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Nov 23

Tandem Nursing

Finally got a copy of Adventures in Tandem Nursing today and LOVED it. Totally recommend it – I read it in one sitting. Such a relief to read about actual people who have been where I am. It’s odd – my family is very pro-nursing, at least in the beginning. I think if I had switched to formula at six months, they would have been fine with it. After a year, they were slightly confused, when he was two, they were slightly horrified and now that he’s three and I’m pregnant -forget it, I’m out and out crazy, and the best reaction I get from them is “…. umm, okay, if you want to….” in a tone that makes it clear that they disapprove. I also get a lot of open hostility towards it – and have battled it out too many times. I’ve simply reached the point where I no longer discuss it with anyone. I love my family – but they really have NO clue about extended nursing.

Sam’s three years old – and has never once been on an antibiotic. In fact, with the exception of the two times he was put on a nebulizer for really bad colds, I’ve never had him in for a sick visit. And he’s a talkative, independent, FUN kid – who plays by himself, mixes well with others, and I’m immensely proud of him. And proud of myself for going this far… I certainly never planned on nursing this long, but it’s what’s worked for Sam. I’m incredibly frustrated that I have virtually no support from anyone re: this.

Nursing while pregnant isn’t easy, but I can only tell you that weaning during pregnancy would have been infinitely harder. It’s a quick, easy cure for everything, puts him to sleep in minutes, quiets a temper tantrum immediately and fixes bumbs and bruises in seconds. It’s also painful – really painful and frustrating and time consuming – but the choice really is clear. Sam’s not ready to wean. And I haven’t gone this far to wean cold turkey. It wouldn’t be fair to him, and it would be incredibly hard for me.

That being said – I still wish he didn’t need to nurse. I also wish he was potty trained. And if wishes was all it took – then I’d have the most well behaved, perfect children in the entire world. He’ll get there, on his time, and when he’s ready. I distract as much as I can, push off whenever it’s possible. I don’t nurse in public anymore. There’s a lot about parenting that isn’t what I thought it would be – extended nursing is just one of many things I thought I’d never do. I thought it was icky and weird, only to discover that it’s just… natural. It’s no more odd than picking him up for a cuddle or getting him a cup of milk or taking him outside to play. It’s just one of the many tools that I rely on for parenting.

I don’t know that I’ll be able to tandem nurse. I don’t know that he’ll continue nursing thru the pregnancy. He nurses rarely now, just for comfort, really. But one thing I’ve learned – there’s no point in trying to predict anything. Ideally, he’ll be done nursing, potty trained, sleeping thru the night in his own bed all the time – but I’ve got to come to terms with the fact that it might not happen that way. I think we can probably get potty training down – but I’m not going to take away nursing from him until he’s ready for it.

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