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Baby Sleep and Life With Twins

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Cara Dumaplin

RN, BSN, Certified Pediatric Sleep Consultant

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baby girl twins looking a the camera, one in off white the other in blush pink rompers

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Whether you just found out you’re expecting twins, triplets, or quadruplets OR you’ve been a parent of multiples for a while, this blog is for you. Let's talk about baby sleep and life with twins (or multiples)!

Is good sleep possible for parents of twins or triplets? anchor

YES! In my experience, when parents of twins (or multiples) have a predictable, yet flexible routine, this helps the entire family thrive. Your babies can be great little sleepers with strong sleep habits too! See my tips below for how to handle life with twins and how to set your babies up for sleep success. 

Can Taking Cara Babies classes work with twins, triplets, or quadruplets?anchor

YES! All of my classes work for twins, triplets, or quadruplets. Truly, no matter how many babies you have, my First Five Months Bundle, 5–24 Month Collection and Toddler Sleep Training classes will teach you how to meet your babies where they are developmentally and work towards great sleep. The same skills and techniques that work for a single baby ALSO work for more than one baby. In my classes, I’ll show you how to practically apply those techniques with multiples too.

If you want one-on-one guidance after taking a class, you can schedule a phone consult for more customized support. These phone consultations are a great way to dive into the specifics of your babies and your family. Every sleep consultant on my team has extensive experience working with families of multiples.

Will the Taking Cara Babies classes still work if my multiples were born prematurely?anchor

Yes, if your babies were born prematurely, my classes can work for your family as well. Many twins, many triplets, many multiples do arrive a bit early. We always want to meet little ones where they are developmentally, so I recommend using adjusted age (age from due date) for babies born prior to 37 weeks. Their adjusted age will help you decide which class is best for you.

Do you have any favorite products for twins?anchor

Yes! Here are some products that parents of twins find helpful: 

  • Twin carrier for babywearing

  • Double stroller

  • Feeding pillow

  • Extra wide glider 

  • Split-screen monitor 

You may also want to consider a portable bassinet or baby bouncer (when developmentally appropriate) as a safe place to set down one baby when you need to care for another. Don't forget: a blanket on the floor can also be a perfectly safe place for your babies. 

I know that shopping for babies, whether multiples or singletons, can add up quickly! Some great deals can also be found in local community groups or preowned baby gear companies, like this one

Expert Tip: Don’t forget the sound machine (Use Code CARA20 for 20% off.)! Each baby having their own sound machine can really help with noise in the nursery as well as with with naps outside of the nursery and on the go!

Can twins sleep in the same crib?anchor

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that each baby has their own separate space for safe sleep. For those newborn months, consider a bassinet designed for each twin to have their own sleeping space. 

In my experience, most twins and multiples do share a room at night. I recommend placing cribs on opposite sides of the room (or as far from each other as possible) and a sound machine between cribs. Although many parents worry that their babies will wake one another all night long, be assured that they really can learn to sleep through each other's noises.

Expert Tip: Daytime sleep can be tricky for anyone, single babies, twins, even adults. Sleep drive is simply much lower during the day than it is at night. If possible, set up separate napping spaces for your twins or multiples. Consider a Pack ’n Play in your room or well-ventilated bathroom for one baby while the other sleeps in the nursery. When each baby has their own safe space for naps, it can make a big difference for nap success! 

How do I do a bedtime routine with twins or triplets?anchor

A bedtime routine is a series of events that cues your babies’ brains that sleep is coming. Plan to do bedtime routines with all of your babies together. Yes, it will be a bit more challenging than only having one baby, but it is possible. Let me show you how one twin mama manages their bedtime routine.

Can I sleep train my twins or triplets? anchor

Yes, you can sleep train twins, triplets, or any number of multiples. Please know, I recommend waiting to sleep train babies until they are at least 5 months old (adjusted age). 

If your babies are younger than 5 months, my First Five Months Bundle is not formal sleep training, but it is a way to begin the journey to great nights. These classes will give you step-by-step guidance for laying a healthy sleep foundation without any crying.

If your twins or triplets are 5 months or older, my 5-24 Month Collection can help you with sleep. It’s a holistic sleep training plan to help your babies achieve 10-12 hours of consolidated night sleep, set up great naps, and overcome any bump along the way. It includes a fully customizable step-by-step guide that allows you to remain emotionally connected to your babies through the entire process. 

What are your best sleep tips for twins or multiples?anchor

1. Treat each baby as an individual. anchor

Even though your babies shared a womb, were handed similar genetic material, and have the same parents implementing the same healthy sleep habits, they ARE individuals. There is no better way to see that babies develop at their own pace than to watch multiples. One might talk earlier, the other may be a stronger crawler. One might smile first, while another might be the first to take a step. In the same way, it’s not uncommon for one baby to be the stronger sleeper. Don’t let this stress you. Celebrating their differences and knowing that they will develop on their own timeline is key.

2. Keep your babies’ routines and schedules within 10-20 minutes of each other.anchor

I know: I just told you to treat them each as individuals, and now I’m telling you to keep them on similar schedules. Let me explain: Although we are treating them as individuals, keeping them on similar schedules will help make your days (and nights) so much smoother. 

Here’s what this might look like:

  • The first baby to flash sleepy cues may need a slightly shorter wake window.

  • If one baby wakes earlier from a nap, let’s give the other 10-15 minutes longer and then wake them.

  • If one baby is showing hunger cues, offer both a feeding simultaneously. This may take some creativity, like using a nursing pillow made for twins. Maybe one parent feeds one baby while the other parent feeds the other. It will take practice to figure out what works best for you and your babies, so be patient with yourself!

  • If feeding at the same time just isn’t practical for your family, aim to feed your babies one right after the other.

Keeping these similar (yet flexible!) routines will make life with twins so much more manageable for the entire family. In my classes, I will teach you what this looks like for your babies during their first five years. 

3. Prioritize your bedtime routine.anchor

A bedtime routine is a series of events that cues your babies’ brains that sleep is coming. Plan to do the bedtime routine with all of your babies together. Yes, it will be a bit more challenging than only having one baby, but it is possible. Check out this example of a mama implementing a bedtime routine with her twins.

4. Have a support system in place.anchor

Please hear me: those who love you want to help you! You were never meant to walk this journey alone or try to figure it out life with twins all by yourself. Find your support system! Who can help entertain your babies when you need a minute to yourself? Is there anyone who might want to bring you dinner? 

When it comes to life with twins, I’ve heard so many parents share how much they love their online communities. Finding other parents of multiples can be so helpful for asking questions, getting support, and hearing those reminders that you're not alone!

Expert Tip: On your counter, keep a pen and notebook accessible. Write down things you need, upcoming appointments, and necessary errands. When someone asks how they can help, look at your list, “Well, if you’re headed to the grocery store, I’m out of paper towels.”
“Will you be on the west-side of town? My glasses are ready for pick-up.”

5. Give yourself grace. anchor

If you take one piece of advice from me today, please let it be this: Give yourself and your babies so much grace. You are my hero. No, truly. I know that having two babies is more than double the work and three babies, more than triple. Parents, you are incredible. There is no better mama on the planet for those babies than you. There is no better daddy on the planet for those babies than you. You've got this!

Are you ready to have a great little sleeper?

If you're overwhelmed, exhausted, or just not sure where to start. I was there too. Let me show you everything you need to confidently handle sleep so your whole family can thrive!

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