Every family deserves to sleep. Whether you’re a family of one baby or two (or more), sleep is a necessity! In the newborn days, it’s common for survival mode to be set on full throttle, even with ways to encourage a healthy sleep foundation, but that throttle doesn’t need to stay there!
Here are 5 tips when it comes to sleep training your twins (or any set of multiples!)
(And be on the lookout for some freebies and a discount code along the way! You can find them next to the 📣)
1. Go off of the babies due date (adjusted age)
It’s generally regarded safe to start sleep training when babies are 16 pounds or 16 weeks old. That’s 16 weeks from their due date.
So, for example, if your bundles of joy were born exactly 2 weeks prior to their due date, you can start sleep training when it’s been 18 weeks since their birth, 16 weeks adjusted.
The reason being is though your babies arrived earlier than expected, their development still follows the same general timeline as if they’d arrived “on time”.
Even still, talk to your babies’ pediatrician before starting any form of sleep training.
2. Prepare their sleep spaces
Having a sleep space set for optimal sleep is crucial for the success of sleep training and for the quality of sleep they’ll be getting.
If your babies are room-sharing, there are just a few minor adjustments to make to ensure each baby’s sleep space is protected from noise.
Any ideal sleep space consists of
A safe crib (or bed for older children)
For room-sharing siblings, they need to have their own cribs and have the cribs separated as much as possible with a sound machine between them. Though it is common for the cries of one twin to not affect the other, there’s not much worse during sleep training (or any time, really) to have one baby wake the other! The sound machine will help prevent that.
Pro tip: Have the baby that struggles with their sleep the most, closest to the door for easy accessibility!
3. Keep them together at night and separate for naps.
If your babies are room-sharing, keep them together at night, but have them sleep separately for naps during the training time at least.
Since night sleep is easier to come by because of our circadian rhythm and the release of melatonin, your babies are less likely to interfere with each other’s sleep through the night.
Naps are a different story.
Again, because of our circadian rhythm, daytime sleep requires a little more finesse. Since that’s the case, have your babies sleep in separate rooms until they are napping well consistently.
Since their nap space needs to be set for optimal sleep, just like it does at night, I highly recommend a SlumberPod for the baby sleeping in a separate room. (📣 Use code GOODNIGHTFAMILIES20 to get $20 off your order!)
4. What you do for one, do for the other - even at night. Mostly.
Though this can be tricky, this is the tip that keeps most families of multiples [somewhat] sane. Having multiple babies on multiple schedules tends to lead to total chaos (as opposed to just typical chaos).
How this rule applies:
Keep their schedule within 15 minutes of each other.
For example, Baby A wakes up at 10:45 am from her nap, but Baby B is still snoozing, you can get “A” up if it’s suitable to your sleep training plan. If “B” is still sleeping at 11, wake him to keep their schedule within 15 minutes of each other.
Following this same example, when the next nap time comes, since “A” was awake first, get her ready and down for her nap first then immediately get “B” ready and down for his.
Follow this rule for their feedings as well. The only time I wouldn’t be so strict in regards to the feedings is during the night. Unless you’re expecting both babies to need to eat in the night (might as well do it at the same time!) or you’re otherwise advised by their pediatrician, you can let the sleeping baby sleep.
5. Keep track of everything!
Whether you use an app or just a pen and paper, keeping track of who’s doing what at what time will not only help you keep track of wake windows, but will give you the ability to see any patterns emerge.
📣 I have a free download of the log my families use while working with me here.
Sleep training multiples requires a little more planning, but it’s definitely possible! With the help of these tips and staying consistent with your sleep training plan, your babies (and you!!) will be getting the sleep you all need and deserve!