Twins and their Sleep
Twins and multiples create unique sleep challenges.
Is there some kind of secret? A magic formula that some mums have and some don’t?
Are you a bad mother? Is that why you can’t get your child to sleep? Have you created this problem?
No. Absolutely not.
You are a loving mother who hasn’t done anything wrong. There is no magic formula for getting your twins to sleep, because every set is different.I’m not ever going to tell you that you’re doing something wrong, or make you feel guilty. Mums get enough of that as it is.What I am going to do here is give you some tips that may help you think about the way you approach sleep for your child and pinpoint what is the right method for you.These tips are all gleamed from my team of professional sleep consultants, who’ve collectively helped more than 15,000 babies (and their parents) learn the joy of a full night’s sleep. Plus we have two sleep consultants as part of our team who are multiples parents! We get it! Let us help!
Tip 1. Address the day’s and the night.
What do you baby’s like to nap? Do they have any consistency or routine? Or is it all over the show? Consistency and structure in their daily schedule helps most babies to learn good habits. Try regulating nap times for a few days, and see if this helps your baby settle at night.
Tip 2. Look at how your twins settles to sleep.
Do your twins require you to help them sleep every time? Do they have a “sleep prop” (for example, your breast or a dummy you need to pop back in every few hours)?You can slowly wean them off this dependency by gradually reducing how much you assist them over a few weeks. Just do a little less – feed less, rock less, use the dummy less, and work on self-settling.These gradual reduction techniques will mean your twins gets used to having less support with getting to sleep, and will soon be able to settle on their own.
Tip 3. Check if your twins are waking from genuine hunger.
As you’ll well know, a hungry baby is not a happy baby.
In the early months babies often wake up in the middle of the night because their stomachs are rumbling.Here’s how to figure it out:
If your twins wakes at 10pm, 3am and then you start your day at 7am – do they still take a full feed at 7am? Yes? Then they still needs that 3am feed.
If your twins refuses the 7am feed, then you know you can wean them off the 3am feed.
If your baby twins wakle every 2 hours overnight and demands to be fed back to sleep, this is probably not genuine hunger (unless they are under 4kg).
As they get older, they should be able to go through a night without needing a feed.
Tip 4. Check your baby’s sleep environment
The right environment for sleeping is just as important for babies as it is for adults. A few simple changes might make all the difference.
Here are a some things to check:
Temperature: Is it too warm or too cold?
Swaddling: Is this comfortable?
Light levels: Is there a streetlight shining in the window?
Noise levels: could they benefit from some white noise to block out sounds from a nearby house or pub?
Tip 5. Check twins bedtime
Overtired baby’s don’t sleep well, but you’re juggling two of them! Is bed time creeping later and later? – usually, a bedtime before 7pm is best until about 1 year old.
“Your having twins? Forget about sleep….The most unhelpful advice I ever received…
“Friends and family told us to expect to give up on sleep the moment we found out we were having twins. This left me thinking at 9 months that getting up 7-8 times a night was normal and there was nothing I could do to help the situation…………..I was struggling big time. My life felt like groundhog day and none of my singleton friends understood just how tired I was. I craved some structure and normality…. I love giving twin families their confidence back, helping them establish some structure within the chaos that is twins. “
Becky – Waikato Baby Sleep Consultant and Twin mum ( 022 177 3160 )