top sleep tips for twins

Top Sleep Tips for Twins

It’s hard enough getting one baby to fall asleep. But for parents of twins, bedtime can sometimes feel like trying to climb Mt. Everest in a swimsuit! Rest assured, though, it’s not an impossible dream. In fact, once twins get the hang of sleep, they might even outshine non-twins in the zzz’s department. As obstetrician-gynecologist Dr. Manju Monga tells WebMD, “Young twins are easier to raise, have each other to play with, and sleep better than singletons once they turn 2.”

Until that happy day arrives, we rounded up some advice from the experts on how to raise two champion sleepers. Here are six of our favorite sleep tips for twins:

Tip 1: The Baby Sleep Site on watching the clock

“Start working on a clock-based schedule very early. For singleton babies, we don’t recommend paying much attention to the clock until about 5 or 6 months of age. But for twins, our advice is much different: start paying attention to the clock starting around 4-6 weeks…Yes, you will have days that are off and out-of-sync, but that’s okay – if you work towards predictability from the start, you’ll be rewarded down the road when you have both babies eating and sleeping at roughly the same times.”

Tip 2: on how to feed two babies at once

“Here is the golden rule for feeding twins: when one wakes up to eat, both must wake up to eat. Your heart may break to wake up a sleeping baby, especially when she looks so cute and precious lying there sleeping, but remember that you will not have enough hours in a day to feed one after the other is fed, day in and day out…The best way to feed both twins simultaneously is with a large twin-feeding pillow, which works for nursing and bottlefeeding.”

Tip 3: Kim West, aka The Sleep Lady, on solo naptimes

“Although I normally keep twins together at nighttime, I often recommend separating them for naps, because daytime sleep is so much more of a challenge for most babies. It’s even harder if there’s a playmate to distract or be distracted by in the next crib. Some parents keep twins apart for naps for days or weeks, others throughout childhood. Do whichever feels best to you and seems to work for your kids.”

Tip 4: Dr. William Sears on the role of dads in the twin sleep routine

“Remember, nursing implies comforting, not only breastfeeding. Dads can ‘father nurse’ a fussy baby back to sleep. For bottlefeeding twins, it often works for each parent to take an assigned baby for the night. Or, some parents take turns being the on-call parent, enabling you to get a full night’s sleep every other night.”

Tip 5: on the importance of seperation

“If one twin seems ready to sleep through the night, let her snooze in a different room from her sibling, even if it’s only temporary — and even if it means moving her play yard or crib into the kitchen or bathroom. That way, the nighttime wakings of her twin won’t give her a case of the midnight cranks, too.”

Tip 6: on giving both babies enough attention

“Your twins may find it comforting (and can sleep safely) if you place the cribs close enough for them to see one another… starts fussing, check on the other one first to make sure she’s happy and settled. This makes sure that no one is overlooked, and both children feel secure and loved. Also, don’t worry too much about one baby waking up the other: Many twins and multiples don’t seem bothered by their sibling’s crying, even when they’re in the same room.”

Want more sleep tips? Check out advice from top experts – for twins and non-twins alike – here!

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Natalie Barnett, PhD serves as VP of Clinical Research at Nanit. Natalie initiated sleep research collaborations at Nanit and in her current role, Natalie oversees collaborations with researchers at hospitals and universities around the world who use the Nanit camera to better understand pediatric sleep and leads the internal sleep and development research programs at Nanit. Natalie holds a Ph.D. in Genetics from the University of New England in Australia and a Postgraduate Certificate in Pediatric Sleep Science from the University of Western Australia. Natalie was an Assistant Professor in the Neurogenetics Unit at NYU School of Medicine prior to joining Nanit. Natalie is also the voice of Nanit's science-backed, personalized sleep tips delivered to users throughout their baby's first few years.

Kristy Ojala is Nanit’s Digital Content Director. She spends way too much time looking at maps and weather forecasts and pictures of Devon Rex cats and no-cook dinners. A former sleep champion, she strives to share trustworthy somnabulism tips with other parents—praying for that one fine day when no tiny humans wake her up while it’s still dark out. Her kids highly recommend 3 books, approximately 600 stuffies, Chopin’s “Nocturnes,” and the Nanit Sound + Light for bedtime success.

Mackenzie Sangster is on the Brand and Community team at Nanit. She supports content development and editing for Nanit’s Parent Confidently blog as well as other marketing initiatives. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with her friends, cooking, being active, and using the Pro + Flex Duo to keep an eye on her fur-baby, Poppy!

Holly Hays is a contributor and writer for Nanit, channeling her years as a mama and former magazine editor to create fun, useful content for fellow busy, trying-to-do-their-best parents and caregivers. Holly has written for a wide range of brands and media outlets (Ergobaby, HGTV, Manhattan Toy Company, OXO), loves to cook and read mystery novels, and leans heavily on her two daughters to keep her up to date on all the latest slang.