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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My dd is only 3 weeks old so we are still new at the tandem nursing thing and I am feeling overwhelmed. I was expecting ds (2-1/2) to increase his requests to nurse but I never thought it would be this much. We went from 2-3 times a day to him now asking every 10 minutes! He is even asking 2-3 times when he wakes up in the middle of the night. I try really hard not to say no but there are times where I can't accomodate him. It doesn't help that dd is a constant nurser which reminds ds what he is missing out on. I sometimes even "hide" from ds when I am nursing dd so that he can't see


I am pretty sure that things will get better. I've read enough about tandem nursing to know that this is normal but it didn't really prepare me for feeling so frustrated. For those of you that went through this period can you give me an idea of how long this increased nursing lasted. I know it's different with everyone but it would kind of help me to know that there is hopefully a limit to how long this period lasts.
 

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Ds1 was 20 months old when ds2 was born. He was a frequent nurser at the time and still increased quite a bit. He is still a frequent nurser at 31 months. Ther huge increase only lasted a couple of months for us. He got adjusted to the new baby and calmed down a bit. I remember in the early days it seemed like all I did was nurse one kid or the other. It does get better.
 

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Karen, congratulations on your recent birth! and continueing to nurse both your children.

Keep in mine as your adjusting to tandem nursing that you are also adjusting to a second child! Give yourself and your family time to adjust to your newest family member.

As for my nurslings...my first 2 are 16 mos apart. So when the 2nd was born, the first was still nursing on demand frequently. It seemed so natural that they both nursed together often. I never really noticed that the 1st was still nursing frequently as it did make my life easier nursing them together.

By the time i was preg with #3, the first 2 had cut back a little though they were still nursing on demand. It was during this preg that i actually set some limits because my supply tapered to none. But, they hung in there. After dd (#3) was born, i had a rough 4 mos. But, keep in mind, i was nursing 3 at this point. Eventually the first 2 settled back into reasonable, easy to meet nursing times and i learned to juggle 3. I keep in mind that it would still have been rough whether i nursed or not.

Just hang in there because you are doing a wonderful job! I love tandem nursing so much and it's so worth it when you see your toddler responding to the baby while nursing. You'll have experiences many other moms will never have!
 

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My nurser was almost 29 mos old when the baby was born. I think that's closer to the age of yours? How verbal is your child? How do you handle if he asks to do other things more frequently than you can handle? (Like go outside-- again. Or watch tv, or read a book for the zillionth time, or candy or even more grapes?)

I was all for tandem nursing, but we set limits from the beginning. The baby got first dibs, because if Boo was still hungry HE could eat some pizza, bananas, toast, whatever. But baby could ONLY eat the milkies and must have first dibs. HE got first dibs when HE was the baby, after all, and that's why he grew up so well.

Another limit was that I'd say "Ok, but only Five this time because then momma will need to go do ____" and then we'd count slowly to five... usually he'd hold up his hand to indicate "five more please" and we'd laugh and say "five" over and over again for another minute.


There were a few times when he wanted to be willful, but I really had my hands full, and Daddy would take him to another room, get him a glass of water and read to him and cuddle so that I could attend to myself and the baby. But mostly, Boo nursed a little more frequently if he was sick, or hurt. When the baby was first born, he did experiment with nursing more often for a week or two, but at the time it was fine with me because baby wouldn't latch so I was pumping and supplementing the baby, and I figured his nursing at that point was preventing engorgement and insuring good milk supply for the baby. Then as I didn't *need* him to nurse and the baby WAS latching on and nursing a LOT, I gently started to enforce the limits we set for him.

He nursed to 45 months, baby 16 mos, at which point we had a Weaning Party... he's nursed 5 or 6 times since his Weaning Party on March 28 (including last night for about 20 seconds).
 

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i haven't been in your shoes, but will be in a few weeks, and so i'm reading your post and the responses with much interest. my dd will be 26 months when #2 is born.

i've just been reading Adventures in Tandem Nursing, and one thing that lept to mind when i read your post as you talked about "hiding" was that nursing your new baby in a sling to make it less obvious that you are, in fact, nursing is one of the many tactics she recommends in the book. it also has the added advantage of leaving your hands (or at least one hand) free so you could maybe read a book to DS, or sit on the floor and play with blocks or something with DS to keep him distracted as you nurse.

and i know my dd in general is more likely to nurse when we're stuck inside more. rainy days have been known to drive me pretty crazy at times... i think she just gets bored. i know 3 weeks is early to be venturing out much, but if you have a back yard or a nearby neighborhood park where you could spend some time, or a friend with a similarly aged child who would be interested in regular play dates, or even just a trip to the grocery store or a walk through town, it might help to take some of your DS's attention away from the fact that he's not nursing and the baby is.

at least, these are some of the many things i intend to try... i guess i'll let you know in a couple of months whether or not they work
 

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Aaaaah, the early days of tandem nursing! The nursing frequency can drive a mama
sometimes, but usually the older nursling does slow down. Some sooner than others. Hang in there...it sounds like you're doing great!

You post made me think back and do calculations....I've been tandem nursing, tandem nursing through pregnancy, or triandem nursing for the past 5 years straight! For me, I expect the nursing frequency of my nurslings to increase when baby is born, so after the initial shock wears off (I always forget just how intense it can be!) I find it easier to relax and go with the flow (
) and not get so frustrated. Just as it's sometimes difficult to surrender to the birth process, it's often difficult to surrender to the times of intense nursing by tandem nurslings. It does get better! Really!

Some mamas find that "interactive distraction" works well with an older nursling...playing catch (with a soft ball or beanbag!), "Simon Says", Twister (older nursling only!), "Crazy Cubes", "I Spy" (in which YOU spy something of a certain color and the older nursling has to find and bring you that object ... it may take a few tries for them to get it right
and it's a great way to get them to clean up toys in the process!) - any game in which you can sit and nurse while the older nursling is up and active - is a great way to get a break. This also feels to the older nursling like one-on-one time, since your attention is mostly focused on the fun game!
One mama I know had an older nursling who loved baths, so he got to play in the tub several times a day (for a hour at a time) to give his mama a break. (My kids like to use washable paints to paint the bath surround...that's always a welcome distraction and it rises right off bathtub and kids!)
 

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You can ask him to wait sometimes. He'll be ok and he'll figure it out. Tell him how his newborn sibling doesn't have any teeth and can only drink mommy's milk but he gets to drink mommy milk AND have other things. I used to do a nurse for 10 if I was feeling really touched out and Skanda insisted. I would count out loud for 10 while he nursed and then say ALL DONE. I would use a really cheery voice and make it like a game. I had to help him unlatch when I first started doing it, but we worked it out. I would count very slowly so it took me almost a full minute to count. They can get a lot out in a minute at that age and with the supply you have for a newborn. Probably 2-6 ounces.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
It's been a while since I've been able to come online so I finally got a chance to see the replies today. Thank you for the encouragement. Things have gotten a little bit better since I posted although ds is still nursing a lot. He is not a very distractable child when it comes to nursing...which is strange because his attention span for everything else seems to be non-existant :LOL . If I ask him to wait until naptime he insists that he is tired and will want to go for a nap. Even if it's 9am! But I did discuss with him the waking up to nurse at night and told him that we weren't going to do that anymore. Heck...he was waking 3-4 times to nurse and the baby was only up once or twice! He was fine with that after the first night and now only nurses before bed and at about 5:30am. I'm still trying to get he hang of the sling so I'm hoping at some point I will be able to nurse using it.

On the days that I do try to just go with the flow and nurse ds when he wants we have a much better day so I know that it's my hang-ups that are causing some of the problems. While I am happy to be tandem nursing I prefer to keep it a private affair within my family and with all the visitors that come with having a new baby it's difficult to do that.

Anyway, thank you all for the kind words and advice.
 
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