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Michelle
Reply with quote  #1 
I just had my second child four months ago, and the other day, an interesting realization dawned on me.
With my first child, I always had one role.  Either I protected and comforted her when she needed, or I got into "tough Mom" mode when she needed a little disciplining.
The other day, as I sat nursing my baby, my almost 2 year-old came over to me with a book. "When your brother finishes eating, I'll read a book to you," I said.  That wasn't good enough for her.  She proceeded to wind up and slam the book onto her brother's head while he nursed.  Needless to say, this didn't make him too happy and he immediately began to wail.  To give a little background, this sweet boy is very sensitive and without getting a book chucked at his head he sometimes has difficulty with his nursing.  It therefore took almost an hour for me to calm him down and convince him that it was ok to nurse again and he would not receive cranial injury as a result.
During this hour, I had my first experience of balancing multiple parental roles at the same time.  At first I began to act strict and discipline my daughter with time out.  Then I realized that when I got harsh with her, my tone of voice would upset the baby even further.  I had to simultaneously teach her a lesson and focus just as much energy, if not more, on calming this sweet, sensitive baby.
Most likely this experience is the first of many similar scenarios, with siblings only 16 months apart.
If anyone has any good mothering advice for balancing these situations, or similar stories to share, I would love to hear them!
Mommyof2
Reply with quote  #2 
Dear Mom,

I'm with you. I too have a toddler and a baby, and b"H after a challenging start things are going really smooth now. Nursing was the biggest challenge for me. My toddler daughter found it very difficult to see the baby all snuggled up against what used to be HER mommy only.

What I was advised to do (and what worked wonders) was to make nursing time in a special time for toddler daughter too. In the example you mentioned you told her to wait until nursing was finished to read a book. Next time, you can tell her "your brother is going to nurse now, so it's reading time!" Tell her to bring the book, sit down next to you, and read her the book. In this way, nursing time will become a special time for her as well, and not something negative in which she will have to take care of herself. For me, this worked miracles.

Good luck! Needing to share mommy's love and attention is hard at first, but once the toddler sees that there is enough love for both her and the baby, things become easier.
Michelle
Reply with quote  #3 
Thanks for the advice!
I actually got that same advice when he was first born, and unfortunately it didn't work for us.  I did that for his first two months and it made him start going on nursing strikes because I wasn't concentrating on him enough while nursing.  If I talk at all while he's nursing he'll pull off and get sad.  Thankfully he only takes 5-7 minutes to nurse - he's a "get down to business" kind of baby, but for those 5-7 minutes I have to be focused solely on him.
We're slowly getting the hang of it... I think it should hopefully only get easier as he gets older (in some ways...)...

Marie
Reply with quote  #4 
I used to do something similar with my first 3, who were 15 and 17 months apart. The diference was that instead of reading while nursing, I read before. So when I knew nursing time was comeing, I would tell my toddler to bring a book to read, or something else she wanted to do with me. That worked for me, she had her mommy for herself and then she managed her sisters turn much better. I hope my english and spelling are clear enough.
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