One of the first things I learned when I gave birth to twins was that feeding two babies at once is a challenge. I had bottle fed single babies before, cradling them in one arm while holding the bottle with the other. You can’t feed two babies simultaneously the same way you’d feed one. And feeding twins one at a time can leave the hungry sibling crying while they wait for their turn. That’s no good at all. I had to learn to feed both babies simultaneously, and quickly, if we were all going to make it through the first year without losing our minds.
Here are a few products that can help make feeding twins or even higher order multiples at the same time a lot easier.
Twin nursing pillow
There are several nursing pillows on the market especially designed for mothers of twins. If you are able to breastfeed your twins, a nursing pillow for twins may make the experience a lot more comfortable, which may in turn lead to greater breastfeeding success. Nursing pillows for twins have a wider surface, and may be tilted to help better place the twins in position for feeding. They may also offer additional back support for the mother than pillows designed for singletons.
Hospital grade breast pump
I wrote a while back about wishing I had chosen a hospital grade breast pump when I had my twins. A hospital grade pump helps mothers express more milk much faster than a less powerful pump. If you are unable to breastfeed, either because your twins are premature or because you have other issues that prevent nursing, you are likely still able to pump breast milk for your babies. A hospital grade pump can make a huge difference in your chances of success.
Boppy pillows or other similar nursing pillows designed for singletons may be used on a flat surface to place your baby in an ideal position for bottle feeding. I used a pair of Boppy pillows for the first several months to hold my babies while I bottle fed them simultaneously and then to spoon feed them their first solids.
I found the Podee hands-free bottle at a baby store when my twins were a couple of months old. These bottles have a tube that connects the nipple to the bottle and allows a baby too young to hold their own bottle to feed relatively unassisted. As soon as my son could pop his pacifier back in his mouth on his own, he was able to use the Podee bottle to feed himself while I sat beside him and bottle fed his twin sister. It was a life saver.
You can use baby recliners to position your twins in an easy-to-feed position pulled close to you as you sit on a pillow on the floor. Or try a reclining feeding system like the Table for Two, which also incorporates a soft lap harness to hold babies in place and arm rests to help relieve stress on the parent as they feed both babies simultaneously. Many infant recliners transform into handy toddler seats as your little ones grow, increasing their usefulness far beyond seats like the oft-recalled Bumbo.
More by Tavia:
I Regret Not Choosing a Hospital-Grade Breast Pump
Throw the best twin birthday party ever
Mothers of multiples not always welcome