Monday, February 27, 2012

Feeding Twins

Erin asked a great question after my last post- how do I feed our littles at the same time?? 

This was a MAJOR source of anxiety for me before the littles arrived...and for the first month or so that they were here. 

I had help, too, for their first few weeks, so I didn't need to feed them alone or really take care of them alone at all during that time.  This was an awesome blessing, but it also made me seriously nervous about what I would do when I was eventually flying solo. I spent a lot of time asking my helpers what I would possibly do without them...and not in the "it's so great that you're here" way.  More of a "seriously, what am I going to do when you're gone? Answer me! Please God don't LEAVE!"

So I spent the last few days of having full-time help trying out some different methods of doing it all alone, but still having the help as a back up in case the sh*t hit the fan if you know what I mean (and sometimes literally...with two newborns, that stuff lands pretty much everywhere).

B took a shot at feeding them alone the first time.  They were small enough to both fit on one throw pillow (!?!?! seriously ?!?!).  So he put his feet on our ottoman, his knees bent up, the pillow resting on his thighs, and the babies resting on the pillow.  This was, in all honesty, a hot mess.  It worked maybe 1.5 times before epic fail ensued.

omg they were SO tiny!

Then, I tried the bouncy chairs.  We have a massive ottoman that's more like a giant comfy table low to the ground, so the babies pretty much spent their entire first month residing there.  We had the two bouncy chairs on the ottoman, and I would pull them close to the edge (and me) and lean forward from the couch with bottles in each hand feeding them.  I had to roll up burp clothes to put around their heads because they didn't have control so they'd flop over if they didn't have support.  And in the end, my back was majorly hurting from leaning over like that for several newborn feedings (they take WAY too long with our tiny, sleepy babies).

Finally, I wised up and busted out the boppy pillows.  If I would have tried the boppies when they were 5lbs, they would have been eaten alive by those things.  So it wasn't until they were around 8lbs when it started working better.  I still threw a blanket over the top of each so their butts wouldn't sink down too far in the center section.  Their heads rested at the top and their feet were usually up on my legs or just hanging out inside the boppy (on the blanket). I had each boppy next to me on the couch so I could lean back and relax.  It was (and still is) a bit tricky to maneuver when they turn their heads.  I constantly am glancing from left to right to look at them, but now it's sort of second nature (well, until recently when they've started getting bored eating and just want to look around all the time...ugh, that's a bit frustrating). 

Here was my view:

Grace on the left making her "Grace Face"

Caleb on the right doing his perpetual smile :)

Here's what they looked like on the boppies around 6weeks old- you have to make sure you're right there if you put them on the couch, they can roll right out of these things...or squirm down so they can get trapped underneath.
I've heard of other women who sit on the floor up against the couch with the two boppies or bouncy chairs in front of them and their knees up or their legs spread around them.  We have a tile floor and I just wasn't feeling the whole getting up and down off the floor more than I already needed to.

So here are a few things to consider:

1. Possibly buy the newborn boppy loungers, those look pretty sweet (but you wouldn't use them for long, so might not be worth the money).

2. If your twins can handle it when they get a little bigger, would you be willing to bottle prop?  I know a lot of MoMs who do it...but our babies have always had a ton of feeding problems (choking, spitting up, reflux) so it has never really been an option.  There are plenty of props you can look into if that's something you're thinking about. That way you can continue feeding one while the other is burping.  You must ALWAYS be watching when you're using a bottle prop, especially for little ones, though.

3. I've heard of MoMs using the FP Rock n Plays for tandem bottle feeding.  We never bought these, I heard they can contribute to some serious flat head problems...but I'm sure if used sparingly it's not an issue...we just didn't go there.

4. You will learn your babies' burping needs, but this is one of the harder parts of tandem feeding.  My babies will need to burp "LIKE RIGHT NOW, MOM", so I have to stop feeding real quick so I can burp them in the middle when that happens to one of them. Sometimes, they won't have the need so I'll just stop when they start to slow down on the sucking (when they were little) and do a quick burp on each then pick it back up again (now I can wait until they are done for the most part to burp them). 

5. Put a burp cloth under their heads on the boppy pillow, or you'll have a lot more blanket/boppy cover laundry to do than you'd like. Oh, and please use bibs if you have spitters!  I don't know why we didn't for the longest time.  We were trying to keep burp cloths around Grace's chest and was a mess.

So, try the floor sitting bouncy/boppy thing if you're ok with the floor.  It prevents the having to look from left to right and not having them both in your line of sight issue.  But otherwise, I love that I can sit on my couch and feed them both. Once the bottles are in their mouths, it's not too bad.  You'll feel their heads moving and you can kind of follow them with your hand/bottle. 

Please let me know what other questions you have.  I seriously wish I would have asked more questions before hand/early on. I was an axious mess!!!  I'm here for you, ladies. I may not know all the answers, but I'll let you know my experiences thus far!

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for posting this! That was so nice of you. I really appreciate the advice. We share a lot of the same fears about feeding alone. I was also thinking about getting a bottle prop when they get older too. I was told the Milk Maid is very good. Good luck with your precious babies! (I have boy/girl twins too!)