Hello! I am a STM with DS1 who is 3 that after a very rough start I was able to breastfeed until 18 mo. My DS2 is 1 week 4 days and I am hoping to breastfeed again at least until 12 mo.
So far we have had a much better start. I still am having a little bit of trouble keeping up with his demand though so he cluster feeds ALOT. I understand this is totally normal but I am struggling with managing the cluster feeding and my 3 year old. DS1 starts to act out more during these times because I am pretty much unable to play or do activities for anywhere from 1 to 2.5 hours at a time. He can play on his own for probably 20 to 30 min but after that he starts getting antsy. Any suggestions on how to keep him occupied during those cluster feeding times? Thanks for any advice!
Congrats on your new LO! Glad you're having a better start. Common strategies for entertaining your toddler include a basket of nursing time only toys/books/activities for your older child and/or lots of screen time.
Do you have a carrier? Babywearing and nursing may not be hands free just yet since LO is likely still pretty floppy but it can be a more mobile / one handed instead of two handed option. And soon enough it'll get closer to hands free. If you don't have a carrier, happy to discuss types of those.
tv time or kid-appropriate apps are a big help- it's not going to kill him to watch tons of tv for a couple of weeks, so don't feel guilty! if possible, have a parent or friend come over a few times a week to hang out with your big kid and keep him occupied. i would stoop to bribery if it helps-- fill a big bag with dollar store toys/activities and let LO pick from it (either to find something new to play with, OR as a reward for playing independently for a certain amount of time). reading to your older LO is another good option and it's relatively easy to do while also nursing. depending on the weather where you are and whether or not you have a yard/what type of setup it is, if you could set yourself up in the shade outside with the baby, then your big kid could play in the yard. if you don't already rotate your kids' toys, try that to keep him interested in the ones he has available. i would also try to make sure you give big kid some "special time"- either when your SO is home or when baby naps (if you are able to put him down). offer to do whatever he wants for 15-20 minutes and just lavish him with attention. this will help with the neediness at other times. you can also enlist big kid as a "helper" for you- ask him to get you things (burp cloth for baby, or your water bottle, or whatever) and then praise lavishly (this article has more good tips on helping big kid adjust)
it is a tough transition, though! It will get easier as big kid adjusts to being a big sibling and baby gets more efficient at nursing.GL!
Then Comes Family, LLC is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising
program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.