You’re the proud parent of twins! Congratulations!
My sincerest respect and empathy for the challenges you’re likely to encounter. Twin babies, especially for first-time parents, are a massive amount of work. One of the most valuable investments in your whole family’s well-being is to get them sleeping well.
That’s typically going to be a little more complicated than teaching one baby some solid sleep skills. For all of the obvious reasons that come to mind. If one baby wakes up crying, you’re pretty much guaranteed that the other will be right behind them. Soothing two babies at the same time is just objectively tougher than one.
To further complicate the situation, twins are often premature, and preemies are very sleepy babies. This makes avoiding a feed to sleep association tricky. Plus, due to one baby crying likely waking the other, parents of twin are often quick to rush in and soothe a crying baby back to sleep by any means necessary. This can lead to a stronger feed to sleep associations.
So I’m not going to sugar coat it. Imparting those awesome sleep skills on your twins won’t be a walk in the park. It’s going to require double the determination and discipline on your part. It is, however, absolutely achievable! Once your little ones have got the hang of it, you, as the parent, are going to have a much easier go of things.
Think about it…what would you do with the extra time you’d have once both your babies are napping on the same schedule and sleeping through the night?
How much would that ease your parenting burden? It’s an absolute game-changer for most parents of one baby, so multiply that by two and you get… a double game-changer? Two game-changers? Whatever. You get my point.
So it’s going to be tricky.
Here are some tips to maximise your chances for early success:
It’s not necessary to split the twins up into separate rooms.
Yes, they will disturb each other less, however, it’s not always possible for each Bub to have their own room, and that’s ok.
Keep them on the same schedule.
The great thing about twins is that their sleep needs are going to be pretty much the same. Putting them on the same nap and bedtime schedule is effective for both of them.
Now, you’ll likely run into a situation where one baby sleeps longer than the other. That’s fine up to a point. I set the limit at about 30 minutes before you should wake up your other baby to prevent them from getting too out of sync. When nap time rolls around again, ignore the extra 30 minutes, and put them down at the same time.
Having both babies going down and waking up at the same time is also pretty important for Mum and Dad’s sanity.
For obvious reasons. Having some time to yourself during the day can make all the difference in the world when you’re dealing with twins. Once they’ve adapted to their new schedule, you’ll have a lot more time to take care of the other responsibilities that come with having two babies. Who knows, you might even get a little “me-time” in there.
Work on hanging back slightly and letting each baby learn how to sleep next to their sibling.
I mentioned earlier that parents of twins are a more likely to respond quickly when one of them wakes up crying at night. More likely to try to quieten baby down with whatever method is quick and effective, in order to prevent them from waking up their sibling. Give them a chance to get used to their room mates noises. Not only does it let them get accustomed to sibling noise, it also gives the upset baby a chance to self settle.
Keeping the night feeds together is a great idea too.
Your sleep is important as well. You don’t want to have fed one twin, gone back to bed, only to have to get up to feed the other twin.
Importantly, ensure baby is awake during the night feed.
Avoid drowsiness and feeding to sleep.
Hopefully a few tips that can help you out now.
For more personalised sleep support, please don’t hesitate to reach out. It’s going to be a lot of work, make no mistake. I can promise you, however, that it’s going to be so SO worth it. I will be supporting you every step of the way once you decide it’s time to get those sweet little bundles sleeping beautifully.
My last bit of advice? The advice I have to tell myself daily!