Welcome to the Carnival of Tandem Nursing

This post was written for inclusion in the Carnival of Tandem Nursing hosted by Mommying My Way. Our participants have shared their personal stories of the highs the lows and information on what to expect if tandeming is in your future. Please read to the end of each post to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.

***


I started TTC* when Munchkin turned two years old. I knew that it was very common for nurslings to wean during a pregnancy, and since it was important to me to nurse for at least two years, I waited until then to start trying to get pregnant again. The first time I had tried to get pregnant, it had taken two years, so I expected it to take a while. I started charting my temperatures even though Munchkin was not night-weaned, and it seemed to work fine. To my surprise, it only took 4 months to get pregnant with Sweets!

At the beginning of my pregnancy, Munchkin was nursing about 5 times per day and was not night-weaned. She noticed right away that the milk tasted different. She didn’t seem to mind, but when she was done nursing she would chug a cup of water! I decided to night-wean her early in my pregnancy because the nipple sensitivity was difficult for me to deal with at night. I also purposely decreased her daytime nursing to make things more manageable for me. I did not want to wean her completely – I still wanted that final decision to be hers – but I did definitely want her to cut down.

Within 3 months, she was down to nursing only once per week. I kept thinking that she was about to fully wean, but she just didn’t. If I had wanted to, I think that I could have easily weaned her during this time, but I wanted her to make that final call for herself. I wasn’t sure if I really wanted to tandem nurse, but I was willing to see where things went. It turned out that she just continued to nurse about once per week for the rest of my pregnancy, sometimes going as much as two weeks without nursing! I didn’t have much milk, but she wasn’t nursing for the milk. When she did nurse, she would stay on for 30 or 40 minutes!

Sweets (newborn) tandems with Munchkin (3 years)

Once Sweets was born, Munchkin went back to nursing more frequently again. She was happy that Sweets brought the milk back! But just a few days later, she stopped nursing again. She said she didn’t like the milk and it made her feel sick! Just when I wanted her to nurse to help me with engorgement, she didn’t want to! I thought for sure she was weaned then… but I was wrong! She asked again a few days later. She kept up nursing about once or twice per day after that for about another year and a half!

Tandem nursing wasn’t very hard on me because Munchkin was not nursing that often, so it didn’t add a whole lot of nursing on top of how often Sweets was nursing. She either nursed first thing in the morning, or last thing before bed, or both. Sometimes I nursed them together – one on each side – and other times I made Munchkin wait. I would say “sometimes we share and sometimes we take turns”. When I nursed them together, my usual routine would be to nurse Sweets first on one side, and then when she switched sides I let Munchkin nurse on the side that Sweets was finished with. It may not have been necessary, but it made me feel like I was making sure that Sweets got everything she needed first. After all, Sweets had no option but nursing, while Munchkin was eating and drinking other foods most of the time. When they did nurse together, Munchkin would often sweetly hold Sweets’ hand or stroke her head.

Tandem nursing - one year out

As Munchkin got older, she stopped being able to get a letdown when she nursed by herself. She told me that she could only get milk when she nursed together with Sweets. She was especially happy to nurse together with Sweets then! But this was the beginning of the end of nursing for Munchkin. She drastically decreased the frequency of her nursing at that point, and eventually nursed for the last time about 6 weeks later.

*TTC – Trying To Conceive

***

  • My Tandem Nursing Journey: Jenny at I’m a full-time mummy is sharing her tandem nursing journey so far…
  • Built for Two: No matter how much you read and plan, things may not always go as you expect. A few things that Jennifer at True Confessions of a Real Mommy wished she knew when she was planning to tandem feed her toddler and newborn.
  • Tandem Nursing – Magic Cure?: Jorje of Momma Jorje had high expectations of tandem nursing easing her toddler daughter’s transition from being the baby to being a big sister.
  • Mutually Desirable – Navigating a Tandem Nursing Experience: Amy Willa at www.amywilla.com talks about limit setting and meditations that help her navigate an intense tandem nursing experience.
  • My Adventure in Tandem Nursing: Alicia at Lactation Narration tells her story of nursing her daughter through pregnancy and then tandem nursing.
  • 4 months in: the good/hard: Becca at Exile Fertility writes about the joys and struggles of having two nurslings 17 months apart.
  • Tandem Nursing: One at a Time: When tandem nursing resulted in a nursing aversion, Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children looked for ways to meet everyone’s needs.
  • Why Nurse a 4 Year Old?: One of the questions Dionna at Code Name: Mama keeps getting is, “but why breastfeed a four year old? What are the benefits?” Today she answers that question.
  • My Hurt Feelings: Shannon at The Artful Mama shares how her first son reacted to nursing after the birth of his brother and the gift she received the last time he nursed.
  • Carnival of Tandem Nursing: A Letter To Myself 7 Years Ago: Dulce de leche shares the advice and reassurance that she would have given to herself if she could go back in time.
  • Nursing Both My Babies: Cassie at There‚Äôs a Pickle in my Lifeshares her experience with nursing and transitioning into tandem nursing. She also gives tips for struggles.
  • Our Tandem Nursing Journey: Kim at Life-is-Learning describes her journey into tandem nursing and why it is important to her.
  • Based on her own experience, Lauren at Hobo Mama dishes about the benefits and downsides to nursing multiple children.