Twins mean everything is duplicated. From love, happiness to motivation, it's all doubled. But besides that, the pressure and the stress when it comes to sleep training for the baby also doubles.
So sleep training for twins, is it difficult or easy? The answer is harder than sleep training for one baby because twins have to synchronize their sleep time.
However, if you do it the right way and apply the suit methods, I believe that everything will become easier.
Sleep Training For Twins: Identical, But Individuals
Everyone has their personality and can have different sleeping styles even though they are similar twins in each detail. You will notice that it is typical of the saying: identical, but individual.
When it comes to twins, I usually find that one of the two will be easy to sleep with while the other will have a harder time sleeping. Simple, every person is a separate individual.
It means the same sleep training method, which will work for one baby but may not for the other. It will be difficult for you to conduct sleep training for your twins because things are not uniform.
The advice is to be patient and experiment until you find a sleep training method that works for both babies.
When Should I Start Sleep Training Twins?
According to experts, you can start your baby's sleep training when 4 months old. It is the most suitable time because, at that time, the baby is not too young to start adapting to something new.
And twins aren't much different from single babies in time of sleep training. You can start sleeping exercises for twins when they are 4 months old.
However, every baby is different. Sleep training time may be slower. You should listen to your baby's needs, especially when you're the mother of adorable twins.
Methods Of Sleep Training Twins
I also visited forums where mothers with twins shared their experiences. They all confided that sleeping training for twins is hard work and will take more time than sleeping training for one baby.
It's important to synchronize sleep training and other activities. Everything has to be done with two babies at the same time. If it is not consistent, the sleep training process will last. Worse case, things will get messed up.
Have a bedtime habit for both
There are many habits for twins to practice before bed. But in general, most of the mothers I surveyed used one of the following habits.
If you stick to a daily routine, your baby will soon recognize the bedtime cues and be ready for a good night's sleep.
In addition, having a bedtime habit is great for parents and twins.
Sleep habits will help your twins know that it's time to go to sleep. And over time, they will learn to self-soothe.
Moreover, by having good habits, your twins will relax and feel more comfortable before going to bed. It also helps them sleep better.
When doing bedtime routines with twins, for example, lull the baby to sleep, feed them, tell stories, and read books to the baby together. Dad will understand mom's struggles better.
Moreover, parents not only interact with two angels through sleeping habits but also enjoy the most peaceful time of the day together. Simple things are always happy things.
Set the same bedtime for both
When you put twins to bed at the same time, it will help them develop a synchronized sleep routine. Otherwise, one or both babies will wake up in the middle of the night, leaving parents tired quickly.
As twins, synchronization is very significant. You can set 8 hours for the twins to go to bed after they have done certain routines. So, when the time is right, you must put both of them to bed. Two babies seeing each other will be easier to fall asleep.
Mother helps twins to switch to sleep on their own
In the step of sleeping through the night, your baby must be able to switch to sleep and perfect the process of falling asleep on his own. You can teach babies how to self-soothe. Over time, they can fall asleep on their own without your help.
You let your babies manage for themselves within 5 minutes, 10 minutes, and 20 minutes maximum (the room condition is not too hot, too cold, no mosquitoes, and your twins have changed diapers before going to bed).
If your twins still can't fall asleep after that time, you will come in and see how they are doing. You must accept to hold the baby again. Then, you can do this method again.
Gradual extinction is a method where you slowly reduce the time you spend comforting your child at bedtime. Moreover, you also won't meet your child's requests unconditionally.
They may cry, of course, but you don't hold or comfort them right away. Let your baby be in tears for a certain amount of time. But you should ensure that your twins are not crying for any other reason before letting them cry.
Make sure they have clean diapers, aren't hungry, aren't sick, and aren't teething. If you knew all of this wasn't going to happen, it's easier for you to hear the cry when you don't have to guess a second time yourself.
How Do I Get My Twins To Sleep At Night? - 8 Tips
Mom alone can't do the same things for twins simultaneously. With dad's help, things would be easier. Every family will have different ways to sleep training for twins, as long as they are healthy.
Here are 8 tips to help your twins sleep well at night. You can refer to it.
Take note of the twins' sleep logs
You think that you'll remember all your baby's schedule. However, it's easy to forget when you have two babies. Taking note of a sleep diary will help you keep track of your child's activities.
Moreover, you can also promptly change your baby's bad habits and find activities that make the sleep training process go much more smoothly.
You can note the time your baby eats, periods of sleep, leisure activities, and crying time. From this log, you gradually adjust it to a schedule for your child to follow, then stick to it.
Create a calming environment and a comfortable bed
You can keep the bulbs dim to create darkness in the room. It's easier for your twins to fall asleep. You can also use a white noise machine (if your child is suitable) to help them sleep better.
Moreover, the bedroom is also a significant factor in your baby's sleep. You should ensure the temperature is not too hot or too cold and that the bedding is cozy.
The bed is the most peaceful place to sleep. Make your twins feel comfortable instead of making them scared and fussy each time they go to bed.
Add white noise
In a US study in 1990, 80% of infants responded well to white noise. They fell asleep after only 5 minutes.
White noise can help suppress a baby's nighttime cries and prevent fussiness from waking someone fast asleep. Moreover, it can help your baby sleep better.
The sound machine plays a soothing rhythm for a long time that can help lull your baby to sleep. It is a useful complementary tool for sleep training for twins.
In addition, there are some notes:
However, some babies really don't like white noise. In that case, you should not force your child but seek the advice of a pediatrician.
Wake the other, when one baby wakes up and cry
Of course, you think about why to wake up the other sleeping when you can comfort the crying baby to continue sleeping.
I've already said that for twins, sync is the main point. Moreover, the connection between twins is so strong that you cannot clearly understand it. When one baby cries, the other will be affected more or less, so you should comfort both, right?
If your baby is hungry, you need to wake one up and feed as soon as the other wakes up and cries for a night feed.
Let the twins sunbathe and be active during the day
Babies are inherently active. Like adults, if your babies have physical activity, their bodies will be healthier. Besides, sunbathing will help babies provide more vitamin D, which is good for your baby's bones and development.
In addition, bathing babies regularly and properly will help their digestive system develop faster. You will find that sunbathing makes your twins eat better and sleep more deeply. They will no longer be anorexic or fussy before going to bed.
But sunbathing is not always good. Should let babies sunbathe between 6-7 hours in the summer, after 4-5 hours in the winter.
When sunbathing with your babies, you should not let them sunbathe for too long, just about 15-30 minutes. Moreover, you can combine gentle massages so that they feel more comfortable.
Divide specific tasks between father and mother
You wish you had two more arms to practice sleeping with two babies. Very funny. Your husband is right there. You should divide specific tasks for each person.
Your husband will take care of one child while you will look after the other. It is the responsibility of the parent. That way, whenever parents sleep training for twins, they won't be confused about who should care for which baby.
Your husband will also look forward to sleep training for twins with you, so don't get mad or kick him out when he's a little clumsy.
Weaning at night
In order for your baby to get used to sleeping straight until morning, you should start weaning your baby.
Every night, when the baby wakes up crying, you will not feed him immediately, but pick him up to check the diaper, then wrap it again and comfort him. If your baby falls asleep right after, you don't breastfeed anymore but wait for the baby's next cry.
In the beginning, doing so will be more difficult, but in the long run, it will be good for both mother and baby. You also should do weaning with each baby one by one.
A good mom, you must be hard and soft at the right time. Especially for sleep training, you have to be consistent. Newborns learn very quickly, and consistency helps them predict what's coming.
And once you've started real sleep training, stick with it for at least a week before you feel like giving up or trying something else. If you start and stop one day and then start again immediately, it will confuse your twins and only prolong training for them.
4 Things To Consider When Sleep Training Twins
Sleep training for twins is more complicated than you know. In addition to the methods to help your baby sleep well, here are some things you should consider.
Get the agreement of your pediatrician
Before sleep training for twins, you must consult the pediatrician to ensure that your twins are at an acceptable weight and healthy enough to be ready for sleep training.
Because they are twins, you should be extra careful in your baby's sleep training. Your pediatrician will also advise you on some safe sleep training suitable for your baby.
Should you separate twins when sleep training?
Although many parents share a crib for twins in the hope of a better night's sleep, there is no scientific evidence to support it. In contrast, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) advises against sharing cribs for two babies to avoid the risk of overheating, suffocation, and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
Twins born prematurely or with low birth weight are more susceptible to sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), so you should separate into two single cribs for twins when sleep training. It can reduce the risk.
Besides, you don't need to separate twins into two different rooms or places. Twins also feel more comfortable and secure when you place the cribs close enough that they can see each other.
Can you let twins cry it out?
I know that it's hard for a mother to hear her baby cry. When both babies are crying, you can't comfort them both. Then you will feel all the pressure and tiredness that seems to double on your shoulders. You only have one wish that the twins don't cry anymore.
I've conducted a survey pool and 40 mothers of twins to share whether they let their babies cry during sleep training. And the result is below:
From the above results, you can also see that crying is the most important key of all sleep exercises. But you should pay attention to your child's reaction.
When the twins have one baby difficult sleep training than the other
There is a proverb-many a good father but has a bad son. So it is normal for twins to have different personalities.
You've tried syncing sleep for both but to no avail. Then you realize your two babies are very different. One has trouble sleeping while the other is easy to sleep.
In this case, you guide the baby to sleep by themselves one by one. Try a baby who is easier to fall asleep to teach him to sleep on his own because when successful, you will have more motivation and experience to work with a difficult baby.
In addition, babies can understand all the emotions of adults even though they are still tiny, so parents also need to talk a lot with the baby, which also helps them to sleep more deeply.
You don't have to follow exactly 100% of the method in the book or on the internet. But, you can consider and choose the best sleep training method for your child depending on your baby's reaction. Theory must combine with mommy instinct to succeed.
Sleep training is not an exact science. So it may take some time to find a suit method and schedule for your twins. If you are patient and try a little more, you can successfully sleep training for your twins. I can do it. You can do it too.