What positions are best for tandem nursing?

August 4, 2011. Posted in: BF FAQ: Tandem

To find your best arrangement you will need to experiment and to try a variety of pillows (including a U-shaped nursing pillow). The positioning that works best is likely to change as your baby grows. Following are some options to consider:

  • Initially, semi-reclining (with pillows behind your back) may be easier than sitting or lying flat.
  • Double-cradle: both children in cradle position, with newborn’s legs resting on toddler.
  • Double-football: toddler can have his/her head on a nursing pillow and body stretching away on the couch; alternatively, your toddler can be sitting next to you with knees away from you.
  • Various combinations with one child in cradle position & one child in football hold.
  • Try side-lying with the newborn on the bed; you can then have your toddler perch on your side, or kneel behind you and dip his head down (pop-over nursing position).
  • Lying on your back: you can prop a child on each side with a pillow supporting their bodies.

Simultaneous nursing can be hard to coordinate at first, and for some women it triggers a strong agitation. It may get easier as your baby gets older and more used to nursing, and as your toddler gets used to the baby. Many mothers find that nursing each separately works well (and yes, this is still “tandem nursing”!).

Double Cradle Positioning Cradle-Football Combo Pop-Over Nursing Position
Photos used with permission.
Photos published in Adventures in Tandem Nursing by Hilary Flower (©LLLI, 2003).

 

You also may want to borrow some ideas on positioning from mothers of twins:

  • Nursing positions for twins from the website of Karen Kerkhoff Gromada, IBCLC, author of Mothering Multiples: Breastfeeding and Caring for Twins or More!!!
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