Bottle Feeding Twins
Bottle feeding twins is something you may choose to do or for various reason you may have no choice but to formula feed. Like going back to work or you just don’t have enough milk.
Some mothers opt to breastfeed while supplementing with a bottle.
If you decide to express your milk then a good breast pump will be needed.
Feeding twins using a bottle can be tricky business, choosing the right formula, how to position yourself and your twins, maybe you’re switching from breastfeeding to bottle feeding. One thing for sure is you will need to be more organized and have the right supplies of formula, plenty of bottles and nipples, and a sterilizing system.
What will you need for bottle feeding twins?
- 6 – 8 Bottles per baby. Its best to get the larger sized (8oz) bottles straight away, as you will need them later anyway, and it will save you money. There are also all different types of nipples to choose from, so if they are not feeding well on the ones you have maybe try out different ones.
- A bottle brush for cleaning, formula can get into all those nocks and crannies.
- A sterilizer, unless you have a dishwasher that does sterilization.
- And finally the formula of your choice.
How to bottle feed twins at the same time
When bottle feeding twins have a bouncer for each baby, you can then sit in between them easily holding each bottle.
Use cushions, pillows, small nursing pillows or whatever you have to prop up each twin. Then experiment with different position to see what suits you, maybe on the sofa or bed with you seated in between your babies.
You can get bottles that are hands free or bottle holders. If you don’t like the sound of no bonding time then you could alternate feeds with hands free for baby A and a cuddle feed for baby B. Generally these hands free options are for infants 3 months and over.
Once your babies are ready they will be able to hold their own bottle, this can happen as early as 7 months old.
How to Choose the Right Formula for You?
For a better indication of what would suit your babies discuss with your pediatrician what their nutritional needs are. An iron-fortified formula for infants which includes proteins, sodium, fats and sugars is similar to that of breast milk which most formulas are, but you should always read the label with care.
There are three types of infant formula:
- Ready to use
Choose one that fits your budget and everyday life. Ready to use formulas are expensive but are quick and easy while powdered milk is cheaper but more time consuming.
Most infant formulas are based on cow’s milk, and some baby’s may become irritable, have diarrhea or gas. There are lactose free formulas available to you, but you should talk this over with your healthcare professional before changing to any other type or brand of formula.
How to Prepare Bottles
Put a large pot of water on to boil. Put all the components into the pot, bottles, nipples, collars, caps and then boil for about 10 minutes. Once this has been boiling away for 10 minutes remove everything with tongs and put the bottles together. They are now sterile and ready to use.
Use a sterilizing system which is a faster and more convenient way to sterilize bottles. All you have to do is load them up and pop them in the microwave for a couple of minutes. (Follow the instructions to each particular system).
Sterilizing bottles and all the components (including the water) is necessary for twins born prematurely and newborns up to 3 months, especially if they have health issues. Otherwise hot soapy water and a bottle brush will do the trick. If you have a dishwasher, even better just pop them in and they’re sterilized. I know of many mothers who just use the dishwasher and water from the faucet.
However the World Health Organization recommends powdered formula to be made with sterilized bottles and water no matter what age they are.
See this article for more information: Guidelines for Baby Formula Preparation
Check with your pediatrician for their recommendations.
Boil the water for at least one minute and once cooled it’s ready to use. You could pre-boil a couple of liters and keep it in a pitcher with a lid or plastic cover over the top if you don’t have enough bottles for a whole day.The container you keep the water in will need to also be sterilized.
When making up the bottles, follow the instructions for the particular formula you have chosen. Wash your hands thoroughly before preparing the bottles.
Bottle Feeding Twins during the Night
One of the most important things to do is to prepare the bottles before you go to bed, there’s nothing worse than having to make bottles from scratch at 3 o’clock in the morning.
One thing my husband and I did was on his days off from work he would take over the night feeds, which was great for catching up on some sleep.
You can even get portable bottle warmers which can really help make night feeds easier.
If you are switching from breastfeeding to bottle feeding twins, maybe you plan on supplement feeding with a bottle of formula or pumped breast milk, this will take some practice just like it does with breastfeeding.
Bottle feeding twins is different to nursing as milk from a bottle is more free flowing and a lot let less work for your babies.
Always approach this with preparation and no stress or anxiousness on your part, your babies will be able to feel this.
How ever you choose to feed your twin babies, remember it’s a matter of preference, sometimes a case of having to bottle feed. Your little ones will love you just the same.
Breast or bottle feeding for twins – whichever decision you take, read our indepth guide on Breastfeeding twins