Our beautiful DD was born a week ago and so far tandem nursing with my 2 yo DS has been a better experience than I thought it would be, except that I'm not sure I can keep up with both of them. It seems like whenever DS nurses he takes a lot of milk and I feel soft and empty for hours afterward. Lately when I nurse DD within an hour or two of nursing DS, it takes a long time for my milk to let down and sometimes it actually doesn't. She also has a bit of trouble latching sometimes because I'm so soft. Sometimes she doesn't seem to swallow much and after she finishes both sides she still roots and seems hungry. So far her weight gain and stool output has been good, but it just doesn't seem like she is getting very much at a feeding and I'm worried that will change. She's been very sleepy today (I'm going to have to wake her for her next feed, which was more than three hours ago) and I'm wondering if it's because she's not getting enough?
The problem is, I'm not sure how to cut back. It's one of the only ways we can get him to sleep, so that means nursing at naptime and bedtime. And when he wakes during the night (which usually only happens once, thank goodness) or wakes up groggy in the morning or after his nap and I don't nurse him for as long as he needs it, he loses it, as in screaming non-stop at the very top of his lungs and hitting everything in sight (today he hit the baby before we could stop him ) which is hard enough to deal with on its own but we have neighbors upstairs who have made it very clear that they hate noisy children. So I have no idea how to go about setting limits with him.
Does it sound like I need to cut back on how often and how long I nurse DS, and if so, has anyone had success setting limits with or weaning a high-spirited toddler?
I would assume that you will start to produce more milk to meet the needs of both, esp. if you let DD keep nursing as much as she wants/needs to.
Maybe make sure he drinks enough water or milk or eats something before nursing so his appetite isn't so big?
what I did find with my DD is that though she nursed almost as much as the baby the first few weeks or month after the baby was born, she stopped nursing so frequently after that. Still for naps & bedtime and first thing in the morning, but not every single time she sees me nurse her brother. I've also been able to give her a time limit, which she's been able to adjust to without too much distress (unless she's really overtired or something). sometimes she can be distracted with a snack or book or toy.
These first weeks are intense in so many ways. I totally get your concern over making sure your DD gets enough to eat. I would have the same concern. Hang in there though... It gets easier!
Thanks mamas, those are great suggestions! It seems like I'm starting to make more milk now, so I'm really hoping that my supply is starting to adjust, and maybe month or two once things have settled down we'll be able to distract him more.
Tekagirl, that's awesome that you've been able to tandem nurse for 6 months and good to know that it gets easier.
STC, I hope things are going well for you in this last stretch of your pregnancy!
|Breastfeeding Beyond Infancy|