If you’re wondering can tiwns sleep in the same crib safely, or if they require their own separate sleep space, you’ve come to the right place.
So, you’ve just found out you’re expecting two bundles of joy – congratulations! You are probably wondering what exactly it is that you need two of, and what your little ones can share including their sleeping space.
In this post, we give you the lowdown on what twin moms should know, as well as some top tips for getting your newborns twins to sleep really well.
Can my newborn twins share a crib?
If you’ve had twins you may be wondering whether it’s safe to let them share a crib at home, after all the hospital probably had them together so why can’t you?
Although there are many benefits to co-bedding twins, it’s always best to follow safe sleeping practices wherever possible to reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome.
Safe sleeping advice for twins
While the hospital may have put your twins in the same cot, unfortunately, there is not enough evidence to say whether sleeping two or more babies in the same crib, Moses basket or bassinet is safe.
For that reason, the AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) recommend putting twins to sleep safely in their own sleeping space in the same room as you, on their back for at least the first few months to reduce the risk of SIDS.
Following safe sleeping, advice is always important, but it is especially important for twin babies as they are more likely to be born prematurely or have a low birth weight – both of which can put them at an increased risk of SIDS.
Once your twin babies are old enough, usually around six months old, it's up to you to decide whether you will sleep them in separate rooms or in the same room in their own cribs.
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Can twins nap together in a safe sleep space?
Experts recommend that your twins sleep in separate cribs for the same reasons as above.
Just like at bedtime, nap time should take place on a flat, firm, waterproof surface with a tightly fitted sheet as the risk of SIDS is dramatically increased when babies are placed on soft bedding.
Although it's not recommended to sleep your babies together in the same sleep space, it's always worthwhile trying to sync up your twin's sleep cycles.
If your little ones sleep at the same time, it's likely they will wake at the same time too, giving you some solid you time and helping you achieve a full night's sleep.
Can you co-sleep with twins?
Some parents choose to co-sleep with their babies. This means that their babies share the same bed with an adult to sleep, not just for occasional cuddles or night feeds but this is not considered safe sleep as it increases the risk of SIDS.
Co-sleeping is particularly dangerous if either you or your partner smokes (even if you do not smoke in the bedroom), has drunk alcohol or taken drugs (including medications that may make you drowsy), or are very tired.
Instead, the AAP recommends that you room share with your babies - with your twins in their own cribs - for at least six months.
While it can often be tempting to bring your twins into bed with you to get them to sleep, especially when you're sleep-deprived, adult beds can put newborn twins at risk of suffocation, strangulation, and entrapment.
These risks are even greater for premature babies or twins with low birth weights.
Having your twins sleep in the same room as you can lower the risk of SIDS by half.
If you have limited space in your bedroom, then fitting two cots in your room will be a struggle. But the great thing is that you can still practice safe sleeping with your twins by using smaller cribs, Moses baskets, or travel cots. You just need to ensure that you have a firm, flat mattress, free of toys and soft bedding.
Although the AAP only have guidance on sleeping in the same bed as a parent, the same still applies to co-sleeping with other children and their twin sibling.
Sleeping tips for twins and multiples
Being a new parent to one baby can be daunting enough, but to two it's a whole other ball game.
Unfortunately, there's no magic wand we can wave to get your little ones to sleep through the night or not cry, but the below tips and tricks can help you to establish healthy sleeping habits so that you can breeze being a new parent to twin babies.
One of the biggest pieces of advice we can give you is to get your twins on a similar feeding and sleeping schedule.
If one baby wakes to feed, wake the other baby too.
Babies who feed together are more likely to fall asleep at the same time too.
By getting your twins into a similar feeding schedule, they should feel drowsy at the same time too, and eventually go down at the same time.
Not only does this make your life a whole lot easier, but it also gives you time to sleep and look after yourself too.
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It can be difficult to get your twins in a good routine, but it's worth every minute.
Once your twins are between 6 & 8 weeks old, you can start trying to put a flexible schedule in place.
Not only will it make life a little less stressful for you, but it will also help solve the problem of your twins being on different schedules.
The best way to do this is by establishing a feeding routine first, and then nap times will follow.
Don't tip-toe around your sleeping babies'
It will make your life easier if your twins can sleep through noise.
We're not talking loud music here, but if your little ones can sleep through everyday noises it will help your little ones sleep better at night and for naps.
If ambient noises continually wake up your twins, consider using white or pink noise to drown-out everyday sounds.
Follow safe sleeping guidelines
Following safe sleeping guidelines not only reduces your baby's risk of SIDS by over 50 per cent, but also helps you to sleep better too.
For twins, the AAP recommends the below to reduce the risk of SIDS:
Placing twins in separate cribs
Two babies should always be put down to sleep in their own cribs, bassinets, or other safe sleeping space.
Put your twins to sleep on their backs
There is an overwhelming amount of evidence from around the world to show that sleeping your twins on their back for both their naps and at night time sleep significantly reduces the risk of SIDS.
Keep the crib clear
It can be really overwhelming to know what baby products to buy for your little ones, especially when it comes to sleep. But our advice is to keep the crib clear of duvets, blankets, soft toys, and any other bulky items as these have been shown to increase the risk of SIDS by over half.
The right room temperature
The chance of SIDS is higher in babies who overheat, so it's important to keep your room the correct temperature.
A room temperature of 60-70°F with a light blanket, or baby sleeping bag is perfect for safe sleeping.
You should never sleep your baby in hats, or extra clothing, and, if you are worried that they are too cold or too hot, check your baby's chest to see how this feels.
Getting your twins to sleep can be challenging, and while it can be tempting to sleep your twins together or in your bed, you should never do this.
Instead, focus on following safe sleeping guidelines and trying to sync up your twin's schedules.
Struggling with twin sleep?
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