Tandem Nursing

Tandem Nursing is defined as nursing two or more children of different ages.

I’ve been tandem nursing for over two months now and there’s no end in sight. That’s okay though, because I love tandem nursing…I love nursing in general now. When I started nursing Bug, it was not fun. I struggled very hard the first six weeks; cracked nipples, sore breasts, etc. After a while, nursing became easier though and I was still nursing my two year old(partially for my own benefit) when Bear came along in March.

When Bear was born, I was worried the pain would resurface and it would be a repeat of the last time. I was unsure of nursing two at once because I had never been around anyone who was tandem nursing. My mother in law had, but that was years before I was even alive. I was scared Bug would lose interest in nursing while I was in the hospital, something that wouldn’t have necessarily been bad, but I didn’t want to happen. I took to the internet though, and quickly found a few people who had nursed more than one child at a time, one who had also had cesareans and that hospital break for the older child.

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When he came to visit us at the hospital, Bug wanted “nurses,” as he refers to breastfeeding. I latched them both on, when Bear was only a day or so, and they’ve been nursing in tandem since.

Tandem nursing has been a wonderful experience, for a few reasons.

It’s given me the chance to stay connected to Bug, despite him not being the baby any longer.

I’ve never only had one child, so my connection with each kiddo has been different and interesting. Bug was my first biological child though, and the only one up until Bear to have the nursing factor with me. When his life was going to be turned upside down, I was worried suddenly nursing another child would create animosity and jealousy. By being able to nurse them together, Bug hasn’t lost that lasting nurture from me yet. We’re still as close as ever, though he’s always been a daddy’s boy, and I love that we still get quiet moments to breastfeed together.

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It strengthened Bear and Bug’s relationship.

I can’t speak for Bear yet, really, but tandem nursing has made Bug so close to Bear. He loves to nurse with the baby, often times stopping to tell me to nurse the baby too. When Bear is latched on, Bug has been known to walk over and ask “Me nurse this side too?” Bug will hold his hand while nursing or pat Bear’s cheek. It’s such a beautiful thing to see-my two youngest boys eating and bonding together. It makes my heart melt.

It’s kept my sanity with a newborn!

I heard all these horror stories about having two littles! The toddler would be running around crazy, the newborn just needed to nurse, and mama would lose her mind. I was terrified! Breastfeeding Bug still allowed me to stay more sane than I would have been if he had weaned or been weaned. If Bear needed to nurse and Bug was needy, I could latch Bug on to the other side and nurse him too. It would calm Bug down and let me provide Bear with what he needed…milk!

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My milk came right in and it never hurt.

Like I said before, nursing hurt when I started with Bug. It was painful. I cried through many nights of it and the only reason I didn’t quit was because my husband was there, encouraging and pushing me every step of the way. My mother warned me that even if I had nursed before, starting nursing again would be painful…and I was scared. I never stopped, though, and Bear latched on correctly right away and it never hurt.

I get to eat a whole lot more.

This is totally a personal thing, probably, but nursing two kids means I should eat extra calories and I will take any extra reason to chow down on carbs everyday.

There are times I wish I didn’t make the choice to tandem nurse or I wasn’t allowing Bug to

But, tandem nursing is still such a wonderful thing. If you have never encountered someone who has or is nursing two, it can be scary to start up-especially with some doctors being less supportive of nursing through pregnancy. I’m telling you today, though, that it’s totally possible Mamas! And tandem nursing has been one of the best momming experiences I’ve had!

Have you ever wanted to tandem nurse? Or have you?

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5 thoughts on “Tandem Nursing

  1. You are amazing, mama! I can’t imagine nursing through a pregnancy. How special for your boys and for you to share such a bond.
    You’re doing a great job!

  2. As a mom who is just nursing one babe, I applaud you mama! Nursing is hard work and I can’t image nursing my toddler in addition to my baby. We’d be nursing nonstop all day! I have a friend who tandem nurses and she’s a miracle mama. Keep up the good, hard work!

  3. I love those pictures with both nursing. That is so sweet and such a special bond. What a great way to eliminate any jealousy. I wish I could have tandem nursed, but with the twins, they got thrush, and were so used to bottles from the NICU that I ended up pumping for a year instead.

    1. Oh man thank you, but you are amazing! I cannot imagine pumping for two for a whole year!! Talk about dedication!!

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