Author: Gauri Kshirsagar
Weaning is no doubt one of the major milestones in the growth of a baby, and hence it is natural for the mother to be apprehensive and anxious about it. Weaning in twins is no different than that of a single baby except the time and patience required is doubled. Weaning is a very slow process and requires a lot of patience. In this article I have focused on how you can manage the feeding of both the twins efficiently.
There are many sites which emphasize on finger foods and making a it a habit, so that the babies can have food on their own. But in my experience, weaning in twins and even for that matter feeding twins is a time consuming process, wherein each feed requires about an hour and hence more concentration should be given on the amount of food and nutrition a baby is really consuming. For example say a baby is made to have food or a meal on its own, chances are it will not consume half of the meal and you won’t have the approximate quantity each baby has eaten. Finger food can be given as a ‘addition’ to the main meals and not as a ‘replacement’.
Points I which I think are important to have a hassle free meal.
- Divert attention:
- Incase of twins it is very important to attract and maintain the attention of each baby to something else for atleast 15 minutes so that they don’t fuss about the meal.
- The idea which I used was showing them videos, I know it’s kind of a bad idea to make them dependent on TV or laptop during meal, but hey in case of twins it becomes a necessity.
- And if they do love to watch them during meals make sure they watch the videos only during the meal and not throughout the day as they will lose interest in them after some time and u will have to search for other alternatives.
- Videos which my twins found to be interesting were Pixar Short movies, Mother goose club nursery rhymes, Pixar and Disney movies like Toy story, Wall-E, Up, Tangled, Despicable me etc.
- Sitting position: In the begining I made them sit in my lap (me sitting cross legged on the floor) with slightly inclined position using a pillow under my knee. The other baby can rest in the stroller while watching the movies or simultaneously can be fed by another family member. I found feeding them on my lap more comfortable and stable than in a feeding chair. So choose accordingly. Later on I made a habit of them sitting in a chair and feeding
- Consistency of food:
- Consistency of food given varies according to age.
- The first food which I used was simple rice water with salt and jaggery (which is the same consistency as that of milk), so it was easier for the babies to get adjusted to their first food.
- As their age advanced I started using cooked rice and dal and made it into a paste in a food processor and so on. Converting the food into a liquid to semi solid fine paste (and not thick) made swallowing very easy and didn’t create any aversion to the food.
- Another thing which I want to stress is when the baby is ready to have somewhat solid foods may be by 12-14 months, try making the food a bit granular (like a soup), for e.g. rice water with small chunks of rice, dal, vegetables, boiled egg etc, rather than turning the whole thing into a paste. Thicker paste makes it difficult to swallow and causes regurgitation.
- Also refer to my Post Common FAQs in weaning
- Frequency: Frequency of food intake also varies with age, at a younger age the food intake is more frequent than when they grow up. But, try to keep at least 3 meals at fixed interval (i.e breakfast, lunch and dinner) others can vary or schedules around these three meals. Also refer to my Post Common FAQs in weaning
- Supplements like calcium, Iron and Vitamin D3 should be given every day in appropriate amounts with consultation with paediatrician. If a supplement is given with a food, for example iron with lunch & dinner, calcium with evening meal, it becomes easier to remember every day and no doses are missed.
- I have always preferred jaggery over sugar. I have summarized the benefits of jaggery in my Post: Sugar versus Jaggery, do refer it
- Recipes: I have noted down some of the recipes I have used for the first two years. I have tried to make the diet as balanced as possible.
- Rice & Dal. (Do refer to recipe: Simple Rice-Dal Khichdi for babies and toddlers)
- Fruits : I always preferred papaya/mango with banana. Try introducing a variety of seasonal fruits, one at a time. I added 1- 2 scoops of of cerelac (wheat-apple-cherry) for taste.
- Ragi porridge (Do refer to the recipe: Nutritious Ragi and dry fruits porridge)
- Drinking Water: Some of the babies have difficulty in understanding the taste of water for the first time, try sweetened water of few amount of juice, than wean off the flavour. Avoid feeding water atleast ½ hour before meal, since babies may burp out the food.
- Sterilization of the feeding utensils is very necessary. Boil all the feeding bowls and spoon regularly, at least for the first year. And it becomes more in case of pre-term babies, who are more prone to develop infections
- Spoon: Using a silicon tip spoon makes the feeding very easy.
- Formula Feed: In case of preparation of formula feed or top feed, which is more common in case of twins the following should be kept in mind
- Thorough Boiling of feeding bottles
- Thorough washing of hands before preparing every feed. You can also use spirit (e.g. Sterillium) after wash
- Its better a single person makes the feed every time, preferable the mother, to avoid confusion and maintain proper hygiene care
- Making a separate section for preparation of baby feed, keeps it hygienic and hazzle free. You will require a separate clean table and an induction coil.
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