Sleep Training for Twins

Updated on November 10, 2008
A.G. asks from San Antonio, TX
7 answers

Hi Ladies,
My sister has 7 month old, boy/girl twins. She is getting very sleep deprived and is ready to sleep train. Anyone out there have experience sleep-training twins?

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answers from Austin on

Couple of things to consider.....
With twins are they are a set routine or on demand with sleep and eating?

With my twins, I had them play, eat and sleep simutaneously for my sanity.
I also used paci's, bottles before bed,(rubbed teeth with damp washcloth)and warm double layering footed pj's in the winter, transitional teether pal rabbit or bear for company for them in their cribs, several pacis (3 or more) around their head to find in the middle of the night.

After all of the essentials, I would put my 7mo olds to sleep for the night at 7:30-8pm after their end of the night bottle. If they woke up 5:30-6am another smaller bottle 4-6oz and lay them back down until 8:30-9am. This early morning feeding if they woke up was given by my hubby before he went to work so I could sleep in.

Middle of the night crying, we ignored it for 5-10 minutes, shhhhhed, gave a paci and left the room promptly if they persisted. No feedings in the middle of the night, My hubby got up sometimes even though he worked to do only the same thing and go right to bed. No rocking, and do not pick them up, that wakes them up more and then they are wondering if its feeding time or Mommy time? I didn't want either at 3-4am. Best wishes, 7months is such an adorable age.

Mom of 3yr old twins

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Houston on

Tell her to buy the book Healthy sleep habits, happy child. It's the best book ever, and it has great ideas! It's very easy to follow.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Houston on

Schedule, schedule, schedule! We fed on demand at first and nearly collapsed from sleep deprivation. You don't indicate their weight or whether they were preemie. That makes a big difference. But, assuming they are at least 8-12 pounds, here is what we did:

We got Podee bottles so the boys could hold the nipples without the hazards of bottle props. When one little guy woke up, we got him started on a bottle, woke up his brother and got him started too. Then we did diaper changes, playtime, etc. together at the same time. When it was nap time/night time both boys went down together. If one woke up earlier, we would use that time to cuddle and/or play one-on-one, but that one had to wait until the next sleep time to go back down. We found Brazelton's book on sleep to be a total life saver.

We also experimented a bit. Most twins share cribs because they like to sleep together. Our boys (identical twins) were very much an exception to that - they squirmed and wiggled and generally moved around so much in their sleep that they constantly woke each other up. They hated to be swaddled, so we set up the second crib and got 5 straight hours the first night! I think I cried I was so relieved.

The other thing we found was that they fell asleep much faster on their tummies, so we would let them fall asleep that way (with us right there watching) and then we would oh-so-carefully roll them onto their backs. Of course, once they started rolling around on their own, we could just put them down and they would find their favorites positions, but it was definitely a help in the earlier days.

We're not Ferber fans, so we tended to follow Brazelton's advice of letting a child over 6 months who's woken up in the night cry for 2-2.5 minutes before going in to comfort the child. We found that our boys often settled back down within that time frame without our having to go in to them. When they didn't something was obviously up. When we first put them down for the night, they went through phases where they fussed a lot. We would set the time for 2 minutes, then go in and tell them we love them and it was time for night night without picking them up. Then we set the timer for 5 minutes, then 7 minutes, and so forth. Never went much past 7 minutes, and now they are fantastic sleepers. We are Brazelton fans all the way!

Hope this helps.



answers from Houston on

"Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child" by Weissbluth... would be a great early christmas present for her :)
it saved me from the months of sleep deprivation i'd endured... i have identical boys and this book gives lots of great examples as well as easy to follow steps and outlines for tired mommies who don't have the time/ energy to read through entire chapters... i highly recommend it



answers from Odessa on

I have twin boys, though they are 3 years old now, and I don't know what your sister is currently doing regarding sleep... We put them down for naps and night time at the same time not matter what, and still do it today. I would also suggest a bed time routine, bath, story/cuddle time, lights out. We sat by thier beds and slowly scooted closer to the door until one night we could just say good night and leave. This is a challenging process, so like everything when it comes to kids, be patient.



answers from Houston on

I have twin boys, they are 14 1/2 now. Here's what I did when they were babies....

Starting out from the time I brought them home, when one woke up for a bottle, I would wake the other one up and feed him. Then I'd change both of their diapers and put them back to bed.

I'm sure that she can start doing that now and it might take a week or two, but they will fall into the same schedule eventually. She has to stick to it though! And not give up.



answers from Houston on

My twin boys are 9 months old now - we've recently been in the same position as her!

First - schedule, schedule, schedule, routine, routine, routine. Nap times should be around 9am and 1am and short nap around 4pm by now. Reference the Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Baby book - the same rules apply to twins as to single babies.

Second - if they are healthy kids, it's time for them to sleep through the night and to be able to fall asleep on their own. She has to make up her mind to NOT GO IN. We tried being nice for a long time -picking them up ect, it was rediculous. 6 months is when we'd "had it" so to speak! Regarding the twin dyanmics, we separated our boys to do sleep training -different rooms. And about a month ago we actually moved the second crib into the guest room. We used the Pak-n-play initially. If they're separated they can cry and not wake the other baby and you can avoid worrying about the interaction between the two babies. Mine were waking each other up, some don't.

Also - to properly get this down, she may need to buckle down and not leave the house for a week to enforce the new routines. Consistency in sleep training is an absolute requirement for it to work. At 7 months it should work and she should see progress across the week.

Third - 7 months, in my book, don't worry if they're on their back or stomach anymore, provided there's no outstanding health issues. Let them sleep how they want to!

Lastly - I've choosen to think of each of my twins as individual babies, not "a twin". I approach each child the way we approached these challenges with our single older son. Thus the reason for separating them - then I don't have to manage the interaction between a fussy baby and a non-fussy baby at bedtimes! They have plenty of play time together! They are individuals and need to be treated that way!

Good luck!

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