The definition of tandem nursing is as varied as the people who tandem nurse. Tandem nursing could mean nursing two children of different ages at the same time or at different times. It can mean nursing twins. I’ve even seen it loosing defined as nursing while pregnant. Tandem means “in conjunction” and was originally used to describe a two-seated bicycle. Most people view tandem nursing as nursing two children simultaneously.
Benefits of Tandem Nursing
1) Less sibling rivalry. The most likely reason is because children can share and also bond over nursing. I’ve heard that a few nurslings will hold hands during nursing and will insist (when they’re older) on nursing together rather than apart.
2) Helps with engorgement. Often during the early days after giving birth, engorgement happens. Using a pump is helpful, but using your toddler is also a plus (and at least for me takes less time for let down).
3) Toddlers can be helpful when dealing with younger siblings. You don’t always have to follow a particular order to who nurses once the milk comes back in. If you are having a particularly stressed/sickly newborn who can’t seem to suck well enough for a let down, your more experienced toddler can help with that. Plus if you newborn is extremely hungry, toddlers make great distractions so your newborn will calm down enough to find the nipple.
4) Both of your children still receive the immunities that you have. It’s tough to wean a young toddler and then have them come down with something while your already tired from pregnancy/birth.
If you tandem nursed, what are some of the benefits that you’ve experienced?
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