When it comes to how you will feed your multiples, keep an open mind. Things don’t always go as planned especially with feeding more than one baby. If you wanted to breastfeed and it doesn’t work for you, don’t beat yourself up with guilt, switch to the bottle guilt free. Or if you’ve decided from the start that bottle is best for you, you need to be prepared.
Many parents of multiples recommend that you have two sterilisers (one electric and one microwave) and two kettles. The advantage of having two kettles is that you can keep one for bottles only and the other can be used for everything else.
Deciding on which type of formula to use can be very difficult. Speak to your midwife, GP or Public Health Nurse about different formulas. Then when you have the information about the different formulas choose whichever one you feel is right for you and your babies.
Many parents have different techniques when it comes to preparing bottles. It is not recommended to make up formula in advance as this can allow bacteria to form in the milk. The most popular method of preparing bottles is:
- Boil your kettle and leave the water to cool.
- Sterilise the bottles, which can be up to 16 per day. These can be all sterilised at the same time using the two sterilisers.
- Pour the cooled boiled water into the bottles and secure the cap on the bottle.
- Leave the bottles to one side.
- Add in the scoops of formula as you need the bottles.
There is no need to heat the bottle. The small bottles you get in the hospital are at room temperature so why heat them when you get home? A lot of people think they have to heat the bottles but it’s not necessary if you keep the water at room temperature and add in the formula as you need it. Don’t add in the formula after adding the water as the formula needs to be used within one hour of being mixed.
This method is very handy for night feeds. There is a lot of work cleaning and sterilising the bottles but once it’s done, that’s it for the day.
Time is a major factor when bottle feeding multiples so whatever method you find works for you, go with it. Some people make up all the bottles and leave them in the fridge and use them as needed within a 24 hour period. Others, fill them and use them one by one or as required. You will find which method suits you best and then form your routine around it.
It’s very important you get into a routine as quick as you can. Again time is of the essence when feeding multiples so if you can, feed them together. If there is anyone in the house with you, ask them to feed a baby. This is where bottle feeding comes in very handy. If you’re on your own, after a few weeks, you can prop up the bottles and feed the babies together. Bouncers are great for this, put the baby into it and put a towel or something similar under them to prop up the bottle. Also, the buggy is very useful for this. You can also sit on the ground with your back against a wall or couch for support and hold the bottles in the babies mouths, then wind one on your shoulder while continuing to feed the other(s) and vice versa.
The main thing with bottle feeding is to get as much help as you can.
Feeding charts these are very handy and will remind you who was fed when!