What I have found that helps the most with the process of feeding/changing the twins is to be ahead of the game. Setting things up before it's time for them to eat will save you a lot of stress in getting bottles ready when you have hungry, crying babies. Here are my suggestions of items you'll need to make hands-on/feeding time smooth sailing... (I'll also provide a link to where you can buy the items on Amazon if you want to purchase them, or at least see a picture of what each thing looks like).
BTW- Even though I am writing this about twins, you can absolutely use these same helpful hints with individual babies as well!
Dr. Browns Formula Pitcher:
We have two of these because while River is on the standard mix of Neosure, Riley has to have extra calories so it's a different amount of powder we have to use when mixing up a batch for her. If your twins need two separate types of formulas, having two is a lifesaver and you can use a Sharpie to write their names on them. This thing mixes formula in an instant and as formula lasts 24 hours, you can mix enough to last through the whole day and night. I make mine before bed at night so it is ready for the next day.
Have enough bottles on hand to get you through multiple feedings
We tried several different brands of bottles and found Dr. Browns Natural Flow worked the best, but go with whatever your babies like better. We currently have enough to get through 4 feedings but I just ordered an extra set so we can prep bottles for an entire 24 hours. And since we have a boy and a girl, I found Dr. Browns has special pink bottles so I got those for Riley. Because she loves pink! (shutup.) This makes it a lot easier on us since she has to have the extra calorie mix so it ensures we don't mix up the bottles. But if you have two of the same sex you can just get all the same bottles.
Each morning I fill up enough bottles for the day. That way when it comes time to feed, I just grab a bottle out of the fridge easy peasy.
These are the bottles we have been using:
Rather than boiling a pot of water every time we need to sterilze bottles and pacifiers, I have been using these sterilization bags that go in the microwave. They are made by Medela and super easy to use!
Although in looking that up just now I see that Dr. Browns has them as well, so I may try them next time.
These bags are fantastic. You fill with 2oz of water, toss in your WASHED bottles, nipples and pacifiers and pop in the micro for 1 1/2 minutes and it steam sterilizes everything lickety split! Just be careful not to burn your fingers getting the stuff out. There is a special slit in the side of the bag to pour the scalding hot water out of it before opening, but my half-asleep mommy brain keeps forgetting that and I've burned the shit out of my fingers multiple times!
I then put everything on a bottle drying rack (this is the one we have:
But I'm sure any kind will work. We have it on the counter next to the sink. I am probably going to get another one since I am getting more bottles.
I usually sterilize once a day before I make all my bottles for the day, but sometimes I do a few as I go. Whatever works best for you!
Keep a mini fridge and bottle warmers in your bedroom
While the twins do have a nursery, we are keeping one of their cribs in our room for the next few months. Just while they are still little and new. We just feel more comfortable with them being close to us for now. We have them in the same crib, but they are swaddled and separated as not to risk them rolling over and cutting off one another's airflow.
Now this tip is one I learned from reading advice from other twin moms. We just happened to already have a mini fridge from my teaching days, so we moved it from the garage to the bedroom. We also put TWO bottle warmers on top of the fridge. This way, middle of the night feedings aren't a nightmare. I just pop out of bed, grab two bottles out of the fridge and pop them in the warmers. It only takes a couple minutes to warm up, so I use that time to change their diapers and by the time I am done so are the bottles! It's super convenient, especially when you are groggy in the middle of the night. But we also keep that stuff in there for the daytime feedings as well. Saves room in the regular fridge anyway!
I will say it was a lot easier when my hubby took time off the first week and a half. We would get up together and each take a baby to change and feed. Now that I am doing it on my own at night, it is an even bigger help to have everything right there where I need it.
Once I change each baby, I bring them one at a time to the couch and lay them swaddled, each in a crevace between the cushions so they can't roll anywhere. I grab the bottles and go sit between them in the couch so that they are on either side of my thighs, slightly angled toward me. I tuck bibs around them and feed them simultaneously, but burp them individually as they show signs of needing it. I'll admit, it's a lot easier having someone feed one baby while you feed the other, but life doesn't always work out that way so we have to improvise! It took a few times of trial and error to figure out the best way to feed them at the same time and this way worked the best. I could potentially feed them one at a time, but I barely get any sleep as it is!
What it looks like:
Somehow I did it this way one time, but I don't know if I could do it again... it just happened to be the way the babies were situated:
Mind you, this is with preemie/newborn babies. As they get bigger this may or may not work, but I haven't gotten there yet! For now, this is going well.
Here is the brand of warmers we use (and they work great!)
This is our setup:
Keep your bibs/burp cloths (and anything else you need) in a basket wherever you do your feedings
This one is pretty self explanitory. Too many times I would grab the bottles, the babies and get all situated and realize I forgot a bib and have to shift the twins and get back up to go get some. If you have everything there you won't be running all over the house for this and that, especially in the middle of the night, it will all just be there where you need it! I actually have started changing the twins right there on the couch during the night. This way I am not picking one up, going to the nursery to change them, bringing them to the couch then repeating with the second one. I bring them both out to the couch, have diapers and wipes in a basket along with the bibs right there, change them one after the other then feed them. The more I do it, the quicker I am getting! I've even figured out with River always flipping his lid when he gets his diaper changed, I keep a pacifier out by the couch and pop it in his mouth when I change him and it helps IMMENSELY with keeping him from freaking out like he usually does.
Of course, you may have other items you use or things that work better for you... this is just what has been working for me and my twins, feel free to tweak these ideas to suit your needs!
Diaper caddy is your friend
Having a diaper caddy on the dresser or changing table is uber convenient. The one I have has a wipe warmer (which I know some moms say that isn't necessary, but I find the babies are a lot less fussy with diaper changes with warm wipes over cold ones!) It has a spot to put diapers (I put River's on one side and Riley's on the other- because they have designs on theirs *we buy non toxic ones from Honest Co.* - but if you are using the same kind for both (or one) baby, you can fill both sides with the same. And I put their diaper rash cream, ointment and lotion in the side pockets. And I keep extra packages of diapers and wipes in the bottom drawer of the dresser that the caddy is on so if I run out I can quickly grab and restock.
This one might be a no-brainer for some of you, but as a first time mom, I wouldn't have realized how handy it was unless I tried it myself!
This is the brand kind use:
Here is our set up:
And we also have an Arm & Hammer diaper pail next to the dresser. I haven't tried other brands (like the Diaper Genie) but I really like this one. I never smell a thing!
Well, so far those are the best tips and tricks I can give you based on my experience. Everyone likes to do things their own way and I know just because it works for me doesn't mean it will work for everyone. But I wanted to share for those new moms out there looking to make things a little easier and less stressful while getting the hang of this whole parenting thing. Hope this helps!!!
Best of luck with you and your little ones!!!