Moms are multi-taskers. But, for a mom with multiple children, managing older siblings while breastfeeding isn’t always easy. We recommend educating your children, including them in the breastfeeding experience, and getting a little creative.
Get ready for questions
It’s safe to assume that most toddlers and older children will be curious about breastfeeding your newest baby. Some children may be jealous of the time spent “cuddling” their new brother or sister and demand similar affection from you. Others may hover and ask questions about breastfeeding. Explaining breastfeeding to your children in in terms that are simple and relatable will help them understand and ease the experience.
Make it family time
Don’t feel obligated to exclude your other children from your breastfeeding experience. Your curious and potentially jealous children want that special time with mommy too. Breastfeeding is an excellent time to relax with all your children and listen to music or watch a show. Try letting your older children snuggle with you, so they can share a similar emotional connection. Don’t forget about other family members too. It’s important they’re involved as well. We suggest reading a book aloud or initiating another family tradition.
You can use this time to teach your older children about responsibility and show them how gratifying being a “good helper” can be. Ask them to get you a glass of water or a blanket to make you or baby more comfortable. Then, shower them with gratitude or kisses when they complete the task. By helping out, they’ll feel included in the breastfeeding experience and feel rewarded by your praise.
Some children don’t demand your attention while breastfeeding. So, try reserving time for their favorite activities while you nurse. This will keep them focused and entertained, allowing you to relax and focus on nourishing your baby. Remember, relaxation plays a key role in breastfeeding success.
Moms, what helped you manage older siblings while breastfeeding? Share in the comments below.