I last wrote a post about tandem nursing when Mark was five weeks old. Since then, I’ve written many of them in my head while nursing, “Nursing for Two (at 8 months) (at 11 months) (etc., etc., etc.,)” but somehow haven’t managed to actually type one out. A very funny conversation that I had with Ellie yesterday has prompted me to finally write this one!
So, the short story is that both Mark and Ellie are nursing. For several months (maybe seven?), Ellie has been nursing just once a day, at bedtime, before she falls asleep. She only nurses for about 5-6 minutes, which is totally my decision. I can’t stand much longer than that because he latch just bugs me. She’d be happy to nurse longer. We’ve had our ups and downs over the past few months. I have come out from the bedroom on more than one occasion, declaring to Nik that, “We’re done! She’s weaning now!” but then somehow, I forget to talk to her about it, I forget to even figure out how to talk about it, and she just keeps nursing. Ellie herself told Nik and me a couple months ago that she’s going to stop nursing on her 4th birthday. Although I’d be happy to wean her before then, that might be an easy stopping point for us. We’ll see.
Mark is still a committed nurser. He doesn’t nurse nearly as frequently as Ellie did at this age but he still nurses every 3 hours or so during the day and 2-3 times at night (sometimes less, sometimes more, depending on teething, illness, developmental phase, his mood, the phases of the moon, etc.) (Just kidding about the moon – there really is just no explaining why kids nurse more sometimes on some nights and not others.)
One major difference between Ellie and Mark is that Mark will not nurse for comfort. If he’s sad or upset (due to hurting himself or some other reason), he refuses to nurse. I have to calm him down other ways to get him to the point where he’s willing to nurse. Looking for squirrels and bunnies out the window usually does the trick. He also seems to have a much lower needing for sucking than Ellie did. Mark nurses until he’s full and then he stops. When Ellie was his age, she would have been content to nurse all night if I had let her (literally, nursing from bedtime until wake up time without unlatching). Mark nurses until he’s full and then rolls away. I can’t even tell you how much easier this is at night. A baby who actually stops himself from sucking? Revolutionary!
The last time I nursed them both at the same time was over Labor Day weekend last September. Nik and his friends were at the US Open (watching Federer!) and both kids were super cranky and exhausted. They nursed at the same time, fell asleep, and I haven’t had to do it since – THANKFULLY.
Ellie is hyper-aware of breast feeding these days. We’ve offered cow’s milk to Mark. While sometimes he’ll swallow a sip, usually he just pushes it away or spits it out. (Ellie did the same thing at his age.) Yesterday, Mark was indicating that he wanted a drink of Ellie’s milk so we gave him one but then he spit it all over the kitchen floor.
Later, Ellie told me all of the following things, relative to her stuffed animal, Bear:
[Bear] only likes my breast milk. When I give him cow’s milk, he spits it out and I have to clean it up. He only likes my nipple milk. Bear only drinks breast milk.
Nipple milk! 🙂
There you have it, finally, a tandem nursing update. Any questions?
(Click on the nursing category in the sidebar if you want more posts about nursing.)