I have been nursing both girls for over three months now. I really thought there would be more work to this – drama, strife, something. . . but this has been one of the best and easiest transitions in the dance of adding another child. Nolie nurses about three times a day, sometimes a little more and sometimes a little less. She loves to nurse at the same time as Ever and while that is logistically/ physically a little hard, it is worth it because they love it so much. Nolie offers out her finger and Ever grasps on, they look at each other and Nolie does that nursing grin that breaks my heart. Tandem nursing is easily one of the best decisions I have made for my girls.
Do you have enough milk for both? Yes! I nursed both of them from the get go so my body produced enough for two kids right from the start.
Is Ever growing enough/getting enough and does she nurse first? You know, the whole ‘when do I nurse who’ thing was really confusing and worrisome to me before we started, but it has come really naturally. In the morning I don’t nurse Nolie till Ever is fully awake and done eating. She sleeps with us from about 2am on and nurses on and off till 7. But during the day I just kind of go with the flow. Sometimes Ever sleeps for a long time and instead of pumping off the engorgement I offer to nurse Nolie (and she VERY happily obliges) and other times I wait, like in the morning, for Ever to be totally full and done and then nurse Nolie. But basically I have total faith in my bodies ability to produce enough milk to satisfy both of them and I don’t put too much thought or worry into it. As for Ever, she is growing like a weed and putting on weight just right and Nolie has gained three pounds since my milk came in! Hurray for going from skim to heavy whipping cream!
What about colostrum? Was there enough or did it ever come in? A lot of people have wondered if I ever had colostrum or if it was just constant milk since I nurse through my whole pregnancy. How it went for me. . . I had milk through my second trimester and then from about 25-30 weeks I was pretty much dry, then my colostrum came in and Nolie drank that. It continued to flow, stronger, once Ever arrived and when she was two days old my milk came back in. However, newborn milk and toddler milk are, obviously, very different and it came in hard and strong. Lots of milk just dripping out. In short, your body won’t create a certain amount of colostrum but rather creates it for a certain duration.
Pumping too? I am pumping here and there, I have donated about 60oz and have another 25 or so in the freezer to hand off. I have given to a couple of families but now have one family I will be donating to regularly. I don’t have over/under supply issues and pumping has taken some work and effort to figure out but I am finally getting the hang of it. Your body will produce what is demanded of it so it isn’t crazy to think of nursing two and pumping regularly.
Are you just nursing constantly?? No, not really. But both of my girls have/are frequent nursing babies. Nolie nursed all the time as a baby and Ever is following in her footsteps (or lip smacks). So adding in three (for Nolie) doesn’t feel like that much of an extra draw. In the early days (first month) I was nursing somewhere between 22-25 times a day and that was really crazy but it established a great supply and perfect latch. Now, at three months, I nurse about 12 times a day and that feels very manageable.
I don’t know how long we will tandem nurse for, I don’t intend to wean Nolie until she wants to be done but who knows how I will feel in another few months/year. I have no problem nursing an older toddler and am exceedingly grateful for all that nursing has done for my relationship with my girls and their relationship with each other. Nolie has surprised me time and time again with how willing to wait and share she is and how concerned she is that Ever get to nurse first. I think it has also helped improve her relationship with food because she is grasping that she gets to eat lots of fun foods that babies don’t and so she is actually less reliant on nursing than she was before Ever arrived. Overall, nothing but positives have come from our experience.
If you have any other questions about tandem nursing ask in the comments and I’ll answer them there! Happy World Breastfeeding Week!