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how to feed and wind two at once

(18 Posts)
tiggersreturn Mon 12-Sep-11 22:45:23

Dts are now 4 weeks old (born at 33+4) and are on mixed feeding which is a complete pain but I'd like to keep up until they're strong enough to take a full bf and then I can have the option of bf one at one feed and bottle the other and swap or some other combination.

I can sort of work out how to bf two at once bf although I'm not sure I'm prepared to after dt2 turning blue last week while bf. It would be much easier though if they could both take a bottle at the same time.

How big/old were your dts when you managed this and what's the best position to do it in? Links to pictures would be appreciated. Also how did you manage winding? Dt1 is about 51/2 lb and dt2 is about 4 1/2 lb (or at least they were at last weeks weighing).

All tips gratefully received.

Snowfalls108 Tue 13-Sep-11 13:18:21

Hi tiggersreturn,
It's not as tricky as you think it's going to be - I completely over analysed it but it's one of those things that you just need to get on with and then you'll pick up the knack!
One of my two also did the stopping breathing and turning blue thing - scariest moment of my life. Gave mouth-to-mouth and he was fine again (although we still had to have a 5 day stay in hospital while the concluded it was just one of those things!). For a few weeks afterwards we used a breathing monitor (Repisense Ditto) which helped give me peace of mind.
Have you got a feeding cushion? I would really recommend the EZ-2-Nurse one. You then have each twin like a rugby ball. I find that the easiest way to feed them both together. While they were little would also pop them on each leg so they were sitting up leaning against my tummy with boob in mouth. Does that make sense?
I don't want to sound preachy but I find it much easier just bf. The hospital made us give top-ups for a few days and I just found it made everything take twice as long. You also have to be far more organised to go out if you are bottle feeding and remember all the stuff, whereas bf you just need your boobs!
It also helps with the winding aspect. Breast feed babies are far less windy than bottle fed ones. If you have the cushion you can pick one baby up and wind as both your hands are free.
I do a bit of a combination of feeding them together and feeding them separately. When we're at home I do them together, when we're out and about I tend to do them on their own. You might get one that's a bit grumpy while you're feeding the other, but it doesn't take too long.
When you're using the cushion make sure you have everything set up and to hand before you start feeding - ie bottle of water, tv remote, phone. I found it easiest on the sofa as they I could lie the twins down on there, get myself in position and then lift the twins on.
Have you been shown how to lift a baby with one hand? If you pick them up with the front of their baby grown at the neck it will support their head enough.
I hope some of that helps. If you have any questions don't hesitate to ask.

Cerubina Tue 13-Sep-11 21:45:35

I struggled to figure out the winding side of things too. I was solely bottle feeding (albeit a mix of EBM and formula) from around 8-9 weeks and probably only attempted to feed them together a handful of times when there was an urgent need for food and I didn't think either would wait.

The bottle bit was easy enough (would place a cushion on either side of me, lie them on one each, face up and facing me, and stick the bottles in. What to do when one finished first and needed winding was always a bit tricky. I think I would stop the second one's feed and wind the first one, on the basis that the feed up to that point would have taken the edge off and should avoid too much screaming. I don't think you can really wind two at once and you're probably always going to have one finishing first.

But personally I found it far easier just to do them one after the other, even when it was 3-hourly and felt as though the whole 3 hours were taken up by feeding/burping/changing! By and large it was possible to do this by keeping them to a routine and always feeding them in the same order. They're now 6.5 months and I still do their bottles separately, but weaning is done at the same time.

One position you can try when they're a little older is to sit on the floor with your legs out in front of you, and place them perpendicular to you with their heads resting on your thighs. I saw a friend do this when her twins were probably about 12 weeks old.

tiggersreturn Tue 13-Sep-11 22:24:32

Thanks. I agree that it would be easier just to bf or just to bottle feed and I bf my ds until he was 11 1/2 months.

The reason I'm continuing with this is because I'd like to eventually either fully bf or swap feeds with them (ie one dt completely bf and other bottle and then switch each feed). We were unfortunately discharged on day 5 despite gestation which has caused all sorts of problems. We got re-admitted to anotehr hospital on day 10 because of lethargy in dt1 who was having trouble feeding and both were diagnosed with hypothermia and poor feeding, too much weight loss in dt1. Dt1 by this point was refusing to open his mouth for bottle or breast and although you can force a teat in it's impossible to bf a baby like that. After a few days in an incubator and on an ngt tube he still continued this. I tried and tried to feed him but he kept on pulling away. Eventually we managed to get a bottle in his mouth and got him to slowly eat just in order to get us out of hospital. We spent 11 days in which was pretty dreadful for me and far worse for my older ds.

In that time I did try to fully bf dt2 on hospital's advice that I had loads of milk but this resulted in weight loss of him and lethargy because he was just too little and without enough strength to manage this. The only way I could have done it would have been by expressing and frankly I'm finding it hard enough to look after 2 dts, an older ds and me without that thrown into the bargain.

After we got released I got a bf counsellor to come and help me with dt2 as he went on "strike" for about 20 hours and since I was terrified we'd get readmitted to hospital for dehydration/weight loss he was fed formula for that time which didn't help my supply at all. I wanted to try hand expressing to entice him but she suggested nipple shields to make it easier for him as she figured he just didn't have enough strength to feed. He loved them and they're good when he's very sleepy so after he managed it I tried it with dt1 while he was complaining with slightly open mouth that it was his turn and got one full of milk in his mouth and since then he's been willing to feed. However, willing means he'll occasionally open his mouth a little. Still hardly the best of eaters. So I don't think that dual feeding is really going to be an option until they're rather bigger and their weight is more stable.

No one's shown me how to pick them up one handed but they're still so light I can do it with one arm supporting their necks.

tiggersreturn Tue 13-Sep-11 22:25:11

Oh and it's a myth about windiness and bfeeding. My ds was far windier than either of these 2 and he was fully bfed.

tiggersreturn Tue 13-Sep-11 22:26:30

Thanks Cerubina - a night nurse showed me that position but the little one is not stable enough for that position yet.

PrincessScrumpy Wed 14-Sep-11 16:17:52

I'm having the same problem. At the moment I feed them seperately in the day and together at night so hand one to dh when they need winding. They're only 2 weeks though and dtd2 is only 4lb 10oz now so too floppy to make tandem feeding easy. A friend with twins told me it took her until about 4 or 5 weeks before tandem feeding well.

A good feeding cushion is essential. I have a v shaped one (larger than standard) for upstairs but am finding a big puffy standard pillow works downstairs at the moment.

dd1 was very windy despite being ebf so bfed babies do need winding.

MamaChocoholic Wed 14-Sep-11 16:30:35

Sorry, I don't know anything about bottle feeding. but with an ez-2-nurse cushion (2nd hand from ebay, they're silly expensive new), perhaps it would be possible to bf one hands free whilst bottle feeding the other? I certainly used it to bf one to sleep whilst rocking the other.

re tandem bf photos, see karen gromada's site

londonmum123 Wed 14-Sep-11 22:48:37

Hi there, I had all sorts of fun and games feeding my twins too (now 5 1/2 months). I also have an older daughter who I breastfed successfully so understand the frustration when you have two little babies that don't breastfeed easily.

I feel like I could talk about feeding twins until the cows come home but initially I found expressing (history of allergies spurred me on... complete pain...) and bottles easier than breastfeeding as I seemed to need to feed them 24/7 and they weren't strong enough to suck more than a couple of times without falling asleep (they were jaundiced and lost weight etc). They now both breastfeed although dt1 has only just started again (after 4 months of refusing..)

Anyway, mine weren't strong enough to feed unsupported at first either (and were small enough to pick up with one hand) so I would lay dt1 along my legs with their head at my knees. I would cradle dt2s head in the crook of my left arm while holding dt1s bottle. Then feed dt2 with my right hand. It sounds complicated. It really wasn't as they were so small. I could wind them both at the same time as, since dt1 had colic, she was better winded on her tummy across my knees. I would then wind dt2 (she has reflux and had to be kept upright) over my shoulder. If you're interested, I'm sure I have a photo to illustrate my poorly articulated description.

Now I just prop them up on cushions to feed them and wind them alternatively (I always wind the one with reflux first for fear of projectile vomit). Or breastfeed one and bottle feed the other.

tiggersreturn Thu 15-Sep-11 23:17:42

Londonmum you sound amazing for managing all of that. I'd love to see a photo.

londonmum123 Fri 16-Sep-11 20:59:20

Certainly not amazing! I've sent you a message

neverknowinglyunderdressed Mon 19-Sep-11 10:20:32

I used Podee bottles from 5 weeks and found them to be great. Pic of my two using them on my profile.

LensPens Sun 25-Sep-11 20:47:46

I'm bottle feeding mine- now 7 weeks old - and was taught to feed them together at all times (to get used to it, as it will get harder as they get bigger and move more). Key is to be on a sofa, have a square bed pillow on each knee at an angle and put each baby on a pillow facing me. Depends on sofa and where your legs are as to exact positioning of the babies but you want their heads higher than hips and you need to be able to control their heads with your hands obviously. Then use each hand to feed. And you can use your little finger to tickle their cheeks to keep them going! Depending on how big your sofa is, you might need extra pillows to support the square pillows (ie so the pillows don't move off your knees when the babies move).

I wind them every ounce. Advanced winding method, which I haven't yet mastered fully (!), is to break off feeding one, use that hand to get baby on that shoulder to wind, while carrying on feeding other baby. Otherwise have to stop both and wind on my knee. Takes a while in total and really have to concentrate but less time than feeding them separately.

tiggersreturn Mon 26-Sep-11 11:59:19

Who taught you lenspens?

LensPens Mon 10-Oct-11 20:45:24

oops - sorry - forgot to check this! V lucky as it was my maternity nurse who taught me.

missingmumxox Tue 18-Oct-11 23:42:01

I didn't bother feeding at the same time after I found a routine and they seemed to fall in with it, I did try it and found it took 45 minutes on average to do both, but an hour to feed singly, as in I could concentrate on 1 and get it done efficiently, rather that save myself 15 minutes, during the day I would Sky plus loads of TV and basically make a cup of tea, settle with DS2 as he was quicker to feed, drink my tea and watch the TV prog of choice, towards the end DS1 would begin to grumble, I would make another cup of tea, and settle down to feed him, I bottle fed, from 3 weeks as I was only producing 20-30 mls when I expressed, no tenderness at all, no engorgment and they still couldn't latch, they struggled with the bottle as well, but I didn't sweat on it, they where putting on weight and I also enjoyed the 1 to 1 time with them, by 4 1/2 months they had both learned to hold a bottle themselves, people where amazed and assumed I had prop fed, my aunt was a great advocate of that for her 3 singletons, I tried it once, took some photos I remember as they looked so silly, but quite frankly the stress of worry about them was ridiculious and I just hoovered over them for the whole time pulling the bottles out and winding them, until I realised I would rather sit, have my cup of tea and play with them with the TV in the background.

BertieBotts Tue 18-Oct-11 23:46:46

I'm afraid I don't have any twin-specific knowledge, but I know tiktok on the breastfeeding boards who is actually a breastfeeding counsellor is quite vocal about how winding is unnecessary, and we are unusual in this country in feeling that it is. She said on a thread the other day that babies will bring up wind just by being moved around, and that it's a huge source of guilt for new parents that they haven't burped the baby "properly" or at all, when actually, it doesn't make much difference at all.

I don't know if that helps at all blush

tiggersreturn Wed 19-Oct-11 11:04:41

Re winding I wish! Dt2 if I move him to my shoulder will produce a large burp followed by a stream of vomit. Dt1 will occasionally burp of own accord if left on his tummy. However if put on his back will not settle at all due to wind and you can't let them sleep on their tummies any more so what's to be done?

I've now got a position sitting on the sofa with each one having a head on one of my legs which works well for us and even dh can manage.

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