Although the Twin Z Pillow was created specifically for the Mom of Multiples, I would highly recommend this as an option for single babies as well.
Our very first baby class that we took when I was pregnant with my twins was a breastfeeding class through our hospital. I would highly recommend this to anyone that is thinking of breastfeeding their baby, even if for a short time. The information was invaluable, and it got us connected to a lactation consultant who was willing to answer all of my questions. When you are dealing with the added complication of feeding two babies at once, you need the experts!
You also need a good pillow. When you breastfeed twins at the same time, you will most likely always use the football hold. In the hospital, we had other lactation nurses try to help us find other positions, but this was where I felt the most comfortable, got the best latch, and didn’t feel like the babies were in danger of falling.
I also feel like it worked best because of our breastfeeding pillow: the Twin Z.
The Twin Z was created by a fellow twin mom who needed something better for feeding two babies at once. To those that haven’t seen it, I describe it as two Boppy pillows combined together to make a cursive W shape. Although the price tag at first seems a little high at $99, it is so much more than a breastfeeding pillow.
1. Nursing: Obviously, its first use is for nursing. The middle section bends up to support your back and the two side sections mold around your body and snap together for security. The babies rest on the cushion and nurse in the football hold with their heads forward and their legs towards your back. When the babies were small, I would have someone hand them to me after I got into position for a tandem feeding. Now, I can sit on the ground with the babies close by, get the pillow situated, and then get the babies latched on. I can actually do a tandem feeding by myself because of this pillow!
2. Bottle Feeding: You can also position your babies like they would be nursing and bottle feed them both at the same time. I have not tried this position, as I prefer to bottle feed them with them in the “elevated lying back” position (see below).
3. Elevated Lying Back: When you want to interact with both babies at once and they are not quite strong enough to sit, you can have them elevated but still lying down by putting the pillow flat on the floor and placing their bottoms in the open space. This is also my ideal way of bottle feeding both babies at once. This is also an ideal position for babies to be if they have reflux issues.
4. Practicing Sitting: Audrey was more interested in sitting first, so I let her sit up with assistance by using the pillow. If she fell back or forward, she was protected with a cushion all around her, but she got the practice she needed until she was a stronger sitter. With them sitting, it is also a great position to read them both a book.
5. Tummy Time: Whereas Audrey always loved tummy time, David was never a fan. I love that I could prop them up for a bit of help and more comfort with tummy time. I’m not saying that David loved it because of the Twin Z, but it became much more bearable for him, until he was a better tummy-timer.
6. Cuddling with Mommy: With one baby sitting or lying down in the Twin Z, I can also lie down on my side in the other half of the pillow. In this position, I could interact with the baby while also getting some much needed relaxation (hard to come by as a new mommy). This is a fantastic way for parents with one baby to use the Twin Z as well.
7. Adult Propped Up Sleeping: When I was hit with a horrible stomach bug when we were away visiting family, I needed to prop myself up a bit to sleep more comfortably and get off of my stomach. I was able to use the Twin Z to help me get through until we could make the 3 hour drive home. It was quite comfortable to sleep on my side and alleviate any pain or discomfort from my stomach. This would also be great for the pregnant mommy-to-be for those awful nights of heartburn.
8. Feeding One Baby: In the nursing position, with the middle section supporting your back and the sides clipped together, it is actually a very comfortable pillow for either nursing or bottle feeding one baby in more traditional positions. You get the back support you so desperately need, and you also get cradled and have the arm support you need for feeding.
9. To Pose for Photos: Just drape a piece of fabric or blanket over it, and you have a comfy place for pictures.
10. A Comfy Place for Pets: Both of our pets have found the Twin Z at times and claimed it for themselves. What can I say? This pillow is great for the whole family!
There are some other things to consider with this pillow.
–Active Facebook community: Although you don’t have to own a Twin Z to be active in the Twin Z community, it certainly helps. Michelle has built a wonderful network of women that support each other and are willing to ask questions and help each other out through the challenges of being a mom of multiples. They also have giveaways for amazing items (from pillows to give cards to strollers) quite often.
–Carrying Bag: My Twin Z came with a carrying bag, so when you are traveling it won’t get dirty. There is plenty of room in the bag to put the pillow and extra covers. The Twin Z doesn’t come with this carrying bag anymore, but if you get a dry cleaning bag, it will fit this pillow perfectly.
–Lightweight: For as large as this pillow is, it isn’t very heavy (just bulky). Even right after giving birth, I had no problem moving it around and setting it up.
–Sturdy: After 7 months of using this, it still holds its shape beautifully. I love that this is a pillow that is strong enough to last for years. There are plenty of moms on the Twin Z Facebook page that show pictures of their 2 and 3 years olds still using the Twin Z.
–Great for Travel and Beds: When you are traveling, you have no idea what sort of feeding set-up you will have. When you just have one baby, you can basically feed anywhere. If you are feeding both babies at once, you need consistency. I love that, because of the Twin Z, I am able to prop myself up in any bed, couch, or the floor and comfortably feed the twins. I promise, this is much better than having a ton of pillows propped up to make the babies at just the right height and that keep sliding around.
-Angle of the Pillow: In our breastfeeding class, our instructor told us about what makes a good breastfeeding pillow. She talked about how you wanted the pillow to curve downward into your body so that the baby naturally settles there. Thankfully, the Twin Z does just that, as opposed to some pillows that sit flat against your body.
–Loose Clip: When you are clipped in, you can adjust the tightness of the pillow to a certain extent, but I always find myself wishing that I could tighten it a little more to have a nice firm “hug” on my waist. With wiggly babies, sometimes they get themselves into an uncomfortable position. Now that they are older, I don’t worry so much about them being hurt
–Large: Yes, this pillow is huge. It has to be to make it do everything listed above. Plus, you are feeding two babies (and I’m still using it for tandem feeding at 7 months). If you plan for the space, you will be ok.
–Doesn’t Fit All Chairs: We sadly found this out the hard way after we moved the babies into their nursery at 6 weeks old. Unfortunately, because of the depth of the chair and the height of the arms, our nursing chair simply does not work with the Twin Z (pushing you too far forward and basically getting wedged in and stuck in the chair). This pillow does work great on chairs with low arms, however!
Overall, I recommend this pillow in a heartbeat. Whenever I talk to anyone about twins and they ask for my recommendations for a must-have twin item, it is the Twin Z (plus an additional cover). I’ve tried some of the other “twin” nursing pillows, and this is always my go-to pillow.
We are offering a giveaway of a Twin-Z pillow to one lucky reader! The giveaway starts today, June 27th and ends Wednesday July 3rd at 3pm CST. Winner will be chosen at random, contacted via email and have five days to claim their prize before another winner is selected.