My Hopes For Tandem Nursing

Welcome to the Carnival of Breastfeeding hosted by Blacktating and The Motherwear Breastfeeding Blog. This month’s topic is Extended Breastfeeding. Please visit the links to all the participants at the bottom of this post. 

Are you oh-so-surprised that I’m writing yet another post about full-term nursing? Yeah, I didn’t think so. I know it’s a general theme on the blog lately, but it’s a big deal to me right now. I’m constantly amazed at the extra stigma associated with nursing beyond X amount of months while simultaneously being amazed with how much better my life is because we still nurse.

This post goes beyond that though–specifically to tandem nursing. Tandem nursing is nursing more than one child at once. This can be in the form of birthing more than one child at once or having one child still nursing when you have your next. For me, obviously the second will be more applicable.

Don’t worry, I’m not pregnant. The idea is very much on my brain though. The actuality of having a plan to get pregnant in the future is amazing to me. I’m ridiculously excited.

The problem for me is thinking of how I’m going to handle Peanut and a new little nursling. I picture some logistical things like wearing the infant while helping Peanut in her My Gym class or spending a lot of time watching Disney movies, but it’s hard to picture the emotional side. When I think of birthing a child, I still think of Peanut. That’s what I picture. I’m so excited for another one to come, but at the same time terrified of how it will affect her.

That’s why I’m excited to tandem nurse. Of course, Peanut could wean before I get pregnant or while I’m pregnant, but I’m hoping we get to continue throughout it all. I’m sure that other moms think I’m crazy. When I told a friend who was tandem nursing that I was excited to hopefully do that one day, she looked at me like I was insane. But I am genuinely excited to have the opportunity, and here’s why:

1. Keeping emotional connection with Peanut. I’m not at all saying that mothers who don’t tandem nurse don’t stay emotionally connected with their older child, but I’m sure that tandem nursing helps. Tandem nursing can decrease the older child’s feelings of jealousy. It shows that they’re still just as important to you. It keeps one thing (and a very important thing at that) the same within all of the chaos of having a new sibling.

2. Peanut bonding with the new baby. I’ve already mentioned decreasing jealousy, but beyond that, they’re doing something together from the start. They’re sharing mommy together. They’re being nourished together. Nursing calms Peanut down and I honestly think that will make her more likely to be nice to the baby.

3. It will make my life easier. Nursing already makes my life easier. Even having one toddler running around you in circles all day is exhausting and having that break while she nurses is beyond welcome. In the case of tandem nursing, I’ll be exhausted with a new baby and a toddler to entertain. This toddler doesn’t enjoy sitting at home much. This toddler easily gets worked up and goes nuts. I’m sure this will just increase with age and thank goodness I’ll have a way to calm her, help her when she’s hurt, or just keep her happy when we’re all new together.

I’m sure there will be extra difficulties when it comes to nursing two. I’m sure that there will be days where I hate it. I’m sure that one day it will end. In spite of all of this, I will love it in the end. I am excited to have such an attached way to bring a new child into this world.

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Please read these posts by the other Carnival of Breastfeeding participants: 

Mamapoeki from Authentic Parenting: Extended Breastfeeding?

Mama Alvina of Ahava & Amara Life Foundation: Breastfeeding Journey Continues

Elita @ Blacktating: The Last Time That Never Was

Diana Cassar-Uhl, IBCLC: Old enough to ask for it 

Karianna @ Caffeinated Catholic Mama: A Song for Mama’s Milk 

Judy @ Mommy News Blog: My Favorite Moments 

Tamara Reese @ Please Send Parenting Books: Extended Breastfeeding 

Jenny @ Chronicles of a Nursing Mom: The Highs and Lows of Nursing a Toddler 

Christina @ MFOM: Natural-Term Breastfeeding 

Rebekah @ Momma’s Angel: My Sleep Breakthrough 

Suzi @ Attachedattheboob: Why I love nursing a toddler 

Claire @ The Adventures of Lactating Girl: My Hopes for Tandem Nursing

Elisa @ blissfulE: counter cultural: extended breastfeeding

Momma Jorje: Extended Breastfeeding, So Far! 

Stephanie Precourt from Adventures in Babywearing: “Continued Breastfeeding”: straight from the mouths of babes

The Accidental Natural Mama: Nurse on, Mama 

Sarah @ Reproductive Rites: Gratitude for extended breastfeeding 

Nikki @ On Becoming Mommy: The Little Things 

Dr. Sarah @ Good Enough Mum: Breastfeeding for longer than a year: myths, facts and what the research really shows

Amy @ WIC City: (Extended) Breastfeeding as Mothering

The Artsy Mama: Why Nurse a Toddler? 

Christina @ The Milk Mama: The best thing about breastfeeding 

TopHat @ the bee in your bonnet: From the Mouths of Babes 

Beth @ Bethstedman.com: Extended Breastfeeding: To Wean Or Not To Wean 

Callista @ Callista’s Ramblings:  Pressure To Stop Breastfeeding 

Amanda @ Postilius: Nursing My Toddler Keeps My Baby Close 

Sheryl @ Little Snowflakes: Tandem Nursing- The Good, The Bad and The Ugly 

Zoie @ Touchstone Z: Breastfeeding Flavors 

Lauren @ Hobo Mama: Same old, same old: Extended breastfeeding 

Tanya @ Motherwear Breastfeeding Blog: Six misconceptions about extended breastfeeding 

Jona (Breastfeedingtwins.org): Breastfeeding older twins

Motherlove Herbal Company: Five reasons to love nursing a toddler

5 thoughts on “My Hopes For Tandem Nursing

  1. I found you through the carnival, and just wanted to comment that with my two sons I did find that tandem nursing made things much easier. A few thoughts;

    1. Your production will probably drop a lot during pregnancy, so it’s quite possible that Peanut will wean. Also, things get tender at times.

    2. It’s very handy to have a nursing toddler around during those first weeks with a newborn, when your milk production and the baby’s appetite haven’t synced yet. Feeling full but the baby is too? Ask the toddler to help. Need help upping production? Toddler nursling to the rescue!

    3. My first wasn’t sure he was all for this new baby, but when he realized that his brother “brought the milk back” he was hugely reconciled. That was a huge bonding incentive right there.

  2. This is a great post for the breastfeeding carnival. You’ve got a very healthy attitude for tandem breastfeeding, I think. I also gleefully looked forward to it before I started. I was more circumspect about tri-andeming. But, for the vast majority of tandem and tri-andeming it has been an excellent experience. I agree with all of your bullet points. There has been a lot of bonding between my boys and individually between boys and me. There are complex dynamics that need to be worked out to honor everyone’s needs-including your own.

    I nursed through three pregnancies and each was different. In two I had little to no discomfort or milk supply issues. In one I had significant pain and some supply issues. I agree with the previous poster that having a nursing toddler around to help while your supply regulates is awesome! It can also bring your supply through the roof at times later. And if there’s simultaneous tandeming, let down on both sides is what breasts become entrained to do.

    I look forward to following your journey. I’m glad to have found your blog!

  3. When I had my first child, I would have never thought that I’d still be nursing her 2.5 yrs later AND nursing her along with her 8 week old sister. I nursed through a pregnancy that ended in a miscarriage at 10 wks and then continued through this successful pregnancy. (I spent most of last year pregnant.)

    I’m glad I did not wean her as planned. It’s been precious. There are tiring and emotional moments, but it is worth it. My favorite memory so far is the first time I nursed my oldest after coming home from the hospital (4 days apart due to csec and baby sister in NICU)… I took her upstairs away from the crowd of family, just me and her. We sat down and just before she latched on she leaned up and kissed the top of my breast and smiled at me and then proceeded to nurse. Wow…yeah. that made me cry.

    Since then, she still occasionally kisses me and says thank you after she’s done or before switching to the other side. It floors me, still!

    I think all you reasons are true and valid…

    God bless you!

    • I’ll definitely agree that there are trying moments, but at the same time it’s a wonderful experience. I’m happy that I’ve been able to experience it now.

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