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How to Feed Newborn Twins

Updated on June 26, 2012

I Grow Twins! What's Your Superpower?

I Grow Twins! What's Your Superpower?
I Grow Twins! What's Your Superpower? | Source

We had our first set of twins on March 11, 2005. At thirty-seven weeks and five days, I had a scheduled c-section and my sons entered the world. Our first son weighed 6 lbs 3 oz and the second weighed 5 lbs 12 oz. That is right. Almost twelve lbs! Because I was fortunate enough to carry them nearly full term, their size and health were amazing. They did not go to NICU, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, and left the hospital when I did.

We were a bit overwhelmed when we got home. I remember looking at my husband and asking, “When did they last feed?” In the hospital, there was a dry erase board and we logged child’s name, when they ate and what amount. Now, we were on our own.

We needed to figure out: How to Feed Newborn Twins!

Sucking Reflex

The first consideration is health of the children. Regardless of being a multiple or singleton, if the baby was born premature, they may not yet have the sucking reflex. This reflex does not begin until about the thirty-second week of pregnancy and is not fully developed until about thirty-six weeks. Enfamil lists multiple ways to overcome the challenges of premature baby feeding.

In our case, they were able to suck immediately. We were fortunate.

Chart The Feedings

Regardless of method, it is important to chart your feedings. We kept a chart on table that contained the same information as at the hospital: baby name, time, amount eaten, and we added diaper detail (wet/dry). This was a good way to remember when the babies need to feed next and track over all consumption and bowel movements for the day. When you are feeding twins, you can get tired and forget.

Charting keeps the details available when your tired mind is slipping!

The second consideration is bottle or breast feeding.

Bottle Feeding Twins

We exclusively bottle fed our twins. Bottle feeding a twin can be just like a singleton, assuming you have two people. When my husband was home or I had other helpers, there is no difference between bottle feeding one or more babies. The challenge began when my husband went back to work and when the helpers went home. Now I was outnumbered. I had two choices. Either feed them one at a time or learn to feed them simultaneously.

Use Of The Car Seat Or Bouncy Seat

I have seen twins fed in their car seats or bouncy seats. Because they can be strapped in, they maintain their upright position and you do not have to hold the babies. By setting both car seats or bouncy seats in front of you, you can feed both babies. I did try this method a few times. Your arms will grow tired quickly!

The Boppy

Another method is to use the Bopp or a nursing pillow.. I set one Boppy against the side of the couch and had a baby sitting upright. The second baby would sit in front of me on my legs propped up. I fed one baby with one hand and one baby with the other. This became my method of choice until the babies could hold the bottles on their own.

Podee Bottles With My Quad Runabout Stroller!

I used the Podee Bottles while I pushed by Quad Runabout Stroller!
I used the Podee Bottles while I pushed by Quad Runabout Stroller! | Source

The Podee Bottle System

When our first set was seventeen months old, our second set of twins arrived. I delivered set two at thirty-eight weeks one day and they were 6 lbs. 4 oz. and 6 lbs. 9 oz. Prior to their birth, I stumbled upon the Podee Bottle System and have recommended to moms ever since. It works like a pacifier and the babies can essentially feed themselves. We started the second set on these bottles at age two weeks. They saved my life! I wished I had them for both sets! You need to check these bottles out!

Which Bottle Is Which

One of my sisters has a set of twins as well. She put a colored piece of yarn on each bottle. This way, when they went back into the refrigerator, they knew whose bottle it was. We used 2 different bottles. One of my sons had trouble with the nipples we used at the hospital. We used a traditional bottle and nipple for one son. Our second son used the Playtex bottle with drop ins.

Pick a method to help you remember which bottle is which.

Breastfeeding Twins Video

Breast Feeding Twins

Breast feeding is the second option. Breast feeding can be overwhelming and breast feeding multiples can be even more challenging. My fellow twin moms that breastfed recommend the EZ-2-Nurse Twins pillow or the NurseMate pillow. Both have large, firm surfaces and allow for simultaneous feeding.

The main difference between breast feeding a singleton vs. twins, is logistics. How do you hold both babies at the same time? There are a few holds that twins mom find most effective.

Breast Feeding Hold For Twins

There are three common nursing holds for twins:

  • Double Clutch/Football Hold
  • Double Cradle
  • Cradle/Clutch

Night Feedings With Twins

Regardless of how you feed your twins, you are going to be exhausted! Our first weeks were an absolute blur. Because I bottle fed, my husband and I both enjoyed the night feedings. We would each take a baby through the night. You were responsible for him the whole time. It was a crap shoot. Just because your baby was good last night and slept well, that was not a guarantee for the next night. I even recall my husband feeding my baby one time and not feeding his at all. He insisted on feeding the kids on the couch downstairs. I fed them in the chair in the upstairs hallway. We would cross paths on the stairs and not even say a word. We were super tired!

Overcoming Challenges of Twins

Twin Milestones: Set one is 18 months. Set two is 1 month.
Twin Milestones: Set one is 18 months. Set two is 1 month. | Source

Challenges of Twins

My husband and I agree that the first year of twins is the most challenging. I can’t even imagine how many bottles were cleaned and diapers we changed. At their first birthday, we gave each other a high five. We did it! That first year milestone was as much an accomplishment for us as it was for the babies!

Once the babies became toddlers, I felt like we began to reap the benefit of twins. I feel like I gave my children the most amazing gift ever: they were born with their best friend.

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    • Sharkye11 profile image

      Jayme Kinsey 3 years ago from Oklahoma

      Great article! I will bookmarking for future reference--we just found out we are having twins. Our daughter is such a handful...we are both nervous about caring for her and two more at the same time! Lol, but if you can do it with two sets of twins, I am sure we will survive. Thanks for the helpful tips!

    • twinstimes2 profile image
      Author

      Karen Lackey 4 years ago from Ohio

      Thanks again, BOGO Babies. Try the Podee bottles. They saved my life, too!

    • BOGOBabies profile image

      Emily 4 years ago from Florida

      Wonderful article! When my mom left me when my twins were two months old, my boppies saved me! I fed them in their boppies almost exclusively until they were ready for solids and eating in high chairs. They're still young, so I'm still holding their bottles for them--can't wait to give my arms a break. I can't imagine two sets under 2! God bless!

    • twinstimes2 profile image
      Author

      Karen Lackey 5 years ago from Ohio

      Thanks, Thundermama! I hope your friend and her babies in her tummy are doing well!

    • Thundermama profile image

      Catherine Taylor 5 years ago from Canada

      Fabulous article. I have a friend expecting twins and will be passing this article on to her. Thanks for sharing all this great detailed info!

    • twinstimes2 profile image
      Author

      Karen Lackey 5 years ago from Ohio

      I will add that to my car seat section since they are related. Thanks, angela michelle!

    • angela_michelle profile image

      Angela Michelle Schultz 5 years ago from United States

      When I would feed the twins I would put them in their bouncy seats, not on vibrate of course, and fed them at the same time. Well, except when they were little. One of them would get very angry if I had to take the bottle away, so at that time, I would always feed them separately.

    • twinstimes2 profile image
      Author

      Karen Lackey 5 years ago from Ohio

      Thanks, Susan. There are more gadgets out there now for twin moms which makes it a little easier. People frown at propping, but we did it, too. Sometimes you have to do what you have to do! Thanks for the vote up!

    • Just Ask Susan profile image

      Susan Zutautas 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Your hub has sure brought back memories for me. I used a chart too for feeding, diaper changes and how long their naps were. I'm not sure that the Boppy was around when my twins were babies. It looks to be a great help though. I would roll up receiving blankets and have one twin on the floor in front of me in his car seat, and then prop the bottle up with the receiving blanket. Hold the other twin and alternate back and forth with the car seat each feeding.

      Very useful article for feeding twins.

      Up and more!

    • twinstimes2 profile image
      Author

      Karen Lackey 5 years ago from Ohio

      Thanks, Kelly! While I don't want to rush our children's childhood, I was never sad when it was time to put away the bottles! Now we are potty training our youngest, age 2. I will not be sad when the potty chair goes away either! Thanks for reading!

    • profile image

      kelleyward 5 years ago

      I can only imagine how difficult it would be to feed twins! Thanks for this helpful hub. It is well written and organized. Voted up! Take care, Kelley

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