If I could do it over again

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.

The Good:

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.

The Bad:

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.

The Ugly:

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 ๐Ÿ™‚ ). 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.

Conclusion:

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.

 

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About onetechmom

A wife, mother, and above all someone who strives to live like Christ. View all posts by onetechmom

12 responses to “If I could do it over again

  • Melissa Wilson

    Thank you so much for sharing!! i struggled with the idea and considered nursing my 2 year old through pregnancy and then tandum…but as it happend, nursing early on made me SO sick, I was pretty much forced to wean my girl, even though it was the LAST thing in the world I wanted to do! We still do nursing a few days a week, but I’m quickly cutting that off too…the hardest part for me has been, when she recently got sick…instead of her getting better within 3 days, she has had a lingering cold for over 2 weeks!! Even when I nurse her once a day!! The easiest part has been the fact that she sleeps better at night since I night weaned her at 20 months…yea!! Still take her potty 1-2 times a night and we still co-sleep, but she is a MUCH better sleeper! Thank you for this perspective, it really helps me not regret what I had to do…because I really wanted to do it! Way to go!!! So proud you are doing it!!!

  • Valerie

    I think that’s really great information to know. I appreciate you taking the time to share it. *Hugs* to you on hard mornings/days when they both need you!! I think I would’ve done the same as you (and been equally as miserable, at times!) because I wouldn’t have wanted to wean one for the sole purpose of making way for the next, but I also think that is pretty tempting an idea!! Haha

  • max

    thanks for sharing!

  • Jessica Howard (@quirkybookworm)

    In my experience: ya gotta wean them forcibly or you’ll nurse them FOREVER.

    When Eleanor was 16 months she was still doing 6 nurses a day. I cut her back 1 a month so she was weaned at 22 months. I was SO worried about the bedtime nurse actually, since I’d always nursed her to sleep… and bedtime was rough for 3 days, but then she was fine.

    Although I spent the next 6 months changing quickly, because whenever she saw me without a shirt she’d be like “Can I try some? I just want to taste a little bit? Can I just try?” ๐Ÿ˜›

    • onetechmom

      Thankfully, he dropped the bedtime nurse months ago. I’m not really sure why, but yay for us. I already tell him no some, too. The biggest times are waking up in the morning and before and after nap. Cutting those out will be tough.

      He does the same thing when I change. It’s pretty funny actually.

  • Jessica Howard (@quirkybookworm)

    P.S. Can’t IMAGINE tandem-nursing. Way to hang in! ๐Ÿ™‚

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  • pollyreed

    Thanks for this post (and thanks Valerie for directing me here!) it’s very pertinent as I’m thinking about giving tandem nursing a go, if this one stick then in September. Rosie will be 18 months too, but she currently only feeds 3 times a day and is not that fussed. She might be though once she sees someone else muscling in!

    From reading your article it seems that in some cases the stress would be lessened by sticking one on each side – are you in a position to explain why you don’t want to do that? Is it just too much?

    Thanks for such a helpful article!!

    • onetechmom

      Thanks for your comment! My oldest was down to 3, maybe 4 feelings until little brother came along. He definitely became more interested once there was someone else hogging me.

      I did feed them both once or twice. It was pretty uncomfortable for me, and only works if I was in a bed where Big C could sit and manage by himself. I spend very little time in our room with the bed and its basically impossible anywhere else. I realize it could help, but it just wasn’t for me and I think there’s some value to teaching him to wait.

      Whatever your decision, good luck! We have all been sick this last week and I am so thankful we are still nursing. I don’t know what we’d do without it.

  • alecia

    I just virtually stumbled across your blog and feel inspired to give you a word of encouragement. I have four children, ages 13 to years, and I tandem nursed starting when our second child was born only twenty months after our first child was born. I was simply following my instincts, and certainly had no “real life” support or examples of tandem nursing.
    I had a particularly hard time right around the same place as you are in this post. I reached out online to the only tandem nursing message board I could find at the time, and a mom encouraged me to continue, saying I’d never regret it all the while acknowledging how freaking hard it is to do sometimes (much of the time actually). So, now I want to give you a word of encouragement to stick it out…yes, it can be SO very difficult, but it is indeed SO VERY WORTH it, and you will never ever regret a second of it…you will actually be so grateful you did. I am…ever so thankful I stuck it out. I ended up doing natural lead weaning with my children…and all in all nursed thirteen years. But I never ever “aimed” to do this…I simply took things one day, and one night (oh the long nights) at a time, following my heart…following my heart… Hang in there, mama! Bravo to you! Love to your babes โค

    • onetechmom

      Thank you so much for your encouragement! We are still tandem nursing and I think you’re right. I won’t regret continuing, but I might regret stopping. We’ve been in a good patch since I wrote the post, but it’s still challenging. It’s so good to hear that it’s worth it to keep going. Thank you!

      On a side note, how old were your kids when they weaned?

  • alecia

    ps…oops,…four children, ages 13 to 5 years ๐Ÿ™‚

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