Formula Feeding Twins (Part 3)

Formula Feeding Twins

So you will have read from my last post that I had mastered the skill of expressing my breast milk AND feeding the twins…at the same time! Go me. I felt really proud that I could finally provide our babies with breast milk for almost every feed.

As I was expressing breast milk I needed to learn how to sterilise bottles in order to feed the twins. Wanting to go for the simplest approach, I bought self-sterilising @MAMbabyuk bottles. They really do what it says on the tin. And it’s bloomin’ marvellous. No having to wait around for sterilising machines to kill all of those nasties. I can wash, assemble and put them into microwave and in 3 tiny minutes, you have a sterilised bottle ready to use (N.B. if you are sterilising more than one bottle, add one extra minute per bottle, so 1 bottle = 3 minutes, 2 bottles = 4 minutes, 3 bottles = 5 minutes etc.) .

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A disassembled self-sterilising MAM bottle

However the one thing I was concerned about once the bottles were sterilised was how to avoid putting the different pieces onto the countertop to assemble, thus diminishing the point of sterilising in the first place. Guess what? Of course, being the determined fairy that I am, have found a solution to this problem. Here are the steps that we follow:

bottles2
How to assemble a sterilised MAM bottle

Ta da! That is how to assemble a sterilised MAM bottle without it touching the surface. You’re very welcome.

How To Move From Breast To Formula

But as they say: life gets in the way. I was finding expressing, feeding, caring for the babies, looking after the house and going through a house move extremely exhausting and overwhelming. That’s when I made the tough decision to move onto formula feeding. But this wasn’t something that happened overnight.

When you decide to stop breast feeding the worry is that you will firstly get really sore breasts (and in extreme cases develop mastitis) and secondly, and more embarrassingly, completely douse people with your mummy milk as it escapes your breasts like shaken bottles of Prosecco. Cringe. I avoided the soreness by decreasing the amount I was pumping in every session (unfortunately didn’t avoid the milk squirting through…the struggle is real). As time went on, I worked up to missing out a pumping session altogether. My body was getting used to not needing the milk anymore. It took about 3 weeks for my milk to completely dry up.

Once we had decided to move onto formula, I wanted to make the whole process as simple as possible as there were many different elements to think about. This was particularly relevant when prepping for the night feeds (who wants to be counting out scoops of milk powder at 2.45am, especially as the risk of miscounting the scoops when you’re deliriously tired is extremely likely?). That was when we started to decant the required amount of powder for each feed into small containers. As the twins were feeding different amounts, I additionally had to make sure I separated these powders into different trays (I am sure they did this just to test my skills of organisation…see picture below).

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Formula portioned out for the night feeds

 

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How I organise the baby formula in the cupboard at home

 

How To Prepare Formula When Going Out

However the one difficultly I came across when using solely formula was how to prepare it for when the twins and I went out for the day. Breast milk is easy because you just heat it up. But formula requires boiling water, bottles, powder etc etc… The advice is to use boiling water when preparing formula to make sure any bacteria in the milk powder has been killed off. But have you actually done this and waited for the milk to cool down?? When your babies are ravenously screaming and there’s no cold tap to cool it down with…you would rather sign yourself up to step on lego than wait for it to be ready. So I wanted to work out a way of safely preparing the formula without having to wait a painful, slow and deafening few minutes (which felt like hours) for it to be cool enough for the babies to drink.

That was when a friend pointed out that you could replicate the Tommy Tippee’s Prep Machine process and use boiling water to cover the formula powder, then top it up with cooled boiled water so that it is immediately at drinking temperature. Revolutionary! (I would just like to highlight that there has been some controversy over whether the Prep Machine actually kills all of the bacteria so therefore it is questionable to imitate it…all I’ll say is I’m not trained to give advice, however the twins have used it for 4 months and haven’t yet grown a third eye, so I’ll leave that one with you).

So here are the items that I pack in my travel bag in order to prepare formula milk:

  • One flask of boiling water

  • One flask of cool boiled water

  • Portioned formula powder

  • Sterilised bottles

  • *(N.B. I always pack a couple of ready made milks too and a container to warm them up in just in case I need extra feeds…always prepared for every eventuality!)

This was the process I decided to follow when preparing formula out in the big wide world:

  • Open sterilised bottles

  • Decant portioned formula powder from the little container into each bottle

  • Cover powder with boiling hot water from flask 1

  • Use flask 2 to top up with cool boiled water to the required amount of feed

Now that I take the two different temperatures of water out with us, I am able to put together their feeds in minimum time. That means no hysterical babies and a happy Mumma. The only downside is the weight of my rucksack, but if I gain a toned back and slightly smaller waist from traipsing it around town, then I’ll take one for the team.

So that brings us to the end of our feeding blog special. Thank you for joining us over this weekend.

 

Experiences With Formula?

What are your experiences of feeding with formula? Have you any tips on using formula to feed your babies? Let us know in the comments section below.

 

 

Looking for more twin inspiration? Browse our other twin topic pages from the links below, or come and say hi on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest. We would love to hear from you!

 

You may also be interested in:

Feeding (Part 1)  |  Feeding (Part 2)  | Baby Haemangioma | A Day In The Life Of… | Nursery Organisation | Travel Organisation | Feeding | Guest Posts | Tips For Mums-To-Be | Parent Hacks: Survive With A Newborn | My Pregnancy Story | How To Bathe Twins | What I Miss From My Child-Free Life | Twin Night Time Feeding | Parent Anxiety21 Activities for Babies | Monday Musings | Work It Out Wednesday | Quick Fix Friday | Snapshot Sunday

 

 

 

Expressing And Feeding Twins At The Same Time (Part 2)

Expressing And Feeding Twins At The Same Time

Following on from my last post, I was open minded about how I was going to feed our twins. I had the intention of expressing so that others could also have the joy of helping to feed, whilst still giving them nutritious breast milk. However, I was realistic in the fact that feeding two babies solely on breast milk was not going to be an easy and straightforward option.

A friend advised me to pump very regularly and for long periods of time to get my body used to the demand of milk. I was trying to feed two mouths after all. So I started pumping after every bottle feed (which was every 2-3 hours) for half an hour at a time (even if I could only pump milk for 20 minutes, I would still continue to express for the full half an hour). Even writing that now makes me feel exhausted. I was very native to how tiring expressing would be. After every pumping session I felt like I had endured a mini marathon with two Dyson hoovers attached to me. Glamorous.

 

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Expressed breast milk, using the Meleda double breast pump

 

 

As time went on, I could see the amount of breast milk increasing every few days. At the peak of expressing each baby would only need one feed of formula and the rest would be breast milk (very proud Mumma). The one down side I found with this routine was I was constantly feeding, either physically giving the babies their bottles or expressing. I was a glorified, exhausted cow.

How To Feed And Express Simultaneously

I was challenged with a conundrum. I wanted to try and figure out a way that I could be more efficient with my time so that I didn’t have to spend all of my waking hours (which happened to be all day and all night) feeding and expressing. I thought to myself: when I am feeding the babies, does it not make sense to pump at the same time…?

Was I joking? No. Was I mad? Possibly a tiny bit. Impossible? Not at all.

It was more about timing and organisation. I set up my own breast pumping pack so that everything was organised and ready to use for each expressing session:

 

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My breast pumping pack that I put together so that everything was in the same place

 

 

 

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All of the items that were included in my breast pumping pack

 

 

My breast pumping pack included:

  • Medela swing maxi double breast pump

  • Hands-free expressing bra

  • Mama Mio Keep Calm nipple balm

  • Kitchen roll paper for any spills / to wipe up as you detach the pumps

So this was how I successfully pumped and fed the twins at the same time (if you are going to try this, just to reassure you that this was not successful straight away. It took many attempts, a lot of wasted milk and numerous words of frustration, before I could do this effectively. Don’t be disheartened if it is not successful straight away, practise makes perfect).

  • Have the breast pump set up and ready to use

  • When it is almost time to feed your baby, put the hands-free breast pump bra on

  • Prepare baby bottles ready to feed

  • Put babies in curved cushions, attach the breast pumps to your bra, start pumping and feed babies at the same time

  • Once you have finished feeding the babies, wind them, detach the pumps and store your milk in breast milk bags (A little tip: ALWAYS remember to use nibble balm straight after each pumping session to keep your nipples moisturised and sore-free)

Once I got the hang of it, this was the routine that I followed for every feed. In truth, I felt like super mum. I had worked out how to simultaneously express and feed the twins, which meant I could gain a little bit of my own time back (which, to be honest, was spent cleaning, bathing, food shopping, doing the laundry etc etc etc…but it was my time nonetheless).

However, after 2 months of feeding the babies on breast milk, I had to make the tough decision to move onto full time formula feeding.

Coming Up On My Next Post…

Read my next post to find out about my experiences of using formula to feed our twins.

To come: How I stopped expressing to move onto formula, how I pack formula to take out for the day and my experiences of sterilising MAM bottles.

 

 

Looking for more twin inspiration? Browse our other twin topic pages from the links below, or come and say hi on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest. We would love to hear from you!

 

You may also be interested in:

Feeding (Part 1)  |  Feeding (Part 3)  | Baby Haemangioma | A Day In The Life Of… | Nursery Organisation | Travel Organisation | Feeding | Guest Posts | Tips For Mums-To-Be | Parent Hacks: Survive With A Newborn | My Pregnancy Story | How To Bathe Twins | What I Miss From My Child-Free Life | Twin Night Time Feeding | Parent Anxiety21 Activities for Babies | Monday Musings | Work It Out Wednesday | Quick Fix Friday | Snapshot Sunday

 

 

 

 

 

 

Feeding Twins (Part 1)

How To Feed Twins

Before the babies blessed us with their presence, I did an ample amount of research around feeding. In theory it should have been simple: baby hungry. Adult feed baby. Baby full. Baby happy. But alas! When you have twins, it’s not quite as easy as A, B, C…

As soon as it was common knowledge that I was expecting twins, people would immediately comment on how it would be impossible to breastfeed two babies. Now, I am not suggesting that this would not have been a hard, even gruelling task, but not technically impossible. I wanted to keep an open, realistic mind. I said to myself: I would like to try and express to feed our babies so that my husband Pete could help, whilst giving the babies the best nutrition. If it doesn’t work out, for whatever reason, then formula it is. A fed baby is best, right?

 

pete-feeding

How to feed twins simultaneously. Use a curved cushion to keep your babies still whilst you feed them at the same time. Here is Daddy tandem bottle feeding our baby twins. He looks rather proud of himself!

 

 

Once I had accepted that I would not put pressure on myself to feed in one particular way, I felt quite calm about it all. Being the organised fairy that I am, I wanted to purchase all of the products that I needed for expressing, as well as formula, quite early on in my pregnancy. I bought a second-hand double breast pump from eBay (have you SEEN how much they are brand new??), MAM baby bottles (these have been fab! Will talk more about these in another post) as well as formula powder and breastmilk storage bags. I was equipped and ready for every eventuality.

However, one thing I wasn’t organised with and severely regretted not doing during my pregnancy was not reading the instructions on how to actually use the breast pump or how to sterilise the baby bottles. Now imagine, post emergency C-section, 10.30pm finally discharged from hospital and stumbling through our front door with two screaming, ravenous babies…and I needed to sit down and read an instruction manual on how to make this sucking contraption work before my boobs exploded…terrific. Don’t do this at home people. Learn from this. READ INSTRUCTIONS IN ADVANCE. You will not have the energy or mental capacity to do this straight after birth. My bad.

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How to feed twins at the same time. Use curved cushions to keep your babies in place whilst you feed them. Here are our baby twins sitting in curved cushions ready to be bottle fed.

 

 

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Simultaneously bottle feeding baby twins. Sometimes we have to wind and feed at the same time too!

 

Feeding Twins Simultaneously

The one thing that really stuck in my mind when researching the most effective ways to feed twins was to feed them at the same time. This enables both babies to be on the same schedule, thus helping you to avoid becoming a feeding conveyor belt. So from day one that was what we did. If one baby woke up for their feed, the other one would get fed. It didn’t take long for the twins to become in sync with each other and wanting to be fed at the same time. I was lucky that Pete had three weeks with us at home, as well as my in-laws staying for two weeks, so I had support to feed the twins at the same time. But what was I to do when I was on my own with two hungry little humans?  

I needed an item that would help keep the babies in position so that I could feed them both on my own. That was when I stumbled across these fantastic curved pillows (or doughnuts as Pete and I call them, see in photograph). These enabled us to independently and simultaneously feed our twins. The first time I did this successfully, I honestly felt like I was winning at life (can I get an applause and a gold sticker please?) I felt so proud that we had cracked how to single-handedly feed baby twins. Now all I had to do was master how to express to feed two babies at the same time. Piece of cake…?

Coming Up On Our Next Post…

Part two: My experiences of expressing and feeding twins at the same time. Yes, you read that right..AT THE SAME TIME! Check it out!

 

 

Looking for more twin inspiration? Browse our other twin topic pages from the links below, or come and say hi on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest. We would love to hear from you!

You may also be interested in:

Feeding (Part 2)  |  Feeding (Part 3)  | Baby Haemangioma | A Day In The Life Of… | Nursery Organisation | Travel Organisation | Feeding | Guest Posts | Tips For Mums-To-Be | Parent Hacks: Survive With A Newborn | My Pregnancy Story | How To Bathe Twins | What I Miss From My Child-Free Life | Twin Night Time Feeding | Parent Anxiety21 Activities for Babies | Monday Musings | Work It Out Wednesday | Quick Fix Friday | Snapshot Sunday

 

 

 

Wrap Life: Baby Wearing Twins

Baby Wearing Twins

“Nap when they nap…” “Leave the laundry…” “Forget the housework…” Sound familiar? These statements followed me around like chewing gum stuck to the bottom of my shoe during my pregnancy. All given with good intentions, but has anyone actually done this IRL? I am not sure that you can pull this off and not raise a child in an environment that resembles something similar to Jumanji.

However, throw in two tiny sleep-thieves, whose dangerous decibels would perforate the strongest of ear drums, the prospect of handling a dish cloth seemed laughable. So, how do you overcome this conundrum?

twins-sling


Baby wearing twins using the Moby Wrap

My babies were always happiest when being held. So it seemed obvious to adopt a ‘hands-free’ approach and use a wrap. But, could this be achieved with two babies…? Since having twins my attitude towards anything has become not ‘could’ this be done, rather ‘how’ can I make it work for us. I was up for the challenge. So, when my @mobywrap arrived I was keen to learn how I could successfully snuggle my two bundles of joy to me. I’m not going to lie…the first few attempts could be compared to wrestling with an octopus – eight limbs erratically flailing about, resisting to be restrained. Fast-forward after a few practises and we finally got the hang of it! *insert trophy emoji here.

I loved the feeling of being self-reliant. I had triumphantly discovered a way that I could keep my babies happy, whilst simultaneously leaving me hands-free to tackle the hazardous environment we called ‘home’. As for having the energy in order to do this…I am still working on that.

Do You Wear Your Babies?

What are your experiences of baby wearing? What other baby wearing products have you used? Do you have any tips you would like to share?

Looking for more twin inspiration? Browse our other twin topic pages from the links below, or come and say hi on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest. We would love to hear from you!

You may also be interested in:

Baby Haemangioma | A Day In The Life Of… | Nursery Organisation | Travel Organisation | Feeding | Guest Posts | Tips For Mums-To-Be | Parent Hacks: Survive With A Newborn | My Pregnancy Story | How To Bathe Twins | What I Miss From My Child-Free Life | Twin Night Time Feeding | Parent Anxiety | Monday Musings | Work It Out Wednesday | Quick Fix Friday | Snapshot Sunday

They’re Here!

Hello and a very warm welcome to the whirlwind of raising twins! This blog will be capturing the fabulous times, as well as the tribulations, of keeping two little humans alive. We have no idea what we are doing, just winging it one day at a time. Join us on our enlightening adventure…

announcement

 

Looking for more twin inspiration? Browse our other twin topic pages from the links below, or come and say hi on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest. We would love to hear from you!

You may also be interested in:

Baby Haemangioma | A Day In The Life Of… | Nursery Organisation | Travel Organisation | Feeding | Guest Posts | Tips For Mums-To-Be | Parent Hacks: Survive With A Newborn | My Pregnancy Story | How To Bathe Twins | What I Miss From My Child-Free Life | Twin Night Time Feeding | Parent Anxiety21 Activities for Babies | Monday Musings | Work It Out Wednesday | Quick Fix Friday | Snapshot Sunday