How to Manage Twin Sleep Schedules
As a new parent of a baby, it is already challenging enough to get your baby to sleep. Now imagine trying to double this challenge by adding another child. If you are a parent of twins or your children are sleeping together, it might seem impossible to adjust the two children’s sleep schedules to work harmoniously. Thankfully, where there is a will, there is a way. Here is the experience of parents who were successful in managing their two kid’s sleep schedules.
Get help! Managing two kid’s sleep schedules can be a challenge for a single parent or a couple. The first weeks of your twins’ lives will require all of your time just to manage their sleeping routines.
Make sure you get help early on and accept offers from relatives and friends for help with chores around the home and running errands. This way, you will be solely concentrated on taking care of your little ones.
8 Tips for Establishing a Twin Sleep Schedule:
1. Putting Them to Sleep Simultaneously
Even if your children are sleeping on different beds, you can put them down to sleep at the same time. Check out our sleep workshop for more information on getting twins to sleep. Doing this will ensure that both of them have the same sleeping rhythm that their bodies will eventually tune into.
2. Feed Both at the Same Time
Just like with putting children to sleep together, feeding them together will train their bodies to wake them up at certain parts of the night specifically for a meal. Even if one of the children is not awake, feed them right after you have fed the first one. This way your twins’ sleep schedules will synchronize and they will be trained to wake up for eating at the same time.
Even if you do not feel it is right to wake up a snoozing baby, it is the only way to avoid jumping back and forth between two children during the night.
3. Separate Them
If one of the twins is old enough and seems ready to sleep through the whole night without waking up to eat, you can temporarily move them to a separate room.
If you have to, accommodate one of your living space for the sleeping twin so that the other does not wake it up at night. As soon as the waking twin is ready to let go of night meals, the two can be brought back together in one room.
4. Have a Consistent Bedtime Routine
Having a bedtime routine is important when you have a baby. It becomes even more necessary when there are two. A bedtime routine can consist of:
- Playing relaxing games
- Reading a bedtime story
- Dim lights
- Soft music
A routine is a way to let your children know to associate certain events with bedtime. It could be the water running or the lights going dim that lets them know that the time to sleep is soon. When these routines are repeated every day, they will become ingrained into your children’s sleep habits. Their minds will naturally begin to associate certain activities with sleeping. This provides a sense of security and comfort for them besides helping them sleep through the night.
5. Double Feeding Schedule
To synchronize your twins’ sleep schedules, it is vital to feed them at the same time as well. Babies who are fed together are more likely to fall asleep together.
6. Using a Lovey
As soon as it is safe, you can begin adding a lovey into your children’s cribs. Make sure you follow the guidelines for a safe lovey before putting anything next to your children’s sleeping surface. Read this article to learn when your baby can sleep with a blanket. Find a small and safe lovey that makes soft sounds. This can help the babies associate the gentle feel and sound with sleep time.
7. Begin Early With Twins
While single children do not require to have a set schedule until about 5-months-old or 6 months, the case with twins sleep schedule requires that you start early. Although coming home from the hospital may not the most appropriate moment to begin, consider starting a twins’ sleep schedule as early as 4-weeks-old to 6 weeks. After a month, it will already be obvious that you need to start organizing your two children’s sleep schedules in order to get sleep for yourself and your children.
While there will be days when things do not go according to plan, work to bring in predictability into your two kid’s sleep schedules. This means programming the twins’ sleep schedules early on so it really becomes ingrained into them by the time they are toddlers.
8. Follow Your Own Tempo
As with any advice, you have to consider your unique situation. If your two children’s sleep schedules do not bother you, you do not have to start off so early. However, parents who are accustomed to two kid’s sleep schedules advise managing your twins’ sleep schedules as early as possible. While managing the sleep of one child can be put off, two children’s sleep schedules going in different directions can really take the life out of you eventually.
Feel your way into your two kid’s sleep schedules, and consider when you are ready to head down this road. Managing your twins’ sleep schedules brings tremendous rewards to you as a parent and to both your children. When their schedules are the same, they will no longer wake each other up, and you will have two happy children and parents to thank you for it.