Formula feeding experience

Almost from the minute we found out I was pregnant with twins, I knew I wasn't even going to bother trying to breastfeed and would formula feed them. I was very lucky that my midwives throughout my entire pregnancy and stay in hospital never pushed breastfeeding, like I know they do in other hospitals and particularly on single babies. I'm not sure if it was because I had a twin pregnancy or not, but I was grateful regardless.

I wish I had researched formula a bit more, because I'm sure I could have saved myself a bit of money. I just went for Aptamil 1 because it was most stocked in my local supermarket at the time. I definitely had no idea quite how much twins go through. Some weeks I was spending £22 on formula! I didn't want to switch formula when they had already settled on Aptamil.

Now the girls are eating three meals a day, they have just three 8oz bottles a day rather than 4oz, and even that is decreasing by the week. I now go through roughly a tub and a half each week, rather than two tubs a week. So I am buying two tubs every 10 days.

I fully understand why people want to breastfeed, but I personally thought I would feel like a cow. And even formula feeding them was hard enough in the first few weeks. I have HUGE respect for any twin mum who breastfeeds; it must be incredibly difficult and tiring.

We use the Mam anti-colic bottles which are great. We started out using Tommee Tippee but the girls didn't seem to get on with them much, it generated a lot of trapped wind and they struggled with air circulation.

I believe formula is the reason the girls have slept through from around nine weeks. They stopped waking up for their feeds so often from the age of about four weeks. When we first left hospital, I was told we HAD to wake them up every four hours to feed. It was getting to a point where it was becoming increasingly difficult to wake them up in the middle of the night and wind them when they were sound asleep. Plus the fact we didn't want to wake up either. Never wake a sleeping baby! You'll regret it.

I make up two bottles each for the day every morning. It says on the tub and all the guidelines say to discard after one or two hours. I think it's a marketing scam to use more formula up because my babies are perfectly healthy and apparently my mum used to do the same and I'm alright.

I'm a big believer in the Tommee Tippee Perfect Prep machine. It has been a saviour, particularly in those early weeks when I was waking up at 2am making bottles.

We are still using Aptamil 1 at 8.5 months and haven't moved on to the "follow on" milks. I have asked separate health visitors and nurses in different areas about follow on milks and all have said not to bother with them, to stick to stage 1 and then switch to cows milk when they turn 1. From the looks of it, follow on milks were created so they could advertise them (you aren't able to advertise stage 1 milks because "breast is best" apparently – although my children seem to be doing alright) and some brands have slightly more sugar on them.

All in all, I have decided that if I ever have any more children (although that risk of more twins is too high!) then I will formula feed them too. I have nothing against breastfeeders in the slightest, but it has been what has worked best for our little family. My husband has developed a wonderful bond with the twins and I think bottle feeding is a big part of that. Plus, I can have a lie in and let him take over. Win!

And a word of warning if you are doing the same: it HURTS when your milk comes through. Hurts a LOT. Wear a tight bra 24/7, get loads of breast pads, avoid getting under the warm shower, and just don't touch! They'll look like melons but don't even press if it hurts. It took about five days for the pain to get better for me. Ibuprofen worked a treat.


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