Introducing solid food to your twins means more work and more mess, and definitely more photo opportunities ( provided you keep your sense of humor!)
Keep your camera and washcloth handy! Usually solid foods starting with cereal are introduced somewhere between five and six months of age.There really is no rush to do it sooner.
If your twins were born prematurely however, you may want to wait longer. If you are nursing you can certainly continue , just make sure to nurse your babies first, before feeding any solids to maintain your milk supply.
You’ll want to watch your babies to see if they are ready. While you may think introducing solid food will help them sleep or stay fuller longer – it is a lot of work – and boy – do their diapers ever change once you start! If your twins have started getting teeth in , if they seem to be interested when you eat and are reaching or grabbing food off your plate or are starting to mimic you with smacking sounds, then it might be time. They also need to have enough head control to keep it up and the ability to sit or slump in a highchair with restraints.
Introducing solid food to twins is a little tricky. Your babies may differ in their appetites, their food preferences, their swallowing abilities and possibly their food allergies.
Click here for more information on baby food allergies. This is a big undertaking for you. You may find that one twin is always hungry and wanting more – so you might be inclined to feed them both even though the other twin doesn’t need or want as much food. This can lead to the ‘stronger or hungrier’ twin always making requests for things and the other twin remaining quiet because they don’t need to ask.
Which food to introduce first?
First get ready. You might want to wear a raincoat. Someone will inevitably sneeze food all over you . You’ll want to have two highchairs that you’ll move away from the walls ( trust me) and possibly place them on newspaper or an old shower curtain for easier clean up for mom. Keep tissues or wet washcloths close by for quick cleaning. Bibs ? Well – depends on you – while they are supposed to keep babies cleaner – mine always ended up sucking food off of theirs or in the case of the ones with the bib – lifting it up and either drinking whatever ended up in there – or managing to fling it out with a big splat. Either way , I was going to be doing laundry – so unless it was a very special shirt – which I don’t recommend feeding your babies in – either NO shirt or just an undershirt. Once they started ‘helping’ and feeding themselves we did some feeding sessions in the tub on a towel so they mess could just go down the drain!
Our babies ate in Bumbo Seats on the floor in the picture above, which were great for helping them sit upright while supported. It was the perfect and least messy way to introduce solid food. We also fed them in bouncy seats – now the bouncy seats worked great until they figured out how to bounce! They would get really excited about eating and start bouncing and well, it was time to move on to high chairs.
Baby’s first solid food should be an iron-fortified rice cereal. You’ll want to have a soft tipped spoon and mix about a teaspoon of cereal with some formula or breastmilk to a watery consistency. When we first started introducing solid food – we have 2 spoons and 2 bowls and tried to keep everything separate – then gave up ! One bowl, one spoon and 2 babies eating from it – may sound gross but unless you’ve been there… It was faster to feed them, they already suck on each other’s hands and toys, and believe me – you’re trying to get that spoon in and out before some little hand shoots out and grabs it from you – flinging cereal all over you or the wall. And by the way – baby cereal hardens into cement for fun scraping off clean up later – if you don’t catch it while it’s still wet.
You’ll want to put just a little on their tongue so they can suck it in and bring the food back in their mouth with their tongue. This is an acquired skill – many of the first few spoonfuls will come right back out at you as they thrust their tongue out – not familiar with the new texture. Don’t force it – they’ll figure it out and open their mouths like little baby birds when they want more.
If rice cereal is tolerated without any problems then you can move on to other single grain cereal and single fruits and vegetables. You’ll want to just try one new food at a time for a few days at a time to watch for any signs of allergy – rash, hives etc. Introducing solid food is a bit of a trial and error experiment.
Which babyfood to use?
When introducing solid food to your twins you’ll have to consider both cost and convenience. The processed commercial baby food you can buy in stores is the most expensive way to go – but it’s also very easy to just pick a jar and pop it open. ( Make sure the seal actually does pop before using for your babies safety ! And check the expiry date.) There may be added sugar, salt or preservatives so be sure to read the label. There are some organic baby food’s on the market now .
You may want to consider making your own baby food. Making your own baby food is very economical using a food processor or a blender as you cook for your family – take some of what you are having and before any salt or spices are added you can puree it and even freeze it in ice cube trays and put it in ziploc bags for later.You know exactly what each of the ingredients are as you introduce solid food to your babies.
A note on the ‘suction-type’ infant feeding bowls … I realize they are supposed to stick to the highchair tray or table – but in all my years as a mom I never found one that actually did. They became a ‘challenge’ for the twins to see who could pull theirs off first, and once the suction gave out we would have pureed peas and carrots on the ceiling. Just my two cents! LOL Be patient and keep your sense of humor when introducing solid food to your babies. It will be messy , especially as they progress to feeding themselves ( or trying to feed each other!).