Formula Feeding Twins (Part 3)
So you will have read from my last post that I had mastered the skill of expressing my breast milk AND feeding the twins…at the same time! Go me. I felt really proud that I could finally provide our babies with breast milk for almost every feed.
As I was expressing breast milk I needed to learn how to sterilise bottles in order to feed the twins. Wanting to go for the simplest approach, I bought self-sterilising @MAMbabyuk bottles. They really do what it says on the tin. And it’s bloomin’ marvellous. No having to wait around for sterilising machines to kill all of those nasties. I can wash, assemble and put them into microwave and in 3 tiny minutes, you have a sterilised bottle ready to use (N.B. if you are sterilising more than one bottle, add one extra minute per bottle, so 1 bottle = 3 minutes, 2 bottles = 4 minutes, 3 bottles = 5 minutes etc.) .
A disassembled self-sterilising MAM bottle
However the one thing I was concerned about once the bottles were sterilised was how to avoid putting the different pieces onto the countertop to assemble, thus diminishing the point of sterilising in the first place. Guess what? Of course, being the determined fairy that I am, have found a solution to this problem. Here are the steps that we follow:
How to assemble a sterilised MAM bottle
Ta da! That is how to assemble a sterilised MAM bottle without it touching the surface. You’re very welcome.
How To Move From Breast To Formula
But as they say: life gets in the way. I was finding expressing, feeding, caring for the babies, looking after the house and going through a house move extremely exhausting and overwhelming. That’s when I made the tough decision to move onto formula feeding. But this wasn’t something that happened overnight.
When you decide to stop breast feeding the worry is that you will firstly get really sore breasts (and in extreme cases develop mastitis) and secondly, and more embarrassingly, completely douse people with your mummy milk as it escapes your breasts like shaken bottles of Prosecco. Cringe. I avoided the soreness by decreasing the amount I was pumping in every session (unfortunately didn’t avoid the milk squirting through…the struggle is real). As time went on, I worked up to missing out a pumping session altogether. My body was getting used to not needing the milk anymore. It took about 3 weeks for my milk to completely dry up.
Once we had decided to move onto formula, I wanted to make the whole process as simple as possible as there were many different elements to think about. This was particularly relevant when prepping for the night feeds (who wants to be counting out scoops of milk powder at 2.45am, especially as the risk of miscounting the scoops when you’re deliriously tired is extremely likely?). That was when we started to decant the required amount of powder for each feed into small containers. As the twins were feeding different amounts, I additionally had to make sure I separated these powders into different trays (I am sure they did this just to test my skills of organisation…see picture below).
Formula portioned out for the night feeds
How To Prepare Formula When Going Out
However the one difficultly I came across when using solely formula was how to prepare it for when the twins and I went out for the day. Breast milk is easy because you just heat it up. But formula requires boiling water, bottles, powder etc etc… The advice is to use boiling water when preparing formula to make sure any bacteria in the milk powder has been killed off. But have you actually done this and waited for the milk to cool down?? When your babies are ravenously screaming and there’s no cold tap to cool it down with…you would rather sign yourself up to step on lego than wait for it to be ready. So I wanted to work out a way of safely preparing the formula without having to wait a painful, slow and deafening few minutes (which felt like hours) for it to be cool enough for the babies to drink.
That was when a friend pointed out that you could replicate the Tommy Tippee’s Prep Machine process and use boiling water to cover the formula powder, then top it up with cooled boiled water so that it is immediately at drinking temperature. Revolutionary! (I would just like to highlight that there has been some controversy over whether the Prep Machine actually kills all of the bacteria so therefore it is questionable to imitate it…all I’ll say is I’m not trained to give advice, however the twins have used it for 4 months and haven’t yet grown a third eye, so I’ll leave that one with you).
So here are the items that I pack in my travel bag in order to prepare formula milk:
- One flask of boiling water
- One flask of cool boiled water
- Portioned formula powder
- Sterilised bottles
- *(N.B. I always pack a couple of ready made milks too and a container to warm them up in just in case I need extra feeds…always prepared for every eventuality!)
This was the process I decided to follow when preparing formula out in the big wide world:
- Open sterilised bottles
- Decant portioned formula powder from the little container into each bottle
- Cover powder with boiling hot water from flask 1
- Use flask 2 to top up with cool boiled water to the required amount of feed
Now that I take the two different temperatures of water out with us, I am able to put together their feeds in minimum time. That means no hysterical babies and a happy Mumma. The only downside is the weight of my rucksack, but if I gain a toned back and slightly smaller waist from traipsing it around town, then I’ll take one for the team.
So that brings us to the end of our feeding blog special. Thank you for joining us over this weekend.
Experiences With Formula?
What are your experiences of feeding with formula? Have you any tips on using formula to feed your babies? Let us know in the comments section below.