Have a Toddler and a Baby? Here are 3 Tricks to Tandem Breastfeeding

Is your older child ready to quit nursing before the new baby comes along? If not, you may find yourself considering tandem breastfeeding. Women have done this for thousands of years. But breastfeeding a toddler and an infant doesn't always come easy in our modern society. Here are three tips to help you tandem nurse successfully.

Image via Flickr/ Christomopher

1. Don't worry about supply

Many mothers worry that the older child will take the baby's milk. Remember that breastfeeding is a strict supply and demand system. The more the children nurse, the more milk your body makes. Toddlers are also eating table foods and drinking other liquids. Therefore, the amount of milk they actually get from nursing sessions is small. If you have concerns or your baby isn't gaining weight as he should, you can let your baby nurse first to get the majority of the milk. 

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2. Breastfeed the children separately

Tandem breastfeeding doesn't mean you have to nurse both children at the same time. Some women find this annoying and difficult to get the toddler and the infant into a comfortable position. If this sounds like you, try separate nursing sessions for your toddler and baby. Ask the older child to wait a bit or distract him with a snack while the infant nurses. This can give you a bit of breathing room. It also lets you share this special moment with one child at a time.

3. Have a support system

Extended breastfeeding is becoming more accepted all the time, but it's still a controversial issue. And, just like with everything else related to parenting, everyone has an opinion. Tandem breastfeeding is often seen as extreme. You may find that friends and family members are less than enthusiastic about your choice. So it's important to set yourself up with a knowledgeable and positive support system. Local breastfeeding groups, such as the local chapter of the La Leche League, can be an invaluable source of information on extended and tandem breastfeeding. And, with breastfeeding groups, you're more likely to meet other mothers who are currently tandem nursing or have in the past. 

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Are you considering tandem breastfeeding?

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Have a Toddler and a Baby? Here are 3 Tricks to Tandem Breastfeeding

Katelynne has been trying to get the hang of this raising kids thing since 2007 but spends most of her time wondering who stole her copy of Parenting 101. When she’s not playing referee for her two children or writing all the words, she fantasizes about a full night’s sleep, uninterrupted showers, and triple venti caramel macchiatos with coconut milk. ... More

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