Napping Schedules and Tricks for Twins

Updated on October 17, 2007
H.S. asks from Rowlett, TX
10 answers

I need to start a schedule for naps for my 4-month-old twins. Up until now, they've napped wherever and whenever, but they've started to seem sleep deprived, so I think the time has come for a schedule and for them to be in their cribs during naps. So, three questions. First, does anyone have a good schedule for naps that they've followed? Second, what tricks and methods have you used to get your baby down for naps (I don't like the concept of "crying it out")? Third, do most people with twins keep them in the same room - my husband and I are really struggling with this decision, because getting them to sleep on their own seems like it would be challenging if they are both in the same room (waking each other up). Thanks for any help with this!

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answers from Dallas on

Hi H. -

I have boy/girl 10 month old twins and have found the following schedule really beneficial for us all!!

They both wake up for the day (sometimes at the same time) between 5a.m. and 6a.m., I change and feed them and let them play until 10a.m. - it used to be me keeping them awake, either playing with them or muscial toys to amuse them but definitely keeping them sitting up. At 10a.m. they go down for a "morning nap" which usually lasts an hour but not longer than 2 hours. When they wake up they get lunch and play more - I do whatever it takes to keep them awake until 2p.m. when they go down for an "afternoon nap." The afternoon nap usually lasts 2 hours. They wake up in time for my husband to get home and dinner - they play until they get their baths (around 7p.m.) and they are both in bed by 8p.m.

When I get resistance to their nap time they still go into their cribs. They are now used to at least "resting" around 10a.m. and 2p.m. but most times they eventually fall asleep. I remember only one time that my son cried to avoid the nap, in that case I didn't want to let him cry it out - I just sat with him and he eventually fell asleep and I put him in his crib until he fell asleep. My daughter is like clockwork on this schedule and will now fall asleep anywhere at 10 and 2.

Both babies are in the same room with their cribs side by side and it hasn't really been an issue with one waking up the other. My son started sleeping through the night at around 6 months and my daughter usually wakes up (crying) once during the night.

Good luck with the babies - so far, it's an incredible amount of work but nothing comes close to the joy that comes with it.


1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I have twin girls that are 18 months old! I have found that with them sleeping together works the best! They know when the other one is not in the room!

I am on a very strict schedule!

Wake up at 8:30
And nap is from 11:30-2:30
then they are up until 7:00! But I hear them playing until 7:45 ish! Then off to sleep they are!!!

I have been doing this since they were 6 months old and it has worked for me!

As far as tricks go, I really don't have any! I make sure that its nice and peaceful! I have found that if I keep them in their cribs vs in a play pin they sleep much better and longer!

Mine hardly wake each other up and if they do I hear them playing! I will not move them until they are 24 months old! But they will stay in the same room, but just have their own toddler beds!!!

GOOD LUCK! Twins are so much fun!!! Just wait till they are both walking!!!


1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Good luck with twins. I heard horr stories when I was a hairdresser with one of my customers who had them. My mom just witnesses some 7 mo twins my neice has in her family and they were so good and they have a strick schedule. I know my day care the kids know the schedule and routine and they do well. Nap is always after lunch from 12:30--3:30/ We have breakfast at 6:30-7 Snack at 10, Lunch at 12 and snack when they wake up and then dinner at 6:30 then snack about 8 before sleeping. We alway wash our hands before and after meals, after potty or playing outside. I know these are toddlers but babies will be so I would geer towards that goal. G. W



answers from Dallas on

The Babywise book actually has a chapter on managing multiples. I was a nanny for twins for a while and they used the babywise routine and it worked really well. The idea is sleep, eat, play/awake on a 3 or 4-hour rotation (that means from the beginning of one feeding to the beginning of the next). Sometimes it would be less than 3 hours, and sometimes more, but the order of sleep, eat, awake was consistent. It would start when they first wake up in the morning (you may have to set a morning wake time). And, if one baby wakes up on his own, you wake the other one at the same time. A 4 month old needs 3 or 4 naps throughout the day, in addition to about 8 hours or so at night.
So, if morning wake-up is 6am, you'd get them up, give them bottles, let them play for half an hour to an hour. First nap would be 8:30 or 9am. They may nap an hour or more. Next feeding would be around 10 (or when they wake up), then play for an hour or so, then nap around noon or 1:00. Next feeding would be around 3 or 4:00 (when they wake from the early afternoon nap), then they might take a short nap around 5 or 6 (the twins I kept and my own children would nap for about half an hour at this time of day). After the late afternoon/early evening nap, we'd feed them dinner, then do the night time/bed time routine (family time, baths, read books, etc.). They go to bed around 8:00. At 4 months, the might wake again for a bottle around 10pm, but should soon outgrow that.

Of course, the times aren't as important as the order. If your babies naturally sleep until 7, things would be pushed back accordingly.

As far as getting the baby to sleep, we began by holding or rocking until they were almost asleep, then put them in the bed. They might cry for a little while, but I would go in to check on them, pat their backs, etc. every 10 minutes. The little twins I kept were sleep trained this way and it was so wonderful. By the time they were 8 or 10 months old, bed time was simply a hug and kiss, put them in their cribs and walk away. Didn't hear another peep out of them!
You could do the method as described in "Good night, Sleep Tight" where you sit in the room by the crib (but don't pick them up) until they fall asleep. They are old enough now to learn how to soothe themselves to sleep, so if you can just stick with whatever method you pick for a week or two, you should see good results.
Good luck!



answers from Dallas on

Get a copy of the book...Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child. I followed it and used its tricks and trades and my little girl slept through the night at 2 months old. Sleeping well at night is directly related to napping during the day. The book is fabulous.



answers from Dallas on

4 months old!! How much fun!!! I have to pull way back on that one, but assuming they wake up between 6-7, first nap would need to be between 10-11, probably sleep until 12-1. Second nap around 3 so they can wake up refreshed for the comotion of dinner time and you can have a moment to cook. The true key to picking a nap time schedule is what fit's YOUR lifestyle so that it can stay a routine, which is the most important part. It may sound selfish, but at this point you basically have the power to conform them to your schedule. As for keeping them in the same room, I don' t see a problem with it. I would let them enjoy the comfort of eachother for now, and split their rooms early toddler when you can tell them about it and make it an exciting adventure!!



answers from Dallas on

I usually put my twins down for a nap twice a day, and they'll sleep for quite a while. Usually at around the 10:00-11:00 feeding, and then at the 2:00-3:00 feeding. And they usually sleep for 2-3 hours at a time. However, I only have one crib, so I usually put one in the crib and one in their playpen, and put them on their tummy. They also usually sleep in their swings between feedings when I don't put them down.

Are you still swaddling them? That could make a big difference. And if you feed them at the same time, I'd say put them both right down after the last burp. That's what I do, when mine are on pretty much the same schedule.



answers from Dallas on

H., congratulations on your twins!! I have b/g 2 1/2 year old twins, and I stuck to a very strict schedule for the first 12 mths. My philosophy was, it's only 12 mths. that will benefit me for years!! And from what I can tell, it is working great. People are amazed at how easy my twins will go down at any time during the day now. Their schedule was as others have mentioned 10 and 2. When they were really young, they would wake, eat and go back down. I would try the 10/2 and see if it works for you. Everything I did with the twins was always scheduled. They did everything the same every day, give or take 10-30 mins. They knew what to expect, so they never fought me on it. I read many books that said this was the best way to do it, and it was for me. I did have to let them cry it out every once in a while, but it would only happen once, and they learned that I wasn't going to give in. You'll find that at 18 months they are going to go through another stage of night waking, and if you go to them they will continue to do it, so as much as you don't like the crying it out, you might want to try it once. I watch the monitor, and I will make sure they are not in distress, but I do let them cry it out, and my pediatrician also recommends it. I found that if I go to them that when I leave they will cry harder than they did the first time I left. I hope that makes since to you. Now I have a 10 mth. old, and she follows the twins schedule. They are now only on one nap a day, and I can guarantee myself, everyday, at least a 2 1/2 hour long nap with both of them. I separated my twins and put them in their own rooms at 2 weeks old. They have been in their own rooms ever since. The only bad thing about this is when you go out of town they have a hard time sleeping in the same room. When they are young and in the same room they will become immune to the other's crying. I have two other friends that have twins, and they both have them in the same room. One can be screaming, and the other will be sound asleep. They will be fine either way. I think I would keep them together if you can. Congratulations again, and sorry for the long email. You will enjoy them more and more every day, I sure do. Yeah, with any child you will have bad days, but with twins you will have twice as many good days!! Take care.



answers from Wichita Falls on

I have 18 month old boy/girl twins. First of all, congratulations. It is definitely twice the work, but twice the enjoyment!!! We put our twins in seperate rooms for sleeping reasons. I think it was the best decision we made. Our daughter is a very light sleeper, and tends to wake up a little more. Our son sleeps like a rock. At four months we had them on a nap schedule. They usually woke up about 7, and we would put them back down about 9:30-10:00. Then they would go back down for their second nap about 2:00. That is what worked best for us. Good luck!!



answers from Dallas on


I have (almost) 7 month old boy/girl twins. Napping is an issue for my little girl. My son will let you know when he is tired, but my daughter will try to fight from napping. She has gone as long as waking up at 8:30am and not napping until 2pm or so. She is very cranky when she does this.

I am not on a "strict" napping schedule with my kids, I have them on an eating/bottle, bathtime and night time schedule, as far as napping.... I'm pretty flexible. But, I have noticed they are starting to want to nap around the same time every day (they decided this on their own), my daughter is getting better about napping and lately I have been putting my daughter in her crib for a nap when my son goes down for a nap and within 15 minutes, she has usually drfited off to sleep.

But they both do nap in their cribs, if they fall asleep playing I will carry them to their cribs, they just sleep better there. And, yes, they are in the same room, fortunately we don't have problems with them waking each other up. They are both really good, hard sleepers, I could vacumn in their room and they wouldn't wake up.... but I think we are just lucky, I know many moms don't have that luxury.

But, remember, you need to do what works for you, everyone parent's different and everyone has different opinions about schedules..... do what works best for you and maybe your twins will "help" with their schedule. Good luck!

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