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Tandem Feeding.

(23 Posts)
Deemented Sat 10-Oct-09 20:41:07

It's looking increasingly likely that i shall be feeding DD and the new baby at the same time. DD will be 20 months when this one is born. To be honest, it's not really what i had planned - i had thought that DD might be weaned off before this one came along, but she's still enjoying it, and truth be told, so am i, so i can't see any real reason to stop - she feeds before going to sleep at night, then maybe about 11pm and then about 6am. She might have a feed during the day, but thats only occasional now.

I don't really know much about tandem feeding, and i'm about worried how to actually do it. I know newborns cluster feed a lot - how will DD and new baby work themselves around this? Am i likely to have enough to go round for both of them? Is DD likely to want to feed more when i am feeding on demand for newborn?

Sorry about these stupid questions blush Don't really have anyone in RL to ask - everyone seems to assume that DD won't feed anymore once newborn comes along, or they think the thought of me haing a baby on each boob hilarious hmm

Any help would be appreciated.

HumphreyCobbler Sat 10-Oct-09 20:47:54

I tandem fed with the same age gap as you. It worked fine, I did a bit of feeding both at the same time but ds was really only having milk in the morning.

You will have enough milk - your supply meets your demand. The newborn's nutritional needs are met, so colostrum is still produced.

It will be great. I am still feeding now dd is one and ds two and a half. This morning they swapped sides grin, and ds is also given to deciding which one dd is 'allowed'.

My midwifes were a bit shocked, it was like no one had ever done it before. I know this wasn't true!

There is a support thread somewhere, will go and have a look.

Deemented Sat 10-Oct-09 22:22:45

Thanks Humphrey

whomovedmychocolate Sat 10-Oct-09 22:27:08

I also tandem fed with the same gap - the first few weeks are interesting, both of them will want to feed a lot.

You will have enough milk and you may find you lose a lot of weight very quickly (well I did anyway). Couldn't eat enough to maintain weight.

I found feeding them together (ie at the same time) really awkward and hated doing it. But it is heartbreakingly charming to see your newborn grasping your toddlers hand as they both nurse. (and then they spoil it by one distracting you while the other pokes you in the eye hmm)

Deemented Sat 10-Oct-09 22:33:12

Thanks, *WMMC^.

To say i'm a bit daunted by it all would be an understatement...

TAFKAtheUrbanDryad Sat 10-Oct-09 22:37:33

Hi Dee, i'm tandem nursing my dc (2 year age gap) and it's hard work, mainly because ds - who is the older - asks to nurse a lot more than I'm prepared to IYSWIM. I think the best approach for the older child is to don't offer don't refuse, but I couldn't do that with ds as he'd be on me 24/7!

You will have enough milk, and it's a lovely bonding experience for your babies. I found that putting dd in a rugby ball hold and letting ds arrange himself around her was the easiest and safest way to nurse them together - although I find the sensation of nursing them at the same time pretty nasty. I know several people who don't mind it though!

whomovedmychocolate Sun 11-Oct-09 08:48:30

Please get over your principles before you have your second child - particularly regarding bribery. DD wanted to nurse a lot and I decided that in the long term, saying 'okay, do you want to come off now and have a chocolate button' was better than saying 'no you can't nurse again, you've had six goes already and it's only 11am' hmm

Obviously don't do this to the baby! wink But you do need to let go a bit if you are anything like I was.

And I do remember feeling distinctly resentful of DD still breastfeeding as in 'why the bloody hell is she still feeding at her age, shouldn't she be all grown up yet' (which is really silly as she was only 2!) Looking back, because she had suddenly become a 'big sister' I expected her to act like a big sister (which in my view meant being responsible, patient, considerate - all those things that toddlers just don't do) blush But it's all normal and it's okay. Just work out your own way of getting through it. Buy lots of sticker books. DD could be distracted by 'you can do a page of stickers' better than anything and while the baby is tiny, it won't be nicking them. wink If they sit next to you while you are nursing doing something quietly you know they are not painting on the walls with your lipstick too. grin

One thing that got to me was the 'queue' situation, where DS would be nursing and DD sitting next to me telling me how she was 'next' and 'want booby now please, hurry up please' and you can start to feel like a municipal convenience hmm, but it doesn't last forever.

DD has now almost self-weaned. She nurses about once a fortnight when she feels ill - she's 3 in a couple of weeks. And we can talk about it now which makes it much easier.

But honestly it is eminently doable and worthwhile. Although the midwives will treat you like a circus freak and everyone in the maternity ward like you knit your own yoghurt. Tis quite good fun scaring the first time mums though wink

Do you know what you are having yet?

Deemented Sun 11-Oct-09 10:20:23

Thanks for all your posts - it doesn't seem all that daunting now. DD will be 20 months when this one comes along, and is still very much a 'baby' toddler, iyswim? She's only been walking a couple of weeks and isn't an independant toddler just yet - she's gotten used to it being just her and me when her big brother has gone to school, and i'm worried she'll feel left out, as well as DS too.

Though DS is very excited about becoming a big brother again, and has put in an order for a boy baby this time grin

I think now i've made the decision that i'm going to tandem feed i feel a bit better. People have just been assuming that i will stop feeding DD when the baby comes along, and i've just mumbled 'probably' as i wasn't sure what i was going to do.

We had to find out the flavour for health reasons, but have decided to leave it as a surprise for people smile

whomovedmychocolate Sun 11-Oct-09 10:51:56

Good for you! I didn't realise you already had two kids (but you seem so sane shock grin)

DD had only just started walking when I got pregnant with DS too. Twas v funny trying to run after her when she'd fallen and I was very bulbous....not hmm

You'll be fine!

StealthPolarBear Sun 11-Oct-09 11:04:41

Feeding 2yo DS and 3week old DD
Feed both together sometimes and agree rugby ball for the LO and letting the toddler sort himself out is the way to do it! And you won't be able to scratch your nose or put either of them down so it's helpful to have someone within shouting distance.

DD hasn't done the evening screaming/cluster feeding yet - can anyone tell me when that starts as I can't remember from DS?

His bedtime routine's had to change slightly though, he has his feed and if he's not asleep within a reasonable time or when she starts crying DH comes and reads to him while he falls asleep.

whomovedmychocolate Sun 11-Oct-09 11:27:57

Three weeks in was when the cluster feeding hit here!

StealthPolarBear Sun 11-Oct-09 12:19:00

StealthPolarBear Sun 11-Oct-09 12:19:52

that'll be fun

Deemented Sun 11-Oct-09 12:43:57

Tis a good excuse to curl up on the sofa with copious ammounts of cake/chocolate/crisps and drinks, the remote control, laptop, a good book and have people wait on you.


StealthPolarBear Sun 11-Oct-09 12:45:50

well at the moment I'll have DS screaming MUUUUMMMMMEEEEEEEEEE every hour and DH wingeing because he has man flu.
Actually you're right, feeding DD will be the nice bit

whomovedmychocolate Sun 11-Oct-09 19:42:04

Sorry Stealth - didn't see your youngest was three weeks. If it helps with DD she didn't do cluster feeding till three months. And DS was early so needed extra feeds. I'm sure you have lots of time yet before it kicks in <hopeful>

StealthPolarBear Mon 12-Oct-09 08:17:06

no problem was a misery yesterday after dreadful night but last night was 1000x better so I'm feeling better

CantSleepWontSleep Mon 12-Oct-09 08:44:55

stealth - ds never really bothered with cluster feeding, so don't panic!

Not much to add really demented (am feeding 3.8 yr old dd and just turned 1 year old ds), but just to reiterate that both are likely to want to feed a lot in the early weeks. I let dd have free reign for a few weeks whilst she adjusted to having a baby brother, and then gradually cut her back to a more sensible amount.

GwarchodwrPlant Mon 12-Oct-09 19:41:46

Hello! Glad I've found this thread after being linked to it! I am trying for baby No2 and will be finding out later this month if our 'attempts' have worked. DS is 12mths old now and I'm hoping to feed him until he self-weans or around the age of 2yrs so I am expecting to be tandem feeding. I was just hoping for some advice and tips of the more wiser and experienecd of you and after reading your posts I do feel somewhat reassured that it will work <wibble>. The thing I'm most worried about though is other people's reactions and comments even though I know I shouldn't be. How do you lot cope with that side of it?

CantSleepWontSleep Mon 12-Oct-09 19:53:03

Gwar - I just talk about it (when it crops up - I don't go out of my way to tell people, but I don't hide it at all either) as though it's the most normal thing in the world, which of course it should be, and although people are sometimes a bit surprised, I haven't really had any bad reactions (not to my face anyway wink) as yet.

Druidmama Tue 13-Oct-09 10:14:01

I tandem feed in public (3yo and 7mth old DDs) and honestly, if anyone has ever noticed, they haven't said anything. I tend to feed little DD in a sling and then hoick a boob out the side for the big one...tis all covered by the sling!

StealthPolarBear Tue 13-Oct-09 10:22:47

Wow Dm - have to say i havent fed DS in public since probably just before
he was 2 (only feeds morning & night anyway) but not sure I'd have the nerve now! good for you!

StealthPolarBear Tue 13-Oct-09 10:23:45

last time i think was on an MN meet up, he was maybe just over 2 but on an MN meet up I had plenty of back up!!

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