Calling all families who are sleep training twins and multiples! In this blog, I’m giving you my five best tips for sleep training twins. Just because you are sleep training multiple children at a time, you absolutely can have sleep success! These are my best tips to help you make sleep a thing!
I’ve worked with a lot of twin families, from newborn twins to preschool twins and they are so rewarding.
In the beginning, I was actually trained that when you work with twins, you charge a little bit more for your one-on-one consults. And I actually really only did that for one year. My husband is a twin, and as I worked with more twins, I just felt like that is not fair!
You twin moms have already been paying for double so no, we do not have any additional cost on our programs! I wanted to share that because I think that there’s a misconception that because you have twins, sleep training is so different.
Separate for naps, not nights.
Think about your space that you have. Are your twins sharing a crib if they are newborns? That can be okay for a little bit of time, but once they start getting mobile we need to separate them.
So once you’ve gone beyond four months, look at your nursery arrangement.
If you have the availability, I want you to keep the twins together for nighttime, but separate them for naps.
I had a mom I worked with two years ago with her twin boys and they were four months old. We could not get those boys to nap any longer than 20-30 minutes at a time, all day long. They had 4-5 naps, around 20-30 minutes, and that was it.
And I had asked her in the beginning, “Hey, can we get creative and separate them for naps? I think that’s going to be really helpful.” She really didn’t want to do it. I’m not in the business of twisting people’s arms. And I responded, “Okay, all right, yep, we’ll go with this as long as we can. We’re just going to keep that in the back of our mind.”
One week in with no nap successes, mom started feeling frustrated. Although they were sleeping great at night, I suggested we separate them. She responded, “Okay, we’ll try it.”
For the first nap that we separated them, they took an hour and a half nap! It was amazing. My first tip is to keep them together for nights. For naps, I’d like for you to separate them.
One of our team members here at Little Z Sleep is a twin mom, and she told us that her girls’ room is actually really big. She puts one twin over here and one twin over here, so they have a lot of space to separate. If you have a SlumberPod and a guest room or a SlumberPod and a ventilated closet, let’s put the other twin in there. (Save 5% on the Slumberpod with LITTLEZSLEEP)
Step two, when you are going through this sleep training process for your twins, is to go ahead and look at their age. With twins, we are generally looking at adjusted age. For twins, full term is 38 weeks and I usually go by due dates. What I’m looking for is we can start sleep training 16 weeks from the due date because a four-month, five-month, and six-month-old all have different nap schedules.
I worked with another set of twins who were 12 months old, but they arrived two months early, so we were on a two-nap schedule for a while. They were 14-15 months old still rocking a two-nap schedule.
I’d encourage you to not ever sleep train without a sleep log, okay? I have free ones for you, so go and download them here. You may think you’ll remember their schedule, but it is so easy to forget. Sleep logging helps you find patterns and will make the process a lot smoother.
The fourth tip is to make sure that we have adequate white noise. This is key because we’ve got double the babies in there. I love the Yogasleep Dohm machine! Let’s make sure it’s not too loud in the nursery. I would suggest putting that machine right in the middle between both of the twins.
If you have a really large room, feel free to offer a white noise machine for each child. White noise for twins is super important to help buffer any night waking that might disturb the other twin.
Tip number five is to maintain the same schedule for both twins. What if Twin A wakes up and Twin B is still sleeping for a nap? What do we do? Well, I want you to go ahead and follow our nap guidelines. Whatever the timing is, if you need to get up Twin A, let Twin B keep sleeping. You do not have to go wake them up. I would give them 15 to 30 minutes MAX of extra sleep. This is really helpful when Twin A decides to take a 20-minute nap, and Twin B wants to keep sleeping. Great, they can, but we do need to wake them up. That way we can have the same rhythm throughout the rest of the day.
When it’s time to go put Twin A down, who is more tired because they had a short nap, take Twin B over with Twin A, do their naptime routine, and leave the room. Remember, since we have a separate space for Twin B, you can keep them awake for 15-30 minutes and then put them down.
Does that make sense? It’s completely normal to feel like there’s a lot going on here with sleep training twins.
How do you handle night feeding with twins? This is really honestly going to depend on your twins’ medical history and their weight gain. Obviously, make sure you talk to your child’s pediatrician.
If they need to have a night feed, I am okay to just watch and wait. If Twin A needs a night feed, feel free to let Twin B sleep. Twin B might be ready for an 11-12 hour night (remember, this is for babies 4 months and up, not newborns).
Feeling overwhelmed? You’ve got this! If you are looking for that solid plan and you need somebody to tell you step-by-step what to do, then our sleep e-coaching plan is exactly what you guys need. So head on over to littlezsleep.com/programs to find a sleep training plan, whether it’s for your baby, toddler, or preschooler.
Sweet dreams. See you next time.
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