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Real Breastfeeding Questions Answered By A Lactation Consultant

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Do you have tips for tandem feeding and weaning the older sibling?
I’m currently tandem feeding my 19 month old daughter and my two month old son. My goal is to breastfeed my children until they’re two years old. We have five more months left until my daughter turns two years, but she’s so attached to the breast, even more so since my son was born. How can I begin the process of slowly weaning her while she still sees me breastfeeding her brother?!

QC: This is definitely a tricky situation. Trying to redirect a toddler who wants to nurse can be almost impossible, I know from personal experience. It can be even more challenging when they see their younger sibling nursing. I would try to bring it down to three times a day if possible. Maybe it’s a treat only to be done in the morning, before a nap or before bed. Offering a snack or some other “big girl” treat instead of nursing works for some kids. When she asks, try to distract her by playing a game or reading a book. Hiding some of their favorite toys and then pulling those out as a distraction can do the trick. If you happen to have an extra set of hands, letting that person have some one on one time with her while you nurse the baby in another room might help.

She’s still got five months till she’s two so I wouldn’t force it. It may be more work than it’s worth at this point especially if you care for them on your own. She may surprise you and stat nursing less as she gets used to the new addition in the household.