Breastfeeding Chloe Uncategorized

Tandem feeding two children beyond the first year

tandem feedingWhen writing the title of this post, I thought, “Tandem feeding two children beyond the first year?? My god, I sound like a complete breastfeeding NUT”. The truth is, I’m still not sure how we got here, and I’m in a phase where I’m slightly envious every time I hear of a friend who has just ended their breastfeeding days – it’s been almost four years of solid breastfeeding, and I am eager to see what it’s like to NOT be breastfeeding, for once.

I guess it’s the fact that I am hugely lazy, and have yet to get Rory self-settling that stops me from wanting to wean him right now. But once he can fall asleep on his own, I think we will start the process of weaning, for both boys.

As it currently stands, I’m breastfeeding three year old Arlo, and thirteen month old Rory.

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They very rarely both feed at the exact same time. Rory has a mid morning feed (sometimes, sometimes not, depending on how busy we are), an afternoon feed, and then one before bed. (He also has two feeds during the night, this is ever-changing, as he’s currently in the middle of co-sleeping to cot transition, but currently it’s at around 11pm and 3am). Arlo climbs into my bed and has milk in the morning when he wakes up, and then that’s it for the day for him.

Reading back on my past posts on breastfeeding beyond a year, I can see that Rory is getting to that stage where breastfeeding became a bit of an obsession for Arlo. So, with the benefit of this hindsight, I’ve already established breastfeeding ‘zones’ and times. Also with Rory, I have made a point of not feeding him upon waking in the morning, as this has always been Arlo’s most established feed and therefore the hardest one to cut out. And it’s the most annoying feed for me, as it interferes with every single lie-in I’ve tried to have since being a parent.

Over the summer holidays (when it doesn’t matter so much if Arlo’s sleep is disturbed), my plan is to do some sleep training with Rory and help him learn to fall asleep in his cot. Once he’s doing this, I think it will make a huge difference to my feelings on whether I want to continue breastfeeding or not. It will seem much easier to stop. (Although a part of me thinks it could be a better idea to hold off until after winter bug season).

A few months ago, I wrote an exapserated post on Arlo’s obsession with routine and how that impacted breastfeeding. In the comments section, one of my blogging pals, Jess from Along Came Cherry, wrote “I have found with anything that I never thought would get sorted, it always did in the easiest way”. Looking back at my own experiences, I could see a lot of sense in this, and you know what? She was entirely right.

Shortly after writing that post, Arlo decided (with my encouragement and a lot of chatting beforehand about how “Big boys and girls do eventually stop having milk”) that he was OK with dropping all feeds except for his morning one. I won’t lie and say that he did it without any protest at all, but there was far far less fuss than I had imagined – it turns out that my son is very easily swayed with chocolate.

He still has his morning milk, but he’s stopped pestering me constantly, so we are now back to having a happy balance for both of us. He’s so chilled out about it at the moment that I even think it wouldn’t be too much of an issue to wean Arlo without him feeling it was unfair that Rory was still feeding. We are ever so slowly moving towards giving up the morning feed, but I’m happy for it to be a slow transition.

Finishing breastfeeding is something I’ve been thinking about for a while now. I am ready. And I am ready to start gently pushing my boys to be ready. I am fairly confident that you won’t see me back here next year with a post titled “Tandem feeding my two year old and four year old”, but I wouldn’t place any bets on it just yet ; )

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More on my experiences breastfeeding beyond the first year:

Breastfeeding a toddlerBreatsfeeding a toddler through pregnancy and tandem feeding | Extended breastfeeding beyond toddlerhood – a personal perspective Extended breastfeeding – Starting the weaning process |

(If you have anything you want to ask me that I haven’t covered about breastfeeding beyond a year, breastfeeding two toddlers, tandem feeding, etc, please do ask in the comments)

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Sorry About The Mess is a personal lifestyle and family blog. documenting the life of London blogger and photographer, Chloe. This is our family story.

Comments (18)

  • Not there yet – bub turns 1 next week.

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  • Currently feeding a 13m old 4 times a day. I’d love not to have to do the morning feed straight away! Don’t think she’d ever allow it though. Hopefully I’ll get to experience tandem feeding x

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  • I loved feeding beyond a year – although my first 2 stopped feeding at around 17 months so never done the tandem feeding lark! Good for you though!

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  • That it’s biologically normal.

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  • I’ve never gotten past 4 months, our 3rd Bubs is now 3 months so yet to see how long my milk will last this time around x

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  • I’m only at four months- but happy to feed beyond a year if that what she requires- we’ll see!

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  • Unfortunately I didn’t breastfeed, but a friend will be once she has her baby x

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  • I haven’t made it that far yet, but I’m looking forward to knowing that I made a huge difference to my daughters start by feeding her the best 🙂

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  • I love that mummy milk can soothe bumps and bruises and calm tantrums. I love that my eldest was able to transition more gently to being an older sister, as they were able to share mummy in those moments. I love that I am the most important person in my children’s lives at the moment. I wouldn’t give that up for the world.
    p.s. can I recommend the No Cry Sleep Solution, rather than sleep training?

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  • i have no experience yet but i do know that breast milk holds lots of health benefits for toddlers

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  • I only made it to 2 weeks but my bestie fed my godson until he was almost 3 and their bond is incredible!

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  • I’ll let you know – hope we make it!

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  • the health benefits

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  • Milky smiles from your toddler are amazing.

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  • at 2 months

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  • well done. Im nearly 4 months in so we’ll see where the next 8 take us

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  • When we weaned LP she was 13 months, not sleeping at all and I was pregnant with Little Man. I was exhausted, had 7 months before our new baby arrived and weaning her in my exasperation to get some sense of control back in my life before a new baby was thrust upon us – I chose to wean, LP hated stopping bfing and we had three horrible nights of her screaming whilst we cuddled her and rocked her to go back to sleep.
    With Little Man I had always said that I would feed him until a year and then gradually wind down. We were down to one feed at a year and when I stopped that feed he didn’t protest at all and started sleeping through very soon after. At that point I was ready to stop and luckily so was he. I was an emotional wreck though but I knew that if I carried on I wouldn’t know when to stop – I was so attached to bfing that I knew I would happily do it forever!
    You’ve done amazingly to bf for so long and with two. Hats off to you x

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  • […] you’ve been reading my breastfeeding posts, you will know that I’ve been keen for Arlo to stop breastfeeding, and that I’ve been […]

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