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Breastfeeding isn’t always a stress-free experience, let alone when another little one is in the room with you! Breastfeeding a second baby with a toddler in the house can be tricky, especially when that toddler is feeling fussy or sensitive.
If you’re breastfeeding your second baby, take a deep breath, mama. With some helpful tips and preparation we know that you’ll be able to handle anything that comes your way.
We know that breastfeeding a second baby with a toddler can be a stressful experience, so we covered the questions that every mama of multiple wants to know:
While it can seem daunting to start breastfeeding around your toddler, it is not always guaranteed to be a difficult experience. Some toddlers may be completely laid back with you breastfeeding, or they may become clingy or jealous. In any case, breastfeeding should not be hidden from your toddler. It’s important for them to learn that breastfeeding is helpful and normal, and not something to be scared or upset about!
If your toddler starts acting out when you breastfeed your newborn, it can be a sign of jealousy or feeling overprotective. Either way, this does not mean you’re doing something wrong as a mama. Your toddler may simply act out because they are uncomfortable or unsure about this new life change.
Like we’ve mentioned, there’s no need to hide when breastfeeding your newborn. Exposing your toddler to breastfeeding can actually help them become more comfortable with the experience. Let them observe and ask questions if they feel like it!
It’s common for mamas to take a direct approach when explaining breastfeeding to a toddler. You can explain to your toddler that babies need milk to grow, and that mommy’s make that milk for them. You can also mention that they drank milk when they were that age to grow big and strong. The more they can understand and relate to the newborn, the better!
Because breastfeeding creates such a strong bond between a mama and baby, toddlers may yearn for that bond, especially if you’ve been busy with a newborn. If your toddler wants to breastfeed, you can gently explain to them that they are able to eat other foods now. While it can get busy having two little tykes in the house, make sure you’re taking some time here and there to cuddle or play with your toddler. Maintaining that quality mother-baby relationship is important for helping your toddler feel calm and safe!
We know this one can feel like a luxury when you have a couple little ones to take care of. Nevertheless, it's important to take care of yourself. Find those little moments throughout your day to do something that brings you peace or a moment of relaxation. From reading a few pages of a good book, or simply vegging on the couch for 20 minutes, relaxing is a great way to let go of some of that breastfeeding-stress.
Encourage your toddler to become more involved by asking for help on simple tasks. This could be asking your toddler to bring you a new burp cloth or a bottle, or to help put the baby to bed by tucking them in. Praise your toddler for helping out by giving them a big hug and a kiss!
Toddlers can act out to seek attention from you. If you want it to stop, don’t pay attention to them. When they choose to be quiet or play by themselves, give them some positive reinforcement!
If your partner or caregiver is home at the same time you are, try feeding your newborn in another room while your toddler is occupied elsewhere. Toddlers are easily distracted, and will likely not be worrying about you or the baby at all.
Whatever tips you choose to take from this blog, just remember to continue loving and praising your toddler. As they start to become used to you breastfeeding your little one, the easier the process will get. In the meantime, believe in yourself, because we believe in you! Need more breastfeeding tips? Visit the Willow blog to learn more today.
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