Getting Real with Kira Hazledine

When I said I would tandem nurse, I’ll admit right now that it wasn’t in my original plans. After experiencing it once or twice, I’m not the biggest fan. Sure, it might grow on me. It could get easier. The siblings could bond over some boob milk and cookies. Or I could lose the last shreds of my sanity.

When they said tandem nursing was a cute bonding experience, they lied. They must have. You can’t tell me that it was all sunshine and rainbows from day one. Breastfeeding a single child is not a joy ride from the get-go. It’s a tough adjustment, with sore nipples, engorged breasts, and unexpected leaks. So, let’s just toss two children in the mix and try to convince everyone that it’s a great time.

Do you know why they say that? Misery loves company.

They want others to suffer two children gnawing on both nipples at one time. When you’re tandem nursing, there are no breaks. It’s like an open buffet and your boobs are on the menu. The toddler latch that should be perfected turns to vicious teeth, and the newborn who is learning to latch is head-butting my boob repeatedly. If I could reach either child, I could fix it, but I can’t reach either mouth because they won’t get off me and my boobs aren’t big enough to be swinging children around.

I might be slightly dramatic. It’s fine.

My toddler is mostly weaned, because I knew better to some extent. I knew that she would want it all day long, and I knew that I would not be able to cope. A newborn is plenty to deal with, thanks. Nursing the both at the same time is like a freaking marathon, so I’m glad those moments are rare.

And bedtime? Don’t even get me started. It’s a shit show. They are like a tag-team, both screeching to nurse at the same time. Even if I make them take turns, there’s still punishment involved. I breastfeed the newborn to sleep and his hyper sister wakes him up. I breastfeed the toddler and the newborn’s cries are too distracting to actually get anything accomplished. Bedtime is only successful when I separate the two gremlins and pass one off to my husband, so I can breastfeed the other.

All this being said, I’m glad I can tandem nurse and continue to nourish both children. I may hate it, but I’ll be glad I did it. I’ll also be glad when it’s over.