Breastfeeding: Tandem Nursing Positions

Continuing on from my previous post on Tandem Nursing

Probably one of my biggest concerns about tandem nursing is positioning – especially in the early days when the newborn is still rather fragile.  Nursing both children one by one should be fairly straightforward, but what happens when they both want to nurse at the same time?  What are the recommended positions?

I’m sure we can reason with Gavin to let the baby go first during the day time, but if he wakes up at night to nurse, he may not be so cooperative and the last thing I want is to have a baby and toddler fighting for milk in the middle of the night.  In which case, I had better be armed with some knowledge of how to nurse two at the same time…

KellyMom offers the following suggestions which I believe are from the book “Adventures in Tandem Nursing During Pregnancy and Beyond” by Hillary Flower:

  • 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.

I’ll get back on which positions I think work best after we’ve had a go at all of them.  For now, I think I’m leaning towards the last one – lying flat on the back.  I’m not sure if that works with a newborn, but we’ll see.  The benefit of being able to lie back is so I can rest, too, which I’m sure will be beneficial in the early days while I’m trying to recover from the delivery.

In the meantime, here’s a question for any Mums out there who’ve had experience in tandem nursing before…  What’s your favourite position for nursing two at the one time?


Published by Shen-Li

SHEN-LI LEE is the author of “Brainchild: Secrets to Unlocking Your Child’s Potential”. She is also the founder of (a website on parenting, education, child development) and (a website on Right Brain Education, cognitive development, and maximising potentials). In her spare time, she blogs on Forty, Fit & Fed, and Back to Basics.

3 thoughts on “Breastfeeding: Tandem Nursing Positions

  1. The first month will be the toughest because baby’s still getting used to this nursing thing and has little head control. I latched baby first then toddler in a sitting position. At night, baby latched sideways (but often unlatched) and then toddler climbed onto me on the side to nurse.

    Now I can lie slightly towards baby who latches first and then toddler.

    When we’re out, baby nurses in carrier and if toddler wants to nurse, he does so standing up.

    It is really funny watching them interact while nursing together. Lots of smiles will ensue, I promise. 😀


  2. Thanks have this nice sharing.Breastfed babies don’t gain weight as quickly as formula babies. Don’t pay attention to the charts, or the nurses or doctors telling you, you need to start giving formula because your baby doesn’t grow according to a chart.


  3. Thanks Mephala – am so glad to have your pearls of wisdom to share. Also really glad you went through all this before me. I’m sure I wouldn’t know what to do otherwise!

    Dayspa – that’s the thing… Gavin was breastfed, but he exceeded the charts in every way during his first six months! Nobody could say he wasn’t getting enough or that I didn’t have enough milk because he was so chubby!


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