Want to know about adventures in tandem nursing, dealing big and little together? Today we are going to discuss the same thing, let’s start!
When I became pregnant with my son Oscar, my daughter Matilda was eighteen months old and still very much my nursing.
Morning, noon, snack time, bedtime, and all through the night she both wanted and expected her beloved Boobas. BOOBAS MAMA, BOOBAS. I DINK YOU BOOBAS.
Sure, have a pull. It’s on me. No really. Lift my shirt. It’s ON me.
Truly, it felt like Boobas all the time.
And I couldn’t be sure how being pregnant, and then (if we made it through) nursing a big toddler and a little newbie would work out.
So I held my breastfeeding motto a bit closer to my heart.
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I said it often.
My motto for breastfeeding was then and has always been ‘Just keep going’. Trust the process. My body and my babies will figure things out.
So that’s exactly what I did. I kept going. I trusted. Together with my babies and I eventually figured things out.
I purposefully read very little on the subject of tandem nursing while I was expecting. I know that’s now for everyone, but I wanted to feel my own way through it. Matilda and I took breastfeeding day by day and night by night.
I ended up nursing her throughout the entirety of my pregnancy with Oscar. But to say it was always easy and that it was completely enjoyable would be a flat-out fib.
The truth is it wasn’t always easy, and I didn’t always enjoy it. There were days, in the beginning, I had to tell her NO because I wasn’t feeling well enough. Morning sickness hung over me too heavily.
There were days my breasts were just too sore. So she backed off.
Sometimes she was upset to the point of tears, and sometimes she didn’t seem to care when I gently told her no. We even went through a period where I thought we were finishing up for good. My supply was next to nil.
I told myself–no pressure. Just keep going.
See how it goes. I left most of the nursing decisions up to her, except toward the end of the pregnancy when I completely told her no to nighttime nursing.
I wanted to prepare her for the new baby.
Plus, I personally didn’t want to be nursing two children throughout the night. The newborn would be enough. Many a night as we wrapped up a before bedtime session we chatted about sharing her Boobas with the new baby.
After nine months, we were ready.
When Matilda was twenty-six months old, Oscar joined us on Earthside. My milk supply skyrocketed! Amazing! It catapulted Matilda up to heaven. Because of that milk that came in?
That milk was sweet and fatty for Oscar. Matilda told me it tasted like chocolate.
And she went back to nursing around the clock again. Every time I nursed the baby, she wanted to as well. For the most part, I let her. For the first month after Oscar’s birth, I let her nurse whenever because I thought it would help her transition into her new role as big sister.
And accommodating her nursing requests seemed to do the trick. But come night time, the Boobas went back to being just for the new baby.
After the first month, the newness of the baby began to wear. More often Matilda joined the ranks of the big kids and went to play more frequently with her two older brothers.
Our nursing sessions tapered off.
I think she started to associate Boobas with Baby, and she wanted to be a Big Girl now.
After three more months of tandem nursing, my daughter completely self-weaned at 2.5 years of age. Such a bittersweet time.
I wondered at each nursing session if this one or that one would be our last. I savored those final moments with her. Our nursing journey had become such a comfort and a pleasure for us both.
Do you have a motto for breastfeeding? For tandem nursing? If not, I’ll gladly give you mine.
Just keep going. Trust the process. Your body and your babies will figure it out together.