The arrival of a new baby can make older siblings feel mixed emotions — since they are used to getting all the love and attention from mom and dad, they now have to adjust to sharing with the newest addition to the family. There are ways to help deal with sibling rivalry and for Miriam Quiambao, it is tandem feeding her second son, Elijah, 2, and Ziki, 2 months.
Tandem feeding, the act of nursing two or more children of different ages, whether simultaneously or taking turns, provide positive benefits to the mom and children. This includes improved sibling relationships, easier childcare, and better health.
In an Instagram post, the former beauty queen and host shared that she had started to notice that Elijah “has been showing signs of regression and competing with Ziki for my attention.” Apart from asking for “lambing,” her toddler son had also been reaching for her breast, even if he had already weaned from feeding back when Miriam was still pregnant with Ziki.
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“Honestly, there are times when I feel distressed and overwhelmed especially when Elijah would want to muscle his way even while Ziki was feeding, but I managed to get them with one on each breast and now, he seems satisfied with the arrangement,” shares the mom. In Miriam's photo accompanying the caption, the siblings can be seen tandem feeding.
According to the host, this new way to bond has made Elijah more considerate and caring toward his brother. She notes, “I have also seen an improvement on how Elijah is more sweet with Baby Ziki, stroking him on the forehead, or the back and it just melts my heart to see him gentle like this. He also is learning what it means to share and taking turns. Baby Ziki doesn’t seem to mind for as long as his Kuya is not stepping on his legs.”
Aside from the special bond that has formed between the siblings, Miriam says that tandem feeding also provides a lot of health benefits, giving Elijah an “immunity boost.” While she's not sure how long she can keep up with breastfeeding both of them — she says she gets very hungry and thirsty more often — she hopes she can sustain them both until Elijah is 3 years old.
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Despite the challenges that come with breastfeeding — she had recently recovered from mastitis — Miriam continues to encourage fellow moms and show them that they are not alone in the journey. She's also open to tips to make her tandem feeding work!
“For now, this is where we are at,” the mom says.
Additional research by Fatima Castillo
Miriam takes us through her second Cesarean section here.