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Our daughter is 19 months old and still breastfeeding strongly, with no end in sight. Typically, she feeds before her daytime nap, before bed at night, a couple of "light snacks" during the night (which barely wakes me as we co-sleep with her) and the odd reconnect here and there during the day. I love her breastfeeding and we have decided to do child-led weaning with her.

I am now pregnant with our second child and if our daughter does not wean herself naturally on her own, I would love to continue our breastfeeding relationship (despite the excruciating attachment pain I experience now which I hope will pass) and right into tandem breastfeeding when the new baby comes along.

Has anyone tried tandem breastfeeding? I've done a lot of research on the topic, and am well knowledged up on the subject but I'd love to hear your story and any tips on on the logistics that you may have on nursing a toddler and a newborn

asked 06 Jan '11, 13:19

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Lin
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edited 06 Jan '11, 23:12

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Good for you! I would have had the same question, but my milk dried up when I was about 4 months pregnant, and my son was 16 months. I assume you've read the extensive advice on http://kellymom.com. Good luck!!!

(06 Jan '11, 13:50) Anne
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yes I have Anne... and also a copy of The Adventures of Tandem Nursing by Hilary Flower is on it's way!

(06 Jan '11, 13:57) Lin
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Such wonderful news! Congratulations Lin :-)

(06 Jan '11, 20:30) Emi

Yeah Lin, congratulations!

I tandem breastfed my 2 youngest for about 13 months after my youngest son was born, my daughter was 17 months old then and basically nursing as often as your daughter is. The only problem I had, other than the latching pain and basically feeling squirmy while she nursed (sorry I don't know how to describe it better than that) while I was pregnant, was with night feedings. During the day she was fine with being told that baby got to nurse first and she had to wait her turn, but at night she really wasn't pleased at all. So, that's how she ended up night weaned by the time she was 18 months old, but she went on nursing pretty much right after he did in the day and evening until she weaned at 2 1/2 (she had to have her turn!).

I never nursed them both at the same time, I know people who have fed two nurslings of different ages at the same time, but it just didn't suit me.

Good Luck Lin, tandem nursing can be challenging until everybody adjusts, but it's very rewarding, too. I treasure my memories of it.

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answered 07 Jan '11, 18:34

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Neen
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thanks Neen!! oh yes, squirmy!! and with the added latching pain can be quite torturous!! Did you co-sleep with both of them at the same time?

(08 Jan '11, 05:15) Lin
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Yup, the squirmy feeling is the worst thing about nursing while pregnant for me, worse than the pain, I think they both were gone before my third trimester. Remembering it still makes me want to jump out of my skin! Yeah, we all co-slept for at least part of the night (my youngest would go in his crib for a few hours at bedtime, but then come in with us to nurse.) Our bed is in a corner and what worked for us was, Daddy, Hope, Me, Baby, wall. That way their Dad could cuddle Hope when baby was nursing and she couldn't. (And yeah, they're both still in my bed at least some of the time.)

(08 Jan '11, 08:13) Neen

I tandem fed my older two, for about two years. I did occasionally feed them both at the same time, but never really found a comfortable position for that.

It's really useful to have an older toddler in those first few weeks, you don't have any of the engorgement problems I remember getting when my eldest was tiny, because you can always persuade a toddler to have a feed. Also useful for stimulating the third stage of labour if the baby isn't quite ready to latch on.

In my experience the downsides were:

  • the toddler thought that all her Christmasses came at once when my milk comes in - for months my supply had been low and possibly tasting weird, and suddenly there was all this super-abundance of milk. She started feeding more than I had been used to and start waking multiple times to feed in the night as well. Since she was two I decided enough was enough and insisted on night-weaning her at that stage, which was the only solution that I think could have worked for us. I couldn't cope with both a two year old and a newborn waking for 6 feeds each a night.

  • toddler got diarrhoea as colostrum is a laxative.

  • toddler went through all the usual sibling rivalry business that two year olds go through when they suddenly have to share their mum, but she had an extra bit of ammunition in her armoury - breastfeeding became a way for her to demand my attention. I dealt with this badly: I decided, suddenly, on a bad day, to stop feeding her except for one feed a day. I still feel guilty about this, not because it was necessarily the wrong thing to do, but because I did it for bad reasons. She continued to have that one feed for another 18 months.

I hope that's useful to you, and I hope you enjoy your second (when you're not too tired).

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answered 21 Mar '11, 16:14

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Meg Stephenson
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+1 Meg, sounds very familiar! :) Most of the tandem nursers I've spoken to have night weaned pretty quickly after their second was born.

(22 Mar '11, 11:25) Neen
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Asked: 06 Jan '11, 13:19

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Last updated: 22 Mar '11, 11:25