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Resources Centre / Twins Tips Introduction / Twins Tips / Weaning Twins & Multiples - Part 1
Weaning Twins & Multiples - Part 1
As a mother of twins, I understand that feeding your babies is an important topic and the introduction of their first solid foods is a major milestone. However, the same principles apply to weaning twins and multiples as for single babies but with more than one mouth to feed at the same time, its essential that you are fully prepared!

For parents looking for practical advice on what foods to introduce and when, this short guide to weaning and feeding twins has been developed to help you by providing simple steps for success. Use our Double Helpings Food Diary to help you keep track of new foods that you introduce to your twin babies, determine which textures they have mastered and which types of tastes he/she prefers - something that can be helpful as you start thinking about which foods to introduce next and a handy reference guide for you and health professionals.

The Meaning of Weaning
Weaning is the process of introducing your babies to foods other than milk, which is important for their growth and development. The Department of Health recommends that you dont wean babies earlier than 6 months as their tummies are unable to cope with food other than breastmilk or formula. Premature babies may benefit from early weaning at 5 months but always seek advice from your health visitor before starting solids.

Food Allergies
Food allergies are rare, but if anyone in your family has eczema, asthma or hay fever, you should look out for allergic reactions to the following foods: wheat, citrus fruits, eggs, nuts, fish, shellfish, dairy products and cows milk. Record any known allergies and also note down any adverse reactions so you can discuss this with your doctor and/or health visitor.

Ready, Steady, Go!
So, how do you know when your babies are ready to start weaning?
Look for the following clues
  • Holds head up and sitting well when supported
  • Shows interest in you and other people eating
  • Chewing motions, puts things in his/her mouth
  • Waking during night when he/she slept before
  • Still hungry and less satisfied with milk alone
  • Taking 4-6 feeds of 6-8oz at 4-hourly intervals
  • At least 17 weeks old and weighs 15lb (6.8kg)
Here are a few suggestions to help you make the most of multiple mealtimes.

Timing is Everything!
Twins do so much together and weaning is usually no exception, but they are individuals and, as such, may not be ready at same time. Choose a relaxed part of the day to start, making sure your babies are not too tired or too hungry. Timing approaches include: feeding solids shortly after naptime; offering food between milk feeds or in the middle of a milk feed.

Just like Mum used to Make!
Home-cooked food is nutritious, healthy and twin-tasty! And, it doesnt have to be difficult either, invest in a food processor that does the lot cooks, blends, chops and defrosts and youre good two go! Fresh is always best and much cheaper than jars or packets, the key is to make batches of food ahead and freeze, but forget about ice-cube trays, larger food pots or yoghurt pots are better to feed two hungry mouths.

Practical Solutions
Want to make your life easier? The sit your babies side by side and feed them together, using one spoon and bowl for convenience and speed (except when one of the babies is sick). High chairs may be too big at first, so try using portable infant seats instead, they should support their backs and are ideal for interaction between you and your babies. Multiples make mess, so keep them away from your walls and cover your floors!

Socialisation Skills
Using this time to communicate with your twins as individuals is doubly important, as language difficulties are more common in twins. Make the most of this together time by having fun encouraging them to eat but try to give each twin their turn talking to you. Use their individual names, make eye contact and give lots and lots of praise you may feel a bit silly at first but you get used to it!

And Finally
Whatever you do, dont stress about it! Starting solids is a big change for your babies and they've got a lot to learn. It takes time and patience, but every baby gets there in the end!

If you have any concerns, ask your health visitor for advice before you start weaning. For more on weaning and feeding, visit the Twins Tips section in our Resource Centre where you will find lots of information and advice on all multiple matters!

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