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I am taking a small break from blogging since welcoming my new baby ten days ago. Jill DeLorenzo of PositiveBreastfeeding.com graciously offered a guest post on my new favorite subject, tandem nursing! This is timely since I started tandem nursing myself after the birth of my third baby. Read on for her thoughts on tandem nursing toddlers.
By Jill DeLorenzo, PositiveBreastfeeding.com
Tandem nursing toddlers is not only surprisingly common, it is also indescribably beautiful. Here are a few moments that mothers of tandem nursing toddlers get to experience every day.
The toddlers wake up on their own time. They both ask to nurse as soon as they wake up. When one is up, the other will follow. They enjoy their hugs with one another at my breast.
Playtime begins; the toddlers explore the world and learn new things. When one of the boys needs a break, he comes to me to nurse – I call this “touch-and-go” style. Mom is home base. Most of the time, one will notice that the other is nursing and will ask to nurse, too. The rhythm of their play syncs back up as they can both get their rest.
The toddlers latch back on. They make up hand games like patty cake or simple high-fives. They hold hands. They touch each other’s hair. They laugh. They enjoy the simple pleasures of toddlerhood together in a safe space.
The toddlers are ready for a break. We pile on a bed and prepare for rest. I lay down flat and the toddlers begin to nurse. About 5 or 10 minutes later, they flop off the breast into safe sleep positions, and they fall asleep at the exact same time. I nap with them.
Beyond these everyday moments, the benefits for toddlers of tandem nursing have extended on other occasions:
The toddlers are rarely sick. When they do feel ill, such as when they have a cold, their time at the breast helps to minimize the duration of their illness. Tandem nursing may ramp up the production of antibodies.
Traveling with two children is much easier. As the family navigates new places, the toddlers have a constant source of comfort and nutrition. Tandem nursing provides that security when the whole world has temporarily changed.
The toddlers can be instantly calmed. I know I mentioned this before but it cannot be overstated. Toddlerhood brings big emotions, which can at times be scary or frustrating. Time at the breast seems to tranquilize all of us and reset the day. What a relief to the whole family to know that both physical and emotional needs can be met so easily.
My toddlers love one another. They see each other as part of the family unit and look out for each other’s best interest. They do not get jealous of what the other one has. They are growing independently and developing their own interests.