ADVENTURES IN TANDEM NURSING is the actual title of an actual book. It is published by La Leche League and was loaned to me by my midwife, who suggested I read it after I commented that my 17-month-old has not weaned despite the fact that I am midway through my second pregnancy. In fact, it seems like her demand to nurse is actually increasing.
Most other mothers I know never tandem nursed. The need wasn’t there, due to longer birth spacing or early weaning. Also, most of them, if they nursed at all, didn’t do so past the 6 months to one year period.
At the other extreme, when I think of a mother who tandem nurses, I think of a latched-on three-year-old sharing mommy with a newborn. And to an extent, that stereotype is true.
I do have one friend who has several children, some of whom are close together like mine will be (for me, they will be 22 months apart). However, in most cases, her nursing toddlers tended to self-wean during the next pregnancy due to changes in the taste, consistency and availability of milk that occurs naturally when your lactating body is pregnant again.
Honestly, I never expected to be nursing a toddler. I thought once she hit 12 months, she would naturally start to self-wean due to the ability to drink cow’s milk and water, and eat solid foods all day long. At 17 months, she is a champ at self-feeding, with the new experience of a fork and spoon in addition to finger feeding. But this girl loves to nurse! It’s getting a little creepy that she can now ask for it, as well as respond to “Do you want to nurse?” with “YEAH!” But then, it’s kind of sweet.
Given that we’re apart so often due to work, and she seems to enjoy it and it doesn’t bother me (except at bedtime, but that’s another issue), I decided to stop fighting it. So although I used to try to distract her with a sippy of whole milk or a toy, now when she wants to comfort nurse, I just let it happen unless I really can’t for some reason.
And at this rate, it looks like I may be beginning my own Adventure in Tandem Nursing come May or or June, if this kid doesn’t lose interest by then. Is there anyone out there other than LLL who will be supportive? Or am I setting myself up for some weird looks if the topic comes up in conversation?