BLW – The Easiest Way to Introduce Solids to Your Twins
When the time came for starting solids with my twin girls I was almost overwhelmed with fear, not with joy for the new start. Everything had been so easy until that moment – I just gave the breast (breasts, to be exact) and I had two nicely fed, satisfied and happy babies. Now I found myself thinking about what, how, how much, when… I imagined our feeding times - juggling with the spoon between my daughters several times a day for the next months. And then almost by chance I came across a video of little Olivier eating alone his weaning food on a Dutch site about breastfeeding (at that time we were living in the Netherlands). I knew it right away – that will be our way of weaning too! I had never heard about BLW before, but it seemed so easy and natural, just what I was looking for.
I still remember how we started almost four years ago, when we gave for the first time a carrot to our girls – one just stared smiling at the camera with her new “toy”, her sister instead seemed to know everything right from the start – she just ate the whole carrot and asked for more! I’m telling this story because it describes one of the most important things for me about BLW and twins – it gives parents the possibility to respect the pace of development, taste and preferences of each child as an individual. And that is what we all try to do in raising more than one kid at a time.
Here are some more reasons that in my opinion make BLW the easiest way of introducing solids to your twins:
Why to choose BLW with twins?
1. It’s easy for the babies and for the parents and allows the family to eat together in a pleasant atmosphere.
2. Babies can discover the new foods themselves, they can try them and examine them on their own from the very beginning of the introduction of solids and make their own individual choices.
3. There is no need to cook separately for the babies – with a few simple considerations and a slight change in the normal menu the whole family can eat healthier and together and you will save time and effort.
4. No need to wait for years to have a warm dinner with your twins.
5. For two (or more) children of the same age diner time can be real pleasure and fun. They will also stimulate each other for the development of their feeding skills.
6. Two (or more) babies that sit at the table together are usually good eaters and are not picky. Many parents of singletons notice that their children would try to eat things that they normally refuse when they see another child eating them. With twins there is always “another” child at the table!
7. You will also save double the money by not having to buy special “baby” foods.
What can you expect?
You have surely noticed from the very first months of life of your twins that they have their own character and behave quite differently when they are fed – no matter if with breastmilk or formula. You will see differences also in the way they approach new foods. Maybe one baby will understand from the very beginning how to deal with self-feeding, biting and chewing, while the other will just sit and contemplate the food. It is so nice to see that soon also that baby will know what to do with the things to eat, stimulated not only by your example but also by the example of his little sister or brother. And there is more – all of a sudden he or she will even reach out to “steal” food from the other baby and try it! Compared to singletons, twins learn earlier not only to take the things of others, but also to share with them. After some months your little ones will have big fun trying to feed each other and later they will insist to have two pieces of everything so that they can share it. Don’t be fooled - most of the times such “generosity” will simply end with choosing the “bigger” or “better” piece for one’s self!
What about the double mess?
There will be a double mess, but there are also some good ways to avoid it! Babies are messy, especially in the beginning, when their movements are still uncoordinated, but they will get better and better every day. When the children are still small and don’t move a lot an easy way to prevent stains and avoid to wash two pairs of clothes after every meal may be to cover all the baby with a big light cloth tied on the neck. The most suitable ones turned to be the old style cloth diapers – light, soft and easy to wash. As the babies get bigger a thing that helps quite a lot is to get them accustomed to roll up their sleeves at the table so that you don’t find the entire menu stamped on them after dinner. A good bib is also a must. The plastic ones with a pocket for the food protect very well the clothes and also collect almost everything that may fall from the hands or mouth of the baby. There is a big choice of such bibs on the market, however after several tries the best one for me turned to be a self designed and home made plastic one. All you need is some self adhesive Velcro strip for the neck and “pocket” and a pair of scissors. You can make the desired shape according to the size of the child and have a wider and longer bib compared to the ones that are usually found in the stores. Just fold the lower part upwards and you will have a “pocket” for the food! Strangely enough the best material for such a bib turned out to be the one of the plastic bad curtains – light, flexible, impermeable, easy to wash and quick to dry.
You can also put a plastic sheet under the highchairs of the babies to protect the floor. In that way there is also no need to waste every piece of food that falls on the ground. It’s even easier to use a piece of newspaper under each chair and throw it directly in the garbage after dinner.
Some more tips:
As you might have already noticed a good schedule helps really a lot with twins. Try to organize as much as possible the lunch and dinner time together for all the family members. Sometimes it is more convenient for the adults to dine a little bit earlier than usual instead of postponing the dinner for a later time in the evening when babies sleep. By that time you may be also too tired and hungry. Just prepare the table, put the babies on their highchairs, give them something to eat and then sit down to enjoy your meal too. Place the babies on the table in a way that you are able to reach them without getting constantly up. You may choose to place one child closer to you and the other closer to the other parent. We used to put them side by side at the head of the table and sit on both sides. In that way we could see each child good and help or intervene if necessary.
You will be surprised how quickly your twins will start to eat clean, drink from a cup and use their own silverware. Before you realize it you will find at the family table next to you two or more satisfied and good eating kids with real table manners. And each meal will be a great pleasure for all the family!