling isn't the only one taking a turn or waiting.  It does seem that all the intense nursing needs postpartum from the eldest stem so much from a need for reassurance and closeness from mom.  In a way, tandem nursing makes that easier if you can nurse simultaneously.  It's getting time with mom without being very creative on your part!  Well, other than finding the right position for everyone.  Good luck with this!  It usually gets easier with time :)  

 

Oh, another thought.  Restricting before they're ready and without a working substitute can just lead to more requests sometimes?  Some kids just need unrestricted access, or even just "yes, you can" and then ease off on their own.  

 

SAHM to three homebirth nurslings    

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Old 08-22-2011, 12:40 PM
 
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Originally Posted by bandyr View Post

I wish I could offer lots of suggestions.  I have been there and, boy, is it hard.  Our first two are 19 mos. apart.  My DS, the oldest, stopped eating solids for a few months after DD was born.  He gained a LOT just on breastmilk.  I had a very plump 2yo!  We were also moving around that time, so instead of finding limits I would just let him nurse.  

 

What I would like to say, though, is that all of this gets better, or at least changes, very quickly.  By three months, I started feeling as though I could handle tandem nursing most days.  I started feeling overwhelmed and touched out less and less.  Those first three months were really long, though!  

 

Now I'm nursing a new one, with the first two still nursing every day.  Looking back, I definitely feel that not weaning was a good choice for us, especially since we've moved two more times since that first one.  

 

Kids can really respond to taking turns.  Even really young ones understand "my turn!"   I also have tried telling the baby that one of my older children needed me, when the baby was already happy and not nursing.  Sometimes saying this out loud helps, something like, "Baby, your sister really needs to nurse right now, so can you wait for your turn?"  This during those times when the baby really isn't needing to, just so that the older sibling isn't the only one taking a turn or waiting.  It does seem that all the intense nursing needs postpartum from the eldest stem so much from a need for reassurance and closeness from mom.  In a way, tandem nursing makes that easier if you can nurse simultaneously.  It's getting time with mom without being very creative on your part!  Well, other than finding the right position for everyone.  Good luck with this!  It usually gets easier with time :)  

 

Oh, another thought.  Restricting before they're ready and without a working substitute can just lead to more requests sometimes?  Some kids just need unrestricted access, or even just "yes, you can" and then ease off on their own.  

 

SAHM to three homebirth nurslings    



Thanks, mama, for the tips! That's awesome that you are both willing and are nusing 3- supermom!  I love your idea of telling the new baby that the older one needs you. I think I will use that tatic :) I also agree, at least for DS, that restricting leads to wanting more. Especially when he's woken up for the 3rd time in 30 min., and I'm trying to get him to just unlatch and go back to sleep. I just have to take a deep breath and let him unlatch when he's ready. I was also curious about nursing at the same time from the position stand point! Thanks again for your advice :)

 


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Old 08-22-2011, 07:06 PM
 
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Nursing positions really are trial and error, in my opinion.  Every woman is shaped differently, has different breasts, and different comfort levels!  Adventures in Tandem Nursing helped only to an extent with this.  The position that helped us the most was the one that worked to get us all asleep for nap and at night.  And that evolved almost week-to-week as the baby grew.  Huge sanity-saver!  What worked best was to have them angled downward, their feet/knees meeting at the end of a "V" in my lap.  Does that make sense?  Something totally different may work for you.  (Naps are so very nice while nursing two.  Just to have them asleep at the same time!!!  I would stay between them on the mattress and rest, picking up the baby when I'd slept some, until the baby was older and I didn't have to worry about them sleeping together.)  

Being patient with an older nursling can be so hard.  The more she feels your anxiety and frustrations, though, the more she's likely to ask and need you.  My first is an intense one that way.  He's six and still really needs to nurse every day.  If I were to tell him no, he'd ask more even at this point.  Of course, he can wait, and has been able to for years.  But wow, when a plugged duct comes along, he's great at helping me resolve it.  

 

Hang in there!  I've used the deep, relaxed breathing we learning in Bradley classes way more for tandem nursing than I've been able to for actual labor.  :)  

 

Things will slack off.  Biology guarantees it.  Right now so much of it is, "Is there still space for me?"  And it takes your utmost to provide it some days!  Keeping things light-hearted, making her laugh, playing little nursing games (my kids love when I pretend to be "peckish" and eat their elbows or play "criss-cross, applesauce"), help relieve tension for everyone.  

 

SAHM to three homebirth nurslings

 

 

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Old 08-22-2011, 07:11 PM
 
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Bentlaj11 - I just noticed you're in OKlahoma.  We just moved from there to Ohio about six weeks ago!  

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Old 08-23-2011, 01:16 PM
 
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Bentlaj11 - I just noticed you're in OKlahoma.  We just moved from there to Ohio about six weeks ago!  



That's quite a move! In what part of OK did you live? I went to Cincinnati once.. loved it there!

 


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Old 08-24-2011, 07:19 AM
 
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We were in Norman, outside OKC.  We are not missing the heat!   But do miss friends.

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Old 08-24-2011, 12:17 PM
 
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Oh my, heat is understatement! I think that's part of DS's sleep trouble.. not enough outside time. I've never been so ready for fall. I just hope we don't break anymore records with the weather again!

 

OP- sorry to hijack the thread!!


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