Tandem Nursing: Tips for Breastfeeding Two Children At Once
The thought of nursing two babies at the same time may seem daunting, but there are lots of reasons why a mom might want to try tandem nursing. If you have twins or other multiples, tandem nursing makes breastfeeding your babies easier and more efficient. If you have an older baby or toddler who is still nursing when a baby sibling arrives, you may not want to wean your older one yet, or you might want to encourage bonding between the siblings by nursing them both.
When your breastfeeding children are different ages, tandem nursing can help reassure the older child that being at the breast with mom is still a safe and comforting spot even with the new arrival. In addition, an older child can help with engorgement in the early days, and can help elicit the let-down reflex to make nursing easier for the infant.
Establish a feeding routine
Creating a feeding routine is helpful when tandem nursing. Although the older child may be really excited to nurse, it is recommended that you nurse the infant first, because breastmilk is the infant’s only source of calories and nutrition. This is especially important in the early days when the mother is producing colostrum.
Generally it’s recommended that you alternate breasts for each baby, but some parents choose to designate one breast for each child. This is fine as long as your milk supply is sufficient. Just remember that depending on the age of the toddler, they may not nurse as frequently as your younger one, so you’ll need to make sure that the breast is comfortable between feeds.
Try different positions
When you get started with tandem nursing, give yourself some time to become comfortable with nursing two. Try some different latching positions to see which ones work best for you and your little ones. Some common tandem nursing positions include:
Criss Cross Hold
Double Football Hold
Same Direction Hold
Will I make enough milk?
Many moms wonder if they will make enough milk to feed both babies. The good news is that most mothers find they make more than enough – milk production is stimulated at twice the rate, so twice as much milk is being made.
If you want to try tandem nursing, talk with your pediatrician and/or lactation consultant. They can help guide you through the process to ensure that your tandem nursing experience is a success for you and your little ones.