23 July 2015, by Mandy Loh
I had blogged about tandem nursing before, and in case you were wondering, yes, that is still going strong and working wonderfully! But I now realise that the “tandem” concept – doing things at the same time – is THE secret to remaining sane and getting anything accomplished at home! I mean, it only makes sense when I’m managing 2 kiddos on my own for most of the day. So its tandem baths, tandem naps, and yes, tandem nursing. There’s really no other way to get everything done!
Perhaps its also a way to treat both kids as fairly as possible. What one gets, the other gets as well by default. So for example, Cristan always has an afternoon snack after coming home from school. Caris will also insist on joining in and having her share, even though she would have just finished lunch not long ago!
After that, we all have a shower together. Its much more efficient to shower both kids than one at a time. The other major advantage is that both are within my line of sight, which means that neither munchkin has free rein to wreck havoc while I’m busy with the other!
Afternoon naps are also synchronised, because I will tandem nurse them both to sleep. After quite a bit of trial and error, I’ve figured out the optimal position for this: I place two pillows on each side of my body, one for Cristan and the other for Caris. After getting them to lie down on top of the pillow, I put my arms around them and cradle them towards me in an approximately 45 degree angle. Its the most comfortable tandem nursing position ever, and maybe I should trademark it and call it the “Supermomprincess Tandem Hold”. Haha!
The best part is, breastfeeding releases oxytocin and prolactin, hormones which have relaxing and calming effects on momma. And maybe because I’m breastfeeding two, the drowsiness sets in doubly fast and I end up falling blissfully asleep together with both munchkins in my arms. (Probably the best part of my day!)
Meals are also taken together as a family – I believe that eating together bonds the family. No TV or mobile devices are allowed. If Cristan behaves well at dinner (feeds himself, eats relatively quickly and doesn’t fuss or whine), he gets TV time after dinner, usually for an hour or so until bedtime. And Caris? Well, she benefits from the “fair treatment” principle, so what her brother enjoys, she gets to enjoy too!
While we successfully implemented the no-TV rule for Caris in her first year, (similar to what we did with Cristan), it proved impossible once she was able to crawl. We could not shut her in the room by herself, and even when we tried to barricade the path towards the living room, she would push the boxes aside, determined to join her kor kor! So now we have tandem TV time as well. Oh well…I guess that’s the downside to tandem-ing everything!