Formula Feeding Twins FAQ

06 January 2013

I had planned to write this post as the third part of the breastfeeding twins guest posts from Megan and Beth. With procrastination and all that other stuff, I'm just getting to it now. This is by no means substitute for medical advice; it's a compilation of all the facts I've gathered about formula feeding twins over the last couple of years so here goes:

How much formula does a baby need daily? Rule of thumb says 2-3 ounces per pound of body weight and my twins stuck to that until they maxed out at around 30 ounces of formula daily at 5 months old. Some babies max out closer to 40 ounces; this number varies with each individual baby

When is it time to increase the amount per bottle? When the baby is consistently draining the bottle; they should always be full and turn away from the bottle when there's still a few drops left. Draining the bottle means increase the amount. If they're going through a growth spurt, they'll cut back their intake when they're ready. Rule of thumb says most babies know when to stop eating. Trust them

When do you start feeding solids in addition to formula? When babies are still hungry but their bellies can't seem to take any more milk. That's what I noticed with my twins and we reached this point when they were around 5 months old, weighing 15 lbs and getting 30 ounces a day.

How often do formula-fed babies need to eat? Every 2.5-3 hours for the first couple of weeks. This slowly stretches to every 4 hours and that's where they stay. Even toddlers need to be fed a meal or a snack every 3.5 - 4 hours

Is sterilization important? Definitely in the first few months especially for twins who are born early. I stopped being particular about sterilizing things when the girls started crawling and stuffing unspeakable non-food things into their own mouths (around 9 months). 

Which formula is sterile? Ready-to-feed formula is the only one guaranteed to be sterile by the manufacturer. This is what I fed the girls (along with breastmilk) for the first 6 weeks. After that I switched to powdered formula mixed with distilled water (Pediatrician recommended distilled water over normal bottled water. $1 for a gallon jug from almost all grocery outlets).

How much does it cost to formula feed twins? At the peak and with deals and coupons, it was $200-250 a month to formula feed both babies. A bit of relief came from the 2 free cartons that the Enfamil maker sent which lasted us almost a month. It's good to always look out for the $5 manufacturers' coupons and combine with store sales. The best price deals I got were from CVS, Walmart, Kroger and Amazon. Amazon has a coupon page where e-coupons can be clipped and combined with the 5% subscribe and save discount

How are the brands different? All formula sold in the US meets the minimum requirements set out by the FDA. The differences come in the products that were used to meet that minimum nutritional requirement.  

Recommended brands? All parents have their go-to brands. For me, I used Similac ready to feed for the first 6 weeks because it came in plastic containers and enfamil came in cans and I'm not a fan of canned foods. When it was time to switch to powder, I noticed that similac produced a lot more gas than enfamil powder - yes I prepared 2 bottles of each formula, shook hard and timed how long it took for the gas bubbles to disappear from the top!  

Is formula as good as breastmilk? Ah that million dollar, passion-inducing question. My simple answer; feed the kid. The end!

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