My YDS is currently 5 mos old and is basically exclusively breastfed (we've been slowly introducing solids in very small amounts over the last couple days). My problem is with his extreme distractibility. I need some suggestions from mommas who have been through this before. I can barely get him to nurse all day long. The only decent nursing sessions I can get during the day are after or during naps. Other than that, forget about it. This has resulted in him waking every three hours during the night.
The biggest distraction for him: his brother. With ODS, I was able to overcome the distractibility phase by nursing in a very quiet, dark room. This isn't a possibility now because ODS doesn't like to be by himself in a room. If I took YDS into my bedroom to nurse, ODS would insist on following. When I try to nurse YDS in the same room, ODS comes over and talks to him or generally bothers him.
The reason I'm concerned is because I feel my milk supply might be taking a hit. When I pump for the cereal I give him occasionally, I can barely pump an ounce per side. This is unusual for me since I've battled with oversupply for the entire beginning of his life (hence gaining 4 pounds in his first month). I don't pump for long (maybe 5 minutes?), but I stop because nothing else is coming out.
I'm not sure what to do. I was originally just going to wait out this phase, but now with the perceived decrease in supply, I'm not sure if that's a good idea.
Re: Distractible baby
I am almost in the same exact situation as you are. I have an almost 3 year old, and my 3 month old has a real problem nursing anywhere but my bedroom. My 3yr old is really energetic and loud. :) So here is what we just started doing. I have my 3yr old stay in the living room, which she doesn't love, but my door is open and I can see her just fine. I arrange my day so that she always has something fun to do. For example, morning nursing time she is watching her favorite show (has to be something she loves). Then the next time I give her a snack at her little table, she eats at the table always while I'm in nursing. Then the next time I'll do it while she's eating her lunch at the big table, then while she is having quiet time in her room, etc.
I specifically bought a whole bunch of very fun educational toys for her to play with on her own that she only gets during "quiet time". So far it's working well! She can go about an hour. Not sure how old your ODS is? My ODD plays with some really cool blocks, crayola color wonder art stuff, a geo board, a magnet shape board, stuff like that. She loves to build so I even got her a ton of old sewing spools for stacking. I am making one box of fun stuff for each day of the week, and then each month I'll change out what's in the boxes. I'd say pick a theme along whatever your ODS likes best or what he's really interested in and then branch out from there.
Hang in there, honestly I know it's hard. My baby starts crying sometimes if my older daughter comes in to the room when we're nursing, because she is pretty loud although she's just a happy energetic little girl.
The other thing is that pumping might not be a good indication of supply. I can never get much from pumping even if I'm really full, but I know my supply is fine because my baby is very happy and growing well. I've never been able to produce a lot through pumping. Hopefully your supply is ok! :)
Re: Distractible baby
I don't have an older child, so I can't address that part of your post, but I can remember that around 5-6 months, distractibility seemed to hit a high with my now 9 month old DD, and I also felt that my supply was suddenly suffering after many months of oversupply. I was doing everything I could to nurse DD as often as possible because each session was so brief. So, before AND after naps. I wonder now if the change in supply (it got better, btw) wasn't actually related to a growth spurt? DD seemed to be "drinking me dry" in a sense. Also, the sleeping may not be related to the milk either. From what I remember, my friends and I were all going through a similar situation when our babies were around that age, regardless of how/what/how often they were being fed.
Anyway, I'm glad PP was able to give you more relevant advice about handling this with a toddler in the house!
Re: Distractible baby
Very similar experience here with having oversupply, then having days where I feared my supply was dropping due to extreme distractibility (no older siblings, just...ANYthing around her was more interesting than nursing). I think my supply did really dip a couple of times, but it has always come back--one advantage of an (over)abundant milk supply is that it seems to be very responsive and apt to pick back up again if baby demands it more. Especially if you are pumping a little for cereal---that's what I did, thinking it couldn't hurt pumping maybe 5-10 mins in the morning. Up until this very week I was in the same boat: LO refusing to eat unless asleep during the day, which meant only 3 decent sessions and for the rest she filled up at night. Exhausting and so frustrating, since I was completely out of ideas for how to get her to focus and eat more during the day. I tried everything suggested and nothing worked. Now in the past 3 days or so, without any rhyme or reason she is actually consenting to eat again while awake, and going more like six hour stretches at night. It is a rough phase, and I so feel your frustration especially with the toddler to care for. I hope the tips Karrie gave help. I'm storing those at the back of my mind for future use, for sure.