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twins night feeds

(18 Posts)
fuzzymummy Fri 22-Aug-08 15:25:59

Hi all , My sister has got 7 week old twins . She is alternating breast and bottle ie one baby gets breast feed and the other gets a bottle feed and then it switches at the next feed .She has no help at nighttime and is finding it hard to cope as one twin gets very upset if she has to wait for her feed . Any ideas how to make life a little easier at night would be great ?

twoboots Fri 22-Aug-08 16:20:22

I've seen pictures of mums bfing both twins @ the same time using the rugby ball hold.

2point4kids Fri 22-Aug-08 16:22:42

could she prop one baby up on a v shaped cushion and hold bottle with one hand while she bf's the other baby?

hattyyellow Fri 22-Aug-08 16:34:56

I used this, it's quite big but it's great for doing both at once.

jennyroper Fri 22-Aug-08 19:13:56

would she mind giving one a dummy while she feeds the other?

lindseyfox Fri 22-Aug-08 20:04:16

when I have night nannied for twins have always propped them up or put in baby bouners and dual fed them from bottle - mums who have breast fed have expressed so i can bottle feed and they can sleep - no point them paying me then having to wake to breast feed.

its hard work around 12wks a routine usually settles into place somehow.

dual feeding really is the way forward for her and even during the day, wake them at the same time and feed together. She must feel like she constantly feeding at the moment.

frumpygrumpy Fri 22-Aug-08 20:29:20

I'm going to copy this in to the daily thread we multiple mums use. We meet there to drink support each other. Lots of b/f advice for dual b/feeding and also tandem feeding with bottles. IMHO, mixing breast and bottle at this stage is hard on everybody. Her supply won't build up fully to where it needs to be.

FWIW I had two very different feeders and never successfully fed them at the same time with either method. But then I didn't have all the support then.........get her on the thread. Mars and Momma will have expert help for her/you.

frumpygrumpy Fri 22-Aug-08 20:30:43

here we are if she'd like to pop in I've also copied this thread into the daily one.

mears Fri 22-Aug-08 20:31:49

I would agree with the EZ pillow - my sister found it to be a life saver with her twins.

With the cushion she will be able to feed them comfortably both at once.

fuzzymummy Sun 24-Aug-08 11:43:17

Hi again , Thank you for all your suggestions . I have told her about the pillow you recommended . Things have moved on a little in that she has decided to give up on the breastfeeding altogether and she is still expressing a little but phasing it out . She gives the dummy to both twins but it doesn't really but the bigger one off crying effectively while waiting for her turn . She needs to get a system to feed both at the same time .

kitstwins Sun 24-Aug-08 12:49:37

I split fed my twins (forumula, EBM, breast) and although it wasn't as ideal as exclusively breast feeding them I'm very pleased with what I managed. I think a LOT of twin mothers give up on breastfeeding just because it's so damn difficult to do for two babies. Not impossible, but it needs cooperative babies with good suck reflexes, support and patience - all of which can be in short supply in the early days and which can feel like just TOO MUCH when you're sleep deprived and struggling with the whole twin marathon.

I was never able to make one twin wait whilst the other was fed and actually threw Gina Ford's twin book against the wall when I read her section on suggesting that. The idea that I'd have been able to feed one twin whilst the other screamed blue murder in her cot or in a bouncy chair was just laughable. It would have been incredibly stressful and whilst a dummy can help slightly the idea that she'd have sat there peacefully waiting for five or ten minutes.....

I had help in the night (husband and maternity nurse) and even we muddled through in extreme tiredness. However, on the occasions that I was on my own I devised a very cunning means of feeding both at the same time. It took some practice but it enabled me to feed both babies (premature so with a really weak suck reflex for the first couple of months - they took around an hour for each feed until they were ten weeks old!) at the same time. BAsically, I'd pop one baby in a bouncy chair or on the sofa next to me and place a cushion and some towels to the side of it. I'd then balance a bottle (either formula or EBM) to the side so the baby could turn its head slightly and feed. The bottle would be propped by the cushion/towels/muslin cloths and I could feed another baby (either breast or from a bottle). I'd swap the babies at each feed so they each had some 'me' time at the feed. It didnt' look particularly glamourous and it took some practise but, by God, it worked. When the baby prop feeding needed winding it would just turn its head away from the bottle and I'd be able to lift it up and wind it without dislodging the other baby. It's not orthodox and NO books recommend it but I know a LOT of twin mums through my local twinsclub who've done the same thing. YOu obviously can't leave your babies alone to do this and you need to be prepared if one of them has a little splutter whilst they're feeding, but it DOES mean that you can feed both at teh same time.

It took practice - a good couple of days of trial and error with towels and lots of muslin cloths bunched up but it did work and that was all that mattered. It's never particularly glamourous with twins and I think it's often about not much more than muddling through. But this might be worth a go and it would certainly enable her to keep going with breastfeeding/split feeding if she wanted to as it would free her hands for this.

If she can't get the hang of this I'd also recommend the EZ pillow as it's very stiff and offers good support for feeding both at the same time. I used it but struggled a bit as mine had very weak suck reflexes and it was very hard for both of them to stay latched on at the same time as they both needed a lot of support when feeding - if one broke off needing to be winded the other would fall off and all hell would break prop feeding worked better for me.

Hope this helps and sorry its an epic. I just know how hard it can be with the feeding in the early days.


jennyroper Sun 24-Aug-08 19:23:39

kitstwins that's so useful, thank you. I am expecting twins and am hoping to feed them both at the same time to save time. I have been thinking of different ideas with no real knowledge of what works. My right arm is paralysed so your solution of 'cushion muslin cloth' wedges will be good i think.
i have heard about this too
do you know anything about them and if they work well?

kitstwins Mon 25-Aug-08 13:16:45

Hi Jennyroper. Firstly, congratulations!

I think the prop feeding would work very well for you. When they were a bit older and I was on my own a fair bit I would prop feed both at the same time for some feeds (when I was exhausted). I'd put them both on the sofa with the bottles propped on towels/cloths/pillows/muslins and then sit in front of them with a cup of tea. When one needed a wind I'd pick her up and the other one would glug merrily away. I'd then let her finish the bottle and wind the other one. It worked really well and was far less stressful for me than trying to juggle two wriggling babies.

I never used the podee bottles but I know of people who have. They require a bit more 'suck' than normal feeding bottles but apparently babies get the hang of them quite quickly. Given that, they might be better for slightly older babies who are stronger and find feeding easier, but it would be something that you could build up to and keep trying with. It could work quite well in tandem with the prop feeding method.

You might get people recoiling in horror at the thought that you are meanly, not holding your babies whilst they feed, thus missing out on crucial bonding time, etc., etc. but I would ignore them. I found with twins that it was all about muddling through and, as such, All Bets Were Off!! My life was no longer 'normal' as it might have been with one baby and so therefore I needed to get inventive and devise ways and means to get me through. And although I didn't always get to have that nice one-on-one time when they were feeding, they got heaps of hugs and affection from me at every other moment and they seem non the worse for it. In fact, they are incredibly happy, jolly little girls.

Definitely try the podee bottles - they were my next port of call if the prop feeding hadn't worked and been such a success and I think given your arm paralysis it would be really helpful to have as much equipment that will help you with hands free feeding that you can.

HOpe this helps.

jennyroper Tue 26-Aug-08 20:21:10

hi kitstwins
i have ordered a podee bottle and am going to practice using it on my 22 mth old son. I think if it seems like a good thing I'll get another and try quite hard to get the babies going on them. As you say, anything to reduce stress is a winner!

neverknowinglyunderdressed Wed 10-Sep-08 17:01:20

Yes she can either tandem BF them. I couldnt manage this myself but 2 of my twin mum friends do/have. Or get some Podee bottles, which allow handsfree feeding, meaning both can be sat in bouncer chair etc and suck on a teat (like a dummy) attached to a tube attached to a bottle. Works a treat, cuts down on ear infections, and vomit too IME.

Porty Fri 19-Sep-08 22:15:43

Breast feeding them in tandem in the day was the only way I could manage to get out of the house :-) Having said that, I got into a crazy situation where I was feeding one of them twice a night and the other one once so for at least 5 months had ridiculous broken nights and if I had my time again I would say don't be a martyr to breast feeding as you really need your sleep to get through the days. But whatever you end up doing, it will get easier so hang on in there!

neverknowinglyunderdressed Mon 22-Sep-08 13:08:24

I used Podee bottles from about 4 weeks old. I think my babies prefered them to regular bottles. Less mess, less puke. A godsend really. Slightly more difficult to clean.

Rollmops Thu 25-Sep-08 13:08:18

Hi! I used the EZ pillow for my twins and it was fabulous. About to sell it on Ebay (if I get my act together and dt give me a moment to jump on my laptop). If you sister is interested, could sell it half price as it is in great condition. Bought for about £50, will sell for £25.
Sorry for posting it here but it really really helped me and I think every twin Mum trying to breastfeed should have one. Makes life soooo much easier and gives you little more time to sleep!!!!!

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