The Ups and Downs of Tandem Nursing

tandem nursing newborn and toddler

Tandem nursing my two kids is not something I have been very public about, mostly because a lot of people think it’s crazy that I’m still nursing my almost 2-year-old, let alone tandem nursing an almost 2-year-old and a newborn. But for those that are questioning it or considering it, this is for you. To the ones that think I’m crazy, drink a glass of milk that came out of a large animal that walks around in a field eating grass. Did I really just say that? Ok anyways.

In 2013, Stefen & I were blessed with one of the best babies that have ever existed (and we’re not biased at all). We had planned a home birth and planned on breastfeeding and never even thought of any other options. These were just normal ways of life to us because of how we were both raised. After ending up in a hospital and having a c-section I was thankful I was able to breastfeed right away with Blake. Without going into too much of a rabbit hole, the hospital scared me into thinking Blake was sick, dehydrated, and had to have formula, and was kept in NICU overnight. Weighing close to 10 lbs. at birth the NICU nurses told me he was one of the biggest babies they had seen in there.

Once I was finally home, my milk came in a few hours later that night, and I gave the formula away to a mom in need. Blake hasn’t had any other milk besides mine since (besides in smoothies, baking, etc). After much research, I had decided I wanted to nurse all my babies till the age of two. I had read different articles saying one year was the minimum recommended, but two years was the new “average”. Stefen and I had also talked about having our children close together as well.

When Blake was 9 months old we became pregnant with our second boy. I did a few things to hopefully ensure I wouldn’t be as sick the second time around and I believe they worked. I wasn’t sick nearly as bad or for as long as I was with my first pregnancy. So I continued to nurse Blake. Other moms had told me that during pregnancy you can either lose some or all of your supply, or the taste of the milk changes, both reasons that a lot of babies will self-wean. Well if either of these happened it never phased Blake. As I got closer to Houston’s due date many would question what I planned to do as far as continuing to nurse Blake. My plan never changed, though. I would nurse him until he turned two. Blake has never had any comfort in the form of a paci, blanket, stuffed animal. I have been that comfort. With bringing a new baby into our home at such a young age for him, I didn’t want to take away one of the main things that made him feel secure.

The night Houston was born Blake played downstairs with my family. He had no idea what was going on upstairs. We waited until probably about an hour after Houston was born and we were both cleaned up and relaxing in bed to bring Blake up to meet him, his new little brother. He stared. And stared, and stared. I can’t imagine what was going through his little almost 19-month-old mind.

That night, once my midwife had packed up her things and all my family said their goodbyes and gone home, it was just me, Stefen, Blake, and Houston in our bed. **my mom was downstairs as she stayed the night just in case we needed any help, and she also made a very appreciated run for coffee barn breakfast and coffee in the morning!** I sat there, ready to close my eyes after a day full of labor and birthing a baby. I sat there with both of my baby boys,  tandem nursing, one on each side. I’d like to say this was a magical moment and I cried tears of joy while Stefen sat smiling next to me running his fingers through my hair, but no. It was just real life. I was feeding my boys and also giving Blake something that was so familiar and comforting to him at a time when things were so new and different in our home.

The next few weeks Blake sort of digressed as I expected. He went from only nursing at night and nap time, to night, nap time, middle of the night, morning, when he was sad or hurt. Stefen always said he was getting hurt on purpose just so he could nurse. We still aren’t sure if those were his intentions. Over time though he is slowly accepting his little brother and loving on him. He is OK with sharing me, and I believe it’s because he knows I am here for both of them.

Now to stick with my plan of weaning at two, which is next month in case you didn’t know. Update coming in the near future.

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