23 July 2015, by Mandy Loh

Tandem everything!

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!

Snack time! Almost like seeing double!

Snack time! Almost like seeing double!

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!

Bath times are much more fun when everyone's in the tub together!

Bath times are much more fun when everyone’s in the tub together!

...and this is what happens when Caris is left on her own for 5 minutes. That's body lotion all over her hands.

…and we can prevent a repeat episode of THIS. What happens when Caris is left on her own for 5 minutes. That’s body lotion all over her hands!

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!

 

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Posted on : July 23, 2015

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2 Comments

Mandy Loh

Mandy

August 2nd, 2015 at 11:52 am    


Hi Elfanie, thanks so much for dropping a line! You’re doing an awesome job! I totally know how tough it is to deal with 2 kiddos on your own most of the time, haha!

Yes, Caris was also very excited when Kor Kor started joining us for sleeping time. It takes a while for them to settle down for bed. Sometimes if both of them are really energetic, I will let them play around for about 5 minutes, then settle them down again. For me, I nurse both of them so the act of nursing itself calms and settles them down. Sometimes, I also put my hands over their eyes as they nurse, so they can’t see each other, and that helps to get them to close their eyes and go to sleep.

If all else fails, use threats. Haha! I threaten Cristan that he will get sent back to his own room/ out to the living room sofa if he continues to play and not sleep.

Hope these tips help and all the best for your sleeping time success! 🙂

Elfianie

August 1st, 2015 at 3:44 pm    


Hi, thank goodness for your article! I have a 3 year old and a 8 month old! and I’m with them in my own most of the time! Love them to bits but sleeping time at night is a nightmare. I tried to have them sleep in the same room but guess what, the baby is just too excited to have her brother near her. It’s impossible to put them to bed together! Any tips on how to have the kiddos sleep in the same room together?

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