My little one is now almost 3 months old and so I’ve been tandem nursing for 3 months. If I had the chance for a do over, I’m not so sure I would do it again. I know several people who are currently pregnant and thinking about tandem nursing and I know I had a hard time finding anyone who had written about their experience, so I thought I would share the pros and cons. I honestly don’t know if I would choose to wean Caleb if I had the chance to do it over, but I would have loved some honest information.
I love having designated time that I HAVE to sit down with Big C and focus on him. I don’t have to make an effort to make sure I’m paying attention to him because I have that time built in by default. I also love that my rowdy, active, and not so cuddly boy has to calm down for a few minutes and just cuddle with mom. I love that I can comfort him so easily when he is tired, hurt, scared, or just wants to be loved.
Logistically, it’s almost always inconvenient. When little brother is hungry it seems to remind big brother that he’d like a snack too. For the first few weeks (maybe the whole first month), big brother was very jealous and had a really hard time understanding why he now had to share and/or couldn’t be eating at the same time (sorry, not happening here).
The newborn phase already makes you feel like a dairy cow. Without fail, the minute I finally get a chance to eat, drink, pee, whatever – that’s when Big C wants some milk too. Generally speaking I’m not stressed out, but I don’t really ever get a break. On bad days, it’s pretty draining. On good days, it’s pretty inconvenient.
Because Big C is only 18 months older than Little C, we have some communication issues. He doesn’t understand the “Cole only gets milk – you get to eat food,” or “You can wait, he can’t” arguments. The biggest issue is in the morning. They both nurse like crazy when they first wake up. Many days they wake up at different times and so this doesn’t really matter (except it’s still inconvenient 🙂 ). However; when they wake up at the same time, I feel like I’m in the middle of a war zone. I have to change diapers and get us all in the same place – usually our bed since it’s big and comfy. Then I try to feed Little C first since he obviously actually NEEDS the milk. Well, that doesn’t go over well and I have one angry toddler on my hands. He screams, he tries to climb on me, sometimes he even gets mad at his little brother. It’s all totally understandable, but it makes for an awful morning. If I try to sneak Big C in for a minute or two, the little one screams. It’s pretty much a huge lose, lose situation. I feel like I could have saved a lot of trouble by just weaning him before brother showed up.
I still can’t tell you what I’d decide if I had to do it again. Some days I am so over nursing them both, I’m ready to forcibly wean big brother. Other days, I love getting to spend quality time with them both. When I was pregnant with big brother I didn’t have any goals related to nursing. I wanted to do it because it was free. Now I’m some kind of hippie who not only nurses her 20 month old, but is tandem nursing 2 kids! I think for the sanity of our family, we will strongly consider weaning around his 2nd birthday, but for now we’re still carrying on. Choosing to tandem nurse is obviously a personal one. I don’t regret tandem nursing, but I can’t say I’m thrilled that I chose to. Hopefully, my experience will help you decide for your family.