Tandem tales: The truth about breastfeeding two bubs at once from a mum who’s doing it

Bella Heim

Bella Heim

Bella is a mummy of three, writer, and photographer. She's not afraid to admit that she relies on a little red wine to keep the chaos of motherhood at bay. When she's not dodging toys and dirty diapers, you'll find her documenting the wild and wonderful ride of parenthood, and adding a splash of inspiration, creativity, and a healthy dose of mum humour along the way.
Updated on Jan 23, 2024 · 7 mins read
Tandem tales: The truth about breastfeeding two bubs at once from a mum who’s doing it

Ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce myself – I’m a mummy who’s juggling the role of breastfeeding with a crazy toddler and a needy baby… and I’m loving every minute of it! Yes, welcome to my world of tandem feeding! Think of it as an obstacle course with leaky boobs, endless spit-up, and a lot of love (x2!). At first, I was worried that Charlie’s obsession with boobs was going to be a huge problem, but to my surprise, it turned out to be a blessing in disguise. He’s learned to share and be gentle with his little sister, and they’ve formed a special bond that I know will last a lifetime.

Breastfeeding is indeed a superpower, but it also brings on a lot of challenges, and it can get just a bit too crazy when you bring two little ones into the picture. It’s the ultimate multitasking challenge – trying to soothe a crying baby, balancing a future gymnastics fanatic (aka an active toddler), and preventing your baby from rolling off the couch all at once. It can be an emotional rollercoaster too – one minute you’re feeling like a goddess providing all the nourishment your little ones’ needs, and the next minute you’re wondering why no one told you that breastfeeding would feel like a full-time job. But you know what? The rewards are immeasurable. There’s nothing quite like seeing your little ones bond, while providing them with all the love and nourishment that they need. It’s a sacred task of pure love and comfort, and you get to share it with two little humans – all at once!

Before you jump into this tandem breastfeeding gig, there’s one important rule: PATIENCE. You have to have patience, and lots of it. You know how babies are, they either take their sweet time to latch on, or they have to chomp down on your boob RIGHT NOW. And your toddler will probably want to sit on bub’s head while biting on your nipples with a cheeky grin. And don’t even get me started on hair pulling, it hurts! In a nutshell, breastfeeding a toddler and a baby is like a circus act but with extra warmth, love and laughter.

Oh boy, does Charlie love breastfeeding! When I was still pregnant with his little sister Lily, he still couldn’t get enough of it, even though my milk supply was dwindling. And when Lily was born, you could see the jealousy in his eyes. He was annoyed that he had to share my boobs (his boobs) and would whack her in the head, and of course, screaming soon followed. But as time went on, something magical happened. Charlie started to hold Lily’s hand during feeding sessions. They would hold hands and Charlie would look at his little sister and hold his arm around her while he was latching on, sitting on my lap. It was like they were communicating through the milk. It was the sweetest thing I’ve ever seen. Charlie’s obsession with breastfeeding may have been overwhelming at first, but it turned out to be a wonderful bonding experience for him and Lily. The two of them are now like two peas in a pod, and I am so in love with the fact that I am the one who helped them foster this beautiful bond. As I slowly got the hang of tandem feeding, it became a lot of fun. Charlie is always trying to imitate Lily, and some lucky days he’s even got a little giggle out of her. It’s like a mini comedy show in front of you, and you’re the only audience. This is like a whole new world of bonding – and it’s sooo beautiful.

Just one thing to keep in mind, breastfeeding a toddler and a baby takes a lot of energy, so make sure you’re taking care of yourself (and you’ve got yourself a perfect excuse to indulge in some fancy chocolates). Eat well, and try your best to get enough rest (even if it seems impossible).

So tandem feeding is just like running a milk factory with two bosses who never stop demanding. And top of that, the myths surrounding this feat are enough to make your head spin! The one I’ve heard the most is that having two babies on the boob will decrease your milk supply. Well, let me burst that bubble – breastfeeding is like a milk vending machine, the more you demand, the more it supplies! As long as those little milk-lovers keep stimulating the milk production, your milk supply will increase like a boss.

And here’s another myth about tandem breastfeeding: that it’s a chaotic, time-consuming mess. Look, honestly, the chaotic part is true. But while tandem feeding may require some extra patience and organisation, many mums have found that tandem breastfeeding can actually be a time-saving, one-stop-shop. Imagine, two babies fed, two babies happy, and you have time to actually enjoy a cup of coffee while it’s still hot! Who said multitasking couldn’t be convenient?

And let’s not forget the silly myth that breastfeeding a toddler will affect them for life or make it impossible for them to wean. Ha! That’s like saying eating sand at the beach will ruin their future. Numerous research has shown that breastfeeding toddlers can actually have a positive impact on their emotional and psychological growth. When it comes to weaning, it’s not about the boob, it’s about your little one being ready. So please remember that your bub will wean when they’re good and ready, just like any other child – boob or no boob.

I also know some people think that tandem breastfeeding is not hygienic. That’s like saying having two kids is dirtier than having one (to be fair, your living room will be, so there is some truth to it). As long as both little ones have clean mouths and hands, there’s nothing to worry about. So, don’t let this myth make you feel like a dirty boob-er, because tandem breastfeeding is perfectly safe when simple hygiene practices are observed.

But what about breastfeeding while pregnant? I don’t need to remind you that your body is your own superhero. It is totally capable of multitasking – like breastfeeding your little one while also growing another bun in the oven. That’s right, breastfeeding while pregnant is totally safe and possible for many people. During pregnancy, your body starts producing hormones that kick start milk production for your new little one. This might mean your breasts feel a little more full or heavy, but no need to worry – that’s totally normal.

Breastfeeding while preggo is a real lifesaver, it’s like a mum’s secret weapon! You won’t have to wash bottles and clean up messes, and you can still have special cuddle time with your cutie. Just make sure to get the green light from your doc, but usually breastfeeding while pregnant is a win-win for everyone involved.

And let’s not forget the physical benefits – breastfeeding can boost a woman’s metabolism, reduce the risk of certain cancers, and promote a faster postpartum recovery. It’s truly amazing what our bodies are capable of!

Please remember that breastfeeding or tandem feeding is a personal choice. And what works for one person, may not work for another. If you really want to try tandem breastfeeding, don’t hesitate to reach out to a lactation consultant or paediatrician for all the info you need to make an informed decision that works for you and your family. And just remember, no matter what you choose – breastfeeding, tandem feeding, or not breastfeeding at all – all mums are superheroes in their own right. So, keep doing you and know that you’re an amazing mum, no matter how you feed your little ones!

One last thing: May our coffee cups never be empty, and may our babies never run out of milk…or patience…with us!

Stay strong and always keep the humour and milk flowing!

As parents, we never stop learning. If you are keen to hear from trusted experts on topics ranging from sleep to starting solids, check out Kiindred’s selection of Kiin Courses. Our panel of experts are some of the best in their fields and are here to make your parenting adventure less mystifying and way more fun. Each course comes with a 7-day money-back guarantee, so you can purchase with confidence.

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