Tandem breastfeeding is turning out a lot different than I thought. It’s not bad, just different. Breastfeeding Cole has been a breeze. I think a combination of still nursing Caleb and the fact that I have been really relaxed about the whole process has helped things go very smoothly. This time around I ‘know what I’m doing.’ It’s just been a big adjustment for both Big C and I.
On top of having a new brother, Big C is getting 4 molars all at the same time! The poor guy walks around with his fist in his mouth. He has been asking to nurse more than before, but he always does when he is teething. I can also tell he’s in pain and I know that sucking relieves some of the pressure. With the teething I can’t tell how much of his extra clingy-ness has to do with Little C.
The transition for me is the dairy cow feeling. Nursing a newborn is demanding enough, so having a toddler that wants me the second I’m finally not feeding the baby can get a little overwhelming. Thankfully, Damien is a great distraction for Big C and helps get me a break when possible. And I have to admit the quiet time with Big C is a great way to focus on just him.
I also had to learn how to tandem feed them. At first I was super worried about Big C drinking too much and then I worried that him nursing a lot would make me really engorged. Then I realized that if I don’t let him nurse as much as he wants in these first few weeks, I may miss the opportunity to up my supply. I don’t want to limit him now and then have to limit him later because there isn’t enough.
When I relaxed about how much Big C was drinking, everything got a lot easier. When I get a chance, I let him nurse as long as he wants (which is almost entirely just for comfort) and that has really helped with his jealousy of Little C eating. Most importantly, I am now really enjoying those few moments with him and trying to give him all of my attention. I think that has been helping. At the very least it has really been helping my attitude.
I didn’t know what tandem breastfeeding would look like, but I’m glad we are. It gives me a set time to focus on each boy individually. We are still in transition, but I’m looking forward to what comes next.