If you are formula feeding your twins, there are quite a few things to learn and consider. This handy little reference is meant to provide you with honest advice and clever solutions for managing your twins' formula feedings.
Before diving into the practicalities of formula feeding, we at The Twin Source want to start off with a few words of support just for you.
First and foremost, never, ever feel down on yourself because, for whatever reason, you did not breast-feed your twins until they were ready for solid foods. Remember, your parenthood journey is your own—and you have two babies!
Making the choice that works best for you and your young family is always the right way to go. We truly believe that as long as your babies are loved and cared for, they will grow into healthy, happy toddlers whether they are formula fed or breast-fed. Don't get caught up in guilt. Just do the best you can.
Now off the soapbox and on to the practical! When formula feeding twins, here are a few things you should know:
- Formula feeding is expensive. If possible, purchase your formula from national bulk warehouse stores such as Costco or BJ's. We have found that this is where you will save the most money. Amazon Prime and Diapers.com also offer good prices and deliver items right to your door (and when you have two babies, free delivery can be priceless).
- Powder is cheap, but liquid is convenient. The ease of using ready-to-feed liquid formula is amazing—pop the top, pour, and feed. Powder, on the other hand, will be easier on your wallet. We recommend using both as your needs dictate. Purchase a to-go supply of the ready-to-feed liquid to have on hand when you are out of the house with the babies. When at home, use the powder.
- Your pediatrician can give you specifics. Get recommendations from your pediatrician on feedings per day and formula amounts. It will be important to have his or her input based your twins' weight and age.
When mixing powder formula, follow the instructions carefully. A few tips:
- Use warm water that can go straight to feed. Avoid trying to get the bottles too warm. Room temperature or slightly above works great. Babies develop preferences quickly; if they develop a preference for warmer bottles, it is much more inconvenient for you in the long run.
- Pour the water in first, then scoop in the formula so that it begins to dissolve from the start. That way, you will have much less clumping and settling at the bottom.
Storage guidelines for mixed powder formula will be carefully spelled out in the instructions. The basic rule of thumb is "one hour, one day, or throw away." In other words:
- A mixed bottle of formula should be kept out for no more than one hour.
- Refrigerated formula that is mixed should be kept for no more than one day.
These tips will help save time and eliminate hassle when it comes to formula feeding your twins:
- Mix big batches of formula. We recommend mixing one big batch of formula a day for efficiency's sake. Use a simple jug (or two) like this one from Rubbermaid, and refrigerate the formula for up to 24 hours.
- Tandem feed when you can. Twin moms tandem breast-feed often. If you feel comfortable with it, formula feed your babies in tandem at times. Twin Mom Ashley placed her twins in spare car seats for the late-night feedings. This allowed her to tandem feed and sped up the feeding time significantly.
- Organize your feeding items. Twin Mom Carrie built a twin pantry in an unutilized closet in her nursery. You might not have the space for that, but try to make an effort to keep all of your feeding items efficiently organized and together. This will help particularly during those late-night feedings.
"Choosing a Formula" from HealthyChildren.org
"Amount and Schedule of Formula Feedings" from HealthyChildren.org
"Infant Formula—Handling Education and Safety" from the American Academy of Pediatrics
"Formula Feeding FAQs: Preparation and Storage" from KidsHealth.org
NOTE: The information contained on The Twin Source is not intended for medical diagnosis. Any medical information found on this site should be discussed with your health care professional. Always consult your doctor for any medical advice.