Tandem Nursing

Archived Q&A and Reviews

Due any day now, still nursing my 22-month-old

March 2005

I'm expecting my 2nd any day now & am still nursing my 22 month old. He's starting to nurse more and more these days and I'm wondering if that's normal due to the circumstances, and if and when it might let up. Once the baby's born, is it best to let the older one nurse as much as he wants, or try to limit it? Also, is there a local tandem nursing support group? I go to LLL meetings sometimes, but would love to find something more specific to tandem nursing. Thanks! Nursing mama

My first child was 27 months when #2 was born. I tandem nursed not so much by choice but just because it happened that way: #1 was just not ready to be weaned yet. While I really enjoyed some parts of it (the closeness of both kids, the sharing, falling asleep in my arms, the absence of jealousy), I do remember it being very hard on mom's body. I threw out my neck lugging the two kids, something that still bothers me a bit even after a few years. Alicia
There are many ways that this could go for you -- your older child may want to nurse even more when the new baby (and your new milk) arrive or he may find your new flavor and the competition off-putting. Also, you may decide that nursing a newborn and your toddler is just too much for you, or you may find that nursing two is the best way to get some peace.

I highly recommend you look at the book ''Adventures in Tandem Nursing,'' published last year by LLL. I am currently nursing two (6 months and 3 1/2) and found it to be a very reassuring read. The book does not advocate for a particular schedule or technique for nursing, weaning, etc., rather it describes the various ways that mothers have handled tandem nursing. It helped prepare me for the complicated feelings I had when caring for a newborn and a toddler with increasing demands for nursing.

Good luck.

Your older child should always nurse after the baby, as breastmilk is the baby's sole source of nutrition. You might want to offer more frequent snacks to your older child, to slow him down a bit on the nursing. iris

Nursing a baby and a 27-month-old

March 2003

I'm in the final month of pregnancy and my 27 month old daughter is still very actively nursing. I tried half-heartedly to wean her in early pregnancy, but it was too stressful for both of us and now it looks like I'll be nursing my newborn baby and my toddler. I read the advice given about pregnancy and nursing and there was some advice about nursing a toddler and an infant, but I'd like to hear from more people. Specifically, how did you so it logistically? Did they nurse at the same time? Did the baby nurse first? What were some of the problems/ benefits? What would you do differently, if given the chance? Any advice would be welcome. Thanks! Molly

LaLeche Leagued has tons of advice on tandem nursing. I did a search for it and here are some I found: http://www.lalecheleague.org/FAQ/tandem.html
My daughter was 32 months when the baby was born and she loved to nurse. Before the baby I started to let her know that the baby only ate breastmilk, but she could have all kinds of food so that the baby would always nurse first. I was very strict with her not nursing all of the time. I would carve out some special time, usually at night, when it would be the toddler's time to nurse with no interruptions while my husband took the baby. At first, the toddler would get jealous when the baby would nurse, but I would gently remind her that the baby only could have breastmilk. Something that helps is to have a box with snacks that the toddler can help herself to while you are nursing. Then she can snack while the baby eats. Another thing that really worked was to nurse the baby on my bed and read a book to the toddler at the same time. They both get the closeness without both nursing. I would recommend being firm with the toddler and not let her go back to full time nursing. If you want to nurse both, there will be some rough days when you feel like a milk cow, but it gets better after a few weeks. Joan