Posted tagged ‘twins’

Nursing multiple siblings

September 27, 2008

Nancy posted a question about nursing two siblings at once: “I am not sure if this is more of a question but for OB or a pediatrician but I thought I might ask anyways ) I am pregnant and still breastfeeding my now 13 month old. If I was to continue to breastfed once her younger sister was born would my newborn get all the nutrients she needs? My daughter only nurses twice a day so of course the newborn would nurse a lot more but I am very concerned my body wouldn’t make enough nutrients for a vulnerable newborn. Please any information you can give me would be wonderful. I am less concerned about my older child’s nutrients because he takes vitamins and eats tons of regular food. Thank you!”

At The Pediatric Insider, we’re happy to tackle the occasional OB question! Nursing multiple siblings is called “tandem nursing.” Here is an article from an experienced mom addressing some ways to address some of the challenges that may arise. The bottom line is that you can successfully and safely nurse both of your children. Your body will be able to make enough milk for both of them, and both kids will do fine. Usually the quality of the milk will change to match the needs of the newborn, and in fact sometimes the older child weans shortly after baby is born, perhaps because the milk begins to taste different.

Tandem nursing may be a little harder on mom. Make sure you’re getting plenty of fluids and enough calories, as well as enough calcium, vitamin D, and iron. Your newborn should take a vitamin D supplement as well.

Naptime becomes quiet time

September 23, 2008

Amy posted, “I think my almost 4 year old twins are ready to stop napping. They don’t really nap unless I lay on the floor telling them to lay down over and over again until they finally fall asleep and even them it’s usually only for 30min or so. However, after several days of not napping last week, they were visibly more cranky/tired. I sent one to school with red, puffy eyes b/c he was just so darn tired. Should I stop pushing naps? Will they work it out themselves and nap if they are truly tired? I know an earlier bedtime would help, but that’s hard to do in our house b/c they have 2 younger siblings. What do you think about a “quiet time” in their room? Is that reasonable for their age and if so how long should it be?”

Here’s some ironclad rules of parenting: you can’t make ‘em eat, you can’t make ‘em poop, and you can’t make ‘em sleep. Trying to do any of these things will lead to bad things.

Between 3 and 5, most kids will stop napping. Many of them will go through a period of transition, where they still kind of need the nap, but just won’t do it. It sounds like this is where you are—without naps, the kids are getting cranky. Still, if they’ve decided naps are no more, you’re not going to get them to change their minds by laying down with them. In fact, you’ll inadvertently be rewarding their nap-refusing behavior, and you’ll get yourself entangled in the struggle.

I like your idea of enforcing “quiet time” much better. I’d start with an hour, leave them be, they can do whatever they want to in their room as long as it’s quiet. Leave them books and quiet toys, but nothing electronic. After an hour, go get them; if they’re asleep, let them stay asleep until they wake up. Don’t even call it naptime any more. They’re more likely to sleep if they think you don’t expect it!