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From newborns, until they are independently eating; feeding twins can be daunting. The good news is that you can get creative with the feedings, and still walk away from the table with most of your sanity. Here is how I tackled bottle feeding and transitioned into table time.
Our daughters were born in June. My husband and I were able to have family stay with us and help when they could. Some lived nearby, and others flew in from out of state, to help us during the summer months. Feedings were on rotations, where two us would sit with each of the girls, taking turns on who would feed whom.
When autumn arrived, it was now up to my husband and me. At that time, Dexter worked a graveyard shift, and we had opposing schedules. He would take on the early morning feedings, as it gave him time to be with the girls and allowed me to rest.
We remained true and consistent with keeping them on the same schedule. Until they could hold their heads up, I would feed Charlotte first, since she was the quickest to eat. Get her settled, and then feed our slow-poke Shelby. Total time was about one hour to ninety minutes, from the prepping of the bottles to the time that Shelby was finished.
I tried to bottle feed them by using a nursing pillow to prop them up, but I was not confident in being able to hold them steady. I just stayed on a one-to-one basis until the glorious time when they could finally sit up unassisted.
I placed their car seats onto our dining room table. Propped the seats at an angle, that was similar to how we would hold them for their feedings, making sure to adjust if needed. With both lightly strapped in, I was able to bottle feed them at the same time.
Typically, Charlotte was still the front-runner when it came to her finishing her bottle first. Shelby preferred to move at the speed of a sloth, which gave me enough time to have her take a break. I would remove Charlotte from the seat to burp her, get her situated, and care for Shelby. There were times when they would switch, spit-up, or be fussy.
In those situations, alterations were made to accommodate the task at hand. Whether it be that one needed to be held, and the other was still content with me feeding her the bottle in her seat. This would go on until they could sit in their high-chairs and hold their bottles themselves.
Please note, if you opt for the car seats onto your dining room table; make sure to place something between the seats and the table, as our table still has the scratches from those fine moments in time.
Once the fine-motor skills kicked in, we were all on a roll! During this time, patience is key. They are still learning how to hold a spoon and need your guidance. I allowed snack time to become a bit more freeing with some restrictions. For example: if they had yogurt in their hair because the spoon missed their mouth, it was no big deal.
We would make faces at each other, sing songs way out of tune, and there was always a mess. On some occasions, I had to reassure myself that they will not eat like this forever.
While attempting to learn how they should feed themselves, I would reiterate table manners and teach them “how-to”. The picture is of my girls, during snack time, and was taken at 19 months. For this specific incident, I ate my yogurt with them. Having both within arm’s reach, and a towel on standby, I would show them how to properly eat.
As you can see, they would end up needing a bath right after. Going into feedings, knowing that they will most likely need a mid-day washing, allowed me to remain calmer and relaxed than if they were already cleaned up.
When we went out to eat, or when we ate our main meals; the girls learned with time on how to have proper table manners. They watched us like hawks, mimicking our every move. We were much quicker to show them when, and how, to use a napkin versus throwing it on the ground.
You will have many people giving you advice on how to do this and that. You need to remember that you need to do what works best for you and your kiddos. As I learned along the way about feeding twins, some things work, and others do not. Take in the suggestions and modify if need be. Be patient and remember to keep track of these precious milestones.
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