Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Our Tandem Nursing Journey

Welcome to the Carnival of Tandem Nursing

This post was written for inclusion in the Carnival of Tandem Nursing hosted by Mommying My Way. Our participants have shared their personal stories of the highs the lows and information on what to expect if tandeming is in your future. Please read to the end of each post to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.

January 29th, 2012 around 7:30am, Gumby woke up and came into the living room.  She crawled into my lap in the recliner chair and had nummies.  I was in labor and it was the last time Gumby would nurse before her baby sister was born.  Three hours later, a Lil' Dove and a tandem nurser were born.

I had not thought much about how long I would nurse Gumby, planning to wean whenever we were both ready.  I had seen some lovely pictures of other mama's tandem nursing children who were holding hands and I thought that if Gumby was still nursing when another baby came along that seemed like something I would like to do. 

Several hours after Lil' Dove was born, she was nursing with me on the couch and we asked Gumby if she wanted nummies too.  She was so happy.  She said she was scared and sad thinking the milk was gone and/or she would not be having nummies anymore.  She latched on, and petted Lil' Dove and held onto her.  It was lovely.

We have been tandem nursing for about four months now.  While nursing only Gumby for the first two and a half years of her life was nothing but a pleasureable experience, nursing two little ones, for me, has had its challenges along with it's positives.

The biggest challenge for me is feeling touched out.  A lot.  Ever since Gumby was born, she nursed a lot.  A LOT.  I was prepared for Lil' Dove to nurse all the time.  But she did not.  She nursed so much differently than Gumby that for months I wondered if she was getting enough to eat (she was).  Gumby on the other hand, wanted to nurse about every 45 minutes.  Duration of nursing session did not affect length between nursing requests.  Several times I questioned if I wanted to continue.  And, I always came to the same answer:
Yes, I want to continue to tandem nurse. 
The reasons are as follows:

Nursing is so very special to both Gumby and me.  It's our special time together.  If she's sad, upset, lonely, hurt, she finds comfort in nursing.  If Lil' Dove hadn't come along, Gumby would still be nursing.  I wanted our nursing relationship to continue along its same path, as best as it can, even though a second nursling has been added to the family.

Sibling Bonding
I enjoy nursing both of my daughters at the same time.  Gumby pets and loves on Lil' Dove and it's precious.  I do not nurse them together that often because it seems we all have difficulties getting comfortable.  But, when it does happen, it's special.  Lil' Dove looks at Gumby now and will hold onto her finger sometimes.

It is Natural
Nursing my two daughters just happened.  Gumby and I share a wonderful nursing relationship.  It did not come to an end one day because I went to work, she hit a certain age, she learned to eat, she learned to speak, I became pregnant, I had another baby.  Our nursing relationship simply evolved and grew along with us.  It would be unnatural for us to wean when we are not ready. 

There are lots of benefits to nursing past infancy.
For ten reasons that I personally chose to nurse Gumby past infancy, see here.

  • My Tandem Nursing Journey: Jenny at I'm a full-time mummy is sharing her tandem nursing journey so far...
  • Built for Two: No matter how much you read and plan, things may not always go as you expect. A few things that Jennifer at True Confessions of a Real Mommy wished she knew when she was planning to tandem feed her toddler and newborn.
  • Tandem Nursing - Magic Cure?: Jorje of Momma Jorje had high expectations of tandem nursing easing her toddler daughter's transition from being the baby to being a big sister.
  • Mutually Desirable - Navigating a Tandem Nursing Experience: Amy Willa at www.amywilla.com talks about limit setting and meditations that help her navigate an intense tandem nursing experience.
  • My Adventure in Tandem Nursing: Alicia at Lactation Narration tells her story of nursing her daughter through pregnancy and then tandem nursing.
  • 4 months in: the good/hard: Becca at Exile Fertility writes about the joys and struggles of having two nurslings 17 months apart.
  • Tandem Nursing: One at a Time: When tandem nursing resulted in a nursing aversion, Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children looked for ways to meet everyone's needs.
  • Why Nurse a 4 Year Old?: One of the questions Dionna at Code Name: Mama keeps getting is, "but why breastfeed a four year old? What are the benefits?" Today she answers that question.
  • My Hurt Feelings: Shannon at The Artful Mama shares how her first son reacted to nursing after the birth of his brother and the gift she received the last time he nursed.
  • Carnival of Tandem Nursing: A Letter To Myself 7 Years Ago: Dulce de leche shares the advice and reassurance that she would have given to herself if she could go back in time.
  • Nursing Both My Babies: Cassie at There’s a Pickle in my Life shares her experience with nursing and transitioning into tandem nursing. She also gives tips for struggles.
  • Our Tandem Nursing Journey: Kim at Life-is-Learning describes her journey into tandem nursing and why it is important to her.
  • Based on her own experience, Lauren at Hobo Mama dishes about the benefits and downsides to nursing multiple children.


  1. Aw. I love your post. It just felt so right for me to continue nursing. I feel like you, nursing has just evolved and there was never a time when weaning would have felt good.

  2. Beautiful posts! I only get the hand holding between my kids just a few times, but yes, they are worth worth worth it!

  3. thanks for stopping by and for the comments :)

  4. As a very strong supporter of extended breastfeeding; I honestly think it's awesome that you're allowing your 4 year old daughter to continue breastfeeding! As long as your 4 year old daughter wants to continue her breastfeeding and as long as you're comfortable with it; Why not continue a beautiful bonding relationship through extended breastfeeding?