Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Tandem Nursing - Magic Cure?

Welcome to the Carnival of Tandem Nursing

This post was written for inclusion in the Carnival of Tandem Nursing hosted by Mommying My Way. Our participants have shared their personal stories of the highs the lows and information on what to expect if tandeming is in your future. Please read to the end of each post to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.


I had a very hard time breastfeeding and then dry-nursing my toddler through pregnancy. I was stubbornly determined to tandem nurse for one reason in particular: I'd read that tandem nursing can help ease the transition into being an older sibling. I had other reasons, of course, but this one was important to me.

Tandem Nursing - Take IThis is where Sasha met Spencer
for the very first time.

There have been a lot of changes to my nursing relationship with Sasha since that day. Thankfully, she was able to get milk; my biggest concern while I was gritting my teeth through dry nursing. She was limited in different ways, then given free reign to nurse as much as she liked, and then back to limits.

I now only permit Sasha to nurse for a few minutes before bed. I don't really feel like nursing together or even both being nurslings served to make a huge difference in sibling bonding. I even went through extra guilt when I had to tell her no, even feeling like I had to hide from her while nursing Spencer.

I think snuggling with the two of them together in bed has made a bigger difference. I also think it has helped to give her some one-on-one attention. She also likes to help take care of Spencer sometimes. Perhaps more tandem nursing would have had a greater benefit. I don't regret still nursing her. My aversion is just too strong to do it very much. I did enjoy tandem "morning milk" a few times.

Note: I don't feel that "tandem nursing" means you have to nurse both children at the same time.

Do you feel tandem nursing had a positive impact on the bonding between your children?


  • My Tandem Nursing Journey: Jenny at I'm a full-time mummy is sharing her tandem nursing journey so far...
  • Built for Two: No matter how much you read and plan, things may not always go as you expect. A few things that Jennifer at True Confessions of a Real Mommy wished she knew when she was planning to tandem feed her toddler and newborn.
  • Tandem Nursing - Magic Cure?: Jorje of Momma Jorje had high expectations of tandem nursing easing her toddler daughter's transition from being the baby to being a big sister.
  • Mutually Desirable - Navigating a Tandem Nursing Experience: Amy Willa at www.amywilla.com talks about limit setting and meditations that help her navigate an intense tandem nursing experience.
  • My Adventure in Tandem Nursing: Alicia at Lactation Narration tells her story of nursing her daughter through pregnancy and then tandem nursing.
  • 4 months in: the good/hard: Becca at Exile Fertility writes about the joys and struggles of having two nurslings 17 months apart.
  • Tandem Nursing: One at a Time: When tandem nursing resulted in a nursing aversion, Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children looked for ways to meet everyone's needs.
  • Why Nurse a 4 Year Old?: One of the questions Dionna at Code Name: Mama keeps getting is, "but why breastfeed a four year old? What are the benefits?" Today she answers that question.
  • My Hurt Feelings: Shannon at The Artful Mama shares how her first son reacted to nursing after the birth of his brother and the gift she received the last time he nursed.
  • Carnival of Tandem Nursing: A Letter To Myself 7 Years Ago: Dulce de leche shares the advice and reassurance that she would have given to herself if she could go back in time.
  • Nursing Both My Babies: Cassie at There’s a Pickle in my Lifeshares her experience with nursing and transitioning into tandem nursing. She also gives tips for struggles.
  • Our Tandem Nursing Journey: Kim at Life-is-Learning describes her journey into tandem nursing and why it is important to her.
  • Based on her own experience, Lauren at Hobo Mama dishes about the benefits and downsides to nursing multiple children.


  1. I, too, had to gently limit the times that Abbey was nursing. Like I wrote in my post - I felt like a mommy dog a times! And that was just NOT ok! So, now, Abbey and Joseph both nurse in the early morning (sometimes at the same time, sometimes at different times) and then again I end up tandem nursing them together at once after Abbey's nap. Any other times she asks bye to nurse, I usually say "no" - in order to balance out the needs of everybody in the family (including mama!)

    1. I did enjoy the tandem nursing in the morning, but it didn't always time out right. I did not enjoy only nursing Sasha in the morning (and only Spencer). It was an easy session to trim.

  2. I have started snuggling Kieran to sleep at night. Tom takes Kieran, and I curl up behind Kieran. He's asleep within minutes :) It's been a very pleasant transition!

    1. That does sound like a nice transition. I think that would work with Elmo, but I'm not sure it would work with me. Is that weird? Our first night in MO, Sasha was too excited to get to sleep on just 5 minutes of nursing. Daddy managed to lie with her and settle her to sleep.

  3. I am so glad that you found what works for you. I had so hoped to tandem nurse my boys for the same reason of assisting the transition into sibling-hood since Little Man is so attached to me and I was not sure how he would take a baby being in my lap. We've done well even without the nursing but I still wish I could have given them that experience. I agree with you that tandem does not necessarily mean at the same time.

  4. I actually didn't tandem nurse any of my 5 kids. And with one exception, all of my kids are incredibly close. Way back when, I hadn't ever even heard of tandem nursing. My milk always dried up during the last trimester and so we just weaned.

  5. The closeness between my kids is the thing that keeps me going. It's so funny how much the older kids get excited about the new milk. I've had to cut way down again, to what I can stand. But I'm happy where I am now so hopefully I can keep finding that balance.

  6. I also 'hid' sometimes in my first weeks with our new baby so that I wouldn't have to nurse my son (only 17 months old) at the same time. :) I think tandem nursing has helped our transition quite a bit, but for my son it would have been very difficult to wean before my daughter was born as he was still such a baby and still nursing very frequently. Thanks for sharing!

  7. I had a rough beginning in my tandem nursing journey, even to the point that I hated it when my 3 yr old came near to ask for his feed. I also felt guilty for feeling that, I mean how would my 3 year old know what's wrong with mummy and why is mummy busy taking care of baby now... Thank God I overcame the nursing aversion. My boy is now down to once a day feed (always before bedtime at night-just for a couple of minutes. Some nights he dozed off without asking for his feed too!)

    It's 9 months I'm tandem nursing now. Yes, I do agree with you that tandem nursing doesn't have to be both (or more) of our kids together at the same time :)

  8. Oh my goodness. I love that little nakey booty and those awesome shapes on the curtain/wall for Spencer. What a fabulous pic of you two cuddling. And thanks for the reminder that while nursing is awesome, cuddling can be wonderful too!


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