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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I am expecting baby #2 any day now. My ds is almost 3 years old and still nursing to go to sleep (one nap a day and at night for bedtime). He has also started nursing throughout the day again (for the last 2 months of my pregnancy).<br><br>
My question is this....how, in detail, do I get through the first week or so once the new one arrives??? Iread "Adventures in Tandem Nursing" (the LLL book) but I still don't feel like I understand how to deal with the first few days! Do I need to make sure that the newborn always gets the colostrum first? Will I have less colostrum if both are nursing those first couple of days? After my milk comes in, do I need to nurse new babe first or second or does it even matter??? HELP!<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/confused.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Confused">:<br><br>
Also, my ds is VERY attached to the idea that he can switch from breast to breast whenever he wants....every few minutes he might say "this one'' and point to the other breast and he is pretty insistent upon this. I know some tandem moms say that they just keep one breast for toddler and one for newborn but I don't think that will work for us.<br><br>
Ds also 'insists' upon twiddling/squeezing the other breast while he nurses. It is close to impossible to get his hand away, he gets very frustrated and then I get frustrated and we are all upset. But what about 'germs'???? He is out there in the 'big world' hanging out with other kids, people, etc. I am not sure I feel comfortable with the idea that he is going to be twiddling nipples with his hands and then the baby is going to be nursing from that nipple (even if we are good about washing his hands). Is that just me being overy fearful about germs??<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/confused.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Confused">:<br><br>
Basically, I want to have some idea ahead of time of how best to handle the first week at least. My midwives have never tandem nursed so they don't have much info for me and I don't personally know any moms either. Can anyone give me the nitty gritty details about how to actually do it those first few days? And any words of wisdom about passing germs around when a toddler is nursing from the same breasts as a newborn? This is especially on my mind right now because my ds is sick with a nasty cough and I am ready to go into labor any day now<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"><br><br>
Thanks so much<br>
Adrianna<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love">
 

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My boys are much closer together, the oldest was 19 months when #2 was born, but I'll tell you how we were!<br><br>
After the baby my oldest was exclusivly nursed again for months, he had no intrest in solid food. I nursed both on demand whenever they wanted. If I could remember I tried to give the baby the side that had been unused the longest, so he would get more clostrum, but I didn't worry too much (and he gained over 2 pounds in the first two weeks!). After a few weeks I was more likely to give the newborn the empty side because he was really battleing the toddler sized letdowns, and on the less full side he could relax a little.<br><br>
For the twiddling and switching, I would just tell him he can stay on that side and hold my hand or the babies tiny foot, or he can wait until the baby is done and nurse alone for a short while.<br><br>
I wouldn't worry about the cough, if you three are going to be as close as we were the first few weeks, I can't imagine that being especially careful about germs on my nipples would have stopped any spread between the two boys. They are going to have the same germs, they are going to get each other sick, and your breasts are going to produce as many antibodies as they can, and probably your newborn won't get sick anyway. The dirty hands are a little different, how about no twiddling out in public and wash hands every time you come in the house (again don't worry about the germs already there, your baby is already getting used to them).
 

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First, talk about it. Talk about it a LOT. Before my first DD was born, I hadn't actually PLANNED to assign sides. However, during the pregnancy, I talked a lot about how "the baby would bring lots of milk" for my older baby and "the new baby will nurse on one side, and you'll nurse on the other." Well, DS thought I meant they'd each have their own side, and never, ever switch, so that's (pretty much) what happened, and it worked out very well for us. Occasionally, I let DS help me out with my engorgement by nursing on DD's side, but that didn't happen very often, and it stopped when my supply regulated.<br><br>
It worked so well the first time around that I did it again when my 2nd daughter was born. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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I had each child switch sides at every new feeding. They were both nursing strongly and at the same time. My oldest was 16 mos when i started the tandem. My oldest also when on a food strike when the milk started flowing again.<br><br>
It was rough the first few weeks, just like it would have been rough had i not been nursing. It's a new situation and you got to sometimes try several ways or form a routine, etc. I mastered nursing two right away. It was a great way to put up your feet for awhile.<br><br>
Just give yourself time and be patient. It will work out. You'll know if your newborn is getting enough the same way you knew with the first one.<br><br>
I never had an engorgement problem after the second was born!!<br><br>
My boys are very healthy and i still tandem nurse.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for you responses. I know it will be a bit of a learning curve no matter how prepared I am ahead of time. It seems as though I keep finding conflicting opinions about who should nurse first.....sometimes they say newborn, sometimes I read the toddler should so that the newborn doesn't get 'overwhelmed' with a strong let-down. I keep remembering when I was nursing m ds the first few months he would have problems with my milk flow. He was getting more than he wanted at times and it was gagging him. In that case I could see have toddler take a little 'off the top' before the new little one gets some. But, it seems so confusing some times, this trying to figure it out before the fact <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/yikes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="EEK!">
 

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We just sort of figured it out as we went along in the early days. Ds2 is so laid back that he has no problems with my very-forceful flow. He sort of grabs ahold of the breast, takes a deep breath, and prepares for the milk (its funny to watch). Ds1 would freak out about it when he was a newborn (he still doesn't like when the milk comes out fast at 2.5 years). I think it would have been too difficult to have figured out too much beforehand, their personalities are so different! Plus I wasn't real sure about how ds1 would handle having a new sibling.<br><br>
My experience in the early weeks (its only been 6 weeks) was that ds1 wanted to nurse non-stop as did ds2. I would allow one on each side and switch for the next nursing session. After nursing for over 24 hours straight I decided to limit ds1's nursing as I was exhausted. I was so full and ds2 was having a hard time latching on, also ds1 would get too much of the milk (being that he is a much better nurser-more practice LOL) and ds2 would still be hungry. What works now is to try to keep nursing to a minimum for ds1, I only nurse him at bedtime, at night, on the rare occasion that he naps, and maybe once or twice during the day if he REALLY needs it. When he does nurse, I make sure ds2 has nursed recently and I nurse ds1 on the emptier breast. It seems to be working (for now, things could change). Ds2 is gaining weight like crazy and ds1 is generally okay with the arrangement.<br><br>
HTH<br>
Laurie
 

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I could have written the first part of your post. I have a 3yo and a 7wk old, and we're tandem nursing.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">My question is this....how, in detail, do I get through the first week or so once the new one arrives???</td>
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Um, sleep. For us it was the second week that was rough, after my dh went back to work. If you can, try to find someone who can take your ds to the playground or whatever a couple days for the first few weeks.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">Do I need to make sure that the newborn always gets the colostrum first? Will I have less colostrum if both are nursing those first couple of days? After my milk comes in, do I need to nurse new babe first or second or does it even matter???</td>
</tr></table></div>
Your newborn will get the colostrum they need as long as they're nursing often enough. I doubt that you'll have less colostrum. Milk production is based on supply and demand, so you'll have enough for both of them. I don't think it matters what order they nurse in after your milk comes in. We don't have a set order and dd is growing just fine.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">But what about 'germs'????</td>
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The new baby is going to be exposed to whatever "germs" your ds carries just by virtue of the fact that they live together. One nice thing about nursing is that if you're exposed to the same ones, you'll pass the antibodies along to your newborn.
 

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I just completed my almost 2 years of tandem nursing. My oldest was 26 months when his brother was born. I loved it. It provided such security and consistancy when we brought this new baby home.<br><br>
I read a study once that stated moms who tandem nurse actually produce more colostrum, and it sticks around longer than a mom of a solo nursling. I mostly nursed my guys at the same time, and my oldest developed a favorite side.<br><br>
About the germs -- once you are sick and showing signs, the grems have still been in your body for a while. My first did not get sick until 6 months, and my poor second, he got a cold at 4 weeks. But it was minor -- just a little stuffy nose salin drops took care of.<br><br>
Things will work out once you have time to practice, etc. I preferred to nurse them at the same time to cut back on the amount of time I was nursing. It worked best that way for us.<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for all your advice and experience, mamas! I guess one of the reason why I am concerned about the 'germ' issue is becaue my 3 y.o. ds has a nasty cold right now and this baby might show up any day now! In this case, I am wondering if it might be important to make sure the new babe does not suck on a nipple that was recently exposed to my older's mouth or twiddling hands??? I understand about 'down the line' kind of illnesses and how the babe is most likely getting exposed in other ways too. But, what about right at birth? Hopefully this cold will all clear up before he or she decides to make their debut. It would make my life easier to have one less thing to deal with.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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Adrianna, if you're really worried about the germ thing, you can express a little colostrum (or milk when it comes in) to "clean" the nipple area after the older one nurses & before latching on the newborn.<br><br>
The twiddling thing, you've got to maybe talk to the oldster about (what we called) "sharing nursing." With each new baby, we "warm up" the impending older nurser with much discussion of sharing nursing with the new baby, and wow, what a good big brother/sister they'll be when they share nursing ... etc., etc., etc.<br>
Part of the getting them ready to be older siblings thing.<br><br>
Though I did deal with twiddling otherwise ... am very strict about none happening at all, will hold the hand that's attempting to twiddle (I find it *very* uncomfortable) and if the child protests, well, that's the end of that nursing session. They get the point about it eventually ...<br><br>
And I have had some engorgement with each baby, so it was always a help to have an efficiently nursing toddler nearby ... because they've been nursing really just for comfort, since there's been no milk, only colostrum, since the last few months of the pregnancy, so they are beyond happy when that milk comes in ... will remember with each one the look on their faces the first time they nurse when the milk is back <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love"> ... so they'll be happy to help if it happens, fear not ...<br><br>
Okay, late night rambling, won't even read this over before posting, so excuse the typos ... <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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Hi,<br><br>
Support your breast and the newborns head. I remember trying to hold the baby the same way I had been the toddler. I got sore and didn't know why. Use different holds too, that will help if you need to nurse both at the same time.<br><br>
I also didn't switch sides after every nursing, staying on the same side for several in a row. Helped to limit how fast the milk came out for the newborn. I did switch sides at night for the first two weeks, we co-sleep so I moved to a bed alone with the baby. This was hard on my toddler so I moved back during the night after 2 or 3 in the morning. I moved back and slept between them after about two weeks and did not switch sides at all.<br><br>
I did and do limit the "toddler" who is turning 4 soon. I sing the ABCs song to help him know that it is time to end the session.<br><br>
Have a wonderful birth!<br><br>
Doreen
 
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