When I fell pregnant with Cassius in June 2017, I was still breastfeeding Aoife. She was 18 months at that point and I knew I wanted to feed her until she was at least 2 years old (as per the WHO guidelines). I didn’t know anyone personally who had breastfed through a pregnancy so it was business as usual on that front. I had read things about children weaning during pregnancies due to a lack of milk, part of me thought that this would happen. As I got closer to my due date it became very apparent that Aoife would not be weaning. I began to look for tips on how to handle nursing a toddler and a newborn. As with most things in parenting I ended up winging it! But here are my top tips for tandem feeding! Hope they help!
1. Assign a boob and do bedtime together.
In the early days of our tandem journey it was easier to do bedroom together. As a cosleeping family this is what worked best for us. I also assigned a boob to each child so they had their own sides and less disagreements would occur! This actually worked great for us and really cemented their bond!
2. Let older child nurse when baby nurses.
I found to stop Aoife feeling pushed away and disconnected during the early cluster feeding days that if she asked to nurse whilst Cassius nursed it was better for everyone to say yes. She didn’t ask every time he nursed so it wasn’t too much of an issue.
3. Find a nursing position that is comfortable.
This is a biggie. It can be difficult to find a position that works when you have a child on each breast! For me I used A LOT of cushions to prop myself up. It is trial and error to find what works for you.
4. If it gets too much, get your partner/parents/close friend to take older child out to do something fun!
I did find that on some occasions it could all get a bit much. A difference here is I was also struggling with undiagnosed post natal depression but if I was feeling particularly touched out I would arrange for Aoife to do something fun with family. This way she would still get the attention she desired and I would get a bit of a break!
5. Make the most of an amazing bonding experience.
It really is an amazing thing to see the sibling bond developing and it was absolutely incredible to see the way Aoife would hold Cassius tiny hand whilst they were nursing in those early days!
I hope you find these tips helpful and if you have any questions feel free to ask!