If you’re expecting twins, congratulations!!!! You likely have a zillion questions swimming around your pregnant brain about breastfeeding, what baby items you’ll need, and how you’re going to get two babies to sleep. Figuring out the details of sleep with twins can be tricky. Here’s a few things to consider when trying to decide how and where your twins are going to sleep.
Having twins means that you’ll need two of nearly everything baby related. This includes cribs. However, most parents of twins would like to have both babies in the same bed, in Mom’s room if possible. Here’s what you need to know; if your infant twins share a bed, you should consider following these safe sleep guidelines. Firm mattress, no soft bedding, make sure they have their own space in their bed, make sure they don’t overheat, breastfeed if possible, and consider room sharing with your babies for their first six months. A bassinet or Moses basket will be too small for two babies to share safely. A crib is more realistic, so long as the babies have enough space and don’t move into each other’s space in the night.
WHEN DO YOU MOVE TWINS TO SEPARATE BEDS?
Safe sleep guidelines would suggest that twins be moved into separate beds once they are more mobile; moving into each other’s space, causing a risk to one another. The other reason you might consider moving twins into separate beds would be if one consistently wakes the other one up. They may not need separate rooms right away; most parents of twins say that one twin almost never wakes the other one up. Separate beds may be enough space to prevent one from waking the other one.
IS THERE A REASON TO KEEP TWINS TOGETHER?
Yes. Twins literally grew together in the womb, so it only makes sense that they stay close once they’re born. Some studies and professionals say that keeping twins close to one another can help with blood sugar regulation, thermoregulation, heart rate control, and comfort. Most parents of twins will tell you that they seem to comfort each other. Plus there’s nothing better than seeing both of your babies sleeping sweetly side by side.
WHEN SHOULD TWINS TRANSITION TO SEPARATE ROOMS?
This one is more family/situation-specific. Lots of twins share a room until they leave for college. Others need a separate space earlier than that. Here are some things to consider. If one twin is disrupting the other one, either at bedtime, in the night, or in the morning. If one twin seems to need more sleep than the other one. If their personalities are so different that one seems to need more privacy or space. That said, there’s a lot of situations where twins can’t have their own spaces. In this case, it may be necessary to use a space divider, create different bedtimes, or use a sound machine for a longer period of time.
WHAT’S THE BEST WAY TO SLEEP TRAIN TWINS?
Depending on the age, you may need to temporarily separate your twins to sleep train them. If you’re training both babies at once, both parents will likely need to be involved in sleep training; one parent per baby to start. If they’re sharing a room, a sound machine may be beneficial to prevent one from waking the other. Darkness will be key. A dark room not only promotes sleep by increasing melatonin (the sleep hormone) in the brain, but they also won’t be able to see their twin as easily. If it’s possible, you may need to move their separate beds to different sides of the room; using a room divider if you think it’s necessary. You may want to enlist the help of a professional sleep coach. Here at The Mama Coach, twin parents catch a break!!! We know how difficult it can be to raise twins, so you only ever pay for one sleep plan!