Breastfeeding baby while bonding with your toddler
First thing that often comes to the mind of a new second time mom, is how your older child would respond to your breastfeeding baby. You may also end up worrying about how you could keep the older sibling occupied while you would be breastfeeding your little one.
The truth is that all kids show a healthy curiosity about this beautiful way of breastfeeding a baby. Breastfeeding time could turn out to be a positive and educational experience for the entire family, as long as you explain the breastfeeding process to the older children in simple language and maintain an open approach to the questions they have and their desire to watch the new sibling breastfeed.
Be ready to have your older children hover around during breastfeeding sessions or even try to climb into your lap.
Never force your toddler to join in
There isn’t a single reason why your toddler can’t lay her head down on the same pillow that your baby’s head is laying on. There is no reason why both your little muffins can’t sit together on your lap while you are breastfeeding one of them.
Though this shouldn’t be made a necessary requirement.
If your toddler wants to, she should be allowed to run around screaming in the room with a box on her head while you breastfeed the baby.
The point here is that nothing should be enforced on the toddler while you are breastfeeding.
This leads to my third mantra of breastfeeding a baby with a toddler besides.
Encourage your toddler to join you
Each time you are about to breastfeed your infant, ask your toddler if she would like to come and sit with you. You could ask her to grab a book or any toy and sit besides you, while the little one is having milk. I’m sure you wouldn’t want her to think that you “IGNORED” her to play with the baby and didn’t give her a chance to participate.
Never tell your toddler “no” when breastfeeding
If your toddler gets a hairbrush to brush your hair ( which might mean wanting to tangle it beyond redemption), please allow her to do so.
if she wants to go behind you and do a piggyback or wants to hug you while you are breastfeeding, let her.
The idea is to let the toddler know that life isn’t changed after the arrival of her sibling. The more the toddler would hear a ‘NO’, the more likely it would be of her to feel neglected.
Snacks are provided
Always ensure that you make a provision for your toddler to eat too, while your baby is being breastfed.
Keeping some snacks right besides you is a great idea. If your toddler decides to have a bite, you would have something to offer her with your free hand while you are still breastfeeding the little one.
Cuddle both babies
This one is my favorite. Breastfeeding time could become a ‘calm time’ for your toddler by making it a snuggle time for her. This would give her a chance to just sit there and watch, talk to you and play with her little sibling’s feet, hands and ears.
The easiest way to cuddle both your little ones while breastfeeding is to hold your baby on your lap and your toddler curled up next to you with her head on your shoulder. You could also, put your arm around her, too, giving them both the mommy-attention they need.
The biggest fear I had when I had my second child was that I should never make my first child feel neglected. She was our lifeline and would always be. The only time I felt that would be making her feel neglected would have been the breastfeeding time. That urged me to find a solution for it. Hope this helps all the mothers who have two kids or are planning to have the second one.
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