Tandem nursing is not something I would have ever said I would do or have done. It’s all well and good to say that you aren’t going to do something in a certain situation. Then somehow, you find yourself doing the very thing you said you wouldn’t do.
Anyone who knows me, knows that I am a huge breastfeeding advocate. In fact, one of my many professional goals includes becoming a Certified Lactation Consultant. I’ve always been big on breastfeeding so naturally when I found out I was pregnant with my son, nursing was one of my biggest goals.
Never say Never
Breastfeeding did not go as easily as I thought it would after having my son. It was painful, uncomfortable and exhausting. Several times I wanted to throw in the towel, but through perseverance and determination I was able to get into a good rhythm with nursing.
I told myself that my first long-term nursing goal was to make it to one year. After a year of breastfeeding, I’d reevaluate but in my head, my limit for nursing was 2 years old.
Pregnant and Nursing
When TJ was 15 months old, I found out I was pregnant with Ella. Now I was faced with a decision: should I wean TJ now or wait until closer to when I gave birth? I didn’t think I would ever be pregnant and nursing a child (again, never say never people!). Here I was, 6 weeks pregnant and still regularly nursing my son. What was I going to do?
I followed my gut and continued to nurse throughout my pregnancy. It was one of the best decisions I could have made. TJ typically nursed three times per day at a maximum: early morning, nap time, and before bed. I looked forward to those times during my pregnancy. I got to hold my very active toddler and enjoy him as an only child for a few more months. Nursing him also gave me an excuse to get off my feet and rest.
Hello Tandem Nursing!
We welcomed our daughter into this world on March 25, 2016. I labored most of the day at home with my husband and son and only left him for, at most, 7 hours. When I came home that night, TJ wanted nothing to do with me. That changed, however, when I nursed Ella for the first time in front of him. I thought TJ was going to lose his mind! He was so upset that I had to nurse the baby. The only thing I could think to do to calm him was to nurse him. And so I did. 6 weeks of tandem nursing and it was one of the best decisions I could have made when it came to transitioning him from an only child to big brother.
For the first week after Ella was born, I nursed TJ when he asked. After that, I would only nurse designated times (morning, nap, and bedtime) in order to begin the weaning process. Slowly but surely, after 6 weeks of tandem nursing, TJ nursed for the last time. It was definitely a bittersweet moment.
Tandem nursing, or even just nursing one baby, can be hard and exhausting. It is definitely not for everyone, but I am excited to share my experiences with you all. I’ll soon be sharing some of the pros and cons I experienced while tandem nursing.
Have any of you tandem nursed? If yes, how was your experience and if not, would you consider it? I’d love to here down below!