How to Manage Other Children when Nursing
As a mum of 6 kids, including a new baby, I have been breastfeeding back-to-back for over 9 years (yes, you heard me right, NINE years).
Over this time I have worked out different strategies on how to make my breastfeeding journey flow to suit not only me and the baby but also my other children.
Every single one of my babies have had a completely different breastfeeding journey. From ‘snacking’ to ‘comfort feeding’ to ‘distracted feeding’ to ‘constant feeding’. It has been a whirlwind of a journey getting to know each and every babies breastfeeding needs and likes.
Before I give you some tips I want to share with you my most recent breastfeeding story.
So baby number 6, my very last baby, has been my most difficult feeder. To make matters worse, she was only born with one kidney so making sure she was fed and hydrated has been a huge stress on me.
Now, my sweet Ophelia seemed to HATE breastfeeding. Always distracted, wouldn’t feed if someone was in the room. If she heard a noise that was it for us! She wouldn’t feed in public, in the car or anywhere in the house other than my bedroom, she only fed well at night.
Elsie my toddler was toilet training and always seemed to need to go to the toilet right when I was feeding. My kids would walk in crying and dob on a brother. The sound of laughter from another room would give me anxiety. It made the experience seem stressful and I just wanted to give up but remembered she is my last baby and I wasn’t ready to give it up forever!
Now the reason I am telling you THIS particular story is because NOTHING I did helped my situation, she is still a fussy, easily distracted feeder and it has been very hard... I am thankful my milk supply still exists thanks to In Shape Mummy Health Shakes.
But, I do have some tips you might want to try. These are some things I learned along the way with my other (much easier) children. I always had a 4 and 2-year-old with every baby as I had all my kids 2 years apart.
2-year-olds have a VERY short attention span, which means after a few minutes they lose interest in whatever they are doing. Having a few activities set out, in reach for your child is very helpful. For eg: books, cars, dolls, drawing. The child would move along and entertain themselves. As long as it is all accessible, they shouldn’t have to disturb you with opening things. These activities can be set up in the same room as you are nursing as long as the baby ‘allows’ it.
3-4-year-olds are a little longer. Keep their hands busy with activities like playdoh, colouring, building. I can post a really good playdoh recipe too.
5+ should be able to find their own entertainment with toys, etc.
If by chance you have more than one sibling and they may fight, I’d suggest separating them before you start feeding.
Children like to feel important. Give them a mission (to keep them focused) I would give my kids baby wipes and water in a spray bottle and ask if they could clean the walls/mirrors - kids LOVE that! Ask your child to pack the toys up while you feed.
Explain to your child what you are doing and the importance of being quiet during that time can help. Kids don’t know anything and need guidance on how to act in every situation.
If you have a daughter, let her sit beside you with her baby. Maybe she would like to pretend to breastfeed hers like you.
- Dannii, Queensland mum of 6
Join our Facebook Community - The In Shape Mummy Breastfeeding Support Group, and connect with other breastfeeding women.
Shevi is a qualified nutritionist with a bachelor’s degree in nutrition and food sciences. As a new mum herself, she is passionate about postnatal-related nutrition. Shevi has worked alongside some of the most famous leaders and celebrities in the fitness industry throughout Australia and the UK.
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