Have a 4 Yr Old & Having Twins

Updated on April 29, 2008
O.M. asks from Chicago, IL
18 answers

My husband and I were very happy with the choices we made with our first kiddo - we coslept with her for almost a year (and then made a remarkably smooth transition to the crib), I nursed her until she was 3, - and she's turned out great.
We waited to have another so we would not have 2 kids in diapers at the same time...
hee hee hee...so now we found out there are 2 on the way!
We are very excited but I do not have a clear vision of my options in terms of the logistics...where they will sleep? will I have to pump (I never had to with my daughter because I stayed home until she was down to 3 breastfeedings a day and she never had a bottle)? I'd appreciate any advice on sleeping logistics or good reads about breastfeeding twins - thanks!

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So What Happened?

Many thanks! for so many positive messages and helping me envision a bit of the future. I'm so relieved to think that it doesn't have to be so different from our first go around - when we first found out twins were on the way I felt like such a rookie all over again but I am feeling much more confident and creative about sleeping arrangements, nursing, twins in general...thanks again!

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answers from Champaign on

Good morning and conrats on twins! My twins were born when my older 2 were just 2 and 4, so I had a lot of thinking to do! I did have 3 in diapers for a while, but we got by with a lot of help and donated diapers from friends and family..:-)
As far as feeding, there are many sites that show you the different ways to breast feed two at once. If you try to alternate them, you will be doing nothing but feeding, so I do not recommend that at all! I did the double football hold and it was fine. When my husband got busier with his job in the fall(babies were 2 months), I was on my own. So I started feeding 1 the bottle and 1 breastfeed, then the next feeding we switch so the one that was breastfed got the bottle next, and vice versa. This was also nice as friends could help me feed. THat worked very well for us, I then switched to all bottles at 4 months as I had too many demands from the older 2 that was making it very hard. THat will be another factor as well, seeing how the older child handles things, my 2 year old started acting like a baby again, ect. to get that attention back, which did not help.
As far as sleeping, the twins were #3 and #4 for us(meaning we had tried it all already and learned what works for us), and they were big and healthy(full term, 7 pounds each!), so they just went straight into their own room, 2 cribs in 1 room, but they slept together for the first couple months until they started moving more. THis is highly recommended by many doctors as that is what they are use to in the womb and it helps them to sleep better.
Hope this all helped! Feel free to email me questions at any time!!! Good luck to you!

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answers from Chicago on


first of all congratulations!.

there is no reason for you to parent your twins any differently than you have your daughter.

the literature i use in my practice for parents on multiples all comes from overseas - other countries are much more supportive ...

contact me if you are interested

Breastfeeding and Parenting Solutions



answers from Chicago on

I'm a twin. Mom said she nursed us at the same time otherwise she would leak half the milk from the breast not being used while her one breast was being used. She kept us in the same bcrib until we were too big then put us in a double bed together. I don't remember sleeping seperately until we went into 4th grade. We were fine. We love eachother to death.



answers from Chicago on


Congrats and welcome to my world. My oldest turned 4 just a couple months after my now 3 year old twins were born. Attachment parenting is possible, with some modifications. The bottom line is that you need to cut yourself slack if you find yourself exhausted by it all. Our twins slept in a bedside cosleeper for the first 6 months until they were waking each other (and us) up too much, then we transitioned into bassinets, then cribs. As for nursing, I was never able to manage to add pumping to the routine with much consistency, although others have. I breastfed exclusively for the first 6 weeks until exhaustion took its toll and we decided to take my in-laws up on their offer (which actually came out of advice from a lactation consultant as my supply was waning from stress and exhaustion) to pay for someone to come in a couple of nights a week to let me sleep through a feeding or two. We used either expressed breast milk (when we had it) or formula on those nights. In the early days, while we were working on bringing my milk in, we had some success with the SNS supplemental nursing system. One of the twins simply wasn't getting what he needed at the start and his blood sugar was getting dangerously low, so we used this device that essentially is a tiny tube that you tape to your nipple and while he's nursing, he gets a small amount of formula at the same time. Ultimately, we used that for about a week or two before it was clear I was flowing just fine! The twins self weaned at approx 30 months (actually almost a year longer than my oldest went before he self-weaned!).
I tell my new twin mom friends that twins are as much more fun as they are more work, just not always at the same time! There's a great nursing twins support group that's been around since right around the time my guys were born, led by a Bradley method instructor. I think they meet at the store Be Bye Baby in Lincoln Square. I agree with the first poster about books...didn't find a lot of great ones, but I did find helpful information in Mothering Multiples by Karen Kerkhoff Gromada.
Good luck and feel free to email if you have specific questions!



answers from Springfield on

breastfeeding twins is totally possible. i nursed my boys until they were 14 months. at that point they got pretty sick and weren't eating period and with the stress of getting them well I made the choice to let it go. I've never loved anything more than being able to nurse. what worked for us was to feed them each separately. they learned to wait on each other. there were a few times that i had to feed them together...possible...but I enjoyed spending that time with each of them alone. i had to go back to work full time so had no choice but to pump. they were drinking 30 ounces a day at daycare and we still had enough stored up for them to have it daily until about 15 months. i was a milk makin' machine!! hope this gives you hope. i would do it again in a heatbeat. i miss it dearly (they are 17 months old now) and can't wait until we add to the family so i can, once again, have that bond and time with a baby!



answers from Chicago on

As a pediatrric nurse, I'm not a big fan of co-sleeping. F As a mom I was always afraid of rolling over and crushing my children. Since you're expecting twins, there's a possibility that they won't be full-term and may need to stay in the hospital for awhile, depending on their gestational age and their condition at birth. I would do two things about breastfeeding.1.contact La Leche League (web, phone book)NOW before your little ones come. 2.ask your OB doctor or the staff at the hospital you plan to deliver at. If you get the sense that the hospital staff is not supportive of breastfeeding, consider either a Plan B place or line up some additional resources. Yes,you will probably pump because the babies may not be strong enough to nurse right away-look into renting an electric breast pump if you have insurance that covers it-of if you're independently wealthy. Hope all goes well!


answers from Chicago on

I am a mom of twins. I cannot recommend twinstuff.com forum enough. It's been a lifesaver for me. Breastfeeding with twins is possible... twinstuff.com again or LaLeche. Also, check with your local twins club (NOTMC)for a local chapter. Lots of support here. Congrats!



answers from Chicago on

My first two were twins and they were 15 months old and I got pregnant with my third. I was dedicated to nursing and within the first two days began giving formula for two of the feedings a day, it's VERY difficult and so hard on you to nurse and keep milk supply for two babies. I finally rented a pump from a hospital supply store (at the time it was like the size of a car battery) it pumps both sides at one time and you get like 6 ounces pretty quickly, the formula feeding were always my husbands time and I would pump during those, you have days where all's you do is feed and change every hour with two babies. We had them in the same crib next to each other for the first four months, they don't wake each other up even when screaming. Don't think everything is going to be perfect, it's really hard. Just think my mother had twins and those were her ninth and tenth, you can do it, don't look at the big picture, it's one day at a time. It goes fast, mine are now 15.



answers from Houston on

I nursed my twins exclusively for 15 months. I occasionnally pumped but ended up stopping. I never pumped as much as the babies were able to get on their own, so I eventually stopped. The babies stopped nursing on their own at 15 months. I honestly think it just got to be too crazy for them, as I fed them at the same time (a must!). The bigger they got the more their limbs were whacking each other and me! It was alot of fun, and worth every crazy minute. It did take a while for us all to work out style, position, timing etc, but in the end everything worked perfectly. We didn't co-sleep. I had the twin pack and play from Graco and had that beside my bed until we moved them to their own room at 6 months. Good luck. Twins are fun.



answers from Chicago on

I breastfed my now four year old twins for 15 months. I went to work when they were almost a year old and by then they were using sippy cups. You can nurse both at the same time - once they've got the latch down pat. We co-slept out of necessity (they wouldn't sleep unless held) until they were about 2-3 months old. It was crowded, to say the least. I'm certainly no expert, especially when it comes to co-sleeping, but feel free to PM me if you have any questions.

I used a double football hold almost exclusively. Once they got older they would hold hands with each other while they nursed. :) After about the first 6-8 weeks I found it to be one of the easiest things I've ever done. Our nursing relationship was tough at first b/c they were preemies (34 weeks) and were in the hospital for about a week - so I had to wean them off the bottle. Also. since they were preemies and on the small side their mouths were pretty small and it was difficult for them to latch. It took about a week or 2 of really hard work (I'm downright stubborn when I need to be.) and they really got it. After that, it was the usual learning process and supply regulation time period that you have with any new nursing relationship.

Good Luck and Congratulations! It's a crazy ride, but it's a fun one!




answers from Chicago on


Congrats and welcome to the twin world! I would say join a twins group in your area, they were a wonderful support group in the early days and gave THE BEST advice.My oldest will be 3 in June and my twins will be 1 on the 30th.

What we did is I had my twins co-sleep with us until they were almost 7 mths then they went into the crib. I was able to BF for about 8 weeks and then I turned to straight pumping since trying to BF 2 at once was too much. I pumped until they were 6 mths and then had to switch to formula due to health issues (mine & one of the twins).

Anyway, I know of Mom's in my group who could and did BF their twins until they were 2 (or a little older). I know they always fed them at the same time and if one woke up to eat they woke up the other to feed them as well.

If you have great help and support you can parent your twins just like your oldest.

Good Luck,




answers from Chicago on

I don't personally know how to do it, but here's my 2 cents. :)

Try contacting your local LLL person. They should know someone with experience.

If you are delivering at Hinsdale Hospital (or I believe any of the Adventist Hospitals) they have an incredible bf support group every week and I bet they wouldn't mind if you came a little before.

And thirdly, I had a friend who exclusively bfed triplets! She didn't use a bottle. Most of the time she fed two at once. I later found out that she nursed them until they were 5! So, it is definitely doable.

Congrats and enjoy the little ones.




answers from Dallas on

I had a just turned three y/o boy and a 1.5 y/o girl when I had my twins, we thought we were getting #3 and woops! it was #s 3 and 4. They are so fun though. You can totally still cosleep, just think, you and your hubby will each have your own baby to cuddle, although I would get a recliner or comfy chair to put next to the bed to nurse in, you can't really nurse two laying down, LOL! Mine slept in a little crib by my bed, but one would kick when she woke and that motion would wake the other, their crying never did. I BF exclusively six months and weaned at a year. Tandem nursing saves so much time. I have a killer let-down so my kids eat fast out of self defense and I actually didn't leak out the unused side with the twins because there was no unused side! You have to wait till they can latch well before you can do it because you'll only have one hand to get the second baby on. I did both in the cradle hold so their feet were together and they would also hold hands when they were older while they ate. They even sometimes would reach for the other and accidentally tickle her under the arm and that was pretty funny. Just plan ahead. Remember that most twins are born on average a month early so have someone on-call for your daughter starting at the beginning of your last trimester, just in case, and see if you can get consistent help at least the first three months, those were the hardest for me. If you have a baby carrier, they are life saving, you put one baby in it and carry the other in the colic hold and you can still have one hand free. Some of those really long wrap slings even have a way to carry both in it. As far as reading material goes, your best resource is going to be people, join a club. Especially with the nursing it helps. If you have any other questions, let us know. Congratulations!!



answers from Chicago on

I think you best bet for this is to go to your local la leche league meeting -- you can find one at llli.org. The leaders almost always know of people who have successfully nursed multiples, and they can hook you up with a mom who knows best!

Good luck and congrats! What an adventure!



answers from Chicago on

O.- Big Congrats!!! Welcome to the fun world of having twins! What a blessing it is indeed to be able to have 2 sets of eyes looking up at you when you nurse! That is a gift within itself. My twin sons are 7 months old & I have been exclusively nursing them. I never found any great books on nursing twins, yet alone what to expect with twins... At the hospital, the lactation nurse told me to always pump after I nursed the boys, to bump up my milk supply. I did the pumping thing for the first couple weeks & I was also told to discourage pacifier use, since I needed to make sure I had a plentiful milk supply. (After a month, I tried to introduce the pacifier & the boys wanted nothing to do with it-which was fine by me too-although my inlaws wanted them to have pacifiers, since they used them on their kids; my boys didn't want them, so why push something into their mouth, when they weren't fussing either). My boys love nursing! And of course I love nursing them too! It's such a rewarding experience too, that only twin moms can agree on, when you see them both looking up at you, or both grabbing on to your breast at the same time. Two smiling & giggling faces! You're going to have so much fun times with them! The fun thing now with my boys is that they both hold hands when I nurse them or are so curious about the other, like touching their faces, poking each other, or putting their fingers in each others mouths. I nurse them both at the same time, only for a period of about a month, they wanted exclusive one-on-one nursing & would fuss if their brother was on the breast at the same time. It makes life a whole lot easier when you can nurse them at the same time, otherwise, it seems like you are nursing constantly around the clock. I used my pack & play with the boys until they were 5 months old. I had them co-sleeping even in their cribs, until they rolled over (on top of each other). Once they roll over, you'll want to separate them at that point. I have their cribs in the same room too (we do have the extra bedroom to put the other one in, but I read that they like to be in the same room listening to each other, they shared the womb for close to 9 months, so it's the same on the outside too). At night, I have to put them down at the same time, otherwise one twin will look for the other. I also learned, it is a lot easier to put them down for naps & bedtime at the same time. I never understood the big fuss over keeping them on the same schedule until they turned 6 months old & I was worn out. It's you who will need the break! You need to sleep while they sleep to build up your energy stores. Now I know why twins need the same schedule. Sometimes one will need that extra third nap though, but at bedtime I always put them down at the same time. They have a wonderful nursing pillow out there for twin moms. Although the first 3 months, the pillow felt huge, so I used the regular boppy, until they got too big for that. Now I couldn't see life without my twin boppy. I love the football hold for nursing. In the first couple months, you can lay one baby in the cradle position & then rest the other one on top. It's hard to nurse both boys at once in the beginning, but with an extra hand to help you out, to get you started is nice. My mother in law or husband, would hand me one of the babies, since it's hard to tackle grabbing 2 babies at once for positioning. It's gets easier with time. Now, I'm able to carry the boys around anywhere (& they are 16 lbs each), position them for nursing & burp them both at once on the pillow & lay them down all by myself. It gets eaiser with time. Twins can test your patience often with nursing in the beginning. It gets easier though! Don't give up on nursing. I never had to supplement with the boys & the boys have never taken a bottle. I wasn't sure if you were going back to work or not & had to pump). I made enough milk for both boys. I tried pumping too for a while, thinking if I ever wanted to leave the house, I'd need extra milk for a bottle... Well they never took a bottle when I attempted too. Maybe it was cause I waited to long to introduce it, probably the same as why they didn't take a pacifier either. It's such a joy raising 2 (well 3 for you). Good luck & if you ever need any advice, please feel free to email me back. I know how hard things can get with 2, or the questions that no one seems to be able to answer. Now you have ended up with 2 in diapers anyways! You'll love every minute of being a twin mom, once you adjust to 2 babies at once.



answers from Chicago on

Hi O.,
It must be very exciting to be expecting twins. I am a mother of a boy/girl set of twins. A lactation specialist assisted me for the first couple of weeks to make sure I was able to manage both infants. I breast fed my son until he was 4 months, this is when he became very frustrated and demanded more feedings. My physician suggested to bottle feed him, so I switched to bottle feeding him with my breast milk for the remainder of his first year. My daughter breast fed until she was 16 months old and then took a cup. She only received a bottle when I was unavailable or when her brother was ill, usually due to frequent ear infections from bottle feeding. I would feed my daughter and after she was content I would pump and save the milk in bottles that I kept in the freezer. As far as sleeping arrangements, well my son would not sleep unless his sister was close by so for bedtime rituals I did have a great deal of difficulty. I had a very patient mother who would help cuddle and rock my twins to sleep when she was available to help. It was a trying period but once I got the rhythm going I was able to manage. I even returned to work when they were 6 months old. There is a great magazine called "Twins Magazine". It had a lot of useful info and had a list of twin clubs. I encourage you to find one in your area. They were extremely helpful and supportive. Best of luck with your newly expanding family. A.



answers from Chicago on

Congratulations, O.! First, as at least one other mentioned, you will definitely benefit from joining a mother of multiples club. I don't know where you live, but I belong to one that meets in Bolingbrook: www.wcmotc.com. There are many others, including Tri-Cities in Batavia/Geneva, DuPage Doubles, Double Blessings... You'll get great advice, a stork (mentor) mom, meals when your kids are born, great resales, meetings, play dates....

I breast-fed my now 18 month old twins exclusively for the first 13 months. During the day, I mostly fed them at the same time. I only pumped a dozen times or less at the beginning to help my milk come in. It's supply and demand, so if you stick to it, you should be able to produce enough with a positive attitude. You'll absolutely want to invest in the EZ-2 Nurse breastfeeding pillow. If you can't find a used one, the $60 or so for a new one will be worth every penny.

At night, some people will tell you to wake them up at the same time for feedings, but I mostly didn't. I found it easier to feed whoever woke up first, in bed with me. Then we could fall asleep together. Then whenever the next one woke up, I'd put the first one back in its crib and bring the next one to bed with me. I personally don't believe in waking a sleeping baby! I think it ruins their internal sleep cycle and is maybe why so many kids seem to not be sleeping thru the night for the first year or two! Our twins have been sleeping thru the night since about 10 weeks old.

Besides the beginning when they were in our bed for part of the night, they have been in side-by-side cribs in their own room since about 2 weeks old. They are used to sleeping right next to each other, and even now, if one screams, the other will mostly sleep right through it. From most of the moms of twins I've talked to, this is how they sleep. Separate rooms usually come later, (maybe ages 3-5?), depending of course on the other siblings and # of rooms, etc.

Good luck, and God bless! - Jen



answers from Peoria on

Nurding twins can be done though I pumped for mine so I have no advice to help w/ there. I was a surrogate mom for two sets of twins. I do know the mom for the first set said that her best choice was to find a local mom of twins group, she could easily find all the double amounts of equipment, clothes and Most Importantly Advice she needed from them. GOOD LUCK!!!

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