Need Advice on Feeding Twin Newborns

Updated on January 08, 2010
B.K. asks from Jacksonville, FL
14 answers

I am a first time Mom to 13 day old identical twin girls. I am home on maternity leave but will be returning to the workforce after my leave is up. My husband was not able to take much time off from work and has already returned to work. Now I am home alone with the girls during the day and need help and advice. I am having a hard time with their feedings when I am home alone with them. Does anyone have advice for how to handle feedings of newborn twins who are hungry at the same time? It breaks my heart to be feeding one baby and listening to the other one scream in hunger.

Also, any advice on breastfeeding/pumping would be great. We are breast and formula feeding at this time due to rapid loss of birth weight. I am leaning towards pumping so that I can try to bottle feed them breastmilk at the same time. Any advice on this as well would be much appreciated.

Thank you!

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So What Happened?

Thanks everyone for your feedback. Based on some tips I received here, I have found that nursing them both at the same time is too difficult for me and I have given up that option. I did try out some of your advice on how to bottle feed at the same time and found that I can sit on the couch and lay them on a bed pillow similar to the "football hold" and bottle feed them at the same time in this position. This has been a huge help and timesaver!

Featured Answers



answers from Melbourne on

I'm with Cristie and Bonnie, you'll have to end up propping them up! I'm a mom of twins, and thats the only way you can get it done at the same time. And whoever told you to kep them on the same schedule, that's really important too!

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answers from Tampa on

CONGRATULATIONS! In my experience, the 1st 3 mos might be a blur, but how wonderful it is to raise twins! Best wishes to you!

I found that feeding them at the same time worked best - otherwise 1 breast leaks too much while feeding the 1st baby & you feel like the 2nd baby doesn't get the same amount (then you've got mother-guilt). You just have to give up doing ANYTHING, sit on the couch with pillows on both sides, & (while there are different ways to place the babies, what I found worked best for us was...) place them head-to-head with their bodies tucked up against your sides so your arms can keep them close while you hold their heads. It's a little bit of a balancing act to get used to & not altogether easy to do by yourself, but take your time & try not to rush through it! I did have a twins Boppy-type pillow - it's wider to support both babies, but two pillows worked just as well - whatever you're comfortable with.

Sit back, relax, close your eyes & enjoy it while you can, because it really does end too soon (to me, as much as you want your own body back, it was sad to give up that particular bond - I nursed them for almost 15 months). And do pump when you can - it's always helpful to have the extra available when you need it. They will eat A LOT & eventually you will probably have to supplement with formula (even if you feel like a milk factory!).

When your husband is home from work, he can bottle-feed one while you breastfeed the other. Daddy has to help & has to understand that this is an incredibly demanding responsibility you are dealing with all day long - share with him that you need a break sometimes, because it IS a job - a very stressful, very emotional, 24-hour/7-day job.

It WILL get messy, it IS demanding, you may cry sometimes from being covered in milk, spit-up, pee, etc., but you will get thru it! As far as the job goes, I hope you can work that out - I though I'd go back to work when mine were 4 months old, but they are 8 YEARS old now & I spend a lot of time volunteering at school! The cost of childcare vs. my paycheck didn't make sense; maybe you've got a different ratio there - good luck with that.

BEST thing I was ever told was when you have people over (or are someplace crowded) - take the time to feed them in PRIVATE - it will be the only quiet time you get, especially during the holidays! Close yourself & 1 or both babies behind a bedroom door, close your eyes, take some deep breaths & ZEN yourself for that 10-20 minutes. You will need it. Some people will want to come with you to "keep you company" & will just yap the entire time, but you need down time & space, so take all you can get in those busy situations.

BUT, also accept all the help people offer during the day! Someone's going to the store & offers to pick up your groceries? WONDERFUL! LET them help you. Let someone else pick up the holiday gifts & wrap (or at least help wrap) them. Let them vacuum your house, do your dishes, your laundry - you cannot be Superwoman, and the offers will dwindle soon enough!

Also, turn off the phone ringer when you're taking a nap! You can get the Foamies door hangers in red & green to hang on your front door (you might note on the red "Taking our naps - please don't ring/knock"). I had a pop-in visitor that ignored all signs though - hopefully you don't know her! :)

Good luck, best wishes, peaceful sleep, easy babies, helpful family/friends - I wish you all of these things! Congratulations again!



answers from Boca Raton on

congrats on your twins!!! You have received some really good advice except for the letting your child cry it out. I'm sorry but that it's ridiculous. Your babies are new in this world, all they have is you to protect and nurture them. You are supposed to feed them when they are hungry, heck, don't you eat when you're hungry??? You're an adult. They cry b/c that's their only form of communication for now.

I strongly suggest getting off the artificial breast milk asap. It's very common for twins to lose weigh shortly after they are born. Breast milk is all they need, breast fed babies are much healthier and tend to be more chunky. Give them time, they're only in this world less than 2 weeks.

Here is a LLL link for tandem nursing:
you can do a search for tandem nursing on google too. I have a friend who has twin girls and she tandem nurses, still nursing them and they're over 2. You will find a way that works best for you, just cut yourself some slack and give it some time.

I think if you'll have to go back to work pumping will work but really really really stay away from formula, it's artificial breast milk and the only reason you should ever give your child formula is if the mom dies or has her nipples removed. No, maybe if she's in a coma too.
We have become used to the easy way out, c section so we don't have to push for long or try to squeeze out a large baby or the dr can put you on a schedule and formula so we don't have to use our body as it's intended.
You are doing a FANTASTIC job nursing your little girls. Keep it up and don't forget to eat lots of fresh leafy greens (that's what cows eat and they produce lots of milk) and drink lots of water.
BRAVA girl!!!



answers from Miami on

I night nursed for several twins and what I would is sit in the glider or other chair with legs slightly bent and put one in each crook of your leg/knee. They are still tiny enough where they won't move around and slide off. You hold their bottles and they can eat at the same time. If you are only breastfeeding, you do each on opposite breasts in the football hold, meaning their legs are away from you. Make sure you hold them to eat too when you can because holding them and giving them your body and input from them getting to squueze your hand while nursing is beneficial in integrating primitive reflexes. Give them plenty of tummy time, twins are at a much higher risk of developmental delay.



answers from Tampa on

I am a mom of twins a boy and a girl and they are now 13mnths old. First I want to say congrats and it will get easier and remember to take a break for you too.

Ok with my twins they bottle feed only and I would feed them at the same time. I bought two Boppy Pillows.I sat on the floor and put a Boppy Pillow on each side of me and feed them. They would eat so much and then I would stop feeding them and then burp and then feed again and burp. It worked great.
So go buy two Booppy Pillows and give it a try it is great. Also buy the big Boppy Pillows not the little ones.

Have fun with them and it will get easier.

K. St Pete Fla



answers from Tampa on

My Mom had two sets of twins. She said to get them on a schedule as quickly as possible. It won't take long. Once they learn when their eating time is it will be easier. Mom said it doesn't hurt to wake one up a little early to change and feed her before her sister wakes up. That way you can get them on a schedule quicker. But a little crying won't hurt the baby. Also pumping is a great idea to make sure the babies continue to get the benefits of breast milk. Hope you have someone to take great care of the girls when you return to work. My Mom has always said twins are easier then having one baby. They keep each other company. She kept them both in one baby bed.
Just enjoy them and the schedule will work out with time.



answers from Tampa on

Hugs to you B.. I vaguely remember those days. I have 17 month old triplets and I can remember the first day I was left alone with them. Overwhelmed and unsure. Luckily, a twin mom had made me bottle props out of little stuffed lambs. I know they sell versions of this on the internet somewhere. I would prop them in their boppy pillows and and prop their bottles. Then I would just take turns burping them while the others continued feeding until everyone was finished. This was the only way I survived! Another twin mom recommended Podees which are self feeding bottles which I tried, but my babies couldn't suck hard enough to get the formula out and there are alot of parts to clean so the props were much easier for me. It is so important to keep them on the same schedule feeding and sleeping otherwise you will never get a break and when you have multiples you need a mental break. It's hard hard work, but it is so rewarding and special. Hang in there! It goes by so fast this soon will all be a blur.



answers from Tampa on

Congratulations! I have twin boys who are 2 now but those early days were very overwhelming and exhausting. You are in survival mode right now so do whatever works for YOU!

My milk never came in unfortunately so mine were both on formula and they turned out just fine (they are very healthy and on track developmentally).

I did keep mine on the same schedule and when it was time to eat (which was basically all we did those first few months), I would sit in bed and put them each in a boppy facing me and then I could give them both a bottle at the same time. I had friends who pumped and did the same thing...

Good luck! It gets easier!



answers from Tampa on

Wow- wonderful!
I saw my daughter- who is my hero!!! with my twin grandbabies.
She had a huge coffee table with little car seats, and she would change one- feed him, change one- feed her, and repeat. Sometimes she'd nurse them both, and looked like she had a football under each arm to do it.
She used barley formula too, using a slow cooker to cook the barley pearls.
They are in the 2nd grade now. The thing she said was the most important was to realize it takes a long time to get anywhere- so be patient with yourself.
Is there anyway you can put off the workforce? Take a look at what you'll pay for child care- I saw the kids work it out, and be glad they are the ones raiseing their kids. Just a thought.
best, k



answers from Sarasota on

B. congratulations! What a true blessing to have twins. My sister has twins and what a joy it has been to watch them grow. She is a supermom also - I have just one child and am still in wonder how she does it. For most things she reminds me having two is easier. When her kids where first born she would keep them in there car seats at meal time and was able to have them both fed at the same time when she was without help. Wow is she fast!! If you have frineds and family around - please ask for help, it will give you a few moments without someone in your lap and allow you to pump alone or just watch your babies with others. Enjoy them!



answers from Tampa on

Hi B., Congrats on your new baby girls!! I am also the mom of identical twin girls. I was home alone with them pretty soon after their birth too. I am a CLC too as I had soooo many problems with nursing but it is was very rewarding. They are 2 now and still nursing. Good for you for trying to give your girls the best possible food that's made JUST for them.

I tandom fed them and it is very possible to do that by your self. (it just takes some practice)The first thing you need is a nursing pillow made just for twins. It is very important as it is harder then the other nursing pillows and can support the weight of two babies. Put both babies on the bed or whereever (within arms reach of where you plan to nurse)get yourself comfy and then put one on the pillow, get her latched on and then use your knee to hold up the pillow while you pick up the other baby and get her latched on. Once they are both latched you can then put your hands behind them to help hold them up. I can try to discribe this better if you need.

I also made sure that I fed them at the same time everytime no matter what cause I figured if their tummies were on the same schedule everything else would be too. So if one acted hungrey th

I would be happy to help you in any way possible. feel free to email me at


answers from Salt Lake City on

Congrats on your new twins! Like Cristie, I am also a mom to triplets. I agree that propping the bottles can be a good option, but a lot of pediatricians don't recommend it--although I wonder what they'd really do if they found themselves in the same predicament! :) My remedy was to keep my babies on offset schedules. I wanted them all to sleep and eat at about the same time so I would have some "down" time.

As soon as I heard anyone making any noise I would get the first one up and feed him. I usually had time to feed him and get him in a swing or something before the next was up. And as I was finishing with the second the third would be waking up. By keeping them all on schedules that are 15 minutes apart or so, you can probably keep up.

Also--if you are not producing enough milk for both babies, there are ways to remedy that. Talk to a lactation specialist of your pediatrician.

Good luck!


answers from Tampa on

Hi! Do you have the book What to Expect When Expecting or What to Expect the First Year? They have great descriptions on how to breastfeed both babies at the same time. My friends who have twins say it's the only way to do it. Otherwise, you are nursing day in and day out without a break.

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