In my first few months as a new mother, I felt absolutely overloaded. There just wasn’t a single moment where my mind wasn’t completely centered on my child.
So I can only imagine how much that feeling must be compounded when parents welcome twins into the world. Imagine taking on all of the challenges of a new parent, then multiplying them by two, or even three! I seriously have a hard time trying to wrap my head around it.
But if you’re one of the blessed, yet overwhelmed, parents of twins or multiples, I have a special video this week just for you to help you navigate the tricky task of getting them both sleeping soundly through the night.Rather read than watch? Click here.
Hi, I’m Dana, creator of the Sleep Sense Program and today I want to give you some tips on how to sleep train twins.
First of all, my hat goes off to you. You know, I used to think, before I had kids, that having twins sounded like so much fun, until I had my first son. And then I remember being really thankful that there was only one baby to deal with.
But I’m going to help you because, if we can get the babies on the same sleeping schedule, it’s gonna make life with twins a lot easier.
So the first step is, where should they sleep? Well, there might not be any options. You know, unless you have a house with extra bedrooms, chances are high that they’re going to need to share a bedroom, and that’s totally fine. We can absolutely get used to sleeping with other people in the same room as us. It’s just gonna take a little bit of work.
So my recommendation is to separate twins for nap time. Because naps are always the hardest part of the program, and because the sleep that we have when we’re napping is much lighter than the sleep we have in the night, it’s very likely that one twin is either gonna keep the other one awake, or wake up the other one prematurely. So set up a Pack ‘N Play. It could be in the office, the spare room, the laundry room. It doesn’t really matter where it is, but we’re gonna keep that the nap location for twin one, and that twin is always gonna sleep in that Pack ‘N Play.
Then at night, it’s totally fine that they’re together and in the same room. They should definitely be in their own cribs though. And depending on which approach you’re going to use, either you’re leaving and checking, or you’re gonna do stay in the room, you just follow the plan as outlined. Now, some of the common worries is that one twin’s gonna fall asleep before the other, one twin’s not gonna be as tired and ready for nap time as the other.
And what should we do about that? Well, my advice is to keep them on the same schedule, give or take about a half an hour. We’ve got about a half an hour of wiggle room where we can manipulate one baby’s schedule a little bit more to accommodate the other. And it is tricky because not every baby’s sleep need is gonna be exactly the same.
So you might notice that one twin gets sleepier a little quicker than the other, but just give that twin a gentle push. You know, we’re pushing them a little bit not into over tiredness, but just a little bit beyond, you know, their threshold, so that we can kind of keep them on the same schedule. You know, maybe we make that twin wait an extra 15 minutes, and we ask the other twin to be a little bit early for the nap, and then we go put them down at the same time.
Now, once one twin falls asleep and the other twin falls asleep, chances are they’re not gonna sleep the same length, especially when you just start the program. Short naps or kind of sporadic naps, long one one day, short the next is very, very common in the first couple of weeks. Hang in there. It should regulate with time. But if one twin’s up before the other, again, we wanna give that half hour leeway. So I would get the twin that’s awake up first. I’m not gonna rush in. I’m gonna give her, you know, a good 10, 15 minutes to see if she’s maybe gonna go back to sleep. If not, I go in and get that twin up, and I set the timer for 30 minutes, and I give the other twin a little bit extra time, but I don’t want it to go too long because then that’s gonna throw off our whole schedule for the rest of the day.
So if that twin is not awake yet, at that 30 minute mark, and I know this breaks my heart too, we’re gonna have to wake up that twin just so that we can have some sort of predictability with our schedules. And again, when next nap time comes around, we might be asking this twin to hang in there a little bit longer, maybe asking this twin to go down a little bit too soon. But I promise you, if you hang in there within, I would say, by the third week you should be seeing some pretty consistent nap happening, and the length should basically work itself out, give or take that 30 minutes.
So good luck. It is an important step with twins because it’s gonna give you a bit of a break in the day. It’s gonna get them sleeping through the night a lot faster. Then you can spend time focusing on you, and recover and get that rest that you need too.
Thanks so much for watching today. Sleep well.
If your baby, infant or toddler is having trouble sleeping through the night, help is just a click away! The Sleep Sense Program has helped over 107,000 parents to get their kids sleeping 11-12 hours through the night AND taking long, restful naps during the day. If you’re ready to get started – I’m looking forward to helping you!
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