The first time you’re left alone with twins can be scary. You have to make sure all of their basic needs are met, and there is only one of you.
However, it is possible if you plan well and have the right equipment. Feeding twins by yourself is challenging, but you will get the hang of it when you find the best option for you and your kids.
Option #1 – Use a Nursing Pillow for Twins
Nursing pillows specifically designed with twins in mind can be a lifesaver. These pillows are created to offer room for both babies when mom is in a sitting position.
Nursing pillows for twins are large and have a middle piece to offer back support for mom.
To use one, you simply decide where you want to sit and push the middle piece behind you. Press the rest of the pillow down for each of your twins, and buckle the front so the pillow stays in place.
Once the pillow is in place, you can decide what position works best for you to feed your babies.
When breastfeeding, the football hold is extremely popular. In this position, mom holds one baby under each arm like a football while the nursing pillow supports both babies.
You can also cradle each twin on either side with their feet facing each other and have plenty of room for both of them to nurse.
When bottle-feeding, you can use the same approach as breastfeeding, or you can place the pillow in front of you. Each twin will have their own space, and you can offer the bottle to them.
You can also face your twins away from your body, leaning them against your chest. The pillow gives them a place to perch while you wrap your arms around them to offer the bottles.
Twin nursing pillows, like the Twin Z Pillow, are designed to support your lower back while you nurse or bottle-feed your babies.
Support from a twin pillow can also help you heal from a C-section without worrying about babies accidentally touching your stitches or staples.
Option #2 – Use Two Boppies
Boppies are popular when it comes to feeding singletons. Fortunately, you can grab two boppies and use them to feed twins as well.
You will need to find a place to sit where you can wrap two boppies on either side of you. A couch or large chair should work. Place one boppy around your right hip and one boppy around your left hip.
You can then use the football hold to position each twin for breastfeeding. You can also cradle your twins with their feet toward each other to nurse and still have plenty of room for both of them.
The same positions can be for bottle-feeding, but boppies also allow you to put your babies down to feed. You can place both boppies on a flat, safe surface and prop your babies comfortably.
Simply hold the bottles for them while they recline in their own spaces. The slight incline the boppy offers will help your children digest their milk, formula, or solids without choking.
The Original Boppy changed feeding infants for the better, and simply grabbing two instead of one can make feeding twins more comfortable for everyone involved.
Option #3 – Use Bouncer Seats or Infant Carriers
Bouncer seats are one of the most practical options for feeding twins simultaneously. Though they don’t work if you’re nursing, they are perfect for bottle-feeding or introducing solids.
The Fisher-Price See and Soothe Deluxe Bouncer allows you to safely strap one baby in and feed them in a position that will keep them from choking. There are options for music or vibrations to keep your baby calm while she eats.
With twins, you would want to purchase two bouncers so each one will have a seat. Sit them next to each other on a low, flat surface, and feed your children their food of choice.
Another option is finding a table designed for twins so you can simply buy one item instead of two. The Table for Two allows parents to strap their twins side by side and feed them from a bottle or a spoon. There is even an armrest so both arms don’t get tired from holding bottles.
Place a twin table on a flat surface, strap the babies in, and place your arms on the armrest for maximum support.
The slight incline will ensure your children can digest their food with fewer problems, and you can remove the seat cover and throw it in the washer when needed.
Infant carriers are also an option for feeding twins, but you will have to make them take turns if you are breastfeeding. Even infant carriers that hold two babies at once often don’t offer an easy way to breastfeed them.
However, you can strap two babies in a front carrier and bottle-feed them. You will likely have to stay on your feet during this process since sitting with both babies in one carrier is a challenge.
Option #4 – Use Pillows
It is possible to use regular pillows to feed twins, but it’s important to follow safety guidelines. Regular pillows are often soft and large, and your babies should not be put on top of them and left alone.
It is possible to place a pillow in your lap and use the football hold to nurse your twins on both sides. However, you can’t let your babies sink into the pillow.
You can also cradle your twins while feeding and use a pillow to support your arms. Simply place your arms on top of the pillow so the pillow is against you and not the babies.
It’s not advisable to put your twins on the floor on soft pillows to feed. They won’t be inclined enough to avoid gas and reflux, and they can sink into the pillows too easily.
Option #5 – Alternate Feedings
While tandem-feeding twins is what many parents choose since it gets the job done all at once, it’s not always the preferred method.
In fact, if you have a premature twin who needs to feed more often than their sibling, it won’t always be possible to feed both twins simultaneously. That’s when alternating feedings come into play.
One of the most important things you can do is to make sure you keep a log to ensure each baby is eating enough.
Infants can eat between 8 and 12 times a day, and it’s not easy to keep up with when you’re feeding twice. You don’t want one twin eating several times a day while the other skips meals.
You can feed one twin and then immediately feed the next twin to avoid skipping anyone. However, if you’re feeding on demand, then you want to pay attention to each child’s signs and write down how often and how much they eat.
Option #6 – Body Hold
For skin-to-skin contact that also supplies a meal, you can use the body hold to feed both twins at once. You will need to sit in a chair or on another comfortable surface, and you might want to have a burp cloth or rag close.
You will place each twin on your stomach while holding them up with your arms. The twin on the right side will nurse from the right breast while pressed up against your body.
However, you never want to press your baby’s face flat into your body. Keep your arms curved so your twin is leaning into you but not flat on her stomach.
Assume the same position with the other twin on the other side. This allows for eye contact between you and your babies, and it gives your babies the chance to hold hands or connect while they feed.
Tips for Feeding Twins by Yourself
Feeding twins by yourself will get easier as you do it more often. That’s why advice from people who have already done it can help you start strong and become a pro.
- Prepare a basket for you. Make sure you have water, snacks, and the remote within reach before you sit down to feed your twins.
- Start with your least-dominant hand. Keep your dominant hand free until you need to use it to feed the second baby in case you need to grab anything or readjust your first twin.
- Start feeding one baby before you feed the other. It’s possible to feed your twins at the same time, and many people prefer it. However, you should get the first baby latched to the breast or on the bottle before starting the second one so you won’t be trying to get them both engaged at exactly the same time.
No matter how overwhelming it seems at first, you will learn how to feed your twins in a way that works for all of you. Try as many methods as you need to figure out which makes you most comfortable.
What Twin Moms Say About Feeding Both At Once
One extremely popular topic amongst twin moms is feeding. I recently saw a post in a twin community get nearly 100 comments.
The question was, “How do you feed both twins by yourself? I’m trying to make a game plan for tonight and tomorrow since my husband goes back to work and I’ll be doing it myself.”
Here’s what a few moms shared:
“I have a twin z pillow but when they were smaller they would fit side by side on a lumbar pillow, and I fed them both that way. I’d sit cross-legged in front of it to help keep them in position. I’ve also used bouncers or swings.” – Claudia G
“When they were tiny, I just fed one at a time till they gained a bit of head control then I fed them in my lap. When they got 2 big I used twin feeding pillows. When they started moving I used the Bouncers.” – Jennifer M
“I feed whoever wakes up first and then feed the other, while the first that was fed sits next to me on a SnuggleMe. Haven’t gotten up to feeding both at the exact same time (only about 10 days in – not sure if their necks are quite strong enough for the TwinZ and they are preemies).” – Ashlee C
Mom of three (including identical twin boys), wife, and owner of Parents Wonder. This is my place to share my journey as a mother and the helpful insights I learn along the way.