Let’s play ball!

A few months ago, my 16 month old girl had the opportunity of spending a few weeks with one of her lively 2 years old cousin. It was amazing to see them bond despite the lack of words. The development I have observed in both of them made me wonder about what our city-raised children miss out on, playtime with their age-mates.

Do you know a toddler who doesn’t know the basics of operating a smartphone? What about a toddler who doesn’t know how to play with others her age? Nowadays, Children as young as one year old are able to turn on a phone and take a selfie but they are totally clueless when it comes to interacting with their age mates. Our fast paced lifestyle and the concrete jungle with its packed parking also used as a ‘playground’, thus the constant need to keep them busy with piano and painting lessons keep them from going out to play with their peers. Moreover, the improper use of digital devices in our homes are also keeping children as prisoners in their home. On the rare occasions that they get to play with other kids, it is usually difficult to make them share things and be considerate towards each other, in other words the culture of entitlement comes to the surface.

I believe extracurricular activities and digital devices are important for their growth and for their mental development but I also believe that there is so much to gain from the usual playtime with other children. Science also shows that when kids spend time playing outside with their friends, they develop fine motor skills, their social skills are sharpened, and their neurological development is boosted among other things. The common problems that young children have these days such as obesity, bullying, depression and anxiety can be attributed to lack of playtime and interaction with others.

It is also important to note that the size of a standard family especially in cities has gone down noticeably and couples with one child are very common. Therefore, the only time most children get to be with other kids is most probably on birthday parties or family events. Two or three decades ago, the idea of planning for a play-date for children might seem absurd but our lifestyle now sometimes requires that we plan for play-dates or playgroups with other parents.

Why plan for play-dates?

Children learn best from each other as they spend time together. Playing together helps them to grow socially, intellectually and physically. Here are some benefits of playing with others.

Develop different skills

Children have an amazing imagination and a lot of energy that is why they can play for long. The more they play together, the more they learn how to work together, how to share and take turns, how to empathize and, tolerate each other. While doing so, they pick social, problem solving, and, leadership skills.

Self development

What children need more of these days is how to self entertain when they are ‘bored’. Through their imagination they learn how to be creative. They also develop their self confidence and learn self regulation without the parent’s nudge.

For parents

Playdates are beneficial for parents too as they create opportunities to meet other parents and learn from each other. It also strengthens the child-parent bond because memories are created from spending time together and doing enjoyable things.

We are in a time where our diverse world is need of creative solutions for our problems, appreciation of differences, and respect towards each other and raising our children right is a big step towards that serenity. I believe playing is one of the easiest ways of teaching children these much needed values.

This first appeared on The Standard in September 2017.

Image source: The Mouth of the Kenai

Parenting in Kenya

I moved to Kenya in 2015 after my wedding. When my husband’s family came to visit us a few weeks later, one of my sister in laws had come with her youngest son who was around 18 months. When I served them soda from the fridge, she asked me to warm a cup for her son. It didn’t sound right to my ears so I asked again – she simply laughed at my expression and  went to the kitchen to warm the soda in the microwave! I don’t know if I should call that culture shock but I  was taken aback. I grew up licking frozen popsicles and running in the rain in Ethiopia so the obsession on giving only warm drinks to children and on top of that over dressing them with six jackets and pullovers (Okay, not six but you get my point) still makes me laugh at times. But that aside, there are a couple of good lessons I have learned while raising my daughter here and here are three.

It takes a village

I would say Africa shares this sentiment. Society is still entwined and children belong to the community. But I love the unity that a baby brings to a community. I am always touched with the overwhelming offer of help from our family, relatives, friends, and neighbors from the first day we brought our daughter home. My daughter has made a number of friends without uttering a word. I love the way they, along with their parents, call me ‘Mama Shiku!’  

I also love the respect of boundaries most people have towards visiting a new baby. You have no control of guests flocking in to visit and hold the baby in Ethiopia. My daughter has so many aunties, uncles and cousins and she has brought us closer than I can imagine. I am thankful for all the pampering I received since my pregnancy.

Mama and baby cuisine

I didn’t like the taste of fermented Uji when I tried it for the first time. But after I had my daughter, and I was desperately waiting for my milk to start flowing, I gulped in Uji several times in a day. It worked so well that it became my drink for months after that.

Another important lessons I have taken with me is baby food. I would say Ethiopia is very limited in what is considered as baby food for the first year. Giving pumpkin to a baby is unheard of, we also don’t have arrow roots and the different variety of beans like Kenya. I will always be grateful to my second home and my sister in law who came to our place just to teach me how to make Uji for my daughter.

Parenting tips

We didn’t buy diapers until our daughter turned four months. I was amazed when people made plans to come visit our daughter, they usually ask us which brand of diapers she uses. Almost every visitor came with a pack of diaper and that pushed us for a little over four months. It is a very helpful and kind gesture that I have adopted when I go visit a new baby.

From using cotton wool instead of wipes to how to carry a small baby on the back, from how to change diapers on my lap to how to breastfeed in public. I have learned quite a lot of tips from Kenyan mothers around me.

Each society has something to offer if one is willing to listen. And Kenya has given me a lot from  families, neighbors and moms groups but above all I love my new title Kenya has given me, Mama Ciku. (My dear Ethiopian folks, that is read as Shiko, an equivalent of ‘Ye Mimi Enat’ but Shiko is my daughter’s nickname.)

(This first appeared in The Standard Sunday Newspaper in September, 2017)

Image Source:  Pinterest

Extended breastfeeding

It was just like the other day when my sweaty hands were fumbling as I tried to breastfeed my daughter for the first time. It felt so sophisticated until I got used to it and started breastfeeding, eating and talking on the phone at the same time. I always say, ‘one of the most touching moment I share with my daughter is breastfeeding time especially when she looks at my eyes.’

As we approach 18 months, most people are asking me when I plan to wean her. My first plan was at 24 months but as I learn new things and the bond I have with her, I am now open to extending that if she would want to continue. Worldwide, babies are weaned on average between ages 2 and 4. In some cultures, breast-feeding continues until children are age 6 or 7. (mayoclinic.org) WHO officially recommends mothers breastfeed until three years of age.

I have seen how most people (including mothers) are disgusted when they see an older child breastfeeding. I personally find it normal because I saw my younger brother breastfeeding until he was four. I remember how he would come from school and run to our mother who is usually busy with something, flip her top open and breastfeed while standing. I don’t remember people discouraging her about his breastfeeding at the time but attitudes toward breastfeeding has changed a lot since then. The hyper sexualized society we live in now mostly believes breastfeeding an older child creates an adverse attachment and/or too much dependency and is a disgusting thing to look at as well.

But does extended breastfeeding have benefits?

The ‘white gold’ is an amazing liquid because it can cater to a child’s nutritional need even as she grows. It has a lot of long term health benefits both for the child and mother.  Children who breastfeed for extended periods of time are healthier overall; they have better vision and hearing as well as a strong immune system with reduced risk of developing health problems like diabetes and heart diseases. A number of studies also suggest that they are smarter (my brother is a top student) and easier to discipline. Extended breastfeeding also reduces the risk of uterine, ovarian and breast cancers in mothers.

Disadvantages

I remember weaning my brother was a torture the whole family went into together. His non-stop tantrums were unbearable at night and he bit her very hardly even when she gave up and tried to nurse him. Mother must make it clear that they not human pacifiers and breastfeeding is for food and bonding not a soother. Unless the weaning process is gradual by preparing them emotionally through discussion (because they are old enough), it might be difficult.

For mothers who decide to extend breastfeeding, one of the most difficult thing they deal with is negative reactions from others. Our society has mostly ignored the way our mothers brought us. We are rushed into training our children to be independent as early as possible with self rocking cots, bouncy seats and baby monitors. But there is so much to be gained from cuddling and extended breastfeeding including a physically, socially and emotionally nurtured child. As hard as it may be, you need to do what’s best for your baby and for your own family.

This first appeared on The Standard on 30th July 2017

Featured image source : Tammy Nicole Emziren Kadinlar Photography

Watching TV with my daughter

I love how she wakes up in the morning these days. She has learned to self entertain so after waking up she finds something to keep her busy, which means I have a few more minutes to catch up with sleep (more like 7 minutes). Then she will start kicking the cot bumper and it is that thump that usually wakes me up. The moment she looks at my face, she gives me a beautiful smile and stretches her hands which makes me forget all my problems (only for a few seconds though). We then go to the kitchen for her daily dose of thyroxine. A  few minutes later we are ready for breakfast and our daily little fights start again. Lately she has become completely invested in baby TV and adverts that it is almost unthinkable for her to take meals or have her diaper changed without the TV on. So after offering a few spoons with her refusing to open her mouth, I give up and turn on the TV, she then opens her mouth gladly.

It started when she was much smaller, I would turn on the TV for her when I needed a break or when she is fussy. At first, she would get bored after a few minutes and start demanding for attention but she now watches TV (phones and tablets included) for 30 – 60 minutes in a day on average. Whenever the TV is on a show that she likes, her body becomes still, her eyes blink only when necessary, her mouth is half-open and her drool trickles down her chest. I am mostly okay with these but I don’t like the blank look on her face which makes me think that it is not good for her.

Most studies done on infants and toddlers watching TV say that it is absolutely unnecessary because it has a significant effect on their brain development because they are not capable of processing the images they see until they are at least 18 months old. Screen time for infants and toddlers is believed to cause language delay, sleep interruption and lack of attention among other things. But a few studies also say that children tailored programs on TV can help in early brain development as long as the screen time is limited and parents are watching the programs with the children.

When to introduce TV

The American Academy of pediatrics (AAP) along with a number of studies, strictly advises against any screen time for children under 2 years of age. Various researches suggest that it is quite harmful with long-lasting effect on their language and social development, sleeping pattern and attention span. These problems are more pronounced as the child spends more time in front of the TV alone especially for children below 18 months as their mind cannot understand how what they see on the TV relates with the real world.

As a result, the AAP encourages parents to avoid TV for children below 18 months but children 15 – 18 months can benefit from co-watching educational TV programs but must strictly be for an hour at most. For children above 2 years of age, great care must be taken in selecting content and how they watch it. Obesity and behavioral problems are the most common problems toddlers and young adults develop if their media usage is not monitored.

However reserved you may be to introduce TV to your children, it is obvious that children learn better from you than any educational TV program. Hence, keep screen time as minimum as possible, co-watch together to keep them connected, and find other activities to do together to keep their mind and bodies active and healthy.

I am yet to see the effect it has on her language skills but it has not affected her sleep or attention so far. But one important point I have observed is that when we sit together to watch and I sing along to the show and keep her engaged with me and the show, she is very responsive and happy when she sees characters she likes. That dull look comes when she is only absorbing what the TV is giving her, my presence and engagement gives her the two-way interaction.

So since I have accepted that she loves watching her baby shows, I have stopped fighting her and focus on limiting the time she spends on the screen as well as making sure it has appropriate content. Therefore, I look for shows with fun and educational content that represents the diversified society she lives with now. It can be mind-boggling for an adult to watch a postman who always displaces addresses and has to ask animals for directions so he can deliver the packages (Is that teaching Inefficiency or how to ask for directions?) but I believe it is important to sit and do the things they like together.

This first appeared on The Standard on 30th July 2017
Featured image – courtesy of  www.picgifs.com

On a diet at 15 months

My little angel is only 300 grams shy of 15Kgs at 15 months.  Almost everyone who holds her exclaims, ‘Weh! She is heavy.’ I don’t blame them because this was the weight she was expected to reach at 24 months. I remember she was almost 10kgs at 7 months and we have been monitoring her weight chart since then but the fact that she is tall for her age had made us look over the weight gain.

The pediatrician has been warning us but on our last visit, she was adamant that we must make major changes in her diet. Babies are expected to gain weight though there is a noticeable difference between breastfed and formula fed babies. The rate at which they gain weight until they double their birth weight is fast but slows down in a distinct way especially after the first birthday.

A rapid weight gain in babies and toddlers can be attributed to taking too many calories, medication, lack of exercise or a hormonal condition among a number of other reasons. When a baby has excess weight, crawling, walking, essential parts of a baby’s physical, and mental development are delayed. While having excess weight at a young age does not mean the child will remain overweight, it is best to prevent it as early as possible. I believe my daughter’s weight has also contributed to her not walking even at 15 months.

What can be done?

One of the most important things we have been advised is to watch her diet carefully. Babies need a high fat diet to support their growth so limiting their food intake when they are hungry is unthinkable but revision of their intake is necessary. We have now cut starchy foods to two times a week only. Therefore, sweet potatoes/potatoes, green bananas, arrowroots, and oatmeal are included in her diet every three days only. We instead do more of lean proteins and vegetables.

I have not introduced sugar to her yet but sweetened drinks such as packed juice and biscuits are also the main culprits to rapid weight gain. It is also recommended to limit the amount of milk they take in a day. The highest amount of milk a toddler should take is 500ml if they are to take a nutritious diet in a day. Therefore do more of breastfeeding (if possible) and give water instead of offering other drinks. Some studies also suggest that breastfeeding helps in maintaining a healthy weight.

Because of the cold weather we now have, kids are not going out much which means they have more time to be idle in the house or to sit in front of TV. Unlimited screen time is proved to be the cause of being overweight and obesity in children as well as effectuating unhealthy eating habit. A toddler must be active for the many calories to be burned, even if it is in the house. For toddlers like my daughter who have not started walking yet, the baby walker and other fun games like rolling over are best to solve this problem.

Chubby cheeks are too sweet to resist but when the weight gain is rapid and visible to the eye, it is good to ask why even if it is not captured in the growth chart. Consult your doctor before taking any measures.
This first appeared on The Standard on 13 August 2017

NO more pumping in the toilet

I was fortunate enough to exclusively breastfeed my daughter for six months.  Though I had plans to go back to work after four months which then moved to six months and then indefinitely put on hold because of my separation anxiety as well as other reasons. Had I gone back to work, I don’t know how I would have dealt with pumping, working and spending the whole day away from my daughter.

From my conversations with a number of new mothers who went back to work after their maternity leave, exclusive breastfeeding was their ultimate resolution until they reported back to the office. Lack of clean and private place to express, decreased milk supply and lack of support from their supervisors forced most of them to abandon their plan and start giving  formula to their little ones.

One mother told me that it is one of the most painful experience she has gone through. She said, ‘The first week I resumed work was difficult. Since the only place I could express from was the toilet, I only expressed when my breasts became very painful. I was constantly in pain because my breasts were engorged. The toilet was very dirty so I used to throw out the milk for fear of the hygienic risks. By the third week, my milk supply decreased so fast that I stopped pumping and by then my son was barely four months old. To know that I was not able to exclusively breastfeed my son because I had to work made me depressed. Even when I made peace with it, the process of finding the right formula was difficult and very costly.’

The new breastfeeding bill that was recently passed is a good news for mothers like her if it will be signed into law. According to the bill, a company with more than 30 employees will be required to provide suitable environment (a separate room and fridge) for breastfeeding mothers. Even public facilities such as restaurants will be expected to provide baby changing facility as well as a separate room for breastfeeding/ expressing.

As much as the bill sounds good to the ear, the implementation will most likely be challenging to follow upon. With businesses always on the lookout for ways of cutting costs, the burden of securing another room with the necessary facilities for mothers as well as according them with enough breaks for expressing might be something companies want to avoid by refusing to hire women. Moreover, women might comply to work without the breastfeeding facilities for  lack of opportunities even with the hefty fine of 500,000Ksh on the companies when they fail to do so.

The organization I worked with previously only hires women and made sure that mothers are given all the privileges they need to meet the demands of exclusive breastfeeding and taking care of a child during the first year. For that reason, the team has a unique unity and dedication that stands out. (Which was why I also wanted to go back.) Business should know that for every minute a breastfeeding mother spends catering for her child unbothered, she will give back in folds efficiently.

But until the bill is passed, pack up your cooler bag with your gears as well as your baby’s picture for better milk production.

This first appeared on The Standard on 9 July 2017

Image: Mom.me

The journey continues…

We were sure our daughter was being treated by one of the best doctors in town. Well, we never liked the clinic and the long queue but we felt we were in the right place for her regular checkups and other medical needs she may have. But oh, were we wrong!

A few months ago, we decided to go to another clinic nearby when our daughter caught a cold. It was the most opportune experience that reminded us what a ‘good’ clinic should look and feel like. But most importantly it was fortunate because the doctor was able to discover something  that was never looked into before. Of course like most parents, we were frowning upon her suspicions because she looked very well to us and she started asking us questions that I don’t like being asked.

‘Is she saying baba and mama?’

‘Has she started walking?’

‘Not even holding onto furniture?’

But when she started pointing out her observations like how her eyes looked small and dejected and how her skin was relatively dry, it picked my attention and we went along with the blood tests. To our surprise, the tests showed that she has hypothyroidism, which in simple terms mean that her thyroid gland was not producing enough thyroid hormone.

The gland produces crucial hormones for almost every aspect of development and growth. Hence, when the gland is under-active, symptoms like fatigue (slower heart rate and loss of muscle tone), slow growth, coarse and dry skin, droopy eyelids, swollen face and a number of other issues follow. However, many of the symptoms are overlooked because they are mostly part of the normal growth process. But it is paramount that treatment start as soon as possible to avoid the adverse effects it can bring. Fortunately, in most cases, hypothyroidism is treatable with thyroid hormone replacement pills that are given daily (which can be life long).

While it is mandatory to do a routine testing for thyroid function in newborns in most countries, it is optional in Kenya. Considering the number of specialists that have seen our daughter from the day she joined this world, and the pediatrician she has been seeing, it was disappointing to know that it took another doctor to diagnose her right. It took almost three months for her extremely low levels of thyroid hormones to be in the normal range. Since she started taking the pills, she has shown a number of positive improvements that clearly show us that we are on the right track.

The side effects of hypothyroidism can be irreversible when treatment is not started as early as possible. It can lead to growth and developmental defects including general learning disability. To know that could have been a possibility not because we have not provided our daughter the treatment she needed but because her case was not looked thoroughly because of an overworked and busy doctor was saddening. This is an example to show that expensive medical services does not always guarantee best medical treatment. It takes keen parents and medical professionals to understand the case and find a solution. If you feel something is not right, seek a second opinion. You will relieve yourself from the numerous what-ifs later on.

This first appeared on The Standard on 2 July 2017

Who takes care of the baby more?

My dad has been very much involved in our daily lives since I can remember.  He was and still is an amazing father. He played games with us, he helped us with our homework, he ruffled our hair and kissed our foreheads twice every day…in short, I used to think he was the best and mom, the nitpicker (Sorry Etete). But years later I came to realize that he never did the other important things parents do. He never gave us a bath (except that only time she was in hospital after giving birth to our younger brother) while mom continued to come to the ‘bathroom’ for years to check if we have washed ourselves well. While mom checked our lunchboxes to see if we have eaten the food she had packed for us, dad checked our books for home works. And now that I am a mother, I also remembered how he would run around the house playing with my brother but the moment he wanted to feed, he would hand him over to mom.

‘To know that a man is a father is generally less of an indication of how he lives his life, than it is for a mother.’ When I came across this quote a few weeks ago, all that observation from my childhood and from my personal experience came back to me. I understand times have changed and fathers are more involved in child upbringing but it is not a secret that responsibilities are not split evenly. Even with ‘stay at home dads’ and paternity leave, it is obvious that mothers have much of the burden especially in the first few years.

But why?

It is a simple math – the more you spend time with the baby, the more you bond. It is natural for the mother to understand the different cries or needs and react accordingly better than a father who sometimes changes diapers or does bottle feeding – after all they have been together for 9 months.

The traditional gender roles we have been living through also have an effect on how we lead our lives today.  Despite both parents working a full time job, the mother by default takes the role of managing the house and taking care of the baby which usually draws resentment when she is burnt out. These gender roles are more pronounced when the mother is a stay at home mother, in which case she takes on the full roles.

And now?

However, we are more conscious about sharing baby-care responsibilities today. Most fathers understand the burden of baby-care and dedicate time to contribute their share of parenting. But the amount of workload they have or our high expectations might interfere with their interest to help in. Often times, we expect them to do things the way we do it and our critical remarks can most likely make them refrain from offering any help.

As much as my husband might not have woken up every night to feed our daughter, he was there for almost all medical checkups or  to take her to another room when I wanted to rest but above all the fact that he recognizes and appreciates the demands of being a mother means so much to me.

This first appeared on The Standard on 25 June 2017

4 Common annoying habits of toddlers

I had a classmate from primary school who we nicknamed The excavator because of his extreme nose picking habit. The worst part is what he does afterward. (Gross, I know.) Unfortunately, he carried that to high school until he became a loner. This is an extreme case but bad habits picked at a young age can grow into teenage years if they are not broken at the right time.

Toddlers can test your patience when it comes to the annoying habits they can develop as they explore their bodies and the world especially when they decide to do their things in front of an audience. Understanding why they do them and when to stop them can help in breaking these habits easily. Here are some of the most common habits.

Sucking the thumb

It might be one of the cutest thing to see your child sucking her thumb in the womb but it can be annoying when they keep at it for years. It is a natural self-comforting method when they feel hungry or sleepy but it is no cause for an alarm.

My daughter enjoys sucking her fingers – fortunately I still find it adorable but when it is too much, I hold her hands and pretend to dance with her. The best way to break this habit is to ignore that wrinkled thumb and the drool soaked neckline and to offer other distractions.  But if the habit grows into childhood, it might affect the primary teeth alignment depending on how they put the fingers in the mouth.

 

Nose picking

It is another way passing time for bored toddlers. Children with allergies are most likely to have this habit as that can give them something to pick on. It is not harmful but it can help in spreading germs. It can also be embarrassing for you as it is a socially unaccepted habit. But the way to help them break this bad habit is by not nagging them about it because the more you nag them, the more they will do it.

Touching private parts

This is a natural body exploration curiosity that makes them feel good but most dreadful to the parents. Children have no sense of privacy so they might decide to do it irrespective of where they are which can be very embarrassing. But your reaction will determine how they will feel about themselves. So swallow the harsh words and try to ignore it but distract their attention every time their hands wander to their private parts.

Repetition

Don’t get me wrong I love baby songs but when you daughter loves the Happy birthday song and she is joyfully listening to it for the umpteenth time, it can be annoying. This is a perfectly natural way of  learning new things for children. They pick words, colors and rhythms from the repetition so it is better to share their joy by singing and reading with them until they grow up and start choosing different options.

Toddlers drop annoying habits as they grow older because they will find other ways of comforting themselves or passing time. The most successful way to break these bad habits is to understand that they are natural, to be patient and ignore them no matter how embarrassing or disgusting they may be, to distract them with other things, and reward them when you see positive changes.

This first appeared on The Standard on 18 June 2017

Tandem nursing

Oh God, no!

‘Could I be pregnant?’

That question was ringing in my head when I was experiencing the common early symptoms of pregnancy a few months ago. I was so stressed that I even feared taking the home pregnancy test. The idea of getting another child with a small  baby at hand was suffocating me.

How will I deal with two crying babies at once?

How am I going to afford their needs?

How will I breastfeed two babies at the same time?

Wait, how will I even hold two babies at once?

Have I ever seen mothers of twins breastfeeding before?

My curiosity took me to the internet in the middle of the night and there I learned about tandem nursing.

Most mothers, including me, who breastfeed exclusively are under the assumption that exclusive breastfeeding can serve as an effective birth control method. Some of these mothers get the shock of their lives when they discover that they are pregnant and have to juggle two small babies. One major challenge these mothers face is the deciding to continue breastfeeding during their pregnancy. Imagine all the hormonal changes your body was going through during pregnancy- the painful breasts, the nausea, the back pain and oh the mood swings. These will surely affect one’s decision to continue breastfeeding as that can affect milk production.

Researches have shown that a significant number of children self wean during pregnancy because of the decreased milk production. But for mothers who decide to continue, the act of breastfeeding a toddler (or a baby) and an infant (not necessarily at once) is what is referred as Tandem nursing.

As long as a mother is well- nourished, her body has the capacity to produce the necessary needs of her baby and the unborn child. One of the most common problems tandem nursing mothers face is nipple soreness which is mainly due to the hormonal changes. Decreasing milk production can also make the nursing baby to suckle more and thus cause sore nipples. This can make nursing uncomfortable and the mother, moody.

There is also the fear of over using the colostrum by the older child but despite experiencing decrease of milk production at the beginning, it will pick up towards the end of pregnancy so the newborn will have sufficient amount of the nutritious milk he/she will need at the time of birth until the mature milk follows. Once the newborn joins the scene, the older child may self wean due to the change in the taste of breast milk and the mother might have to deal with sibling rivalry.

Tandem nursing can help a mother keep that special connection with her child but it can also become an uncomfortable experience in which case, she has to find ways of working around it such as limiting breastfeeding time and opting for cuddling only or topping up with cow milk and more solid foods. Tandem nursing seems to also help with morning sickness while for some it worsens the nausea.

When the older child is under 18 months, mothers are most likely to continue nursing despite its challenges because the benefits weigh more.  But as demanding as it may be, it can be quite a special experience to continue breastfeeding both until the need for weaning arises. Do you think you have what it takes to do tandem nursing?

This first appeared on The Standard on 28th May 2017