How to feed newborn twins at the same time

Jul 28, 2023 | Things for twins

Hey there, fellow twin mum! (I assumed you are, since you’re reading this post) If you’re anything like me, you might be feeling a mixture of excitement and nerves as you embark on this incredible journey of raising newborn twins. As a mom of twins myself, I vividly remember the rollercoaster of emotions and questions that flooded my mind when it came to feeding my precious duo.

When my twins arrived unexpectedly at just 32 weeks, our journey led us to the NICU, where we spent over a month. During that challenging period, I was able to get guidance from lactation consultants to learn how to breastfeed both babies simultaneously and ensure an ample milk supply. Additionally, nurses provided invaluable tips on bottle-feeding infants with reflux. Although it was a tough time for my husband, my twins, and myself, the knowledge gained from those professionals during that time proved to be priceless. Now, I want to pass on that knowledge to you.

Feeding newborn twins might seem overwhelming, but believe me, you’ve got this! In this blog post, I’ll share my personal experiences and everything I’ve learned from the lactation consultants and nurses on how to feed my newborn twins at the same time. Let’s tackle this beautiful journey together!

Items that make tandem feeding possible for us

Preparation is key to successful tandem feeding! Creating a comfortable and efficient feeding area can make all the difference for both you and your little ones. Here are some items that became my lifelines in making tandem feeding a smooth and enjoyable process:

  • Nursing Pillow – invest in a good-quality tandem feeding pillow that provides support for both babies while keeping them at the perfect feeding height. These pillows are designed to alleviate strain on your arms and back, making long feeding sessions much more manageable.
    I used My Brest Friend twin nursing pillow which I got as a gift. I love that it has a backrest that helps you maintain good posture during feeding and preventing sore backs and necks. The wrap around design secures to the body helping mum and baby maintain ideal positioning and latch-on
    I also have the TwinZ nursing pillow. I absolutely love its versatility. Not only does it serve as a fantastic aid for breastfeeding my twins, but it also provides excellent support during bottle-feeding sessions. We also let them rest in the pillow after feeding so they are elevated, which has been beneficial in managing their infant reflux. Beyond feeding, this versatile pillow even supports them during their tummy time activities.
  • Pigeon soft touch baby bottles and teats – this was recommended by the NICU nurses. It’s soft teat and the extra slow flow is ideal for my little preterm babies who needed slow feeding.
  • Tommee Tippee automatic breast pump – this is a valuable tool, especially in the early days when establishing milk supply and when my babies are still on tube feeding. Pumping between feeds can stimulate milk production and ensure you have enough supply for both babies.
  • Nursing bra and tops – opt for nursing bras and tops that are easy to use and allow quick access for feeding. This will save you precious time and help you maintain comfort during tandem feeds. I was breastfeeding in the NICU so I like wearing nursing tees that are comfortable and allow quick access.
  • 2-in-1 breast pump maternity bra. I love this kind of bra so I can multitask. I didn’t have the hands free breast pump so this is my cheaper solution.

Tandem breastfeeding 

Now, on to the actual breastfeeding. This nurturing practice involves nursing both twins at the same time, creating a beautiful bond between you and your little ones. While it might take some practice and coordination, once you get the hang of it, it can become a harmonious experience for you and your babies. Not only does it save time and energy, but it also enhances the bond between you and your little ones as they share this special moment together.

When you’re ready, find a comfortable position for you where you can rest your back, I suggest using a twin nursing pillow. A twin nursing pillow can be a real game-changer, supporting your back and providing a cosy space for both babies. Here’s where you’ll need help. Once you’ve set up yourself in the nursing pillow, position one twin first then get someone to help you position the other twin. There are different positions that you can try, but my favourite one is the football hold.

The football hold

The football hold is a breastfeeding position where your baby is held on the side, tucked under your arm like a football. Your baby’s body is positioned parallel to your side, facing your breast. Baby’s legs extend backward, away from your body. Your hand supports your baby’s neck and upper back, while your arm supports your baby’s bottom.

Football and cradle hold

Another tandem breastfeeding position we explored is the combination of football and cradle holds. This approach became essential due to the unique circumstances of one of my twins. Selective intrauterine growth restriction caused him to be born almost half the size of his sibling. To accommodate their individual needs, I placed my smaller twin in a cradle position and the other twin in a football position.

This position was a recommendation from a lactation consultant. We noticed that my smaller twin struggled to latch properly in the football hold, and he seemed to have a preference for the cradle position instead. As a result, the combination of the cradle and football holds worked remarkably well for us.

Tandem breastfeeding in this manner allowed me to cater to the specific requirements of each twin, ensuring they both received the nourishment and comfort they needed during feeding sessions. This approach truly exemplifies the flexibility and adaptability required in the journey of tandem breastfeeding. Remember, every twin is unique, and finding the right combination of positions that works best for your little ones is essential to ensure a fulfilling and enjoyable feeding experience for both you and your precious babies.

Tip: Before attempting tandem feeding, it’s beneficial to establish a solid breastfeeding routine with each twin individually. This approach allows you to concentrate on one baby at a time, ensuring they have a good latch and providing you with the opportunity to practise holding and feeding one baby before attempting tandem feeding. Once you feel confident and comfortable with feeding each twin separately, transitioning to tandem feeding will likely become smoother.

Bottle feeding twins simultaneously

Bottle-feeding both babies proves to be much more convenient, allowing my husband to handle feedings independently. However, it does require some additional efforts on my part, such as pumping milk, cleaning the pumping equipment, and sterilising the feeding bottles. There are both pros and cons to this approach, but once we returned home from the hospital, bottle feeding has become very helpful for me especially during nighttime, my husband can take over feeding duties while I get some sleep.

Since we’re storing breastmilk in the fridge, we make sure to warm it up before feeding. To do this, we pour hot water (not boiling) into a mug or bowl and place the milk bottle inside until it reaches the desired temperature. The warming time varies depending on the milk’s initial temperature, the quantity being warmed, and the water’s temperature. We test the milk’s warmth by dropping a little onto our wrist; it should be neither too hot nor too cold.

Our trusty TwinZ feeding pillow comes to the rescue during bottle feeding sessions, allowing one person to feed both twins at the same time. This elevated position has been beneficial for managing their infant reflux. Bottle feeding serves as an excellent option for moms who care for twins solo, as tandem breastfeeding often necessitates help in positioning the newborns.

Quick tip: while bottle feeding the twins, I use this time to pump milk using my Tommee Tippee pump and my pumping bra. This enables me to keep a steady supply of breastmilk available for bottle feeding and ensures I can continue providing the best nourishment for my little ones.

Breastfeeding and bottle feeding at the same time

Occasionally, we opt for a hybrid approach in feeding our twins. Our smaller twin experiences a more severe case of infant reflux, requiring us to feed him slowly and keep him elevated. At the doctor’s recommendation, we started using a milk thickener, which is added to the breastmilk to alleviate his reflux. As a result, we found that bottle feeding might be a better fit for him.

To maintain a synchronised feeding schedule for both twins and ensure a continuous milk supply, we decided on a strategy where I breastfeed one twin while my husband bottle-feeds the other. This arrangement allows us to cater to their individual needs effectively. While it may not be the ideal solution for everyone, it has certainly proved to be successful for us.

Our approach of hybrid feeding ensures that both twins receive the care they require while allowing me to maintain my milk supply for breastfeeding. Each baby’s feeding journey is unique, and finding the right balance and combination of breastfeeding and bottle feeding can make a world of difference in providing the best care and comfort for our little ones.

The journey of feeding twins is a remarkable and ever-evolving adventure. Whether you choose to embrace tandem breastfeeding, opt for bottle feeding, or find a combination that suits your twins’ needs, the key is to be flexible and attuned to their individual requirements. Remember, every mother and every set of twins is unique, so trust your instincts and be patient with yourself as you find your own rhythm. Cherish the precious moments shared during feeding sessions, for they are opportunities to nurture not only their growing bodies but also the beautiful bond between you and your little ones. As you embark on this journey, know that you are not alone – countless mothers have walked this path and emerged with a deeper appreciation for the joy and challenges of raising twins. Embrace the adventure with an open heart, and may this blog serve as a source of inspiration and guidance as you embrace the beautiful chaos of raising your twins with love, laughter, and unwavering devotion. Happy twin feeding!

1 Comment

  1. Anonymous

    Very useful information thank you 🙏
    Hard to be a twin mom


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