Bottle Feeding Your Twins

Even if you plan to breastfeed your twins, most mothers of twins will bottle feed their twins at some point, using pumped breast milk or supplementing with formula.

Some moms will breastfeed the first few months and switch to bottle feeding when they return to work. And other moms may choose to bottle feed exclusively.

Every situation is unique and you need to make the decision that works best for you and your family. While it can be helpful to talk to other moms and your doctor for advice, the final decision of how you will feed your twins should rest with you.

Benefits of Bottle Feeding Twins

The main benefit of bottle feeding twins is that you can get more help at feeding time. It allows you and your partner to each hold and cuddle a baby and offers your partner an opportunity to be part of the feeding and bonding process.

You can also leave your twins a little more easily if needed since other caregivers can step in to give your babies their bottles. Some mothers also feel more comfortable bottle feeding because they can visually track how much milk their babies are drinking at each feeding.

Drawbacks of Bottle Feeding Twins

One of the biggest drawbacks of bottle feeding is the added expense of formula, especially for twins or more! Also, if you are using formula exclusively, your twins won't benefit from the natural protections offered by breast milk.

You also have to spend additional time preparing, washing and sterilizing baby bottles. Finally, since some babies don't tolerate certain formulas, you may end up with higher expenses and hassles if you end up having to use two different formulas for your twins.

Bottle Feeding Twins at the Same Time

While it's best for you to hold and cuddle your babies individually while feeding them a bottle, it's not always possible. Some mothers of twins panic the first time they are home alone and both babies want a bottle at the same time. (I know I did!) There are several ways you can accomplish feeding your babies at the same time.

If you have two infant car seats or bouncy seats, you can place each baby securely in their seat (using rolled up receiving blankets to position them correctly as needed), sit on the floor between the seats and feed them together. Usually after the first few ounces, they are calmed down enough that you can take them out of their seats individually to burp them as needed. Some moms of twins use two Boppies or nursing pillows to accomplish the same.

When your twins get older, things will get easier when they can hold their own bottles. Keep in mind if you need to prop a bottle (or two) in a jam (it's generally not recommended), make sure you are keeping a close eye on your babies and don't leave the room.

Bottle Feeding Supplies for Twins

The following are some of the supplies you'll need to get you started if you plan to bottle feed your twins:

  • About 12 bottles to start - You may want to purchase less to start until you see which bottles your babies prefer.
  • Liquid or powdered formula -Your doctor can recommend a brand and may be able to provide you with samples to get started. You can also sign up to receive samples from formula manufacturers, usually through your doctor's office.
  • A pitcher - Mixing up the next day's supply of formula the night before helps cut down on prep time for each feeding.
  • A bottle brush for cleaning
  • A bottle sterilizer or a basket for cleaning bottle parts in the dish washer
  • Cloth diapers to use as burp cloths

Avoid Bad Plastics

A major concern for parents in recent years has been the use of the chemical Bisphenol-A or BPA in baby bottles and other containers. Exposure to BPA, even in small doses, has been linked to several adverse health effects. Several bottle manufacturers now offer BPA-free bottles for purchase or you can use glass bottles as an alternative.

More about BPA and other bad plastics...

Information about breastfeeding twins. . .