How do you bottle feed newborn twins?

(29 Posts)
TitusAndromedon Thu 14-Jan-16 14:30:56

The title is a bit simplistic, obviously. I've got eight week old twin boys. I'm struggling at feeding times during the day when I'm on my own because I can't seem to keep everyone happy. I inevitably have one crying furiously while I'm trying to feed and wind the other, and then vice versa. They are quite slow and messy eaters, so feeding often takes more than an hour between the two of them during the day: an hour of them crying frantically, scratching at me, being a bit sick, etc. I absolutely hate it and feel like there must be a better way. I also worry that their brains won't develop properly because their needs aren't being met. They're due a feed in thirty minutes and I'm dreading it! Any tips?

Runandbecome Thu 14-Jan-16 20:12:13

Try dual feeding them - put a pilow / cushion either side of you on a sofa with them lying vertically on each pillow. Put bottle in at same time then wind one by one once they've taken a few ounces each. One just has to wait to be winded but if their hunger is satisfied they may not cry as much.
It takes a bit of practice but makes it much quicker. Hope that helps x

ewbank Thu 14-Jan-16 20:19:19

Two bouncy chairs, bottle in each hand....

Boredofthinkingofnewnames Thu 14-Jan-16 20:49:33

Get a couple of fisher price infant to toddler rocker chairs. They're more supportive than bouncy chairs if they're small. Sit on the floor in the middle of them.

Or sit in the middle of the sofa with a head propped on each thigh.

Or sit on the floor and prop them on cushions.

It gets much easier when they can hold it themselves!

TheSecondOfHerName Thu 14-Jan-16 20:57:14

Sit cross-legged. Baby 1 leaning on the inside of your right thigh, being fed with your right hand. Baby 2 leaning on the inside of your left thigh, being fed with your left hand.

Mine needed winding half-way through a feed, and I learned to roll a baby over with one hand (so they were leaning on their front over my thigh rather than on their back) so I could wind one without interrupting the other.

When they get too big to lean on the inside of each thigh, you can still sit cross-legged, but with baby 1 leaning on the outside of your right thigh being fed with right hand, and baby 2 leaning on the outside of your left thigh being fed with your left hand.

Artandco Thu 14-Jan-16 20:59:38

Yes do the leg thing.

On the sofa you can sit with legs down, baby head on each leg and their bodies on the sofa laying down. Bottle in each hand

OverandUnderandThrough Thu 14-Jan-16 21:03:54

I used to sit on the sofa and lay one twin on the sofa, right next to my right leg, parallel to it. Feed that one with right hand. The other twin would be lying on my chest, head at the top iyswim, then feed that one with left hand. Wind both half way through, one at a time. I found that one of my twins actually winded better if they went second, so I'd tended to always do that in the same order.

TitusAndromedon Fri 15-Jan-16 12:41:31

Thanks for the tips! Lots of good ideas to try.

Katria Fri 15-Jan-16 18:02:49

I have 3 month twin girls, they refuse to feed on bottle, they only love breasts feeding only, what can I do?

GuybrushThreepwoodMP Sun 17-Jan-16 20:40:42

I have a twin feeding pillow. Feed both together and then burp together.

Alternatively carseats or bouncy chairs next to you. You sit on the floor leaning against sofa with one baby either side.

My dh tends to sit with his legs up on the sofa and put the babies in the middle, one leaning their head on each thigh.

Or lastly I prop them up on the bed against pillows near the edge. I kneel on the floor and feed both. I try to burp them both at the same time or one at a time. Mine are 12 weeks and it's all good so far.

For any of these positions, I concert both babies in a giant muslin so it doesn't matter how messy they are.

RubySlippers77 Tue 19-Jan-16 09:23:48

There are some great ideas here Titus - the only thing I'd add is to maybe try feeding them little and often so you can do it separately, if that's any help? I have 15 week old boys and often have one in a chair or on a gym mat whilst I feed the other a couple of ounces at a time. They're both slow eaters but as long as they can see me and each other they seem happy!

helhathnofury Tue 19-Jan-16 14:50:49

I had a 'v' pillow across my lap and babies propped up with it either side. As they got older just rested head on my leg, found doing it in bouncy seats made my arms ache!

TitusAndromedon Wed 20-Jan-16 14:19:00

I've tried a few different positions now. It seems to work reasonably well if I have my legs crossed and prop one up with my left knee, and then the other with my right thigh. It is a bit of a juggling routine sometimes, though. Well, in fairness, it seems like every aspect of parenting twins is a juggling routine. They've also got very big very quickly, so it's getting hard to hold them both at once. I need them to stay my tiny babies for a bit longer!

Artandco Wed 20-Jan-16 14:22:41

Great. Also it gets easier as bigger as they can support own heads easier and spit bottle out less

RubySlippers77 Wed 20-Jan-16 15:15:52

I met a twins mum yesterday who has two Out N About Nipper double buggies - one for outside and one for using inside to feed her twins in, she said it put them at the perfect angle to feed both at the same time!

TitusAndromedon Wed 20-Jan-16 22:09:26

Ha, Ruby! Given how much we spent on the pushchair, I can't see my husband being on board with that approach!

ceeveebee Wed 20-Jan-16 22:24:18

Here's my DH demonstrating how we used to do it!

TitusAndromedon Thu 21-Jan-16 21:41:49

Love it! I might have to show that to my husband. He takes the Friday night shift and I think he finds it very stressful. I inevitably end up helping with at least one feed, but I don't mind because I'm so grateful for more than three hours' sleep at a time.

Mumoftwoyoungkids Thu 21-Jan-16 21:51:19

I had a friend who had twins. She was breastfeeding but she really hated feeding them at the same time (it made her feel like a cow!) so she got them onto slightly different schedules so one would get hungry about half an hour before the other.

ceeveebee Thu 21-Jan-16 21:55:13

We used to have shifts - they'd go to sleep about 7pm. I'd go to bed early say 9pm then DH would wake them and do a feed around 11pm.
Then I would do any night wakings while DH slept - usually they'd wake around 3am so I'd get say 5/6 hours sleep.
DH would change their nappies and bring them to me in bed before he went to work at 7/8 ish (We combine fed and I would bf in the morning)

We did put them in their own room at 6 weeks but it was almost adjoining ours and had a single bed in which one of us would sleep in for at least part of the night, and we had cots on wheels so used to wheel them in and out of various rooms as needed.
All seems so long ago now, mine are starting school this year!

TitusAndromedon Fri 22-Jan-16 20:36:14

Bizarrely, I seem to have hit on the perfect solution. We haven't been using dummies, but last night, when one woke for a feed at 3am, I popped the dummy in and went downstairs to make the bottles. He dozed while I fed his brother and settled back to bed easily. I've been able to use it during the feeds today as well. It's a revelation, and I feel quite silly for not having used one before.

Interestingly, Mum, I quite liked tandem breastfeeding, but unfortunately wasn't ever able to get my supply to a point where I could exclusively breastfeed them both. The first of many areas of regret and shame I imagine I'll experience as a parent!

AwfulBeryl Fri 22-Jan-16 20:44:54

Were your dts premium? Mine were and it was quite a struggle for a while - they were tiny, floppy and really slow sleepy feeders - typical for preemies.
It can be tricky, but it will get easier.
Twins are hard work, don't feel guilty about anything, you're doing just fine.

AwfulBeryl Fri 22-Jan-16 20:51:59

Honestly, one day you'll realise you're doing it and it's not a struggle anymore. You will find a way that works for you.
My milk supply was a bit dodgy too, I did mixed feeding and struggled more with the bottle feeds.

TitusAndromedon Fri 22-Jan-16 22:42:30

They were born at 37+1, induced at 36+6. They were six pounds each, so good weights, but they were very sleepy and I struggled to get them to latch on and actually feed rather than just fall asleep. In the end, we had to go back to hospital on day three because one had quite severe jaundice, and they had each lost about 15% of their body weight. From there, we got wrapped up in the hospital approach of formula topping up expressed breast milk. When we left, we were so nervous that they needed more than I could provide, and we were so obsessed with measurements, that we primarily formula fed with breastfeeding for comfort more than anything. Even if I fed each one for a half hour or more, they would still drain their bottles afterwards.

Looking back, I wish one of the midwives had suggested we supplement with formula while at home, just to stabilise their blood sugars, and then maybe they would have woken up more and fed better. One of my friends did that on advice from a midwife and now she's exclusively breastfeeding several weeks later.

I also wish I had left them in for another week. They are big and healthy now, but they have characteristics of babies born prematurely, like being sleepy and having herniated belly buttons. I was just so miserable and in so much pain, and the doctors said they were good weights and it would be fine. I feel so awful that I didn't give them the best possible start: I brought them out before they were ready and then I couldn't feed them properly. I'm so lucky because they are gorgeous and healthy and strong, but I hate feeling like I've failed them a bit already.

Sorry. I've deviated quite a lot from my original post!

AnnaMarlowe Fri 22-Jan-16 22:50:05

I have twins. They were EBF but beyond about 10 weeks I found it too difficult to tandem feed (kept getting cracks) so fed them one at a time. They both fed for up to an hour each so yes, I often had to listen to the other one screaming in their bouncy chair, while I rocked them with my foot.

I wanted to reassure you that despite this they have grown into healthy, happy and bright 8 year olds without the slightest indication of any problems in their brain development.

The early months of being a twin Mum can be very hard. It sounds like you're doing well.

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