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Balancing newborn and a toddler

(13 Posts)
overandunder9 Mon 08-Oct-18 08:26:14

I’m combination feeding my newborn and have a nearly 2yo DS too. I’m finding it really hard to manage bf and entertain the toddler. BFs are taking the best part of an hour a time and DS is getting bored/frustrated with me not being able to interact with him. He’s starting to do things he’s not supposed to e.g. throw things and climb, as a way of getting my attention.

I keep a pile of books and toys next to me so that he can sit by me and use them with or without me, but he will often want to do something else and gets upset at me not going to play with him. This then makes me feel guilty and upset too.

I’m also using the tv to pacify him, which I’m really not happy about (nothing against the tv in general, I just hate relying on it).

DH and both sets of DPs are worried about the situation and feel I should give bf up. Bottle feeds take about 15 mins and keep the baby fuller for longer so they do allow me to have more time with the both children. But I just feel I don’t want to give up BF just yet.

Does anyone have any advice or tips on how to manage this situation?

OP’s posts: |
MO2x Mon 08-Oct-18 10:00:22

Don't give up just have to encourage DS to help like ask him to get wipes or a cloth. Even if you don't need them I found it helped my DS feel more Invovled and he felt proud helping me out. Or even to draw the baby a picture whilst sat next to you. This way he didn't feel left out an we was all more relaxed when feeding time came xx

StillMissV Mon 08-Oct-18 19:52:12

Congratulations on your wee one! How old are they? I'm 10 weeks in and I have to say it's got a lot easier. Bubs is now much more efficient at feeding so most feeds are 10 mins tops and we go easily 2-3 hours between feeds now apart from the evening cluster feeding but my husband is home by then so takes over with the toddler. Could you see a lactation consultant or drop in, just to check you've got the best position etc as that may help with efficiently? I have also been practicing feeding in a stretchy sling which is fab when out and about, it's taken a bit of practice but it's good if I'm wearing a lower cut top!

Madratlady Mon 08-Oct-18 19:55:52

We watched a lot of CBeebies and did a lot of sticker books and jigsaws the first couple of months of having ds2. It won’t do your toddler any harm and the cluster feeding won’t last for ever.

Cathster Mon 08-Oct-18 19:58:55

Please don’t give up if you don’t want to, certainly don’t let your DP and DH have any decision in it!

How old is your newborn? It sounds like they’re fairly new and your DS is going to struggle with any attention you give to the baby, regardless of whether that is BF or other needs.

Personally I think let your rules on tv slide a little in these early days, if it keeps your DS happy. As another poster said, get him helping out. What about a special box of new toys that comes out when you’re feeding?

NameChange30 Mon 08-Oct-18 20:03:32

Hour-long feeds? Has baby been assessed for tongue tie? I agree with the PP who suggested going to a breastfeeding clinic or drop-in to check all is well with baby’s latch etc.

Just thought I’d mention it as DS had tongue tie and gained weight fine but had very long and very frequent feeds, he had to work very hard for his milk sad

StillMissV Mon 08-Oct-18 20:12:48

@NameChange30 that was my thought too, my first was a looooong feeder and it was from a tongue tie that wasn't picked up until 6 weeks. Feeds were half the time after it was cut

badb Tue 09-Oct-18 09:45:48

I’m currently in a similar position, though toddler is in nursery so I only have both for half the day. It is really hard - I feel very torn, and so guilty about not having the one-to-one time I used to have with my daughter. She’s playing up a lot and I feel like all I do is say ‘no’ to her. Here’s what’s helping me get through it:
1. This will pass. My baby is 8 weeks now and is starting to shorten his feeds and sit in the bouncer for a while. It’ll only get better from here. It’s still hard, but this phase will only last a couple of more months, at most.
2. My daughter had over two years of my undivided attention. I have to trust that secure attachment is enough to get through this tough time.
3. Having a sibling will be a really good thing for her, in the long run.

If your husband and parents are so concerned, what are they doing to help beyond pressuring you to give up breastfeeding? Can they take the toddler for a few hours, to give him some one-to-one time? Or take the baby for a walk in the pram so that you can spend some time with your son by himself?

overandunder9 Tue 09-Oct-18 12:32:35

Thank you so much for all your great advice. There’s some super ideas there that I will definitely try.

DH and DP/DPIL are fantastic, tbh. Their feelings that I should give up breastfeeding are primarily out of concern for both me and DS - there’s no pressure at all from them. They help me out a lot but obviously can’t be here all the time. DP are actually here at the moment to give DS his lunch and play while I feed the little one (and check in on your lovely messages).

I’ve had the latch checked several times by midwives and health visitors and they all say that everything is fine. It’s a strange one.

OP’s posts: |
StillMissV Tue 09-Oct-18 12:43:09

Glad you've got good support.

It's still worth popping to a breastfeeding drop in if you can - I know I'm probably harping on about it, apologies, but the midwife and health visitor checked our latch several times and missed little ones posterior tongue tie. Had that been caught earlier the first six weeks of his life would have been far more straightforward! Another of my friends had hers checked and they gave her amazing advice about how to combi feed so as to get the best from her supply.

Hope things get easier for you!xx

NameChange30 Tue 09-Oct-18 14:31:28

I agree with StillMissV! The midwives and HVs missed my son’s tongue tie as well sad

badb Tue 09-Oct-18 15:06:19

It’s great that you have support (I didn’t mean to sound harsh btw - my parents are very squeamish about breastfeeding and are always encouraging a bottle, so it’s a knee jerk reaction to be suspicious!). Keep taking all the help you can - especially with the baby, so you can focus on the toddler for a bit. It’s tough going - mind yourself.

Agree with the others re getting checked again for tongue tie. But honestly, some babies are just slow feeders - mine is, and no tongue tie. He’s getting quicker, but still taking 40 minutes or so.

Chickchickadee555 Thu 11-Oct-18 09:22:04

How much formula are you using and when? Just wondering if this is impacting on your supply and making it difficult for LO to feed, hence the long periods on the breast. In the early weeks, it's often impossible to combination feed without your supply taking a hit (unless you're pumping at the same time LO has the formula).
Maybe you could have a look at this and the possibility of working to build supply back up so LO doesn't have to work as hard to get milk from the breast? A breastfeeding counsellor or lactation consultant could help you do this.
I totally understand the family mean well, but breastfeeding is clearly important to you and so they'd be better off finding ways to support you to continue rather than suggesting you give it up completely.

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