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Caring for Twins: Sleep and Schedule

Because with two or more infants, it’s a bit different…

Why should twin babies sleep together?

Co-bedded twins have synchronous sleep patterns and are subjectively “easier” to care for. However, neither co-bedding nor separate sleeping resulted in guaranteeing parents more sleep! (Darn.)

Research suggests that co-bedded infants might remain in the parents’ room for longer. Room-sharing (with a parent), which is practised more often when multiples are co-bedded, reduces the risk of SIDS.

Putting twins in the same cot can help them regulate their body temps and sleep cycles and can contribute to ease of soothing. Why? Because they shared a womb! They are used to a sibling’s presence and in fact might feel a little lost without it. Co-bedded twins will gravitate toward one another, “snuggling” close. This is not only safe but biologically appropriate and beneficial!


Parenting multiples and the importance of routine…

As postpartum doulas we’ve literally seen it all:  parenting styles that range from “go with the flow” to rigid routine. We see merit in both extremes and everything in between. We — of course, as always — support all parenting choices.

When it comes to parenting multiples we lean a little to the side of routine, only because things can go from zero to crazy FAST.

It is recommended that healthy term infants feed on demand. With twins you might experiment with this, making sure to always feed the second baby after the first, or even simultaneously if you’re able. You may decide to ALWAYS “schedule” one last feeding before your own bedtime, to maximize your own period of rest. This looks a little more like a schedule than life with a singleton and can be crucial to parental wellness and self-care.

Likewise, predictable naps and nighttime routines are more important with multiples. Why? You want the babies on the same sleep schedule. Routine helps set the tone for that. Lights go down, radio and TV go off, we sleep…ALL of us. Imagine one twin staying up two hours later than the other? Yeah. None of that. Set bedtimes — stay sane.

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