If you would have told me I would breastfeed two children (that were not twins) I would have looked at you funny. I did not even realize, prior to getting pregnant, that babies were supposed to nurse for more than a year. In all honestly, I did not know much about anything before getting pregnant with my first.
Here I am, a few years later, with a two year old and a ten month old; both of which nurse frequently throughout the day and during the night. My toddler usually nurses less frequently overall, but he still enjoys "mommy milk". That is his special name for it.
I get a variety of reactions when people find out I tandem nurse.
He still nurses? (Obviously referring to the toddler)
Wow! You're super mom. (All moms are super by the way)
But how does that work exactly? (The same way regular nursing works, expect I can do two kids at once if I want)
From disgust to confusion to awe, I've received many reactions to tandem nursing. The best has been from my toddler who lovingly holds his brother's hand while nursing.
Tandem nursing brings me so much joy. Yes, it can be challenging but just like anything else it is worth it.
Tandem nursing allows me to foster a relationship between myself and my kids that I otherwise may not have. I am able to comfort them in the most natural way and in the way they need. I love that I can easily put them both to sleep, I can easily calm them down, I can easily connect with, all with a few moments of nursing.
Tandem nursing allows me to still share a close bond with my toddler. Everything changed when we went from one to two kids and my relationship with my toddler was no exception. He now has to share and be patient and be more independent. Nursing him is an easy way to reconnect and let him know he is still my baby and still very important. Being able to still share that close bond with my toddler is priceless.
One thing I was concerned about when having a second baby was jealousy. I have heard of children reacting poorly even reverting to more baby-like behavior when a sibling is born. We did not experience that. We saw love and caring, instead of jealousy. I believe tandem nursing helped to ease the transition and lessen the possibility of jealousy between my boys.
Since the day they were born, my boys have been close. Tandem nursing allowed them to be equals instead of having the baby be more important than my toddler. The first week we ended up tandem nursing and I was not sure I would want to nurse them at the same time, but watching them hold hands and watching my toddler share and try to help baby nurse was just too perfect. I could see them creating a bond that since has only grown stronger.
Tandem nursing can be difficult but it made the first few weeks with a newborn and a toddler a lot more manageable. It was easier for me when they both need me to just nurse them. We all know babies nurse all of the time at the beginning and my toddler (not even 2 years at the time) felt suddenly left out because I was not able to play all of the time. Tandem nursing allowed me to easily connect with them both in a deep way.
Tandem nursing worker very well for my family and it has brought me much joy. It is challenging at times, but the benefits outweigh the challenges for our family.
Have you experienced the joys of tandem nursing?