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Since my twins were born, getting them to sleep and keeping (some sort of) sleeping routine has been the axis of my mum-of-twins world!
Establishing baby twins sleeping routine can be a daunting task. However, if you manage to keep your both babies on the same sleeping pattern, it will pay off for every bit of effort you put into it!
FIRST THREE MONTHS
In the first three months, babies do sleep a lot, but not always when you’d like them to! They are just now getting used to being out of your tummy and of course, don’t understand the difference between day and night.
If breastfeeding, it can be that the baby falls asleep, has a good chunk of their sleep before it is put back in the crib. That means, in turn, less sleep for you. So, if at all possible, try not to let your babies fall asleep while breastfeeding, they’ll feed less and sleep less afterward. A double whammy you can’t really afford when just out of the hospital!
My twins did let me get some sleep, but nowhere near as I wished for. I’d feed one baby and by the time that was over it was time to feed the other one, and by the time that was over…you get the idea…
Or, on the rare occasion when both babies, were asleep: one cries, wakes up, then wakes the other baby too, (you are on your own, usually, when this happens). Everyone is crying (mama too!…I’ve been there many times!). You wonder how are you going to pull through another hour, let alone a day, a week or a month. In fact, I couldn’t even think that far ahead.
The good news is: you DO pull through, you really do!
I was breastfeeding my little boy. My little girl was too small and weak to breastfeed so she had to have a bottle and the milk I expressed every couple of hours for her. At the very beginning, for about a month or so, I had to feed her every hour, because she wasn’t able to feed very much at all.
So, you can imagine, what that means, feeding one baby every hour on the hour 24hrs a day, plus the other baby…and everything else that needs to be done.
I will not lie to you and have to say, I did not have the most brilliant time then. I love my babies and love caring for them, but boy, I was so exhausted! Also, recovering from my C-section on top of that, made the situation pretty desperate at times.
My babies were prematurely born and that makes a huge difference.
If your babies are full term and have a good birth weight you should definitely have an easier time of it.
TWINS SLEEPING ROUTINE
AFTER THE FIRST THREE MONTHS
So, the first three months are gone and the babies have the ability to eat a bit more and to sleep a little longer. They will have their morning and afternoon nap, and then, hopefully, be tired and full enough to have at least 3-4 hours uninterrupted sleep during the night. Well, that is the theory at least.
My babies were always great about their naps, not so great at sleeping through the night. I kept hearing how this mom or that one got her baby sleeping through the night with no difficulty. Kept feeling like I was doing something seriously wrong…
Certainly, there are enough books out there to point out what a bad job you must be doing if your baby isn’t sleeping throughout the night by the month three. Well, I just don’t know… I will be straight with you – I have never managed to get my both babies to sleep without the need for nightly feeds, cuddles, carrying around the room etc.. This is how it was for me.
You might have a different story, of course! If you did/do have a different experience and you‘d like to share it, please do. I’d love to read about it and learn something new! Thanks 🙂
I was never a big fan of leaving my baby to cry and that way teaching it to soothe herself. To me, it just meant – my baby who was in my very body for eight months is so helpless, tiny and needs me, should be now thought a lesson that the fun part is over and we are getting serious about rationing affection! Somehow, a few months old babies should know when to cry when I am busy or asleep. I have NEVER understood this.
SO, LET THEM DO WHAT THEY WANT…
Now, I would like to make one thing clear – I am all for babies having their routine and some sort of schedule. It is so important. What do I mean by that? For example, naps are great (and should be non-negotiable). Babies get tired after being awake for about 3hrs and grow to like their naps (mine like naps even now, when they are 2 1/2!).
Also, going to sleep in the evening at the same time, having a bedtime routine (bath, cuddle, story or whatever works for you and your babies).
I’m not propagating no discipline, just, when your babies cry – go to them! Please. That’s all.
PATTING MYSELF ON THE BACK 😉
Even though I said I have never managed to persuade my tiny twins to sleep throughout the night, there are some things I feel I did right and it is paying off still:
I would heartily advise, you have a room or an area that babies associate only with sleeping. Since my babies were sleeping with me in my bedroom, they very soon began to understand, what that space was for and they reacted accordingly.
As a result of this, I’ve never had any trouble to get my babies to fall asleep. I did mention, the method of leaving your babies to soothe themselves has never worked for us. I would sit, propped up by one of the super pillows(!) on the bed, gently lulling one baby, holding her with one hand and softly stroking the other baby lying next to me.
After the first baby falls asleep, I’d take the other one (by now a super-calm baby) and rock her to sleep too. This has always worked for us. To this day, my children like me to do this and go to sleep fast and happy.
I’m sure you have by now, been told quite a few times how these first six months or even, the first year, flies past by so very quickly. Yes, it really does!
It might not feel that way while you are exhausted from the countless sleepless nights. However, strange as this might sound, I shall say it – try to enjoy that too!
Our babies are tiny for such a short period of time, enjoy them as much as it is possible. Every phase of their growing brings new delights, but that first period of their lives is so very special. Honestly, wish I could have recorded the whole thing so I could watch it now and myself of our time then.
See, sleepless nights, forgotten already! 🙂
Thank you for reading this blog, I shall be writing some more soon. If you have any questions or topics you’d like me to write about, please do leave a comment in the comment section and I’d be more than happy to oblige!