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Baby Sleep and Multiples

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Cara Dumaplin

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If 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 multiples.

Is good sleep possible with multiples?

YES! In my experience, when parents of 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!

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

YES! The Taking Cara Babies classes work for families with multiples. No matter how many babies you have, my First Five Months Bundle and The 5–24 Month Collection 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, and I’ll show you some specifics in your class to help you practically apply those techniques with your multiples.

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. Please know that every sleep consultant on my team has extensive experience working with families of multiples.

What if my babies were born prematurely?

Many multiples do arrive a bit early. If your babies were born prematurely, please know that my classes can work for your family as well. Because we always want to meet little ones where they are developmentally, 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 multiples?

Yes! I have so many products on my Favorites page. Many twin parents find that a twin carrier, double stroller, and double nursing pillow can be so helpful if they’re within your budget.

Where should my multiples sleep?

In my experience, most multiples do share a room. Although many parents worry that their babies will wake one another all night long, they really can learn to sleep through each other's noises. Please know, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that each baby has their own separate space for safe sleep. (There are also some bassinets designed for each twin to have their own sleeping space. Those can be a great option as well.)

What are your best tips for multiples?

1. Treat each baby as an individual. 

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.

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 10-20 minutes longer and then wake him. The same concept applies with feedings. If one is showing hunger cues, offer both a feeding simultaneously. This will take time and creativity to conquer initially. Maybe it’s using a nursing pillow made for twins. Maybe one parent feeds one baby while the other parent feeds the other. If feeding at the same time just isn’t practical for your family, simply feed babies one right after the other. 

Keeping these similar (yet flexible!) routines, will make life so much more manageable for the entire family. In my classes, I will teach you what this looks like for each age group.

3. Prioritize your bedtime routine.

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 can be possible. Let me show you how one twin mama manages their bedtime routine.

4. Have a support system in place.

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 all by yourselves. 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? 

I’ve heard so many multiples mamas and daddies 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!

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. 

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!

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