Managing Older Siblings While Breastfeeding
How to manage the expectations and balance of attention for your older children while breastfeeding your newborn.
Moms are multi-taskers, but if you’re juggling a toddler (or toddlers!) and breastfeeding a newborn, you may need some strategies in place to help.
Educate your children
Let your older children ask all the questions they may have – and there will be questions! Give explanations about what you’re doing in simplified and relatable terms they can understand. Letting them know what’s going on will make them feel more involved and informed, and help curb any potential jealousy or negative emotions they might associate with your breastfeeding time with your newborn.
Include your kids in what you’re doing
When you sit down to nurse, give your older kids a special task like bringing mom a bottle of water or a blanket for baby. Praising them and letting them know that the “job” they’re doing is helping you will go a long way to make them feel important and included!
Make your nursing sessions family time, and put on a special movie or music, allowing them to snuggle and get close for some bonding time of their own. For older more independent kids, organize a special play area during your breastfeeding sessions with special toys or games that are only accessible when you’re nursing. They may come to look forward to your nursing sessions because it means special privileges for them!
Ask for help
Be kind to yourself and ask for help from your spouse, partner, or another family member when you need it. Having someone else take your kids on an adventure to the zoo, or even a quick walk around the block will give them some fresh air, and provide a much-needed break for you!
Some days will be overwhelming and far from perfect when you’re trying to manage breastfeeding a newborn and caring for your older children. Take each day as it comes, and know that you’re doing the best you can for all your children – providing your time and love for your older kids, and all that liquid gold for your baby. You’ve got this, mama!