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Nurse together or separately?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
I have always nursed my twins separately except for a handful of times. I cannot seem to find a way to nurse them at the same time. Either one or the other will get unlatched and then I don't have enough free hands to get him/her back on or I wind up in a position that is extremely uncomfortable to be in. Yesterday I was really wishing I could figure out how to have them nurse at the same time. I was getting ready to nurse dd and ds who I'd left alone in the living room for a couple minutes while I changed dd's diaper managed to roll himself across the room and hit his head on a chair. He was so upset about it that I wound up nursing him before dd and dd was crying while I was nursing ds. I'd love some ideas on how to nurse them together.
post #2 of 17
Hi Amy,
I nursed my babies together most of the time before they got to about 9 months - mostly because they wanted to nurse nearly ALL the time! I was lucky to have my husband around to help get the babies into position - but what also really helped was getting my E-Z to nurse pillow (got mine here in UK - I am sure others could provide links for US sources). The babies are angled in to you so it is quite easy to relatch them if they let go - the cushion is very comfy to use too.

I stopped feeding together at 9 months because the boys spent so much time poking each other in the eyes... However, I do it more again now and have found the pics of hold positions on Karen Gromada's website really useful: http://www.karengromada.com/photos.htm. I can lift the boys both up onto my knees for the V hold quite easily. We have had some cute times recently with the boys pausing to give each other kisses and smiles when feeding - I am glad I persevered with it again. Also, as you say, it is horrible making 1 baby wait when they both need you.

All the best with it,
post #3 of 17
I actually preferred to nurse them separately from about 4-12 months or so, because it gave me more quality time with each child and was more
comfortable (as you've noticed!) for me. *BUT* my babes are not
high needs (Thankfully!) and usually nursed quickly and were on their
way again. This could be very different with different tempement babes,
like my older daughter who wanted to nurse practically 24-7 until she was
3 (well, OK not quite but you get the picture) and finally weaned at 5.5.
Now that my twins are toddlers I find myself doing a lot of double nursing again, mostly because they "inspire" eachother. But at this age, they latch
on in all kids of crazy positions, so it's not so bothersome for me.
Actually, one really cute ritual...I work PT and am usually out of the home
for a few hours after they go down for their nap. When I get home,
we all run to the couch for afternoon nursing. The other day, Helena
ran with me but Tapio was busy with something else. Helena didn't want to
start without her brother, and kept "calling" and gesturing for him to come.
It was the sweetest thing!
post #4 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thank you for the link with the pictures. That really helped to see a mom nursing 2. I can sometimes get them both on when my dh is here to help but he's not home very much. If I can figure out a good position for us though I can have my 7 yo bring me my dd after I get settled with ds. My dd is only about 14 lbs and my ds is 20 lbs.

I do like nursing them one at a time and neither one is a constant nurser but every once in awhile they want to nurse at the same time. I'm actually having an easier time nursing my twins than my now 4 yo. At this age she nursed 24/7 and would just cry and cry everytime I tried to unlatch her. My dd sleeps 12 hours straight at night and ds gets up 2 times everynight to nurse and then goes right back to sleep.
post #5 of 17
Hi AMy - First of all congratualtions on your babies (and yours) sleep!! I'm so jealous!! :LOL

My girls will be 7 mos tomorrow! I nurse them at the same time using the V hold (thank god for karen gromada pics!). I have been doing it this way since they were 2 mos. I just (as if it's so simple :LOL) grab one in each arm and sit them on my lap in a big chair. I lean back and let them lean and turn in towards me and they know what to do from there. I undo my bra prior to picking them up.
post #6 of 17
Thread Starter 
Hi Carmella,

My twins are just 8 days older than yours. I know I'm lucky with how much they sleep. My second dd I don't think slept more than 2 hours straight until she turned 3.

I got them on in the v-hold yesterday in my big recliner and it worked pretty good. Those pictures helped a lot. I wound up having to take my shirt off since it kept getting in the way but I wound up laying dd next to the chair, grabbing ds and then picking dd up. I don't having a nursing pillow so I just layed a big king size pillow across my lap and that seemed to make a lot of difference since it kept them propped up.
post #7 of 17
my twins are 18 months. if i nurse them together they pull hair and break the suction of the other baby .
post #8 of 17
Amy - Wow ours are so close in age! That's great you got the v hold going!!! I don't use a pillow but that isn't such a bad idea as they sometimes slide down. I usually have to grab them by the bottom and push them back up.

And I end up taking my shirt off too sometimes...defintely if it's bulky like a sweater or sweatshirt. My dh calls me shirtless girl...as I spend much of my bf'ing life topless. :LOL I live in tank tops too. The less clothing to get in the way the better for me.
post #9 of 17
My twins are 2 3/4... they've been weaned since just before they turned 2.

I only nursed them together at night - so I could get more sleep. At first when we were home from the NICU, I'd wake them both every 2 hours... then every 3 hours.... then after they were better able to self-regulate, whenever one woke I would wake the other one and nurse him/her too. Again, this was just in the middle of the night.

But during the day I always tried very hard to pay attention to when each of them wanted to nurse as opposed to putting them on a schedule, and I also liked the separate mama time that nursing separately gave us. Granted, I did spend about 6 months straight on my sofa LOL but it was worth it. It probably also depends on the children... dd is a quiet nurser, who likes no distractions. Ds is an active nurser, who bobs on and off, looks around.... he was just plain annoying to poor dd who was trying to zone out and enjoy the quiet cuddling!

As they got older, whenever they wanted to nurse (whether together or separately) was fine with me, I guess it was about 75% of the time separately and 25% of the time it happened to be together. But we had a couple of simple ground rules that made life easier, such as no pestering each other (they actually learned this quickly and did really well with this - again, this was for dd's benefit), and if your sibling is currently nursing no you cannot switch sides right.this.instant!

Whatever works.

Oh, edited to add... starting fairly early (6-9 months-ish?) I would make a point of cuddling with one while the other was nursing. This circumvented the whole jealous nursing thing to a large extent. Meaning, if dd wanted to nurse, I'd nurse her while cuddled with ds or tickling his feet (his favorite thing!) or something. When they were older, more toddler age, I'd read the other one a favorite book or whatever. I tried really hard to avoid the gang attack mode LOL which we definitely got into and was really hard (both wanting the same breast, etc.!)... this way they got to nurse whenever they wanted but they didn't think it was their only path to cuddling from mama either.
post #10 of 17
When my girls were about 3 weeks old (right after dh went back to work LOL) they suddenly decided that they needed to nurse ALL day!!! (literally) so I quickly have to figure out how to nurse them together LOL. The first day or two, I did it sitting in our big recliner w/ pillows everywhere, after a day or so I was going STIR CRAZY sitting there all day w/ nothing to do (I'm not a big fan of tv), so I decided I had to figure out a way to nurse simultaneously AND be on the computer or I'd go insane. When they were tiny I was actually able to do it sitting at a desk top, using a regular boppy & using my elbows to keep them from rolling off. Once they outgrew that I moved to the floor, dh built me a "desk" for my laptop (that worked until the kids got mobile, then I found that a plain old cardboard box worked better because it didn't have sharp corners & such). I used various combinations of bed pillows, boppies & a "twin" nursing pillow (mine wasn't an EZ2Nurse, but I tried an EZ2nurse & it's better, mine was free for shipping though LOL). Also used small cardboard boxes under the twin pillow. Even now (22 mo) here at home I usually use the same setup (and the "rule" is that their hands have to be down by their sides (it takes pretty often reminders of "where are your hands?" but they know to snap those hands back down to their sides IMMEDIATELY or they're done nursing for awhile) to keep them from bothering each other (& me) while nursing). When we're away from home (or when we have company, so I'm not wanting to be on the computer LOL) we do other combinations of sitting on my knees (sometimes now they'll ask for "knee num nums" LOL). When they were smaller we also used a cradle/football combo using the diaper bag under the "football baby" when we were out & they were smaller. Once they were old enough for hip carry in a sling, I was able to nurse them simultaneously in 2 slings, one on each hip (I was pretty proud of myself the first time I went through checkout while nursing both babies w/ the clerk none the wiser LOL).

Now we're working on (a) cutting back on nursing when we're out and about & (b) if we're at someone's house, or even just if people are over here visiting, I at least ask if they'll "wait till sissy's done" rather than nursing at the same time, just becuase it's easier for me & more discreet. And now they usually only nurse for a few minutes (when people are around to distract them) so waiting isn't a big deal.
post #11 of 17
Once they were old enough for hip carry in a sling, I was able to nurse them simultaneously in 2 slings, one on each hip (I was pretty proud of myself the first time I went through checkout while nursing both babies w/ the clerk none the wiser LOL).
WOW! I am so impressed... I have never nursed my babies simultaneously in public (I mean out of my home). Just couldn't get my head round how to do it in a discreet way. Thank goodness there is usually someone around to hold one baby while I feed the other...
post #12 of 17
Originally Posted by Twinthing
WOW! I am so impressed... I have never nursed my babies simultaneously in public (I mean out of my home). Just couldn't get my head round how to do it in a discreet way. Thank goodness there is usually someone around to hold one baby while I feed the other...
LOL that was one of my goals from early on! My girls nursed SO much when they were tiny that I couldn't go anywhere until I could figure it out. It drove me batty to never be able to grocery shop, etc. alone (as in w/o my mom there w/ me saying "it's so much cheaper to make that from scratch . . ."). Pretty early on I figured out the cradle/football combo & then I could at least go to the mall or walmart & could go in a dressing room to nurse them if necessary (I won't nurse in a public bathroom, but dressing rooms don't bother me, I just made sure I had a book to read while they nursed LOL). As soon as they head the upper body control for hip carry I tried that & they "got it" almost instantly (I think I used a burp cloth to "prop" my boob the first couple of times, but then they figured it out w/o that). That was SO liberating!!! I could go wherever I wanted, whenever I wanted because I had a totally discreet way to nurse them both (even if they popped on & off my shirt & the sling worked together to keep me totally covered). I was a new woman LOL!
post #13 of 17
I'd like to see pictures, if you have them, sweetpeas.

There's a picture at the end of this album http://share.shutterfly.com/osi.jsp?i=EeAM2TRszcsWzHCA of me finally figuring out how to tandem nurse them without the twin pillow. (I couldn't get them on it right after they were 4 months old.) I also used Karen's site for ideas. It looks in the picture like my arms would get tired... but that particular nursing shirt squished my boobs in, so it was harder. Now I let my boobs fall more to the sides, and I sit with my legs out and bent (like a birthing position, I guess) and prop my arms on my knees. The babies pull the nipples out to the sides so they can breathe while nursing. It's like they are drinking through a straw, lol. Oh, and mine are fast nursers, too.

Usually I nurse one at a time -- 2/3 of time in bed, other times on the couch or at the computer (like now!)
post #14 of 17
I think all the pictures I have are already on Karen's site (I'm on a yahoo board w/ her so when she asked for pictures I sent what I had). Most of my "wierd" nursing positions have happened when I'm alone with them so no pictures . . . oh you know, there is a newer one I haven't sent her, let me see if I can find it . . . http://2sweetpeas.net/Month20Pictures.htm near the bottom of the page, called "multitasking", I was on the phone & the girls were begging to nurse so I just knelt down & lifted my shirt. Dh thought it was hillarious so snapped a picture. Also, totally irrelevant to this discussion, but just because I like to "brag" LOL, here are pictures of me, my mom, my grandmother & my great grandmother all nursing our babies (but I nursed mine individually for these pictures): http://2sweetpeas.net/NursingPics.htm
I do have a picture of my girls nursing in a pose similar to the one you used, but we were all in the shower so I prefer not to post that one on a public forum. I'd be happy to e-mail it to you though if you want to see it (you can PM me your e-mail address or e-mail me at laree @ 2sweetpeas. net w/o the spaces).

If you look on Karen's site the last few "double football" ones at the top are of me when the girls were tiny, we've basically used different pillow/nursing pillow configurations as they've grown but kept that basic position for our main nursing time all the way through. And when I nursed them both in the sling, the position was basically the same as the position you're using in that picture, they're on each hip in the sling, adjust the slings to line up their heads w/ your boobs & they pull your nipples to the side as needed (&/or duck their heads in toward the middle).
post #15 of 17
My twins are 7 weeks and we have the above mentioned nursing pillow. Up until the other day I couldn't latch them on at the same time but we finally managed it! I still don't have my hands "free" because I need to hold my breast out of the way so they can breathe, but at least nursing is more efficient now.
post #16 of 17
I did the football hold with them both on a boppy. I used a lot of pillows too. A pillow under the boppy to keep it high enough, two pillows behind my back, one pillow under each arm. Then I would doze off with them. I was nursing a 17 month old and a newborn though, not twins.
post #17 of 17
Wow, LaRee, that heritage nursing page is amazing! What a blessing.

And your girls are too precious. I liked the funny multitasking picture, too!
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