Questions re: BF'ing twins -- tips on getting out of the house?! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 27 Old 07-19-2008, 02:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My twins are 3 wks old (born at 38.4 wks) and have been exclusively BF'ed from birth. They eat together about 2/3 of the time about every 2.5 to 3 hrs (though times 2 hrs). We haven't gone anywhere since they were born that we couldn't return quickly home to feed.

Question is: when were you able to go places w/ twins? Did you have to use bottles? If not, how did you do it? Would a sling help (we don't have one) and if so which one? I'm going a little stir crazy
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#2 of 27 Old 07-19-2008, 03:49 PM
 
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We use bottles with my son for other reasons, but I'm not sure how we'd get out of the house so frequently if we didn't. The babies often want to eat at the same time, which is fine when I'm home and can tandem nurse, but unless we're somewhere like a park or other grassy/floor-friendly place, I can't tandem outside the house. I think a sling might help you, though - I can nurse my daughter in my Maya Wrap ring sling, sometimes with only one hand.

Mine are 4.5 months though. I don't know if it would have worked at 3 weeks.

Also, sympathies. I didn't get out much for the first 6-8 weeks and it made me nuts.

Mama to twins Wren and Robin, 3/3/08.
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#3 of 27 Old 07-19-2008, 04:33 PM
 
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I just nurse them back to back. I rarely go somewhere without some sort of 'help' so I usually have someone to hold/soothe the other baby. This is one of the reasons I rarely tandem nurse. I like having them on slightly different schedules. When school starts I imagine we'll be out quite a bit during the day.

When I get home I am usually exhausted to the bone and tandem them before slapping their booties in bed! We went to the zoo yesterday. A friend wore Ben and I wore Claire while pushing our double stroller with the one and three year olds. They nursed quite a bit since it was 100 degrees. When we got home Claire cried and cried (overly tired and overstimulated) and then slept for SEVEN hours. Ben went right to sleep and slept for six. I rarely have so much BABY FREE time!
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#4 of 27 Old 07-19-2008, 05:11 PM
 
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Mine are a year now but they've never had a bottle.

I have two older kids so getting out wasn't an option. I had to!

Honestly, I rarely tandemed until they were much older...I nursed one while I rocked the other in their infant car seat, then I switched. Honestly, its what I did at home too, so it felt normal to all of us. My foot was so used to rocking the car seats that I'd find myself rocking empty car seats when the babies got older and were off playing!
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#5 of 27 Old 07-19-2008, 05:18 PM
 
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hmmm you're lucky to have the every 2.5 - 3 hr. sched. When mine were that age I think they were nursing non-stop. I had a hard time getting our from under the nursing pillow, let alone out of the house!!!

I can say that for us, starting around 3 mos. we started getting out more. But I wouldn't tandem in public - couldn't w/out the big pillow. Now while at a friend's house they take turns, sometimes switching back and forth repeatedly.

In time, it will come into place for you. Good luck!
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#6 of 27 Old 07-19-2008, 05:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Ok, dumb question(s) but if you're nursing them back to back, how does that work? Do you use a sling? Or do you just stop and nurse somewhere stationary?
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#7 of 27 Old 07-19-2008, 06:07 PM
 
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If you think you can, you can.

Our twins were full term, healthy weights, and no health problems. I took them on a Christmas shopping trip to a city 3.5 hours from home for three days, when they were 8 days old. By myself.

I had so much fun! : After all the fatigue and discomforts of the pregnancy, I felt GREAT!

I tandem nurse often. During that trip, I did separate nursings whenever a babe needed, and tandem when required. Their newborn lengths and weights allowed me to hold one babe in arms and nurse while pushing a stroller along if I was just poking along in an aisle at Home Depot and reading stuff/making up my mind. Tandem nursing I had to sit for.

There were other threads about this where I detailed how I got each babe picked up and latched on by myself. You could search for "tandem" and "public" or look through my other posts, going back several months. I have always used the parallel hold almost exclusively and definitely any time I was in public.

Have wonderful luck. Being able to go out frequently when they were newborns made all the other work/challenges of baby twins so much more manageable.

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#8 of 27 Old 07-19-2008, 06:46 PM
 
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I'm at 3 months, and pretty much I'll do whatever, and I DO tandem them in public. Sometimes I'll do one at a time (you can literally run after an older child that way ), but mostly while I'm out, I have one in a sling and one in the car seat/stroller and just keep rotating one into the sling to keep them happy. I'm working on carrying one on my back (about to meet w/a very kind lady who has offered to let me try all her carriers), as it will need to be the right kind for my body in order to carry one on the front and back. I don't nurse using the sling, as I always have some soreness after I do as the latch is not perfect (for me) in the sling. But having SOME kind of sling can be a lifesaver, and mostly, my girls are happy to rotate in and out of one. Three weeks is still pretty early, but as one poster said, if you think you can do it, you can. It's pretty much about courage (that being said, the less time they take nursing, the better). I don't use bottles, and have taken my twins and my 4 year old to our museum of science and industry by myself, successfully. We went to a b'day party as well (I knew I'd get help from strangers there). So....maybe start small, and definitely get a sling. They are magic. You could probably find a ring sling for about $8 at a resale shop. The other carriers are more expensive. I have a New Native Carrier and love it. You will find what works best for you. Happy Baby Days!
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#9 of 27 Old 07-19-2008, 07:27 PM
 
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I stay home... too much stress with them being preemies (germs!) and I like to feed them at the same time.

I figure I'll miss the days when I was all penned up with my girls.

But it is tough on the psyche at times, for sure!

Mama to lovely twin girls 1/08
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#10 of 27 Old 07-19-2008, 08:15 PM
 
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I stay home most of the time. I don't have older children to 'make' me get out, and we haven't lived in this area long enough for me to have friends to do things with. I'm sure if I had family and friends nearby I would take them out much more, as I would have others to help.
My girls are screamers. I wouldn't dare go anywhere without someone else, aside from walks in our neighborhood (and that just started). Really, there's no need for me to take babies to the store/mall - I don't like shopping, so why would they?!! There's a lot to see and do in our home and backyard!

Mama to twin girls Adele and Nadia, born 5/2008
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#11 of 27 Old 07-19-2008, 08:47 PM
 
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I tandem nurse them right before we leave, and then right when we get back. I have two older ones too - like PP's said, you've got to get out with older kids!

I find the key is to get everything else ready before I sit down for that last nursing. My purse, keys, anything I need to take with me needs to be ready to go so I waste no time after they're done eating. That way I have a longer period before they get hungry again.

I've only really tandemed in public at the park (just other moms and kids) or at relatives' homes. Otherwise, I might have them take turns. But really, I just make the trips short enough that I can get home before they need to eat again. It seems to work pretty well. And you get to know what times of day are better than others.
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#12 of 27 Old 07-19-2008, 11:55 PM
 
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I got out in the first few weeks...I had a 2 1/2 year old at the time. I also did not have a helpful partner back then and I had no family nearby so someone had to do the grocery shopping. I rarely tandem nursed so it wasn't difficult. I did what most people did, I nursed one while I pushed the other in the stroller. I usually had my older daughter talk to the twin I wasn't nursing and tell her stories to keep her occupied until I could nurse her.

homebirth.jpgMama to 4 girls and forever missing Bright 6/12/10. Married to my best friend and dreaming of the day we leave the city for chicken3.gif
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#13 of 27 Old 07-20-2008, 12:56 AM
 
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I try to nurse them right before we walk out the door. If I have to nurse them while we are out ... I will tandem if the situation presents itself ..
--have to be able to sit down
--really need the Boppy
--hopefully someone is there to grab Rachel, take a baby when he needs to burp, etc.

As far as NIP goes, I've tandem nursed in one of our city's foo-foo restaurants, and tandem nursed around my playgroup mommas. I prefer to nurse them back to back if I am out and about. For me, I have to be in the mood to tandem .... the less distractions, the better.

I'm kind of weird like that ....

Catholic homeschooling mom of 5 - a teenager, a kindergartener, twin boys and a tiny princess. Follow the Adventures! 

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#14 of 27 Old 07-20-2008, 02:50 AM
 
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I forgot to mention a couple of things-- at 3 weeks I got mastitis, and was not going out at that time. I learned to be really careful about not letting myself get wiped out, and to always nurse babies on cue. If you used a bottle, (on a regular basis), you would either have milk sit in the breasts too long, or you would lose that milk eventually.
I can relate to the "screamer" babies as my DD1 was like that. I wouldn't go out if my babies screamed like DD1!
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#15 of 27 Old 07-20-2008, 12:26 PM
 
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I can relate to the "screamer" babies as my DD1 was like that. I wouldn't go out if my babies screamed like DD1!
Thanks for saying that. Sometimes I feel like a lame-o, not wanting to go anywhere. But it really is not worth the hassle/stress with the girls at this point. Once they get to screaming (which starts, oh, the minute the car engine turns on, but can be triggered by a million other things as well), they are really quite difficult to calm. And with one mama vs two screaming babies, it's just not going to happen. And how much fun can it be for them?! I can't wait till they outgrow it. When oh when oh when...

Mama to twin girls Adele and Nadia, born 5/2008
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#16 of 27 Old 07-20-2008, 01:21 PM
 
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kjoy "when oh when oh when...." How I remember those days! For most babies, fussy tummies and temperaments change at 3 months. For DD1, it was 6 months, and what did the trick was a constitional homeopathic and cranio sacral therapy. Instead of opening her eyes and screaming (as she ALWAYS did, she smiled at us. What joy!!! Her personality has remained "intense" but she is a joy and delight. Last nite I watched her dancing at a concert in the park, and I thought about those really long days and nites, and how all my friends were doing so much w/their babies, and we couldn't. In fact, no one could babysit unless they were saintly people, as it was HARD!!! You are not "lame-o", you are a wonderful mother who is sensitive to the needs of her daughters, and is in tune to what works best for the whole family. Your girls are happy that you are their mama
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#17 of 27 Old 07-20-2008, 01:21 PM
 
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Kjoy - there are lots of times in my parenting where I've had to just embrace where I'm at.

No practical solution would do the job - only embracing the moments, (days/months/maybe years!), until they pass into new phases.

It's not an uphill job, parenting, or a down hill getting easier all the way!!!
It's a series of ups and downs; neither is better than the other and each stage brings it's own lessons.

I think a lame-o is someone who fights reality, not one who embraces it.

mamaeliz hits the nail on the head too when she says:
I learned to be really careful about not letting myself get wiped out, and to always nurse babies on cue.

Sometimes we need to ask ourselves why we feel we should be doing something differently, and then let go. Other times we fight, of course!
Wisdom is knowing the difference.

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#18 of 27 Old 07-20-2008, 03:48 PM
 
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Kjoy2. I PROMISE it gets easier. Well, just hard in different ways. They won't scream forever. Maybe 4 years, tops. And then it won't be constant screaming. My worst screamer is now 19 months and she still cries daily over various things but she's also the CUTEST child you've ever seen.
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#19 of 27 Old 07-20-2008, 03:55 PM
 
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I would nurse RIGHT before we walked out the door-usually tandem so they were both as full as possible. I rarely tandemed in public just b/c it was so cumbersome, so I would nurse one at a time in a sling if they got hungry. If I just had the twins and no older ones, I probably wouldn't have gotten out nearly as much. I don't blame you mamas for staying home!

mama to Joshua (9), Lily (8), Jude (6) and Ava (6)

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#20 of 27 Old 07-20-2008, 04:05 PM
 
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I didn't have time to read other responses but here is what we did, sorry if I am repeating anyone!

Nurse right before we left
At each stop I would put one baby in the Mei Tai and nurse them while shopping or whatever I was doing
Next stop I would do the same with the other baby
I would switch babies for as many stops as I had

This kept them from getting frantically hungry and helped me avoid tandem nursing in public or trying to find a place to tandem nurse them.
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#21 of 27 Old 07-21-2008, 12:34 AM
 
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My twins never took bottles after the initial few weeks. When my twins were younger, I usually had help. I would tandem nurse before we left, and if they needed to nurse, I usually nursed them separately. The other person would hold the other while I nursed the other one.
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#22 of 27 Old 07-21-2008, 12:35 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Intertwined View Post
I just nurse them back to back. I rarely go somewhere without some sort of 'help' so I usually have someone to hold/soothe the other baby. This is one of the reasons I rarely tandem nurse. I like having them on slightly different schedules. When school starts I imagine we'll be out quite a bit during the day.

When I get home I am usually exhausted to the bone and tandem them before slapping their booties in bed! We went to the zoo yesterday. A friend wore Ben and I wore Claire while pushing our double stroller with the one and three year olds. They nursed quite a bit since it was 100 degrees. When we got home Claire cried and cried (overly tired and overstimulated) and then slept for SEVEN hours. Ben went right to sleep and slept for six. I rarely have so much BABY FREE time!
Heeey! I didn't know you were on here! (I'm MamaCeleste at the other board )

But yeah, we do things very similar
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#23 of 27 Old 07-21-2008, 12:59 AM
 
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Heeey! I didn't know you were on here! (I'm MamaCeleste at the other board )

But yeah, we do things very similar
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#24 of 27 Old 07-21-2008, 08:32 AM
 
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I use 2 meitais both front carry and was out & about 4 days after they where born. It allowed me to feed non stop as thats what they wanted chase after my 3y/o and keep sane.
Now that they are 11m/o i have 1 on my back 1 on my front and swap when they've filled up. They still feed 1 every hour i would have gone insane if i had to stay inside for this long.

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#25 of 27 Old 07-21-2008, 02:01 PM
 
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I use 2 meitais both front carry and was out & about 4 days after they where born. It allowed me to feed non stop as thats what they wanted chase after my 3y/o and keep sane.
Now that they are 11m/o i have 1 on my back 1 on my front and swap when they've filled up. They still feed 1 every hour i would have gone insane if i had to stay inside for this long.
Okay, I've been thinking about making a second meitai so I could do a front-and-back carry; sounds like you think it's worth it to have two? Could you explain a bit more about how you nurse with this carry? I've only managed to nurse with one in a sling . . . haven't done any other babywearing/breastfeeding combinations. And this one sounds really useful! I'd love to hear more about it, if you're willing. Is it hard?
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#26 of 27 Old 07-21-2008, 07:14 PM
 
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Okay, I've been thinking about making a second meitai so I could do a front-and-back carry; sounds like you think it's worth it to have two? Could you explain a bit more about how you nurse with this carry? I've only managed to nurse with one in a sling . . . haven't done any other babywearing/breastfeeding combinations. And this one sounds really useful! I'd love to hear more about it, if you're willing. Is it hard?
I don't think it is hard. I can still easily wear both of them for a couple of hours they will be one on the 21st of august but have allready grown out of their 9-12m/o clothing.
I put the baby on the back on first just swing him over like i did with ds1 it takes some getting used to just so you are confident enough. once backbaby is on frontbaby goes on straps go around my waist and inside carrier of backbaby between my back and babies tummy. them i pop baby in the carrier and loop the straps trough backbabies straps so they end up between backbaby and me tighten and tie.

To wear them side by side at the front I tie both mts one over the other at the front fan them out so they are next to each other and pop them in tying like normal. I just had to make sure the straps stayed over my shoulders but it wasn't really hard.
I find bfing in a mei tai easier they just pop on and of sometimes I'd have to hold my breast up w/my hand but it was easier than sitting at home wth an energetic 3y/o

I hope this makes sense I can't get to my pics atm otherwise I'd put one on flickr.

:::

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#27 of 27 Old 07-21-2008, 09:54 PM
 
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I hope this makes sense I can't get to my pics atm otherwise I'd put one on flickr.
No, that totally makes sense, thank you so much! I wore my son in a meitai, and I've done one girl at a time . . . but I love the idea of wearing them both at once, and haven't found a good way to do it since they got too big to both fit in my ring sling easily. Thank you!
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