Sleep training twins may seem like an impossible task. But it’s not! Here’s how to ensure a peaceful sleep without rocking or nursing them to sleep.
Here’s the good news:
Sleep training twins isn’t very different from that of single babies.
The less encouraging news is this:
Putting your twins on the same sleep schedule may take some time and effort.
But don’t panic.
It’s totally doable and worth it!
I’ve put together a list of the best tips for sleep training your twins that can have your little ones sleeping blissfully in no time.
Here’s a secret:
Teaching them how to fall asleep independently means you’ll get more sleep, too.
Sounds amazing, right?
Sleep train in different rooms—if you have the space
The trick when sleep training twins is that there’s often one baby who sleeps better than the other.
Even though your twins may show similar sleep patterns, there will likely be nights when they will wake each other up.
For instance, one twin may be inconsolable no matter what you try. The best thing you can do is take the better sleeper out of the room and have him/her sleep in a separate room or your bedroom.
Another thing to take into consideration is your end goal.
If you plan to have your twins share a room eventually, then it’s alright to sleep train them together. The truth is that if they’ve already been sleeping together and are used to one another, the sleep training process may go more smoothly.
Cut out any negative sleep associations
Here’s the thing:
There are two major types of sleep associations. We call them positive and negative sleep associations.
Positive associations develop when babies use something on their own to help them fall asleep.
If your twins refuse to go to sleep or wake up multiple times at night, it might be that they have developed a strong negative sleep association that’s preventing them from falling asleep.
The best thing you can do is to gradually wean them off of these negative sleep associations and help them learn how to self-soothe without your help.
Establish a bedtime routine
A consistent bedtime routine will do half of the work for you. When everything’s the same every night, your babies will feel comforted as they’ll know what to expect.
It doesn’t have to be anything overly complicated. If your twins go to sleep at around 7:00 pm, start your bedtime routine at around 6:00 or 6:15 pm.
Give them a bath, change their diapers, read a bedtime story, etc.
With each activity, your twins will get more relaxed and ready to fall asleep. The trick is to put them down while they’re drowsy but still awake if they’re younger than four months and fully awake if they’re older.
Nurse them before putting them down to sleep
If you nurse your twins right before bedtime, they’ll begin to associate feeding with falling asleep.
What you should do is separate feeding and falling asleep by 15+ minutes.
Instead of feeding them right before you place them in the crib, change the order of your bedtime routine.
For example, you can start by giving your little ones a bath and a little massage.
Then, you can feed them. After they’re fed, you can end the bedtime routine by reading them a book. This should take a few minutes.
Play some white noise in his room, and gently place them in their bed once they get drowsy.
However, if you notice that your babies are still getting drowsy while nursing even after you moved the feeding a little earlier, then you may want to move their feed at an even earlier time.
For example, nurse them before starting with the bedtime routine.
Play some white noise
Here’s a fact:
White noise aids sleep.
But here’s another fact:
White noise can also block out sound.
Usually, when you have a single baby, you’re using white noise machines to block sounds from the house from reaching the baby.
But in the case of twins, white noise machines can actually block sounds from one side of the nursery to the other.
For example, if baby A is making sounds like grunting or crying, playing white noise can help baby B stay asleep.
In fact, many parents opt for adding two white noise machines in their twins’ room. You can place one machine between the cribs and another on the nursery’s noisiest wall.
Sounds silly? It’s not.
By adding two white noise machines, you’re blocking sounds coming from both inside and outside your babies’ room.
Feed both babies at the same time during the night
Let’s say that baby A is the tougher cookie to crack.
In this case, he/she should be your lead baby on which you base your schedule and night feeds.
If you’re sticking to one feed per night, pick a time you’re going to feed, and once baby A wakes up at that time, feed both baby A and baby B.
Yes, you’re intentionally waking up a peacefully asleep baby. However, not doing so can have more negative effects.
For instance, baby B may wake up one hour after baby A, which means you won’t get any quality sleep at night.
But waking them up both at the same time to feed means they’ll doze off in relative sync and wake up at the same time in the morning.
Yes, this also means putting them down for naps simultaneously.
Let’s face it:
Sleep training twins demands double the effort and may take longer than sleep training a singleton.
But you know what?
It’s not a mission impossible.
My tip is to remain positive and consistent. Take heart and know that even though it may seem challenging at first, your twins will soon snooze like logs.