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How to Sleep Train Twins

By Kay Ireland ; Updated June 13, 2017

The parents of twins will often get less sleep than parents with just one baby, and sleep training may seem more of a pipe dream than an actual option. Fortunately, you can sleep train twins so that you at least get longer periods of shuteye, place them on a predictable schedule and ultimately make the transition to having twins more manageable. Whether you decide to have them sleep in the same room or separately, being sure that your twins have a routine and a schedule can make it easier on you.

  1. Establish a predictable and consistent bedtime routine for the twins. You might decide to bathe them nightly before putting them to sleep or sing the same nightly song. However you do it, make sure that you follow the same routine every night so that your twins know when to start preparing their minds and bodies for rest.

  2. Keep your twins on a tight schedule. Moms of singletons might be able to let their babies sleep and wake up whenever they want, but as a mother of twins you won't get anything done if the babies are allowed to do everything on a whim. Put them to bed at the same time each night, and be sure that they have sufficient naps throughout the day. Keep a journal and writing down their feeding and eating habits, recommends Meghan Regan-Loomis, author of "Juggling Twins: The Best Tips, Tricks, and Strategies from Pregnancy to the Toddler Years." This will help you establish a natural schedule based on their habits, which the twins are more likely to follow.

  3. Wake up both babies when one awakes for a nighttime feeding, suggests Tamara Eberlein, author of "Sleep: How to Teach Your Child to Sleep Like a Baby." This will increase the amount of time that you are able to place between periods of waking in the night. For the first few months, when your twins are waking three or four times per night, stagger the feedings; feed the one that woke up first, and then wake the sleeping twin for his feeding before putting both down simultaneously. As they age and begin to sleep through feedings, evaluate their needs and only wake when necessary.

  4. Place your twins in separate cribs, if possible. This ensures that the movements of one twin don't wake the other. Swaddling your twins upper torsos in a tight blanket --separate blankets, of course -- can help them feel the warmth and security that they would get from sleeping with their twin in one bed.

  5. Avoid comparing your twins' sleeping habits to other babies. This could lead you to feel discouraged and unhappy with the progress you have made with your babies. Instead, know that your twins are individuals, and having twins is not comparable to having a single baby.

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