The Joys of Breastfeeding a Toddler #12

June 23rd, 2010 by Dionna | 42 Comments
Posted in Breastfeeding/Lactivism, Carnival and Special Series, Compassionate Advocacy, Feed with Love and Respect, Guest Posts, Joys of Breastfeeding Past Infancy, Just for Fun/Miscellaneous, natural parenting

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Today I am pleased to host a guest post by Kristin, artist and mama of three. You can normally find Kristin over at Intrepid Murmurings, where she writes and photographs her attempts to embrace motherhood, nurture creativity, and maintain sanity while raising twin toddlers and a preschooler. Here is her breastfeeding guest post:

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tandem nursing twins

From two rooms over, I hear the scream and know exactly what it is.  A bite.  Again.  When I come around the corner, one of them is standing there, book in hand, huge tears flowing, and a telltale wet circular mark on her sleeve.  The other, her sister, is sort of moseying across the room, a half smile on her face, not exactly looking at me, yet also watching my every move.

Oh, twins. Two year old twins.  Double toddlerdom has its ups and its downs, that is for sure!

After a brief discussion of what happened (and some exasperated sternness on my part) I sit down in the “big chair”, and the injured party immediately settles into position.  Mokie! The crying immediately stops, she starts nursing, gives a sigh, relaxes, and cuddles into me. The tears stop.  Soon, her sister is climbing up too.  Moke? Mogie?  This is a loaded question — I know this is more than just a request to nurse.

I relent.  She eagerly climbs up and settles in — “my side!”  The bitee pulls off for a moment –“Dee Dee’s side” she says, pointing to her sister Delia, now happily nursing too.  She goes back to nursing, and soon they are playfully fiddling with each others hands, patting each others arms and faces, humming back and forth in “conversation”.  Within minutes, we have gone from storm to calm.  Now we are three bodies, cuddled together, lounging, relaxed, at peace with the world, a moment of calm and connection amidst days of non-stop action.

At these times, I often think of the struggles it took to get here — chronic milk supply issues, open nipple wounds, pumping and syringe-feeding, herbal potions and medications, careful, obsessive supplementing, bottle washing and scale-watching,  and endless (truly endless!) days and nights of non-stop breastfeeding and baby juggling. Those days were NOT the good days, nursing-wise, and I know so many, many moms of multiples who never make it past that part — the HARD part.  Amazing mamas who are never able, for so many reasons, to get on to the good, the easy, the effortless, the comfortable and happy nursing routine that we’re at now.

Though I know many women nursing toddlers, and quite a few nursing infant twins, I have yet to meet another mama nursing toddler twins!  You are out there, somewhere, right? I am so thankful to have this way to connect instantly with both my girls, to still be able to tandem nurse them to sleep each afternoon, to offer this easy comfort, extinguishing sibling rivalry and rotten moods in a single swoop.  It is truly a blessing, not a burden.  So many times I wasn’t sure we’d make it, but now, here we are, and I will surely miss it when its gone.

How lucky I am, how lucky I am.

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Breastfeeding a toddler (or a preschooler!) is full of laughter, joys, and heartbreaking tenderness. I am publishing a series of posts dedicated to the beauty of nursing toddlers in an effort to normalize this healthy and beneficial nursing relationship.

But this isn’t just about me – I want to hear YOUR joys. If you are nursing a toddler (or have in the past), please contact me and tell me about your favorite moments. I will include them in the series and credit you, your site, or post it anonymously if you so desire.

42 Responses to:
"The Joys of Breastfeeding a Toddler #12"

  1. Ruth Ann

    Wow, I am so impressed at the number of Moms of twins who are nursing them into toddlerhood!!! I nursed all three of my (now adult) daughters until they were about 15 months old…I wonder how I would have done with twins?? Hmmmmmmm

  2. Dionna   CodeNameMama

    Thanks for all of the wonderful responses! I absolutely adored this “Joys” post.

    Lindsey – maybe try a link to one of her posts, here is the most recent: http://chinacat.org/roller/sunfrog/date/20100623
    But the link in the mini-bio works for me, so maybe her server was having errors when you tried?

  3. Tracy

    I’m there, too! 18-month twin girls, and we all still love nursing, now more than ever like Kristin says. I’m so glad (and grateful) that I was able to get through “the hard part”, as we ALL remember… I also had to return to work at 3 months (ridiculous, right?) and PUMPED at work for 14 months. I finally got rid of the pump last month (hooray!) but I plan to nurse them until they are ready to stop (which I selfishly hope will not be anytime soon). We are also family bedders, so they have access to the all-night diner as well. ;-) So nice to read all of these comments from all of these nursing twin mamas! Best, Tracy

  4. Kristin   sunfrog

    Thank you, everyone, for all the kind, kind words! Its so nice to hear from you all, both the other mamas of twins and those with singletons. I appreciate the support! I feel lucky to be here and am so glad to be able to share my story.

  5. Lauren

    One of my doula clients/friends nursed her twin daughters until they were 3! You are not alone, and you are a hero! I am tandem nursing my 28 mo old and 5 mo old — it is challenging and rewarding. I remind myself every day that someday I will look back on these days and miss them, and be sooooo glad for each one.

  6. I know it’s a little late but I wanted to chime in that I nursed twins, too, until they were nearly two. I only stopped because I had a major medical emergency. When they were babies we were so, so busy that I really needed the rhythm of breastfeeding to help me slow down and enjoy my babes. Among my clearest and most pleasant memories are of feeding and rocking them in our favorite chairs. :)

    Karen Gromada’s book and Yahoo! group was a great help.

  7. Faryn

    Enjoyed reading your story. I have a 17month old that I am still nursing. Many of the people around me think I’m crazy, but my son and I love it and that’s all that matters! I originally thought I’d only nurse until about 18 months, but I think I’ll let him decide. For a while he was starting to get less interested, but in the past several weeks, it is a necessity for naps and bedtime! Glad to see so many moms going outside the “norm” and doing what is truly best for their child(ren).

  8. Dana

    Hi! I am also breastfeeding a toddler. Her name is Clara and she is 2 years and 7 months old. Breastfeeding is great but it can be very demanding at times, especially during night time. Because there are not so many mothers breastfeeding around here, we are seen as being a bit strange :-):-)

  9. Rachel

    Please tell me how you night weaned your twins! I have 25 month old girls and we co-sleep. I tried to wean them from falling to sleep while nursing (even though we nurse to sleep for naps and also nurse throughout the night). I gave up on the ninth night. (It got easier for 6 nights and then started to go downhill on the 7th night and by the 9th night, after two hours, I gave in.) But I need my sleep back! I’m exhausted and after the attempted weaning, they nurse more during the night than ever before.

    Any tips appreciated and thank you!

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