Twin babies can be challenging, adorable, funny and miraculous. When they’re on different sleep schedules, things can be very hectic. One is up at night and one is up in the daytime and you’re wondering how in the world you’ll survive the next few minutes of your life without some serious sleep. Use these tips on how to get twin babies on the same sleep schedule.
Tire out the babies. If your babies are on different sleep schedules, it could be because one is tired when the other isn’t. The solution to this is to ensure that both babies are ready for nap time by tiring them out. If they are still newborns, it’s important that you wake them up at the same time. In the morning, don’t allow one to sleep later than the other. If one wakes up, wake the other baby. Then, provide plenty of interaction throughout the day until nap time. This might include playing with the babies, talking to them, allowing them to visit with other grownups and other fun activities. If your babies are a bit older, they can play with visually stimulating toys, play outside on a blanket or listen to music — all of which are fun and tiring activities. When nap time rolls around, the twin babies should both be sleepy.
Separate your babies. Many parents of twins have problems getting their babies on the same sleep schedule because they continue to keep each other awake. Some parents have found it helpful to place their children in different beds or even separate rooms so that they can fall asleep at the same time, without one keeping the other awake. You may also try allowing them the giggle or play time in the crib until they fall asleep. If the babies are both tired out and really ready for a nap, they shouldn’t keep each other awake as much as they might if one or both aren’t really sleepy.
Create a soothing sleep environment. Even during the day when it’s time for a nap, your twin babies’ sleep environment should be soothing and comforting. Since they need to be able to discern sleep time from waking time, it’s important to provide them with a tranquil environment. Dim the lights as much as possible and although it shouldn’t be stone silent, it should be peaceful enough for them to rest comfortably. You might consider playing very soft and peaceful music or playing white noise that will soothe your babies to sleep. There are even white noise machines that you can purchase. Visit Sleep Baby for price information (see Resources). If you find it truly difficult to get both babies to sleep at the same time, consider taking them for a ride in the double stroller when they’re sleepy. This may help soothe them off to sleep.
Stay on a strict schedule. Although there are some conflicting arguments about feeding on a schedule vs. on demand, with twins a schedule may be the best idea. By keeping both children on the same schedule regarding feedings, bath time and even play time, you may be able to help your twin babies get on the same sleep schedule.