If the answer to this has already been posted elsewhere...feel free to link me to it.

My daughter is 8 months old.  My husband and I are planning to conceive our next child in the near future.  Thinking that tandem feeding would be more than I could handle...my plan is to wean my daughter 2-3 months before baby #2's arrival. 

I'd like some feedback on this.  My fear was that if I waited till baby #2's arrival my daughter might feel bad...that somehow baby #2 stole her mommy's milk from her (to some degree).  So I didn't want weaning to be coupled with the new baby's arrival--though I suppose she might be too young to have such feelings, I really don't know what to expect from a 17+ month old child.

I'm also wondering about colostrum and tandem feeding.  So if I'm still nursing my first child when baby #2 arrives...does my body STILL go through the cycle of making colostrum followed by breastmilk...and should I abstain from feeding this first child during the period I'm making colostrum?  I'm confused about this process. 

Do nipples still go through that 'raw' and painful period with a newborn even though you've BEEN nursing thus far and are fine?

How have the rest of you who do tandem feeding managed it?  How do you make sure your newborn gets adequate time nursing and baby #1 gets what she needs without feeling like you're never NOT nursing?  Do you ever nurse both at the same time?  It sounds absolutely exhausting. 

Anyway...I guess what I'm trying to say is I wasn't planning on doing tandem nursing...but perhaps if these details are explained and the explanations ease my mind and make the idea seem doable I might do it. 

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I can tell you about my personal experience...

Baby #2 was born when my first was 19.5 months old. I had actually stopped producing most of my milk at around 4 months pregnant with #2 but #1 was still very happy to nurse without getting much quantity (I would only produce a few drops at a time towards the end of the pregnancy).

Don't worry about colostrum/breastmilk production. Yes, your body will still go though the process and no, #1 will not steal it all. You don't have a limited supply (that's what I thought too).

You can look forward to being pain free! At least this was my experience. I had huge soreness in the first week or so nursing #1 when he was born, but when #2 arrived, my nipples were used to nursing already and I did not have ANY soreness at all! It was wonderful!

So after about 5 months of not getting much milk, #1 was so happy to get a really good drink in once my milk came in on day 3 with #2! Nursing both at the same time is great. We did that a few times and it's quite hilarious to see the head size difference in your two babies!

We kept up tandem nursing for about a month after #2 was born, but then (sadly) I felt like I had to stop. #1 wanted to nurse ALL the time. He was craving my attention and affection after this new little baby rudely stole a lot of my time from him. He would get very jealous when ever she nursed and there was just so much crying going on, I couldn't handle it. So he was abruptly weaned and whenever he wanted to nurse, I gave him lots of big cuddles instead. It took about 36 hours and then he was fine with it! The constant crying stopped and he became my nice little boy again! I still wish we could have made it work somehow, I hear a lot of beautiful tandem nursing stories, but it just wasn't a good fit for us. One thing that was pretty rough was when he weaned I had too much over supply and was engorged for a few days after. It was so hard not to ask him if he wanted to nurse again at that point!

If you decide to tandem nurse, good luck! I hope you can make it work and I hope that my story hasn't discouraged you! If you do decide to wean 2-3 months before #2 arrives, I don't think it would be that hard (if you've stopped producing/switched to colostrum already). I've heard that a lot of toddlers don't like the change in taste that happens during pregnancy anyways. Although mine couldn't have cared less :)
Thank you for sharing your experience! That was very helpful. I am concerned about the jealousy issue...we'll see what works in the end. Who knows? She might want to wean on her own before baby #2.
I posted this on another discussion about nursing while pregnant a couple weeks ago, but it might be helpful for you:

"I think you need to do what you are comfortable with. If tandem nursing works for you, go for it.

You should know, though, that your milk will probably change while you are pregnant. Your supply may decrease and/or your son may decide he does not like the taste anymore (because of hormonal changes). I got pregnant with my second child when my son was 9 months - we managed four more months before he self weaned at 13 months. He would latch on, suck a few time, and then make faces, like "what is that?"

Good luck!"
Thanks, I think I actually saw this response on that other discussion after I posted my discussion. I really really hope that getting pregnant again (I don't know that I am yet, but could be and we are trying) won't cause my daughter to self wean. Honestly, I'll be very sad if it does as I was hoping to make it as long as needed (no more than 2 years). Yet I also want more children and want to be done having them sooner rather than later. We'll see how it goes, I guess!



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