“I’m Having Twins, Will I Ever Sleep Again?”
That was my first thought when I found out we were having twins. I could not imagine what lay ahead. Now that a year has passed I can look back and feel good that I created strong twin sleepers
When I think back to what helped me create such great twin sleepers I came up with these 9 tips. Yep 9, I just like to be different…
1. The Same Rules Apply for Multiples and Singletons
By rules I mean most of the things you are going to do to help your single baby sleep well, you are going to do for twins too.
- Make sure you have a safe sleep environment. As a certified sleep consultant I always recommend following the AAP’s guidelines for safe sleep. Make sure there is nothing else in the crib with them, they should each be in their own sleeping space, and the room shouldn’t be too warm.
- Make sure your room is dark. Keeping the room dark will limit distractions and signal your baby’s body produce melatonin. Having a small night light is fine but keep it dim.
- Separate eating from sleep by at least 20 minutes. You may not be able to do this when your baby is very young but work toward it slowly.
2. White Noise
- I recommend white noise for all children however, when dealing with multiples it is even more important. When babies are in the womb they get used to the sounds that they hear around them. These womb noises are often quite loud and constant. For this reason when you turn on white noise in the baby’s room it helps relax them and remind their bodies of being in the womb. With multiples the benefit of white noise extends further, if they are sharing a room it will help drown out the noise of the other baby.
3. Build a Strong Sleep Foundation
- When they are around 3 months old start trying to put your babies down drowsy but awake. When you notice they are getting sleepy put them in their cribs and give them the chance to fall asleep independently. You might try letting them fuss for a minute or two, if they start to cry, pick them up and do whatever it takes to get them to sleep. The next time you put them down to sleep try again to let them settle on their own. Over time they should start putting themselves to sleep more often until they can do it completely independently.
4. Get Them Used To Sleeping Together
- If you want your babies to sleep in the same room, make sure you put them together right from the beginning. This even applies during sleep training. If they get used to sleeping through their sibling’s noise they will continue to do so for the rest of their lives.
5. Have a short bedtime routine
- It is important to have bedtime routine, it prepares your babies for sleep physically and emotionally for sleep. With multiples you want to keep this routine short and sweet. It may just be putting on a new diaper, changing into jammies, brushing teeth, reading a book and then in bed. I do our routine on the floor so I can have my eyes on both babies at all times.
6. Schedule Schedule Schedule
- This is probably the most important thing to think about when it comes to multiples. When one is sleeping the other is sleeping, when one is eating the other is eating. If you don’t do this you will spend your entire life stuck at home with one baby sleeping and the other baby eating. The idea never wake a sleeping baby does not apply to twins. If one wakes up make sure to wake the other within 15 minutes. This way they are ready to go down for their next nap at the same time. This allows you some time without any babies to relax, fold some laundry or eat a real meal!
7. Find the sensitive sleeper
- In most cases one of the twins is a sensitive sleeper and the other is a more flexible sleeper. As soon as you determine who is who, base your schedule off of the sensitive sleeper’s needs. Your flexible baby should be able to handle adapting to the other one’s schedule.
8. Feed them at the same time in the middle of the night
- For the first few months when one wakes up at night to eat, wake up the other. I tried quite a few times to let the other one sleep and without fail as soon as I climbed back into bed the second baby woke up hungry! By feeding them at the same time you should at least get a few hours of uninterrupted sleep.
9. Share the work with your spouse
- This doesn’t apply just to sleep. Having one infant to take care of is hard, but having more than one can be overwhelming at times. Whenever possible let your spouse, family or friends help out. Don’t try and do it all on your own, you deserve the help and in the long run it will make you a better parent!
If you need more personalized help please reach out to me!