Breastfeeding Your Newborn and an Older Child

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Topic Overview

Breastfeeding more than one child is called tandem breastfeeding. If you continue to feed your older child along with your newborn, keep in mind that the newborn's feeding is the higher priority.

Some general feeding guidelines can help ensure that your newborn is properly nourished:

  • Feed the newborn about 8 to 12 times in a 24-hour period, without time limitations.
  • During the first 3 days after the birth, focus all your efforts on breastfeeding the newborn. Always breastfeed your newborn before an older child. This ensures that your baby is nourished with colostrum . You may want to stop breastfeeding the older child for these 3 days, although he or she can breastfeed right after your newborn has finished.
  • Closely monitor your newborn's weight gain and growth.

If you decide to breastfeed more than one child, make sure your newborn has a healthy growth pattern. Talk to your doctor about any specific questions or concerns. Be aware that the interruptions in your older child's breastfeeding routine may naturally begin the weaning process.

Other Places To Get Help


La Leche League International
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Women's Health


ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Kirtly Jones, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology

Current as ofSeptember 29, 2015