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You're thrilled that your second baby is due in a few months. But one thing has been weighing heavy on your heart. You're still nursing your toddler, and neither of you is ready to start the weaning process. So what can you do? Tandem nursing may be the perfect solution!

To help you decide if tandem nursing is right for you and your family, let's take a closer look at what it is and how it works.

Table Of Contents

What Is Tandem Nursing?

tandem nursing

Tandem nursing is when a woman breastfeeds more than one child at a time. This could be twins or a toddler and a new baby. No matter the combination, it's a beautiful way to provide nutrition for your babies while giving them the closeness and bonding that comes with nursing.

How Tandem Nursing Works

Tandem nursing requires a bit of coordination, but it's not as difficult as it may sound. You'll simply need to position yourself and your children in a way that is comfortable for all of you.

There are several positions to choose from, so experiment and see what works best for you. One option is to hold one nursling on each side of your body, using your arms or a nursing pillow for support. Then, they can each latch onto the breast closest to them.

Another common position is to place a pillow on your lap and put your new baby on the pillow, facing you. Then, hold your toddler in your arms and position them so they can nurse from the opposite breast.

You can also nurse lying down, which works well for night-time feedings. To do this, simply lie on your side with a pillow behind you for support. Then, place one child on each side of you, and allow them to nurse.

While breastfeeding both kids at once works for some women, others prefer to feed each one independently. This allows you to focus on the nursing child, which may be necessary if one child is a poor nurser or you're having trouble getting them to latch on.

Since your toddler gets nutrients from food and breastmilk, many women nurse their baby first. That way, they can get a full tummy and continue to grow. Then, once the baby is satisfied, the older child can take a turn.

Benefits Of Tandem Nursing

Mom nursing newborn while sitting with first born

Tandem nursing comes with a host of benefits for both you and your babies.

For starters, it can help ease the transition from one child to two. Getting a new sibling can be a stressful experience for a toddler, but allowing them to nurse alongside the new baby can help alleviate feelings of displacement or jealousy.

Tandem nursing can also help boost your milk supply. Your body naturally produces more milk to meet the needs of both your nurslings.

Finally, tandem nursing can be a bonding experience for everyone involved. Breastfeeding provides comfort and closeness, and tandem nursing gives you the chance to share that with both your children.

Disadvantages Of Tandem Nursing

Though tandem nursing has many benefits, it's not for everyone. Here are a few of the downsides that you need to consider.

First of all, tandem nursing can be physically demanding. You'll be holding two children at once and may need to nurse for long periods. This can leave you feeling tired and drained.

It can also take a toll on your breasts, especially if you're nursing an older child with a mouthful of teeth. In addition, you may experience cracked nipples and other breastfeeding problems, like a clogged duct.

(To help, you'll want to keep some Organic Nursing Comfort Balm on hand to soothe your breasts.)

Finally, tandem nursing can be emotionally demanding. You may feel pulled in different directions as you try to meet your children's diverse needs. It can be overwhelming, and you may feel like all you’re ever doing is breastfeeding.

It's important to remember that these emotions are normal; you aren’t a bad mom. But it is important to get some support to help you through this challenging time. Don’t hesitate to contact a lactation consultant or other professional for advice.

Tips For Breastfeeding Two Children At Once

Mom with sons at the park

Tandem nursing isn't easy, but it's doable with a bit of preparation. Here are a few breastfeeding tips to help you get started.

Get Organized Before Delivery Day

Life is about to get a bit crazy, so do as much as you can to prepare before your baby (or babies) arrive. You’ll want to fix a cozy nursing spot in your home and gather the essentials you’ll need so you don’t have to worry about it later.

As you’re preparing, consider investing in a good nursing pillow. It’ll offer support in multiple positions and can be invaluable when nursing two children.

You may also want to get a breast pump and some storage bags so you can pump and store milk for later. This will come in handy if you need to leave your children with a babysitter or if one child is sleeping and the other needs to eat.

Build A Support System

You'll need all the help you can get, so it's essential to have a robust support system in place. Talk to your partner, family, and friends about your plans to tandem nurse, and ask for their help when needed.

It can also help to connect with other tandem nursing moms online or in person. Having support from someone who knows what you're going through can make a big difference.

Prepare Your Older Child

If you're tandem nursing an older child, it's essential to prepare them for the arrival of their new sibling. Talk to them about what to expect and any boundaries you want to set.

For example, you may tell them they can only nurse in the morning and before bed. Or that they can only suckle for a set length of time. You want the breastfeeding relationship to feel good for everyone involved, including you, so don't be afraid to set limits.

Have Patience

Tandem nursing takes time and practice. Don't be discouraged if it's difficult at first. Instead, just take it one day at a time, and trust that you'll soon figure it out.

With a little patience, you'll be a tandem nursing pro in no time!

Taking Care Of Yourself While Tandem Nursing

Dad helping mom with tandem nursing

Breastfeeding can take its toll on your body. Make sure you're taking care of yourself, especially if you're tandem nursing. Drink plenty of fluids, eat a healthy diet, and get as much rest as possible.

Remember to check your breasts regularly for any signs of a problem. In addition, keep them moisturized to help prevent cracks and minimize friction. But before slathering on a cream, make sure it’s safe for you and your little ones.

Our Organic Nursing Comfort Balm is a great option for tandem nursing mothers. It's made with organic, natural ingredients and is dermatologist-tested.

With a supply of breast cream and a lot of patience, tandem nursing can be a rewarding experience for you and your children!

Frequently Asked Questions

1) Can I Nurse While Pregnant?

Most women can safely nurse throughout their entire pregnancy and beyond. However, you should talk to your OB-GYN to be sure it's right for you. Some previous conditions or high-risk pregnancies may prevent you from continuing to nurse.

2) Does Tandem Nursing Spread Germs Between Siblings?

No, tandem nursing does not spread germs between siblings. In addition, studies have shown that breast milk contains antibodies that can help protect babies from illness. If anything, tandem nursing may help keep your children healthy!

Because of this, there's no reason to wash your breasts between nursing sessions. You also don't need to assign one breast to each child (unless that’s something you prefer to do).

3) Will My Baby Get The Nutrients They Need If My Toddler Is Still Nursing?

Research shows that the nutritional value of your breastmilk does not diminish if you're nursing more than one child. The tested milk had a higher fat content, energy value, and protein than the milk of a mother who weaned her toddler before delivering her next child.

Rest assured, your milk still provides all of the nutrients your baby needs, even if they share it with an older sibling.

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