Sleeping Tricks for Twins
Let Newborn Twins Sleep Together
The authors of Mothering Twins make the case that, for very young twins, sleeping together in a crib or bassinet may provide security that may promote slumber. Author Donna Florien Deurloo says of her twin boys Max and Otto, “[They] seemed comforted by having each other so near after spending nine months in the womb together.”
Patricia Maxwell Malmstrom and Janet Poland concur in their book, The Art of Parenting Twins: “Although each baby should eventually have a designated crib, twins often do well in the same crib when they are small … They are used to being physically close, and they usually find it soothing to be able to touch each other.”
Bassinet or Crib; Not Your Bed
If you don’t have the babies in their own sleeping quarters, the twins will not learn to go to sleep on their own, writes pediatrician Dr. Alan Klein in the book, Twins! Pregnancy, Birth and the First Year of Life, “If [the twins] have not yet learned to fall asleep inside the crib and are used to falling asleep in their parent’s arms, they will not be able to go back to sleep when they wake up inside their crib,” Dr. Klein says. And having to rock two babies to sleep every night, sometimes even multiple times a night, may wind up with parents getting even less shut-eye.
Bedtime Consistency and Schedule
That’s what Malmstrom and Poland emphasize in their advice to parents of twins. “Even when they’re tiny, babies can benefit from a going-to-bed routine,” they write. ” … Get the babies on a schedule as soon as feasible. Many child care experts deemphasize scheduling, preferring to allow babies to establish their own natural wake-sleep schedule. But they weren’t writing about twins! For everyone’s benefit, it’s best to have some kind of coordination of sleep, play, and feeding times.”
Although you may feel alone on those nights of seemingly endless diaper changes and feedings at the hideous hour of 2:30 in the morning, just remember: it won’t last forever. In a bittersweet moment sometime in the relatively near future (you can hope), you will no longer have to worry about sleepless nights with infant twins and can look forward to other parenting pursuits. Anyone up for potty training—times two?
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