Yeah, we’re still nursing. I’m sure none of my friends are surprised. In case you don’t know this, breastfeeding an older baby is way different than a young baby. Young, immobile babies lay in your arms and cuddle you. Big babies do acrobatics, try and stand up while nursing (or take it with them…ouch). Granger and Finn are no exception to this.
I will settle in on the couch with one baby and put him in football hold. Almost immediately his brother will crawl up with great interest…and sometimes screeching. I never did get one of those huge twin nursing pillows. I use a regular old boppy and I put an extra pillow behind my back…or sometimes two. The pillow behind my back helps me be able to relax so I’m not hunched over nursing them.
They are so big, with huge heads. Their heads tend to knock together when they squirm while nursing. At this point, the three of us take up the whole couch when we’re all nursing together. And, experienced nursing moms will know what I’m talking about, but both boys would really like to be twiddlers. What I mean by that is that babies have an innate desire to stimulate the other nipple. It can be highly highly irritating when one has one baby. It seems like a Three Stooges bit when there are two babies.
I will get the two of them latched on, and one of the boys will realize he really wants to twiddle the other side so he will stick his finger into his brothers mouth and unlatch him. Freeing the breast and starting to play. The unlatched baby will then yell out and smack his brother while I am trying to free my nipple from pincer grasp. I seriously do not have enough hands to control all of the hands and mouths and breasts that are flying at this point.
I’ve heard many twin mamas say that at some point they had to stop nursing their twins at the same time. I’m not at that point yet. The boys are definitely at the age where they have jealousies and each one understands when brother is getting something that he isn’t. However, neither gets the concept of “just a minute” or “you’re next”. So I’m not willing to limit them at this point. When Tommy is home, we do use some distraction to harmoniously allow me to nurse one at a time.
A couple weeks ago Mama asked if the boys were nursing as often as they used to. I answered “No” as Tommy simultaneously answered “yes”. I’m measuring this as the overall amount of time I’m spending sitting on the couch nursing two babies. The answer is a whole lot less. In the beginning I was basically spending 24 hours a day nursing. I would look for 5 to 10 minutes where I could grab a shower or a bite to eat. And that was when I had someone at home with me 24/7. As an aside, I honestly do not know how you have twins without a village.
We are far from round the clock breastfeeding. Granger and Finn now eat three square meals a day and a couple snacks…well if you can count a few beans and a grain of rice as a meal. Okay, I guess they are typical toddlers in that sense too.
They still wake to nurse a couple 3 times (each) at night, but it’s much better than it was before. Funny, I would have felt that waking to nurse 5-6 times was a really bad night of sleep in my previous mama life. Now, if I only wake thrice I feel like I won the jackpot. It’s all perspective. At night, I don’t usually need to nurse them simultaneously anymore. I am hyper aware of when one starts to stir and I can usually finish nursing him before his bro needs me. I am also no longer a rotisserie chicken. I do get some stretches of uninterrupted sleep these days….and that’s as specific I can be on the topic….night grog is to blame.
I did take my own advice from my last twins and sleep post and when I need to nurse both boys I use pillows to accomplish a comfy position. I put a nice firm pillow under my upper back and arm, and lay half way on my side. Then one baby basically lays on top of me and the other lays on the bed next to me. A friend recently messaged me on Facebook asking what we do for night time simultaneous feedings. I described my setup and it’s not going to work for her yet. Her babies are still much smaller. I feel that pain. Simultaneous feedings at night were my least favorite part of this whole parenting twins thing. I’ll be glad when I never ever have to do it again. But it’s way better now than it was in the beginning. WAY better.
One day I will sleep the whole night through. I’m grinning now, because I know there will be a time when I’m wistful for these days of teeny tiny boys with chubby cheeks and thighs. But it all comes as a package, sleep deprivation and chub. So I can’t possibly wish it away.