Mom of twins Martine Hendricks offers helpful advice for navigating the tricky waters of feeding more than one baby.
I have learned that feeding more than one baby at a time takes patience, a firm hand and, of course, a strategy (which may or may not change every time you feed them).
Breastfeeding is best, but not compulsory
Most moms or moms-to-be are asked the same question: Are you going to breastfeed? And for most of us this is the plan – we want our babies to get the nutrition, learn to latch and be well-fed. But it doesn’t always work out that way. The best thing you can do is to keep reminding yourself that you’re human, and your body sometimes does things you have no control over. You are not a robot that can be programmed to breastfeed.
If breastfeeding is not working out, then be happy and content to:
- Find a good pump that works for you and express.
- Introduce your brood to formula – get recommendations from your paediatrician.
- Breastfeed in-between main bottle feeds.
- If you’re purely bottle feeding, use your expressed breastmilk as the main feed and top-up with formula if any of your babies still seem to want more.
Open conversations are healing
What you need to know is that you never have to feel guilty about not being able to breastfeed, because you spend the most time with your kids and only you know how frustrating it is when they can’t latch, or your milk supply is limited.
What you may find is that one of your babies latches like a pro while the other is quite happy having a bottle – this is all good! This will be the story of their lives. They will like different things at different times for different reasons and you will just have to adjust.
Time for solids
Once you’ve established the troops are ready for solids (reaching for food, holding their heads steady, sitting up with support, opening their mouths with the intention to get something) you’ll just have to figure out how you will go about this:
- Seat them in Bumbo seats on a steady surface.
- If you have more than three babies, feed one child at a time while the others play (this also means one-on-one bonding time).
- If you have twins, feed both while they’re facing you in their well-supported highchairs.
- If you have more than three babies, it’s best to make sure there is assistance at feeding time.
- Later, the little ones will be able to snack, which means feeding becomes less of a stress as you can distract the other siblings while feeding one or two babies at a time.
Xanet is an award-winning journalist and Living and Loving’s digital editor. She has won numerous awards for her health and wellness articles and was a finalist for the Discovery Journalist of the Year in 2009 and again in 2011 for the Discovery Best Health Consumer Reporting and Feature Writing category. She is responsible for our online presence across social media channels and makes sure our moms have fresh and interesting articles to read every day. Learn more about Xanet Scheepers.