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How Do I Get 4 Month Old Twins to Sleep Through the Night?

How do I get my 4 month old twins to sleep through the night?

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The only advice I have for you is "Baby Wise". It's a book that was suggested to me when I first had my son and it was amazing. Read it, apply the routine that they suggest and you will be AMAZED! Seriously! It really helped me, my friend, and both of my cousins.

I have no experience in this, but, would they sleep better together? Or was that the whole reason for the seperation in the first place?

J.,
When my baby would not sleep through the night...(and it took him till he was about 4 months old to do so) We started putting a little bit of rice cereal in his formula for his last feeding. It seemded to help. He kept him fuller longer so he slept better and longer.

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Honey we would all like our kids to sleep through the night as soon as possible, but they'll do it when they are ready. My second son starting sleeping through the night around 9 months, my first child was still waking up most nights when he was two. You just have to get used to being tired for a while.

As for a schedule, start with feedings, every three hours or whatever works, once they fall into that it will be easier to schedule their naps. Getting them on a schedule will really help you. It just makes things a lot easier. Once you establish a bedtime, start a routine that you use every night. Bath, stories, bottle, singing, etc. This will help you for years to come.

Fatigue is every mother's legacy! Just hold on, you'll sleep again some day.

P.s. Hold your son as much as you can. Once he starts crawling and walking, he won't have time to snuggle anymore.

1 mom found this helpful

J.,
When my baby would not sleep through the night...(and it took him till he was about 4 months old to do so) We started putting a little bit of rice cereal in his formula for his last feeding. It seemded to help. He kept him fuller longer so he slept better and longer.

Hi, I have 17 month old twin boys and it was a challenge when they were infants. I don't know that there is any definite way to get them to sleep through the night, because believe me I tried everything. Here is what I ended up doing. Try putting a small amount of Gerber baby cereal in the last milk bottle before bed time. This makes the formula/milk a little heavier and more filling and seemed to help keep my twins full a little longer. but as for one sleeping better than the other and waking each other up. There is only one solution to that. You have to seperate them. We had one baby in the nursery and the other either in the living room or in our bedroom (which is right next door to the nursery. The living room seemed to work best because it was farther away from the other baby in nursery. They loved sleeping in a little bouncy/rocker seat that reclines back and vibrates. That helped tremendously. They actually slept in those off and on till they were 12 mos old. This really helped us get more sleep having the baby who wakes up more sleeping in another room so that both babies are not awake at the same time. That's great that you have a Nanny to help you at nights. But may I say that when Dad is around, put him to work. He needs to bond with those babies too, regardless of how much he works. If he is home, then let him take the early evening shift and you go to sleep, then he can go to bed later and you can get up with the babies for their next feeding. Both my husband and I work full time and I did not let him weasel his way out of helping. Yes, he works longer hours than I do, but that is no excuse. These are his babies too, and so we took turns, and he'd get home from work around 7pm and by 8pm I was in bed and slept a good solid 4-5 hrs and then would get up around 1am and take over with the babies. It was very hard, and we hardly spent any time together, but it worked for us, we both had time to bond with the twins and we both got more than 1-2 hrs of sleep at a time. Hang in there, and if you need any more moral support, please contact me: ____@____.com.

Beleive it or not, but sleeping 4-6 hours is considered sleeping through the night. My guess is the boy is hungry and needs a feeding or perhaps needs this. 4 months is notorious for sleep regressions. Try and get some sleep while the nanny is there to take advantage of her time.

Hi J.,

I also have boy/girl twins that are now 4 almost 5. Mine never were on the same schedule until around 1. My daughter just didn't need the sleep as much as my son. The same still holds true today.
As your twins get older and are at the same weight they probably will sleep on the same schedule. Its tough, I know,when they aren't sleeping as well as you would like. Just keep doing the best you can and I promise you, you will survive this first year and after that it will become easier every day.

C.

My twins are 4 1/2 years old now. They started sleeping 5-6 hours a night at around 5 1/2 months and we were not able to start sleep training them until they were two months old. A strict schedule/routine worked for us. They would eat, play, sleep, and then repeat! When one ate, the other ate too. When one slept, the other slept too. It took about two months of this strict schedule and then around 6 months they were sleeping 10-12 hours a night and taking two 2-3 hours naps during the day. If they are in the same crib, split them up. Around 4 months my boys started waking each other up because they were moving around! Schedule, schedule, schedule so you won't go crazy!!!

My b/g twins came home about 6 1/2 weeks after being in the NICU on a schedule which was a life saver. We had to wake them every 3 hours because they were so small. They slept in the same crib until they were 10 months old. We were told that cosleeping was good because they were used to each other in the womb and during the later part of their NICU stay. They never really woke each other, if one started to cry, I would just do and get him/her until the other woke up, but when we fed one, we fed the other.

Hi. My kids are not twins, but the girl slept great and the boy didnt!!! It just took some time. My son would sweat during the night and it woke him up because he would be soaked. He was up every 2-3 hours.

My boy twins came home after 9 weeks in NICU. At two months, both were still eating every 3 hours. I had them in the same crib until they were about 6 mo, when one started sleeping all night and the other wasn't quite yet....they are completely different babies and you'll find that no matter how much you want to you can't force them on to the same schedule. Anyway after about another month the little guy was also sleeping through the night. You are VERY lucky to have help-it's just me and my husband. Consider that it's still very early for both of them to be sleeping through. You've made it this far-you can do it!

Boy, oh Boy! Literally. I completely understand the lack of sleep and running on empty but if your goal is to make your boy to be like the girl, I am going to burst your bubble and say it is not ever going to happen. Boys are SO needy, physically and emotionally for the first few years. They grow faster and need more nutrition, they are sensitive and let you know it faster. They need reasurance and then tare head first into who knows what and need more comforting afterward. Try not to resent him and just deal with it. Boys are true joys after they get to be around 5yrs old..I know, I know if you live that long! When that girl gets to be a tween, the boy will look like an angel. I pray for God to give you wisdom in raising both!
Love,
B.

well hello there new momma of twins,
I too am a momma of twins (identical girls 7mo) and my best advice on the sleep thing is def do not let them sleep in same bed -as u said they will wake one another. I tried that also and still do not place them in same bed usually and at times not even in the same room. What I have found to be most helpful is when u make sure they have very full tummy's (not too full-just enough)[Plus,your doctor should have informed you that they are at the age to give them just a little of the rice cereal mixed w/either breastmilk or water. (i added it to my girls' bottles-dr's won't reccomend that though)]
**and giving a bath more often now that they're not newborns anymore!! It works like a charm! :) And even if ya don't want to bathe them every single night...just give them plenty of stimulating things to look up at such as bright colorful mobile's, or other shiny bright things/toys that light up,move,swirl,rotate etc. or that plays soothing music are always favorites.Another example, those play toy fishtanks that light up and play soft relaxing music. My all-time fav is also to play soft classical music for babies while they sleep-it's been said to help tremendously w their development. I think that any of these things/toys pretty much makes their days easier for them to get plenty of "mind activity"and become easier to wind down when it's time to go to bed for the night..ya know. The key is to make sure they are happy,stomach is full and are very relaxed or comfortable. *they also love to be rocked no matter the time,phase they're in or age..touch is so very soothing/comforting to them!!* Remember they're pj's should be temperature appropriate and they like to be clean like we do as bigger people. When mine have just had a bath still even to this day it makes them much happier and satisfied babies just as i do when i get out of a steamy hot shower or relaxing bath!!Don't know if you are a new mom all together or just of the twins. I have an eight yr old also. Hope this all really helps so that you may start getting enough rest yourself! I wish blessings to you and your family as I've been so blessed!! =)
So long and take care of you and those angels!!!

I have no experience in this, but, would they sleep better together? Or was that the whole reason for the seperation in the first place?

I hate to say this, but my 13month old son STILL doesn't sleep through the night. We're still nursing, so that's part of it, I'm sure, but the stories other moms tell you of their baby sleeping through the night - it doesn't happen for all of them. Do they sleep in the same crib? I've heard (though it could be an old wives tale) that twins like to continue to sleep together. Maybe that would help synchronize them. If they're bottle fed, get dad to help every once in a while - it's fine to do it yourself with one, but twins is too much for you to do by yourself. Good luck!

J.! You're exhausted! I have 11 month old twin girls! They shared a crib until 8 1/2 months old. They would sometimes wake each other. They LOVED being together. Now I let them play a little at night and then separate to sleep.
Sounds like your little boy might still be hungry..does he always want to eat when he is waking up? I nursed and supplemented as needed. I never did formula and cereal in a bottle. For me I would just feed and then go back to bed. You are just trying to survive at this point. You are at a really hard time. It WILL pass. Advice that was given to me was your babies are not robots. ..and as much talk as there is about strict scheduling....I think sometimes one twin just needs you more than the other...it won't always be like that and trust me feeding to just remedy the situation doesn't mean you won't ever be able to get him on a schedule with his sister. You are just trying to figure out the little guy and get through it. Both my girls feed and sleep at the same time but realistically sometimes one just needed me more than the other and I just tried to figure out what it was they needed...4 months is that tricky time when it could be a number of reasons as to why his is waking up...
You are doing a great job!! Hang in there girl! It will pass!
R.

Hello J..

I have boy/girl twins that are almost 6 years old. I know that it is exhausting. I will admit that I was pretty lucky. Mine slept in the same crip until they were 4 months old. At that time, they started to roll over and wake each other up. That was when we moved them to seperate cribs in their room. we put the cribs side by side so they could see each other. I don't know if it had an effect, but it worked for us. We were pretty lucky. They were both sleeping through the night around 4 months old. However, they were being supplemented w/ formula and I was adding cereal. It sounds as if your son is not getting enough to sustain him through the night. If he will take a bottle, maybe you can add cereal to his milk at bed time and see if that will give him enough to sleep through the night. I wish you the best and agree that you should take as much help as you can get from your husband or anyone else.

K.

Get the book baby wise. It is a great resource. May be hard at first because they will have to cry it out and it will take discipline, but you will get through it. My girls are 3 and I followed it to the tee and they have sleep through the night since 6 wks. They both had horrible colic and where on two meds until they were 6 months to help. It mostly is about keeping them on a schedule and making sure they don't associate eating with sleeping. First you need to make sure your son stays awake to finish his meal. On top of that I swaddled them very tightly so they could not get loose through the night, this tends to make babies feel more secure. If one wakes up the other consider putting up a pack and play in another bedroom until they are sleeping similarly. Also, I am a physician assistant and unless your doctor recommended cereal in formula...STOP. It is a myth that it makes them sleep better and it leads to obesity.

J., I have 2 sets of twins, but sadly I cannot give you any miracle advice; my twins never slept all the way through the night until they were about 2 years old, but they did get a lot better all along. You need to remember that if they were premature, then they are not gestationally 4 months yet. Be careful about adding rice cereal to their milk; talk to your pediatrician about it. Just recently there have been a number of studies published that link the development of diabetes to adding cereal to formula at night. My twin boys were MUCH hungrier than my twin girls were; they would wake in the middle of the night literally screaming for milk and they would suck it down like they had not eaten for weeks. At that age, I slept in the room with my twins, and if one woke up I would sweep that one up quickly and remove it from the room before waking it. I imagine that putting them in separate rooms might do the trick, too. However, if you just separate the beds, it may be enough because often babies will learn to sleep though the noises from their siblings. Your pediatrician may suggest that it's time to introduce some solid foods (during the day). Also, during the day you may want to start stretching the time between feedings (gradually, perhaps ten extra minutes for a couple days, then another ten minutes or fifteen) so that they are going longer stretches without feedings and they can learn to take in more. Definitely try to feed them as much as you can right before bed time. Take advantage of the nanny's time to get some rest yourself. If you are not working outside of the home, be sure that you are sleeping during the day when the babies are sleeping. Make sure that you have bottles ready before the babies go to sleep (unless you are breastfeeding) so that the feeding can go as quickly as possible. If you are working, then come home and take a nap as soon as you get home while the nanny is there so that you can catch up. I also taught myself to sleep a few winks while holding a baby. Finally, if you do use the bouncy/vibrating chair to help with sleeping, be sure that you rotate his head frequently so that he does not develop a flat heat on one side. Use a rolled up towel to help with positioning. The same is true really for when they sleep in the bed, too. Feel free to email directly for more questions. Have you joined a mothers of multiples support group? If you are in Plano or North Dallas, check out www.pamom.org.

The only advice I have for you is "Baby Wise". It's a book that was suggested to me when I first had my son and it was amazing. Read it, apply the routine that they suggest and you will be AMAZED! Seriously! It really helped me, my friend, and both of my cousins.

Are these your first children? We had g/b twins, but the boy was bigger than the girl. She too woke much more often to feed and did so until their weight was more even. Does she wake up with him or are you afraid that she will? If she wakes when he fusses, I'd suggest that you move his bed closer to you or into your room. As soon as they level out you can easily move him back to share the room with his sister.

I understand them keeping one another awake in one bed. Our bigger child tried to get near her and was succeeding in ramming her with his body until she woke up. That was when we put ours in separate beds.

Do you swaddle him? Our daughter was restless when she was tiny. My grandmother suggested that they used to swaddle babies and that seemed to comfort them. We did that and she snuggled down. I don't know if that would increase his time asleep, but it might make him more comfortable until he gets a bit bigger. Be careful about using stuffed toys to cuddle an infant. They are not safe and are recommended against because of potential SIDS.

Can your nanny take all feedings during her part of the night shift? I hope you are able to sleep during that time without interruption. You didn't say whether you are breast feeding the babies. If you do, perhaps you can pump enough milk to get the nanny by during the early part of the night.

After you survive this stage, have faith that you will be enjoy your twins twice over.

J.,
Maybe that is what is wrong with him. He was use to feeling his sister next to him and it gave him a sense of security. Knowing someone is next to him in case he gets scared. I have heard of that before. Maybe if you try putting a warm stuff bear next to him and he might take that. Or his sister. I know it might be hard at first, if one woke up and would wake the other one, but he might also go back to sleep knowing someone is next to him. He won't be aone. Sort of like being out of the warmth and security of Mom's tummy. Some babies will stay awake and cry cause they no longer can hear Mom's heart beat or feel her all around them. They do ahve those heart beat bears you can buy and they do have a heart beat sound and my Nephew loved his. He slept like a baby.. just a little humor there, but he did sleep well.

Shirley Mother of 3 grown babies now. In their 30's.

Try the suggestions in "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child." It recommends a strict schedule, but it really works. My friend has twins and she used it with great success. Only needed a nighttime nanny for 2 months.

Good luck. hd

Hi J.
I am a fellow twin mom. My twin boys are already 5, and I have a six year old daughter too. I vividly remember those days. I would suggest getting the book called SECRETS OF THE BABY WHISPERER, by Tracy HOGG. She has a three yawn theory that works everytime, if you catch them. There is also a book called Baby Wise that I know a lot of my twin mom friends used, and had success. I will tell you that Baby Wise is a bit harsh, in my eyes. I thought The Baby Whisperer was a bit more soft and gentle. If you ever need any help or advice with your babies, don't hestitae to call me ###-###-####, I was on the Board of Bay Area Mothers of Multiples for 4 of the last 5 years of my twins lives, and I have helped lots of Moms with twins. BTW- I saw your post regarding swaddling--- do it as long as they will tolerate, usually 4 or 5 months old. By this age, they may want their fingers for soothing themselves and the reflexes that used to scare them awake have strengthened so they really don't need swaddling beyond this age.

When they start rolling over on each other and beating each other up is when I moved my twins to seperate cribs, but we put them side-by-side so if they wanted to wake up and "talk" to each other they could, but usually with twins they'll be so used to each other's crying and whatnot that by 4 months that they WON'T wake each other at night if one gets upset. My twins didn't anyway. Have you tried swaddling them? I know that's a silly question, but if not, maybe you should, and if so, maybe its not tight enough for him to be comfortable? I used the miracle blanket and it worked wonders. Also, you could start giving them rice cereal or oatmeal in their bottles if you wanted to. I would say since the boy was a little smaller, its normal for him not to be caught up entirely, I heard that until babies are at least 12 lbs. they can't sleep through the night (might not be true, but I've heard it from a few people), so just give him a little time to catch up to his sister. =) Also, no two babies are alike (Especially twins! I can testify to that fact!), so maybe he's just not getting enough formula during the day or at the night time feedings.

I have 5 month old twin boys. I make sure they are well fed and burped around be time, make sure their pacifiers are close by, and I don't feed during the night anymore. Kingston always wakes up at 4:30 am and I pop the paci back in and pat him a little but I don't feed him! He usually is good until 7 but then you'd better have the food ready! Some babies can stil be swaddled at this age but my boys roll too much for that. I also let my daughter dance and play with them to "tire" them out a little too.

Get them on a schedule!! That is the only way I survived with my triplets. They should be eating every 3 hours, immediately following their nap. Let them play for a while after they eat, then put them down for a nap and the cycle starts all over. Sleep, eat, play, etc.

Also, four months is too early to be giving them cereal in formula. If you are trying to bulk up their calories, get some Human Milk Fortifier form your doctor to add to your breastmilk, (if you are nursing). The idea that adding cereal will help them sleep longer is an old wives tale.

A book that was a great resource for me was "On Becoming Babywise". One of the authors even has triplets, and there is a whole section on taking care of multiples and getting them on the same schedule, or a similar schedule depending on your situation.

Feel free to send me an e-mail with any questions, or if you just need to let off some steam. I've been there and know how being sleep deprived, delirious and overwhelmed feels!!

Hello my name is C. and i have almost 5 month old twin boys. I am also a first time mom. My boys were born December 23, 2007 almost 3 months premature. We brought them home from the hospital on March 31st. Micah weighs 8lbs 15 oz and Zachary weighs 11lbs 2 oz.
During the day i feed them every 3 hours. They are very consistent with their feeds. Sometimes at first i would wake Zachary up to eat. Luckly Zachary would eat when i woke him up. Micah is also colic we think. The hospital told us he had reflux so we are getting him tested this week. Micah cries all the time, but i guess all the noise in the NICU does not affect Zachary.
You may try to put a little bit of rice cereal in their bottle at night. I do that and they usually go 5-6 hours at night. I have a hard time feeding Micah also. Not sure if its because of colic, or possible reflux. Zachary eats every well. I have Micah on Similic advance. Do you think the formula works well for you? Who is your pedi? I have to go now but hopefully we can talk soon.
take care and it will get better.
C.

I had a whole response typed out and it got erased - URGH... so here goes again:

Man, can I relate to you. I was on this website only 5 short months ago asking the exact same questions that you are! My twins just turned 1 year old a few weeks ago. I asked the swaddling question and I also asked the sleeping question. The only thing I can't answer is about your son as I have g/g twins. My twins started consistently sleeping through the night between 5-6 months old. I worked toward a schedule with them and was able to get them on a good schedule around 5 months or so. You're not that far off.
I nursed my twins until they were 11 months old, but I did not nurse them in the middle of the night once our doctor told us it was okay to drop the middle-of-the-night feeding. Once they're able to go longer at night without eating, it will increase the chances that they can sleep through. Getting them on solid food will help, too.
I separated my twins into different cribs around 4 months and I put their cribs in different rooms (very reluctantly) at around 5 1/2 months. One of my twins was 6 lbs. 9 oz and the other twin was 5 lbs. 2 oz, so they have always slept very differently from each other. My larger twins STILL needs more sleep than her smaller sister. I intend to put them back together again now that they're more on the same schedule.
I know what you're going through. It seems like only yesterday I was going through that too. Often, you have one question and someone's answer only sparks more questions. If you have more specific questions or just want to have a conversation with someone who just went through the same thing, please feel free to send me a message and I'll send you my phone number or private email address and I'll be happy to help in any way I can. Hang in there. You're just on the cusp of it getting easier. For me, once I got past the 6-7 month hump... it went downhill (in a good way) fast and life has gotten SO much easier since then.
As someone else has said, a schedule is key. I got mine on one around 5 months and it made life much more doable with twins.
Best of luck.
Blessings and prayers,
K.

There's something "magical" about 12 lbs (you can't go by their age since they were small at birth)--babies have a different sleep cycle until they reach roughly 12 lbs. The normal sleep cycle (circadian) requires a stable feeding schedule during the day, as well as plenty of light during the daylight hours. The brain is triggered to sleep during the night once all these factors are in place. There are other factors involved, of course, like sickness, teething, lonliness, etc. that you will have to contend with off and on for...well...18 years! So, if your babies are different weights, it's likely they won't be on the same schedule til they are a bit bigger.

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