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Sleeping routine tips for twin babies

July 9, 2018

Getting newborn twins into a good sleeping routine will help ensure that both you and your babies get the sleep that you all need. However, with twins there can be extra challenges to making this happen.

Below are just a few reasons why:

• If they have been born prematurely, they will have tiny stomachs and may need to be fed every two to three hours.
• Also, if they have spent time in neonatal care, they may have become used to quite regular contact while being nursed, so it may take a while for them to adapt to any changes.
• If one of your twins needs to stay in hospital longer than the other, this can hamper your ability to get into a regular sleeping routine with the other baby.
• With twins, it can be more common for more than one person to be taking care of them, so you will need to try to make sure that routines are stuck to by all carers.

Helping twin babies to sleep

You can help your twins to get into a good sleeping routine by following the tips below:

  • Establish a bedtime routine that your twin babies become familiar with. For example, you may want to do their last pre-sleep feed at a certain time and also bathe them in the run-up to putting them down to sleep. All of these routine activities can help set up an expectation that sleep-time is coming.
  • Put your babies down in a safe sleeping position, on their backs with their feet touching the bottom of the cot, baby box or Moses basket.
  • If your babies seem more soothed and settled sharing a cot, it is perfectly safe to let them sleep together in a big enough cot. Just make sure you place them on their backs with the tops of their heads facing one another and their feet facing opposite ends of the cot. Alternatively, you can place them side by side on their backs, with their feet at the foot of the cot.
  • Follow the same safe sleeping practices as you would with a single baby. Make sure your babies don’t get too hot and keep blankets securely tucked in so there can be no risk of them blocking your babies’ airways.
  • If one baby is waking the other a lot and they seem happy sleeping apart, you can try putting them in separate cots, baby boxes or Moses baskets to see if that helps. You can still ensure that you place cots next to each other, so that your twins can still see and touch each other.
  • In the early days, try to co-ordinate night feeds so if one wakes up you can feed the other at the same time, although you might find that one twin sleeps through before the other.
  • Don’t panic and rush to hug one of your babies if it starts to cry. Doing this sets up an expectation that you will always do this, which can lead to more sleep disruption. It’s understandable that you will want to hush one baby to stop the other waking but normally, the other baby will sleep right through as though nothing is happening.

Learn from your little ones

Whilst the above tips can be of help, every twin will be different in terms of their behaviour, so you will be the one who is best placed to know what works best for your own twins.

For more tips on getting baby to sleep click here or for information on baby boxes and baby products that can help soothe your baby to sleep click here.

You can find a lot of useful advice on the Twins and Multiple Births Association’s blog by clicking here.