This is my second post in the Twin Baby Hacks series! Catch up on Twin Baby Hacks: Setting Up your Nursery. You will spend a ridiculous amount of time feeding your baby. One mom calculated how much time she spent feeding her baby the first year, and found she spent 1,825 hours (an average of 5 hours a day). Now she was breastfeeding, so bottle feeding may be different, but either way, this first year you will spend a lot of time feeding a baby (or two). Here are suggestions of things we’ve done to try to cut down how much time it takes to keep our twins well-fed and happy.
This article won’t touch on breastfeeding – it didn’t work out well for us, and so I don’t have much advice to provide. If you are looking for information on that, WhattoExpect.com has a good resource.
Serve Formula at Room Temperature or Directly from the Fridge
A popular Baby Bottle Warmer brags that it can safely warm your baby’s bottle in just three minutes! So if you have twins, do you get two? Or wait six minutes? Three minutes is a LONG time if you have a hungry, and likely screaming baby. With our first child, and now with our twins, we’ve taken to just serving formula at room temperature or straight from the fridge. With our mini-fridge and our formula pitchers and bottles right in the nursery, I can walk in and be ready to feed a fussy baby in just a minute. This is important when you have multiple little ones. One fussy baby can easily wake the other twin, and if one of them is loud enough, our toddler comes to “visit” us in the nursery in the middle of the night and likely decides she needs a snack, or needs to watch a PJ Mask Episode, or needs to do anything that isn’t going back to bed. Feeding quickly at night is important!
It’s also much easier when traveling. With COVID, you may not be going far, but this means it’s easy to feed your kids if you are at a park or running errands, or just going on a borondo (our work for a COVID road trip to get out of the house).
Skeptical? Here is an article from the Mayo Clinic that advises you can feed formula at room temperature or straight from the fridge!
Use Formula Pitchers
Formula pitchers allow you to make formula in bulk quickly and in advance of when you may need it. We have both the Dr. Brown’s and Munchkin formula pitchers. Both work well, but after months of use, I prefer the Munchkin pitchers because it takes up slightly less room in the fridge. We have four pitchers total – it sounds excessive, but with twins, we go through them quickly and this means we never need to handwash one, as they can just go in the dishwasher. With four, we’ve only had one time I can recall where we didn’t have a clean on ready.
Have Everything Ready in the Nursery for Night Feedings
Each night, move what you’ll need until the morning into your nursery. If you have a mini-fridge (which I recommend in my Nursery Hacks overview), then you can take up a formula pitcher, or if you don’t, take up bottles, ideally pre-filled with water, and the formula you’ll need so you can easily make bottles in the middle of the night. Now, if your nursery is next to your kitchen, this probably isn’t necessary. But our nursery is up a flight of stairs, and I don’t want to be going up and down all night!
Figure Out What Bottles your Babies Like Best
It’s hard to buy bottles in advance until you know what your babies will like, so I’d suggest at the beginning have a few different ones for them to try. With ours, we’ve started with many types: MAM, Comotomo, Tommee Tippee, Avent, Munchkin Latch, and Nuk. Some of these bottles we received from our Target or Amazon Baby Registry boxes and some were gifts. In the end, we are just using the Comotomo and the Avent bottles. I quickly decided I didn’t like any bottle that had additional parts. Anais liked a variety – Comotomo, Avent, and Tommee Tippee, but our twins were each particular to their own kinds. Gisele did best with Avent (she would leak so much milk with any other bottle) and Vivienne did best with the Comotomo – so that is what we stuck with!
Purchase Different Colors or Types of Bottles for Each Baby
One of the most common phrases in my house is “Which bottle is…” as it’s always a question of whose bottle is whose. In an ideal world, I’d suggest getting two types or two colors of bottles and assigning one per baby so you don’t have to hear that question every few hours.
Don’t Forget to Order Larger Nipples
Before having kids, I didn’t know that you had to buy different types of nipples for baby bottles depending on your baby's age (so if you didn’t know that, don’t feel bad!). This mumbestmom blog post has a good overview of when to switch out for a different level nipple.
Learn to Feed Two at Once
Initially, we found it best to just focus on feeding one baby at a time when they were newborns. They needed to be held at that point. But once they were older – maybe 9 or 10 weeks, I started trying to feed them at the same time. I’m sure some twin moms figure it out earlier than that, but if it takes you a while – don’t stress. My favorite way to attempt simultaneous feedings is by using the Table for Two. This contraption is such a hot commodity in my local multiples group. We have ours set up on our coffee table. It’s really easy to feed them both, and it also lets them chill in a position facing you, which they love.
Another option is the Twin Z Pillow. What’s nice about this is you can use it for breastfeeding, and then later once the kids are older, have them sit propped up in it for feeding. I do prefer the Table for Two, as to feed with this pillow, you need to be sitting on the floor with them, and my back can only take so much.
Make Feeding On the Go Easy
You’ll want an easy way to make bottles when you are out and about. We fill ours with water (always take more bottles than you think you’ll need), and then either use Enfamil Single Serve Packets (we use Similac at home, but these packets make life so easy!) or a Formula Dispenser.
That’s all I can think of at this time. Do you have other suggestions? Drop them below!
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