Tandem Feeding

Second babies? Forgotten everything about breast and formula, napping and wrapping and you are are going a bit MAD because you haven't slept in three days? Or it's your first baby and you are here researching the joys of weaning?

Tandem Feeding

Postby Rosella » 23 Jul 2013, 18:49

Hello,

I am 24wks now & M is feeding at bedtime 5 out of 7 nights week on average. He has a post lunch/pre nap nurse 2 or 3 times a week and the occasional early morning.

I would like to continue to nurse if he continues to want to for the remainder of the pregnancy & beyond but I am not in a supportive environment among a number of friends & have the typical older generation mothers.

Ideally I'd love to hear from those of you who have/do tandem feed and your experiences as to how you have made it work & faced the disapproval of others.

Feeling a little down as have sore & cracked nipples for the first time since M was 4mths, think he is teething again as latch is wonky, but also a little more tender in general due to pregnancy.
Mum to Miles Nov 2011

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Re: Tandem Feeding

Postby Nix » 23 Jul 2013, 19:03

Hi rosella!

I tandem fed Harvey and Jasper. I got pregnant when H was 12 months and feeding approx 8 times a day including two hourly at nights. He cut down dramatically after I was pregnant, as babies that age do anyway and was only feeding once a day by the time Jasper was born. He was 20 months old on Jaspers birthday.

He was overjoyed to see me when dh brought him to visit at the hospital. I made sure J was in the plastic bassinet and gave him loads of fuss and cuddles. But he cried when he saw J breastfeeding for the first time. Dh cuddled him and I promised it could be his turn next. He fed there in the hospital and a mw walked in on us. She was visibly shocked but smiled and said something like, 'so I guess you know what you're doing with the new one then!' And left the room.

For a few days H wanted a bf every time J fed but soon it was back to normal. Just once every few days and eventually when J was five months, H decided breast milk was just for babies and found the whole idea hilarious. He weaned naturally and easily.

I guess nobody would have known I bf them both unless I mentioned it. I didn't nurse H in public at that point and it wouldn't have been obvious. The HV heard H ask for mummy milk and approved. She was doing J's 5 day check and thought it was wonderful. My mum and sister didn't really mention it at all, they're both formula feeders and didn't interfere whatsoever. People don't realise that the toddler barely feeds at all so you're not stuck under them feeding all day. Also I didn't enjoy feeding them both together so we only did that once or twice.

Be prepared for heebie Jeebies after birth. I suddenly felt icky feeding H due to his dodgy toddler latch and massive head. I didn't enjoy feeds anymore suddenly. It was quite sad but I think it's normal from what I have read. Hope you manage to get a copy of adventures. I found it helpful!

There's loads of tandem feeders on the forum so I am sure you'll get plenty of support.
Very proud mummy to three little stars:

Harvey born January 2009
Jasper born October 2010
Pippa born January 2013
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Re: Tandem Feeding

Postby StJuniper » 23 Jul 2013, 19:58

I am currently considering it. I thought P was going to wean when I first got pregnant, but he is going strong on one long feed a day, and I'm 20 weeks now. I haven't mentioned anything to DH yet but my mum totally put in a good word when she found out I was pg, telling us how tandem feeding makes the toddler so much easier to deal with and lets you have good bonding moments amidst the inevitable boundary-pushing that comes with a new baby. She did tandem feeding with my brother and sister, and says it made the two of them very close by a young age as well. We'll see. DH has no idea about anything bf-related, I remember when P was about 9 months, he said, "He seems really big to still be nursing," so I got to give him a lecture about how WHO recommends bf beyond two years but most women stop long before one year because of difficulty and lack of support. He never mentions anything anymore; I know he enjoys the long cuddly morning feed with the three of us in bed as much as I do. So, yeah, sorry for the ramble/thread-jack, but I'll be watching along with interest. :)

Oh, also, my nipples are totally sore like they haven't been since P was little, and I'm putting it down to the same thing, pg combined with teething. Sympathies.
Mama to two boys, the Scout Kid P, 02/26/12 and the Feral Kid R 12/15/13, and one little Tumbleweed girl, 05/27/16.
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Re: Tandem Feeding

Postby Rahgamuffin » 23 Jul 2013, 20:18

I tandem fed B&J for pregnancy + 19 months & I suspect I'll feed J & baby (16 weeks atm) as J shows no inclination towards stopping.

For us, it worked well - neither of my boys have ever been particularly still or quiet, and when they were both feeding I had a chance to sit down and not think. B went a bit crazy the first few days, and I thought I was going to have to do something to wean him off, but he soon settled back down into his 'normal' pattern of feeding.

Bedtime milk, B always got to choose whether he had milk on his own, or if he & J had 'sharing milk' - we always asked, but I think there were only 2 or 3 times in the entire time when he picked on his own, and then he changed his mind once he saw I did what he asked.

I decided to latch J on so he was comfortable, and then let B find someway that wasn't squashing us - worked for us. Occasionally I'd ask B to nurse - 10 seconds each side from a toddler does wonders for engorgement, and 5 minutes clears a blocked duct!

I did find I had to eat plenty & drink loads, I wanted to lose weight afterwards, but I was losing it far too quickly to start with - I still lost once I'd figured it out, but 1-2lb a week.

B was 2 when I conceived J and most of the comments I had when I was pregnant and ranged from curiosity ('I didn't know that was possible') to rude ('Well, you'll need to stop THAT') & I'd respond or not as I saw fit! We had very few comments from others once J was born, because B mainly fed morning/bed time when we were at home on our own. On the rare times when he fed when we were out (usually injury related) people would either ignore it, or express some level of surprise ('I didn't know he was still feeding'). We had some comments from relatives (who were around at bed time) and I spouted the 'As long as mutually beneficial' line (which I'd been using since he turned 2!) until they got bored of asking. My favourite conversation ender was 'You did what was best for your children according to the information you had, I am doing the same'... most of them left us alone after that. Also good to get DH on board with the message for his side of the family as he may get independent grief...
Mum to B (05/08), J (02/11) & L (01/14)
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Re: Tandem Feeding

Postby catkin » 23 Jul 2013, 21:01

Surprise tandem feeder here. Mouse stopped at 18ish weeks pg, then started again once my milk came in for hamster. He said all along he was going to share "likkle baby"'s milk, I just thought by that time he'd have forgotten how to latch. So I can't be much help on feeding through pg!
When he restarted, there was a phase when he was trying to feed every time hamster did. He visibly got chubbier over a couple of weeks and ate much less other food. It was too much for me. I decided to ration him to morning and bedtime which worked better for us.
Mum to Mouse b May 2009 & Little Hamster b Feb 2012.
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Re: Tandem Feeding

Postby DandelionFrosting » 24 Jul 2013, 02:36

No help here, but reading with extreme interest as I assume I'm about to walk the same road! Saurus has cut down a lot, but he still feeds 3 times a day and doesn't seem interested in giving up any of them. I haven't mentioned anything to the maternity clinic staff because I just assume they'd try to stop me. Everybody has to stay in the hospital for a week here, so I have no idea how I'm going to ask MIL to bring Saurus around to the hospital so I can breastfeed him. He's been getting annoyingly experimental with positions lately, though, so at least I have hope that he'll agree to whatever strange contortions are required to fit around the baby.
Saurus (April 2012) wants to open all the cupboards to see the pipes.
Zilla (December 2013) is unstoppable. And really likes pizza.
Turtle (November 2015) isn't cute yet, but he's working on it.
And Mia and Oreo are my emotional support cats.
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Re: Tandem Feeding

Postby junglewonderland » 24 Jul 2013, 06:56

My sister tandem fed all of her (four) kids. The older one would self wean during pregnancy and then re-start once the baby was born. I used to stay with her at least once a year but I never knew this, I guess she just fed in their rooms, or around bedtimes or something.
Mama to Feb boys, Koala (2012) and Taz (2015).
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Re: Tandem Feeding

Postby Rosella » 24 Jul 2013, 21:34

Thanks for your replies ladies,

Supportive & positive as always x
Mum to Miles Nov 2011

Independant Consultant for The Pampered Chef - http://www.facebook.com/HollysPamperedChef
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Re: Tandem Feeding

Postby sully » 07 Aug 2013, 18:26

Just seen this (as i was birthing sweetpea whilst this thread was in progress!!). So I'm now a tandem feeder, with 28 months age gap. Its gone surprisingly well so far. Pumpkin only half heartedly asked for milk the first few days, which i thought was really strange, but as she really wasn't that fussed i didn't feed her. Then when my milk came in i asked if she wanted milk (eased the engorgement!) and since then shes asked more, but has been happy with 2 or 3 feeds a day. It does feel like I'm feeding a giant though.

Sweetpea is a very frequent feeder, and I've only fed them at the same time a few times; i find it a bit awkward with pumpkins latch, as she has suddenly gone from a good latch to all teeth, but we are working on that together. So mostly pumpkin asks and i ask her to wait, which she does. And she tells me which side she wants when its her turn! I think i will do more feeding at the same time when DH goes back to work. I have told pumpkin though that i would rathe she just had milk when we are at home, but Sweetpea needs it whenever she is hungry cos shes little... She seems happy with this. We talked a lot about this arrangement before Sweetpea arrived. Mostly because i cant imagine having enough pairs of hands when out and about, given i only wear my babies rather than use a pram! Also, apart from pumpkin using her teeth more, it is MUCH comfier feeding now than when i was pregnant.

I guess it must be easier with an older one not so reliant on milk, and i have many friends and family who frown upon it, but i do talk about the fact i still feed pumpkin (and with pride), so that if i do decide to feed her out and about, or she really needs to, it wont be such a shock for them! Good luck with it all anyway
Pumpkin, b April 2011
Sweetpea, b July 2013
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Re: Tandem Feeding

Postby StJuniper » 19 Aug 2013, 02:00

Feeling wobbly and looking for input. P feeds once a day, for a good forty minutes or so first thing in the morning. I like the idea of tandem feeding, but the logistics of it scares me. What do I do with the baby while P is feeding for 45 minutes? What do I do with P if the baby is feeding and he wants to? I guess mostly I'm just worried what happens if I don't wean P, and then find out it isn't working for me to tandem feed? It seems unfair to him to make him wean in the midst of all the other inevitable turmoil that will come with a new baby and I can't help but wonder if maybe it would be kinder to wean him before so he's used to it...
Mama to two boys, the Scout Kid P, 02/26/12 and the Feral Kid R 12/15/13, and one little Tumbleweed girl, 05/27/16.
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Re: Tandem Feeding

Postby meerkatsmum » 19 Aug 2013, 02:50

I can't really help with the feeding both thing because I'm only 18 weeks. Of you want to wean P then do but I'm sure it will all work out. It may take some figuring out but once you get he new baby's latch organized, P will be able to work around the baby. He may ask for extra feeds then you can decide at the time if that's a path you want to take.

In regards to the morning feed, we droppe fit but when my milk comes back, I may pick it up again. I figure the baby will sleep longer in the morning than M so I can lie in bed for a bit longer! But who knows. It may not happen that way.

Remember, the way we plan things to go doesn't always work out. It will happen the way it's supposed to, even if we're not in on the plan yet.
DD - Meerkat (October 2011)
DD - Wombat (January 2014)
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Re: Tandem Feeding

Postby Nix » 19 Aug 2013, 04:14

SaintJuniper wrote:Feeling wobbly and looking for input. P feeds once a day, for a good forty minutes or so first thing in the morning. I like the idea of tandem feeding, but the logistics of it scares me. What do I do with the baby while P is feeding for 45 minutes? What do I do with P if the baby is feeding and he wants to? I guess mostly I'm just worried what happens if I don't wean P, and then find out it isn't working for me to tandem feed? It seems unfair to him to make him wean in the midst of all the other inevitable turmoil that will come with a new baby and I can't help but wonder if maybe it would be kinder to wean him before so he's used to it...

How old will be be when new baby arrives? We had a 20 month age gap and looking back the thing that made it work were:
-Harvey had a good understanding. He could understand that the baby needed food more than he he did, he could understand that he had to wait and that other food could be eaten by him that the baby couldn't eat. He was usually offered a biscuit when he got upset that it wasn't his turn.
-20 month olds don't usually have long feeds, Harvey was happy with a 5 minute suck by that time.
-he was rather useful for solving those engorgment/blocked duct issues that I struggled with when not tandem feeding.
-he wasn't feeding for hunger. His feeds were literally just comfort/connecting with mummy by then. Which worked because he kept close to me at a difficult time.
-when the baby was born we started saying things like, 'when you're bigger, you won't need mummy milk anymore' and he told us when he felt big enough to stop.

I don't think Paul will be harmed if you need to wean at any point. We night-weaned pretty sharpish after Jaspers birth and even with the new baby, Harvey didn't seem too affected. If I were you I would keep feeding and just see how it goes. You can shorten his feed by setting a timer or feeding during a tv show, he might be old enough to understand that?
Very proud mummy to three little stars:

Harvey born January 2009
Jasper born October 2010
Pippa born January 2013
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Re: Tandem Feeding

Postby meerkatsmum » 19 Aug 2013, 10:19

Helping out with the new baby engirgement is a big reason that I'm happy to continue.

The reconnecting with mummy is also a good point and especially after a new baby. What better way to do that than nursing.
DD - Meerkat (October 2011)
DD - Wombat (January 2014)
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Re: Tandem Feeding

Postby StJuniper » 19 Aug 2013, 11:28

P will be 22 months when the baby is born. He feeds once a day for aaages now. 40 minutes is normal. I'm not sure whether its for hunger or not; he usually doesn't eat anything from about 6:30pm on til morning so I imagine he feels pretty hollow at 8 when he wakes, but he's also definitely quite hungry for breakfast when we're done nursing.

I guess I have another four months to decide, and P and his habits may have changed by then...
Mama to two boys, the Scout Kid P, 02/26/12 and the Feral Kid R 12/15/13, and one little Tumbleweed girl, 05/27/16.
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