Help! Ideas or Ways to Get Twin Boys 11 Months (2 Mnth Premature) to Sleep

Updated on September 22, 2008
D.T. asks from West Bloomfield, MI
10 answers

I have 11 month old twin boys (born 2 months premature). Sometimes they sleep thru the night, sometimes not. They will wake up and play in their crib for 45 min to an hour and then start crying hystarically. Othertimes, they just wake up crying so hard standing up in their crib (this can go on for 1 hour or so. I will go in after several minutes (I wait until there is a break in the crying) and lay them down and rub their backs but this is crazy. I read that they should be sleeping 10 - 12 hours a night, they sleep about 8 -9 but it is not a constant sleep. They share a room, however, we have to keep them in seperate rooms so they don't wake eachother. Help

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So What Happened?

Thank You, Thank You ALL for your advice!! I really appreciate the expanse of ideas I have received. I will definately try some of these methods :)

After reading my initial request, and then the responses, I realized I left so much information out!....go figure....
Though my boys may not sleep solid thru the night, I have no complaints about lack of sleep. My family helps out at night and my husband often comes home early from work to give me my "quiet time". All of this allows me to spend precious time with my boys all day and have fun with them. I cherish every second with them as it took me 7 years to get pregnant!!!!

I thank everyone again!!!

More Answers



answers from Detroit on

D. --
I have twin boys who are turning 2 in a few weeks. Sleep was ALWAYS an issue with us until about 6 months ago. My 2 were in the same room - and if one woke up, he'd wake the other. We separated them into 2 different rooms and that helped some. However, the only thing we found is that they both want to sleep in bed with mommy or daddy. When we've gone on vacation, I've had them sleeep on ready bed air mattresses on the floor and they've been fine. It seems they just want to sleep near someone. I know it's not ideal to have them sleeping in bed with me, but to be honest, it's the only way we could all get some sleep (including my almost 11 yr old son who would hear them crying at night and it would wake him up and then he would be tired at school the next day).

We are not fans of the CIO (crying it out) method for several reasons....but the biggest being that one of my twins has a heart condition that is very serious and if he cries really hard, he expells all the air from his lungs and basically passes out (I'm told it can happen and is somewhat normal in toddlers but scary just the same).

As long as my 2 are sleeping together or with someone, they sleep a good 10 hrs or so and take a nap for 1 1/2 - 2 hrs daily. My 2 are very affected by they won't sleep unless it's dark or a darkened room. Also, they dropped their morning nap at around a year old. In addition, I found that keeping them warmer at night helped them sleep better (they still wear long sleeved pj's and pj pants an socks in the summer due to the air conditioning on in the house and the ceiling fan on in the room and the cooler night air). I think this helped a LOT.

So, all I can say is, see if there is a pattern, and do whatever works for all. A book that I liked was titled something like "the no cry sleep solution" and we tried that too and it seemed to help. Another thing that helps with my 2 is having a sound machine. They like the sound of white noise or the ocean waves or the heartbeat. They also both like sleeping with a pillow and having stuffed animals near them.

Are you in a Twins mom group? If not, I highly recommend joining one (or 2) -- the moms in those groups can be very helpful with information and ideas. Send me a private msg. if you want more info on Twins moms groups.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

I suggest 'Health Sleep Habits Happy Child' by Dr. Weissbluth as a reference (if you haven't read it already). It has a lot of useful information and ideas on how to solve sleep problems.

I have twin boys that are 2. The things that really helped me when they were younger were:

- A serious cruch -- the pacifier! I'm sure not a lot of people would advocate giving a one year old a pacifier, but my boys slept with one until they turned 2. If they woke-up, they grabbed their pacifier (one of the 5 sprinkled around their cribs), and went back to sleep. I know alot of people would say this is a BAD idea, but it helped them get back to sleep. And that meant I could sleep. I could not have survived without doing this! Other people have suggested leaving a bottle or sippy cup of water in the crib. Same concept, different cruch...

- Keeping them in the same room. I think it helped because they are never 'alone'. They tuned each other out (one could be screaming while one was sleeping), so they rarely woke each other up.

- Keeping a rock-solid schedule that we almost NEVER deviated from. As said below, evaluate their nap schedule and tweak it if necessary.

- Using flannel sheets when it got cold outside. I swear they slept better the FIRST night I put flannel sheets in their cribs. I think it was just cozier for them.

Again, I highly recommend you read 'Health Sleep Habits Happy Child'. It will give you lots of good ideas to try.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Clarksville on

Babies only need 12-14 hours a day of sleep. depending on how long their naps are and what times could interfer with bed time. i have changed my 8 month olds naps to earlier in the day. the latest nap is at 2:30. i also was told by another mom switch which direction you lay them down in, it actually has helped me. hope it helps.



answers from Jackson on

Have you tried just water 2 hours before bed? No juice or sugar drinks. Are they still getting a bedtime bottle? If so do you put cereal in with there milk? Take all toys if any out of the crib. A crib is not ment for toys. My daughter use to sleep better with an overhead fan on very low. I know some people with twin have them sleep in the same crib, if they do maybe one is waking the other one up? I'm not to good with twins I only had one. But best of luck!!



answers from Detroit on

There IS no textbook child. You can't always assess your child according to a book. There's a multitude of "experts" out there writing books, making money off of it, and convincing new young parents of one standard.

Kids are different. Some need more sleep, some less. And there is no set pattern at this stage. It's just something that, as a parent, you deal with. Maybe they need to be fed just before bedtime to tide them over to morning. I know a lot of times some milk absolutely works wonders for me.

But there is no set pattern.



answers from Detroit on

It's all such a blurr from when my twin sons were babies. I do remember that they slept in the bassinet in my room until three months and than together in one crib in their room. I don't remember at what age I put them in their own beds. I just wanted to let you know that having twin boys is great, they are 9 now and are best friends and play and hang out together all the time. They each have there own room but they always sleep in the room with the bunk beds. I should take the empty room back.
Enjoy them and it's great that they always have someone there.



answers from Detroit on

My twin girls are nearly 5. I still rarely get the 10-12 hour sleep thing and our small house cannot accommodate separating them. I can't remember which book or whose advice it was but we did a very modified CIO where basically we'd lay the crying baby down, rub/pat the back for 5 minutes. Leave for 2 minutes even if there's crying, go back in for 3 full minutes. Leave for 3 minutes, come back for 3 minutes, leave for 4 minutes, come back for 3 minutes, leave for 5, etc. Eventually the duration got longer and eventually babies slept.

Our goals were to get babies sleeping without being held and without having them in our beds. There were a few rough nights but it did get better.

At nearly 5 we have one that sleeps fairly well all night and one that still wakes up whining because she wants her back rubbed or her blanket put on.

But they are both in their own beds in the same room and can sleep through each other's cries. Hope that helps. Hang in there. It gets easier (or you get used to it :-))



answers from Detroit on

Dear D.,
It IS hard when you aren't getting enough sleep; with two babies let alone just one! I can imagine how tired you are. What a blessing that you have chosen to stay at home with them - though that is not the easy road, at least you can have a "low lying" schedule during the day instead of being expected to perform and conform to work deadlines. I encourage you in that decision!
I am an avid reader, esp when my kids were young - all the baby books - and got caught up in the "they should be sleeping 10-12 hours a night" - is that my babies NEVER read the books!! They never followed what the books said, and all three of my kids hardly slept it seems.
I did not sleep through the night for 7 years. If it wasn't the new baby waking up, it was the toddler waking up with a bad dream, or it was someone else getting up. We played musical beds for those years, never knowing who would end up where, but I had to figure out a way to get some sleep or be walking into walls the next day. We ended up with a modified family bed - there were no devices like a "co-sleeper" back in the day when I was a mom of young kids so we put a crib mattress up on egg crates right next to our bed for whoever woke up; then for our last kidgo, he was content to lay in a sleeping bag next to our bed as long as he could hold my hand and that worked. I encourage you to do what you have to do to get some sleep. Can a friend or relative help out during the day so you can take a nap? Is there a middle or high school girl in the neighborhood that might be able to come over after school and give you a break so you can catch a few winks and she could play with the boys? Just ideas....
Seems that when we become moms, our sleep through the night days are long over; before you know it, they will be 16 year old boys and you won't be sleeping because they aren't home yet; or they are home but their music just got turned up loud and woke you up, again....Good luck. You are doing a good job.



answers from Grand Rapids on

Hi D.. I have twin boys also but they are now 8. Alright, this would happen to me,too. So, the problem I found was seperating them period. They were used to being together in the womb so naturally they wanted to be with each other. So, we put them in the same bed and guess what? They slept ALL night in the same bed. YAY!! Give that a try it would be worth it. My boys still will crawl in bed with each other once in awhile. It's a Twin thing. Another resource for you would be the Twins Magazine website. Check it out, I guarantee that you won't be disappointed.
Anyway, good luck to you and I hope that I have been helpful.



answers from Detroit on

Hi D., I have twin boys who are 3 years old. I can't remember specifically, but when they were about that age I think I had similar problems and cried at the pediatrician because I wasn't getting any sleep. The good news is that is seemed to be a phase. I tried to go in, lay them down, not make eye contact, don't pick them up, etc. so that they don't think it is playtime with mommy at 3 am. They never got 12 hours of sleep. They also may be adjusting their nap schedule at this age, I think mine dropped a nap at some point after a year. My boys always shared a room and now they don't wake each other. My friend with twin girls though had to do what you are doing--separate room b/c hers would purposely wake each other up! Good luck...hope you will all be sleeping more soon!

OH, and we were HUGE believers in the pacifier!!

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