Breastfeeding with Siblings
Breastfeeding with Siblings
Tips for breastfeeding your newborns with siblings at home.
Are you currently a breastfeeding mom with a toddler running around that needs to be entertained 24/7 and a newborn that needs to breastfeed? As a lactation consultant, lately, I have been working with many families that had “early pandemic babies.” What I mean by this is babies that were born in late 2019 or early 2020. Now that these babies are toddlers, these families are having baby #2. I don’t know about you, but I have a somewhat pandemic baby, and let me tell you, he is a little crazy. These pandemic babies are something else. Anyways, back to the point of the post… Being a mom is two and working with other families, here are some tips and tricks to entertaining your toddler while breastfeeding your newborn. We all know newborns nurse very frequently, way more frequently than your toddler would like.
Before delivery, if your partner has family leave after the baby arrives, plan some fun activities for your partner and your toddler to do together. This will help give you a little breast that you may need from your now very needy toddler.
Make a breastfeeding basket! There are some cute diaper-changing baskets on amazon, like this one, that can be turned into a breastfeeding basket. The purpose of the breastfeeding basket is to have a couple of things you may need for breastfeeding, like nursing pads, or nipple cream, along with a water bottle or snack. Here is how you can get your toddler involved while nursing your infant. In the basket, also include your toddler’s favorite snack, a special toy, book or activity that they can do next to you in a chair or on the couch. If you make the breastfeeding basket light enough for your toddler to carry, you can sit down and get comfortable to nurse and have your toddler retrieve the basket. When I was nursing my son, I had a breastfeeding basket, and my daughter loved “reading” to him (she had no idea how to read but was good at making up stories). She would also be excited because I would put her favorite snacks in there, and she only got them during nursing times (at the very beginning).
Be prepared for them to want to be in your lap as well when you are nursing your infant. You can hug them with your free arm and explain what you are doing with their sibling. Having some extra pillows may help to make yourself more comfortable if you are nursing and snuggling at the same time. Remember that this is a transitional time for your entire family. This will take some time but know that when it comes to breastfeeding, most moms are just as successful, if not more successful, after your first baby. With your second baby, your comfort level has increased, your milk comes in faster and more abundant, and you know a little more about what to expect.