How To Feed Twins By Yourself: Bottle Feeding Or Breastfeeding
One of the most stressful parts of being a new mom (or dad) of twins is figuring out how to feed twins by yourself.
Whether you’re bottle feeding twins or breastfeeding twins there are some great hacks out there to help you navigate feeding your twins at the same time and also separately.
In this post I will review what to expect when feeding twins by yourself through the first 6 months.
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How To Feed Newborn Twins
When your twins are first born they will not be capable of being on a schedule yet. During the first 6 weeks of their life be prepared to feed them on demand.
This means, sometimes you will be feeding them separately and sometimes they will be hungry at the same time.
Yes, it is a lot of work and this time in life will probably be a blur. But, I wanted to point out that your twins will not always eat at the same time. Before my twins arrived I, for whatever reason, just had this idea in my head that they would both eat together.
It’s not necessarily bad that you feed your twins separately. By feeding them separately, you will gain a lot of practice and figure out the best method for feeding each baby quickly.
Without the ability to support their heads, the newborn phase can be the trickiest for feeding.
One hack you can try during the newborn phase, which we did at our house, was to offer milk to both babies even if only one seemed hungry.
This worked sometimes and helped keep them on similar schedules. But, of course, there were days they just didn’t want to eat at the same time.
Twin Baby Items Needed For Feeding
Before I get into the details on how to feed twins by yourself. I want to point out the twin baby must haves, taken from our twin baby registry checklist post, to make life much easier for feeding your twins alone.
I thought it would be best to put this in a list and then throughout the post I will refer back to some of these items. These are the items and quantities I recommend to specifically aid you in feeding your twins by yourself.
- (1) Twin-Z Pillow
- (1) Single Breastfeeding Pillow (only need if breastfeeding)
- (16) 4 oz. Bottles – enough to get through the day and just clean once
- (16) Burp Cloths
- (4) Silicone Bibs
- (2) Booster Seats or Clip On High Chairs
- (10) Plastic Spoons
- (10) Plastic Bowls
Bottle Feeding Twins At The Same Time
As I mentioned, even though there will be times you feed your twins separately. There will also be times you will feed your twins simultaneously.
Now, if you have help, and your twins are bottle feeding, it’s not a problem. One person feeds twin A and the other person feeds twin B.
But, this is unlikely to always be the case. There will be times you will be all alone. Or, you might be alone most or all of the time.
So, how do you bottle feed twins by yourself? I highly recommend using the Twin-Z pillow. You can use this pillow to give your twins head support while drinking their bottles.
Make sure you find a good spot to stage this pillow and that it’s close to where the bottles will be prepared. You will also want to set up a spot that allows you to sit comfortably while you feed your babies. For more details, check out how to use the Twin-Z pillow for bottle feeding.
Preparing Bottles For Twins
Should you prepare formula bottles ahead of time or make them on demand? This is a matter of preference.
Personally, I preferred to prepare them on demand because I found it faster than warming up a bottle from the fridge.
I always had bottled or filtered water out on the kitchen counter at room temperature. I would measure the water needed in a bottle then just add the formula powder, then mix, and my bottles were ready to go.
If you prefer to prepare bottles ahead of time for the day or if you are pumping for twins and have breast milk bottles, you will need to refrigerate them. Formula and breast milk are only good for 1 hour out of the fridge.
When I was using breast milk bottles from the fridge, I would fill a pint glass halfway with hot tap water. I would then allow the tap water to get as hot as possible.
Next, I would put the bottle from the fridge in the pint glass for 1 to 2 minutes, swirling the bottle a couple times while it’s warming. This would warm the bottle enough to the point where my babies would drink it.
Breastfeeding Twins Alone
Breastfeeding twins is definitely a big undertaking. I know for me I was trying to breastfeed premature twins and this was extremely difficult. But, this is not to say it cannot be done.
There are many twin moms out there that have successfully breastfed their twins. If you are struggling, do not get discouraged and do not be afraid to do what works best for you and your family. Even if that means introducing formula. You always have the option of feeding a combination of formula and breast milk too.
If you are breastfeeding twins, during the newborn stage, just like with bottle feeding, there will be times you feed your twins at the same time and there will be times you will end up breastfeeding them separately.
As with bottle feeding, if you have one twin that you know is hungry, I recommend offering your breast to the other twin at the same time. If it works out, great, if not, you will have to do two separate feeding sessions.
One advantage to breastfeeding your twins separately is that it will really give you the time and practice to establish a good latch with each baby. This is vitally important to being able to exclusively breastfeed twins successfully.
Additionally, it is important to know the best position for breastfeeding twins at the same time. I will not go into that information here, but definitely check out this video on tandem breastfeeding twins to give you an idea of how to position your twins.
Breastfeeding Twins Rotation
Now, with twins, when you breastfeed, you will want to rotate which twin starts on which breast for each feeding. Additionally, during each feed, you will stop halfway through and change the breast each twin is drinking from.
The switchover to a different breast is a good time to burp your babies. You can keep this rotation going whether you feed your twins at the same time or separately for each feed.
There are two reasons for these switches. First, you might have one breast that makes more breast milk. This way your twins will both have the chance to get milk from that breast first.
Additionally, there could be a difference between your babies’ sucking reflex strength. By changing breasts both breasts will receive an equal amount of sucking reflex to maintain an appropriate supply on both sides.
I also want to add that you shouldn’t beat yourself up if you mess up the sides and rotations sometimes.
If you want to make sure you do it right (most of the time), I would just keep track on a sheet of paper after each feeding or keep notes in your phone. There are also apps available for tracking feedings and sleep, but I personally think it’s easier to just write it down yourself.
How To Burp Twins At The Same Time
So, I am actually not aware of a way to burp twins at the same time. When my babies were newborns I would stop twice, if bottle feeding and once if breastfeeding, to burp them.
If they were being fed simultaneously, I would just stop and burp them one at a time. They never got too fussy about their bottle being taken away. Since they had some milk in their little tummies they were okay with the break.
Unfortunately, I do not know of some secret hack for burping twins at the same time. But, I can say from personal experience, it’s not a burden to just burp each twin separately.
Twins Feeding Schedule
Once your twins have grown out of the newborn phase, it will be time to start working on establishing a schedule. Your goal will be to put your twin babies on the same schedule.
Anywhere from 3 months to 6 months old you should be able to get them on the same feeding and sleeping schedule. From this point on, feeding will get easier because they will eat at the same time.
At this point in time, you will be a seasoned pro at feeding your twins, simultaneously, by yourself.
Additionally, as your babies get older, they will eat less often and feeding sessions will be shorter. I think this is important to understand because having newborn twins is especially draining. So, it’s important to be aware that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
How To Feed Twins Solids At The Same Time
The last hurdle you will cross is starting solids with your twins. I swear it seemed like I had just gotten into the swing of things with a schedule, when it was time to throw solid food in there too.
Depending on their readiness signs you may or may not start solids at the same time. For our family, we actually started solids with our twins a few weeks apart.
This was not a big deal because they still had bottles at the same time. Solids are fed between milk feeds so it didn’t mess up the schedule we had worked hard to establish.
One thing I wish I did differently was buy booster seats or clip on high chairs, instead of typical high chairs. Having two high chairs in our kitchen just took up so much space! Another bonus for the booster seats or clip on chairs are that you can travel with them.
When we got to the point of feeding our twins solids at the same time. I found it easiest to put their food in one bowl. Then, I would just rotate between each baby for each spoonful of food.
Another way to tackle feeding your babies solids at the same time is to choose baby led weaning with your twins. With this method your babies will feed themselves from the get go.
How To Feed Twins At The Same Time
In summary, feeding twins by yourself can seem like an overwhelming task, However, as you get more and more practice, it will become second nature.
On those hard days, just remember it will get easier each step of the way through your twins’ first year. Before I go, here is a list of things to remember about how to feed twins by yourself.
- When your babies are newborns they will not always eat at the same time.
- Whether you are bottle feeding or breastfeeding the Twin-Z pillow will be your best friend. It is immensely helpful for tandem feeding your twins.
- Don’t forget to take breaks during feedings to burp both babies.
- Work towards getting your twins on the same schedule around 3 months old.
- You can use the same bowl and spoon and rotate spoonfuls of food when feeding your twins solids. Or, try baby led weaning.
I hope this post helped give you a better understanding of how to feed twins by yourself. I’m not going to lie and tell you it will be easy. But, you will get through it, and as the months go by, the good news is that it DOES get easier.
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