Monday, 28 June 2010

A tale of two breast feeders

I didn't start out trying to be 'Mother Earth'. Time just went by and before too long I was doing a pretty good impersonation. Cloth nappies, baby wearing, co-sleeping and extended breast feeding. Tick. Tick. Tick. Tick.

The breast feeding snuck up on me this time. If you had have told me when the twins were born 18 months ago that I would still be feeding them now, I would have laughed at you. I really would have.

The first 3 weeks of tandem feeding newborn twins were about the most horrendous weeks of my life. They fed every three hours, around the clock for up to 40 minutes at a time. By the time managed to squeeze into my prison cell (aka twin feeding pillow), feed them, change their nappies, burp them, have a cuddle and settle them into their cots, it was time to start again. It was awful. Plain awful. It felt like one very long day with a few 'naps' thrown in. Ground hog day.

I am obviously not feeding in this pic but this is the 'prison cell'

The feeding settled at about 3 months. The frequency didn't change, just the length of time it took; down to about 20 minutes. They each found a 'side' that they preferred so we went with that.

By four months, the Minx was only feeding in the day. Dew Drop continued to night feed until he was about 15 months old (boys and boobs!).

By six months, they were down to four quick (5-10 minute) feeds a day (with Dew Drop having his additional night feeds, of course).

By eight months, they were mostly feeding alone (no longer fitting on the twin breast feeding pillow). They took turns on who went first. It was quite amicable, most of the time.

By twelve months, it was only three feeds per day.

By fifteen months, I dropped all the day feeds and fed them first thing in the morning, and before bed at night. They fought for pole position, so I often ended up tandem feeding them again. Breast feeding became some sort of competition between them and they would often 'eye each other off' to make sure the other wasn't getting a better deal.

I attempted to wean them at 16 months. It was a failed attempt. Both babies were terribly upset and incredibly difficult. Feeds were recommenced and life returned to normal.

I thought I would just wait until they were 'ready'.

And now, at eighteen months, I am returning to work. I really need to drop the morning feeds so I can get out of the house.

The weaning started this morning, and it went pretty well. Dew Drop howled for 30 minutes or more, but eventually settled with a bowl of cereal and a cup of milk. The Minx took it in her stride, insisting on lots of cuddles, but not at all demanding.

So I have officially started. They definitely seem more ready than a couple of months ago but it will be an interesting road ahead.

About two weeks until body freedom. Pretty much the first time since July 2004 when I first fell pregnant with Nugget. I wonder how my boobs have fared all this time...

Have you had the pleasure of trying to wean an unwilling toddler (or two)? Any tips for me?

* Thumbnail from


Shauna said...

My only advice is to persevere and once you've started, don't go back.
Niamh was two when she finally finished. By that stage it was a token sip at night. By that time i hated it. Niamh was the ultimate boob baby. She refused bottles (even with expressed milk) and sippy cups. She went on a hunger strike at day care for a week when she was ten months old (thereabouts). Somehow we made it.

All the boys didnt give a damn what they had. Only one was a real true boob baby but he was pretty cas' and finished at ten months.

LJ said...

Not sure i have tips but getting out of the house before he woke up seems to have worked quite well with Obi. I didn't prepare him at all for when i srarted work again, he was on his own accord down morning and evening like yours. If I was home I nursed him and when i wasn't he didn't expect it. He only got upset if i was home and refused him. So I sneaked in the morrnings not to wake him then nursed him when i got home. Good luck and I hope you don't have too many tears. Linda

life in a pink fibro said...

Good luck MM! Work through it. You can all do it.

Angie said...

Sorry no real tips, I breastfed my daahhhlin daughter until she was 18 months, and I came down with mastitis. I just told her she was a big girl now, with a huge smile on my face, and excited tone...also replaced breast with a sippy cup as she, too was only doing morning and before bed feeds. Good luck, it was easy for dd, hope it is for y'all too!

Jackie at 3littleones said...

I dont have many tips - I breastfed my daughter until she was a year (and at the time was really fighting me on weaning) but I came down w/ pneumonia and had a 103 fever for over a week - between my high fever and dehydration, she started to want to have nothing to do w/ me (so basically weaned herself). Good luck!
Thanks for stopping by my blog!

Maxabella said...

You know I got nothing. Keeping them ON was always my problem!

Spayskdet in Fiji said...

Keep it honest and remember the extra cuddles...sounds like you already have that sussed. Both my girls were boob devotees. Wouldn't even go near a dummy. Blossom fed until 15moa when my milk dried up while I was pregnant with Sparkles. She never looked back despite a couple of weeks being whiney. Sparkles took it much harder when I decided to pull the pin at 2yoa. A year later and she will still try and have a suck or fiddle if my boobs are within range! Good luck.

MultipleMum said...

I remember that about you and yours Spayscadet! Happy Birthday to Sparkles BTW. Today or tomorrow :)

Thanks for the support via your comments ladies. Nice to know I am not the only one with this little issue. Day 2 went rather better than Day 1. I could be onto a winner this time.

_Willow said...

Someone painted their boobs with blue green purple food dye, then told their daughter that mummy's boobs hurt...

Jessica Anne said...

Wow! That is impressive! I'm worried my youngest won't want to wean when I'm ready to stop. We'll see. My other 2 weaned at 13 and 14 mos respectively, so no experience with significant reluctance. Thanks for stopping by my blog earlier. :)

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