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Thread: How do you handle older children who want to breastfeed when they see their sibling?

  1. #1

    How do you handle older children who want to breastfeed when they see their sibling?

    I've noticed that my older children want to participate in breastfeeding when they see their baby brother doing this. How do you normally respond to this?

  2. #2

    Thanks for posting this interesting question. How old are your older children and when did they stop breastfeeding? It is, again, very common for older children who have stopped breastfeeding to become interested in it again when a new sibling arrives. Depending on the age of the children and your feelings about this, some mums do offer to give their older children/toddlers a try of breastfeeding again (or a taste of expressed breastmilk). If it has been some time since the child breastfed and if they are above a certain age it will be unlikely that they will be able to latch on anyway and this little try may be all their interested in. Some mums do re-start feeding a toddler when their breastmilk comes in and their new baby is feeding (i.e. tandem feeding).

    Older siblings will want to feel involved in the new baby and like to mimic mum. They may want a doll or teddy to pretend to breastfed whilst you are feeding their baby brother. I have seen older siblings pretend breastfeeding trucks, toy cars and all sorts!

    Another tool that can help at this time is to get your older children involved with helping you look after the baby e.g. passing you things you need, getting the clothes out the drawer etc so they feel involved.

    Warm wishes,

  3. #3
    Thank you!

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