Twins Schedule

Updated on April 08, 2008
M.H. asks from Orchard Park, NY
11 answers

Can anyone with twins or multiples provide a daily sample schedule? I have three month old twin boys along with a 2 1/2 year old daughter. My boys are not good sleepers during the day---- they were great the first two months, then things started to change once they didn't "need" a lot of sleep. I don't really have a routine nap schedule now- one sleeps in the pack-n-play, and the other sometimes in the swing or in the crib. When it comes time for them to sleep, my daughter "stirs" things up, making it difficult to calm them down. It seems like it takes forever to get them to sleep. If one is asleep and the other crying, the sleeping baby wakes up. At night, they are fine. They sleep okay---they're still waking up twice (is this normal for twins?). Any advice would be grately appreciated.

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answers from New York on

M.-i have a set of twins and an older sibling. he was 14 months when the twins were born and naps and sleeping have been a constant battle. the twins are now 20 months and my oldest is almost 3 and finally everyone sleeps/naps well. 3 months is on the young side for them to be sleeping all through the night. if they are both waking up at the same time then i would count your blessing. my twins' schedule (and i blame myself) were all screwed up and literally one would wake up every hour through the night. i also had a noise issue with my older one, but the babies should be able to adjust and tune it out if they are tired. i actually had my twin boy sleeping in a pack-n-play in the bathroom for a while. he needed absolute quiet to be able to settle down. if the twins are still cribbing together, you may want to separate them. as a general schedule, my twins would wake up about 5am, stay up for about 2 hrs and then nap. it has been a while so my memory is bad, they were also premature, but essentially they took a nap (maybe about 1 hr) every two hours and then were up all night! i cracked down on a schedule when t hey were about 14 months and then they took a morning nap about 8am-10am (they got up at 5) andthen went down for a afternoon nap at 2pm (i would put my toddler down at this time too). when they were ready to drop the morning nap, i adjusted the toddler schedule too, soo now everyone goes down at 12:30 and sleeps until about 2:30 or 3:30. bedtime is 8pm and they sleep typically until 6am-ish. my personal email is [email protected] if you have any more questions. twins were a challenge and i didn't do everything right, but i learned a lot! A.



answers from New York on

Hi M.,
I have 4 and a half month old twin girls. They sleep well at night (recently 12 hours!) but aren't great nappers during the day either. We don't have an older child, which I can understand would complicate things greatly.

Our schedule is loose, but sort of like this: they wake up between 6:30 and 7am, we feed them, and play for a little while, then they usually nap around 9-11, with any variation of time between 25 mins to 2 hours. Since they sleep really well in their swings (we have 2) they often go in there, after being rocked to sleep. I start with the sleepier of the two and get her down first. I also rely *heavily* on white noise. We have a CD of a vacuum cleaner, and also the sleep sheep. They usually nap about 2 more times in the afternoon, for about 30 mins each time, and again, always after meals.

We waited until the 4 month mark to let them start crying it out, which we do strictly at night and only if it's been less than 8 hours since they last ate. This, more than anything else, has contributed greatly to sleeping through the night! At nap time, if they wake up before 30 mins has past, we let them cry or figure it out until that 30 mins has past.

Our pediatrician recommended 4 hours of sleep during the day, which we find very difficult. She conceeded and said that non-stimulating time, such as hanging out in teh crib or the swing, is ok, too.

I hope that this helps? Good luck!




answers from New York on

Hi M. congratulations on your twins! Mine are 20 months old now and I also have one older. The most important thing you should know is it does get easier! I remember 3 months being a time when their habits changed alot. Everyone's babies are different but I can tell you what worked for me. I watched when their sleepy time was and kind of worked it so they both napped at the same time in their room away from everyone. It took awhile but even now they both nap at the same time and don't bother each other even though they're in the same room. It really is a sanity saver for me to have that 3 hours during the day to do what I need to do and not have little people underfoot. Your older daughter is behaving normally from my experience. The most important thing is to try and not react too much to her want for attention at that time. That's really all it is. Also, their night routine sounds fine.

Best of luck and I promise it gets much easier.



answers from New York on


Feed and diapers ALL 3 babies
You should try to get your 2.5 year old BUSY with an activity,

like Playdough at the table,coloring with markers, cars, making cookies, Whatever she likes thats QUIET and Hands on, and Stationary

After you start her with her project,

Gather up One twin, and put him in the play pen, cover him up and pop in a paci, rub his head and cheeksand play some soft music like the Aqua sounds from fisher price.


No talking.

Afterwards, get the other baby and place him in his crib
again cover him up, pop in a paci and rub his head and cheek,
play aqua sounds. And leave the room, no talking,

HOPEFULLY BOTH the playpen and crib are in separate rooms from where your daughter is

Any distraction or attention will disturb them

Afterwards they may Whine, but at this small age they shouldn't cry, in about a week they should fall asleep imediately.

As to your daughter, if she doesn't NAP you could try making her relax in her bed or yours and watch a show,
If you lay there in bed with her for an hour each day she will have a new routine, ( it will take about 2 weeks to get her routine going)

Having her relax, will enable the naps of the other 2, and give you time to relax.

try these times,

for the babies 10-2

and for your daughter 1230 pm

---Doing this will give you time for yourself to either REST, clean , or VEG.

Good luck MOM




answers from New York on

Hi M.--
Sleep begets sleep, they say, so it is no surprise they are waking up at night still because they don't get the day naps they need. It sounds like you are going to have to set a schedule for naps, ie, 2 hours after they awake it's nap time, and put them in their cribs, close the door and pray that they don't cry for more then 15 minutes. I am NOT usually an advocate for letting them cry it out, but with a 2 1/2 year old in the picture it has got to be almost impossible to orchestrate calming down time and you must get them into a schedule for them to develop good sleep habits. This is not just for their health and well-being--it's for yours, too! You might have to become baby boot camp for a while--2 1/2 yr old in play pen for 1/2 an hour (probably screaming for your attention) with some favorite toy(s) and nibble food, while you get the babies fed, clean, in BED with window shades closed, lights out, and door shut. Then you take screaming 2 1/2 year old to opposite end of house/ apartment to sweat out the twins screaming.
It does not sound "pleasant" but I think it is very necessary and the sooner the better. My friend with twins did just as I described because she was nursing and pumping breast milk and absolutely had to have them on schedules. It took about 2 or 3 days of 10 to 15 minutes of crying for them to go down without event, and now they are very good sleepers. Also, she let them cry if they woke up too quickly from the nap. They usually went back to sleep. It may have awakened the other baby, but again, after a few days of this routine they went to sleep and stayed asleep for at least an hour at naptime.



answers from New York on

Hi M....I'm mom to 3 month old twins myself, Hunter and Hailey. My twins are finally sleeping through the night. If they are asleep I wake them up anywhere around 10:00 - 10:30 to give them their last bottle. This has worked now for the past 2 weeks. They go to sleep with their bellies full and wake up in the am between 5 and 6 for the first bottle. I'm working full time and the morning is very hectic for me. When I get home from work and they are napping I put them in the same crib. Are you local? I would love chat with you and exchange info. ~Suzanne



answers from Utica on

I can't give you any advice on the twins, but I thought that maybe I would help you out with your 2 1/2 year old little girl. During the twins "nap time" you said that you get things quited down and she comes through and stirs things up to wake them up, have you thought about telling her that during the twins "nap time" is mommy and baby girl special time ( just the two of ya's), curl up and watch her favorite cartoon, read a couple of books, color with her or something that she enjoy's doing so that way she associate's the "nap time" with special time with mommy she will probably be trying to "put" them to bed the minute they wake up in the morning ( ha ha). As far as the nap schedule with the 2 bundles of joy, I hope someone has great advice for you, my daughter and step daughter are just a year apart and I tip my hat off to you and other parents of twins or more!!!!!!!!!!!



answers from New York on

Hello M..
Mother of 14 month old twins responding. We had the girls on a schedule (losely at first so it was something they would eventually catch on to being they were so young) since birth. I would have to go back to see how the timing was at first but they napped and ate every 2 hours. Eventually we began to feed them every three hours (parent directed feeding - see below as this is something mentioned in Baby Wise and not for everyone). SAME TIME EVERY DAY and simultaneously.

This is the key, I think, in raising twins and keeping your sanity. Eat at the same time every day together, nap at the same time everyday together. Timing of these depends on stage of their life. I kept track and still do of times they ate, napped, and BMs to keep my head on straight. And they like the routine.

In addition, My girls have been in same room and separate cribs since 2 months. Had acid reflux and needed space so they could be positioned properly - first in car seats - and then with foam pads to be on an angle. Ninety percent of time they sleep through eachother's crying but 10% of time it's brutal and one is up (usually same child) and other one wakes up out of sound sleep scared. We go to comfort both (usually due to noise in our apt. building). Eventually, when we win the lottery will try for two rooms.

So in summary we started on a REAL schedule of:
Every three hours, naps at 9:00 and 1:00
(two hrs each - or two hours in the crib.... :0)
(wind down ahead of time) (after 4- 4 1/2 months)
Every four hours (solid feeding after bottle) after six months
Bedtime the same every night: when younger 8:30, then 8:00, then 7:30, now 6:45 at 14 months and woken up at 7ish am (if not up) so they are sleepy for a 9 am nap.
My girls are still small and VERY active so take 2 naps a day, one hour in am and 2-3 in pm.

Used some resources and my gut: Contented Happy Baby Book, Weissbleuth (kids need sleep more then food!), What to Expect, Baby Wise I.

It all works out and all I can say is "yes" set up a schedule (some days or most days it will work but know some days it just will not and start again next day until you all get the hang of it - I think about 5 days sets up a pattern...) and all of you will be a lot happier. I would also add, but have not experience with three children, that you may want to figure out an appropriate schedule (if she is not on one already) for your daughter so that you are all in sync. This may be quiet time for her or some "structured" mommy time.

It takes time so don't lose hope and it will come once they all catch on.... Best to you and your family.



answers from New York on

Congrats on your twin boys! I have 15 month old twin girls, who have been on a solid schedule for sometime now. I started with establishing routines so the girls would learn to know what to expect next. For example, every night they know after 5 pm dinner, they play briefly while I clean up. Then, we do baths (6pm), get in pjs, read a few books and go to bed by 7pm at the latest.
Here's a sample schedule (but even routines don't really settle in with kids before 4 months old):
6:30am wake up and get dressed
7am breakfast
9-11am nap and quiet time
12 pm lunch
2-4 nap and quiet time
5pm dinner
6:15 pm into pjs
7 pm bedtime

Good luck to you! It gets easier every three months with twins.



answers from New York on

Hi M.,

I have 7 month old twin boys. They have been on a schedule since the day they were born. I have to give a lot of the credit to the nursed who card for them for the first weeks weeks in the hospital. when I brought them home, I just continued what they did and then adjusted it as they got older and their needs changed. Here is how our day goes. They wake up at about 6:15 and play in their cribs (separate since 5 months)until about 7:15. I get them up and we change them. They have their first 8oz. bottle at about 7:45 and their breakfast at about 8:15. They usually take a cat nap on thier own about 9:00 or 9:30. After that they get bathed and dressed for the day and have some play time. They normally go down in their cribs for a nap about 11:15 and if we are lucky will slepp for about an hour and a half. They have their lunch when they wake up (another 8oz bottle and a fritu and a vege) After lunch they have play time again. They ususlly fall asleep again in the afternoon about 3:00 and sleep for about an hour. They are usually waking up when I get home at about 4:00. We have more play time and they have an 8oz. bottle at 5:30 or 5;45 and then they eat theri dinner about 6:30 or 6:45. After dinner we get changed into PJ's have some more play time and read a couple books and then its time for bed. Usually no later than 7:45 and they are falling alseep. They have been sleeping all night for us since 4 months. The best advise I can give you is that you have to be tough and get them on a strict schedule. When you want them to sleep, put them down and sometimes you have to let them cry (that part sucks!!) Even try separating them for now while thjey nap so one doesn't bother the other. I am thankful I don't have that problem. I have found that doing the routine for both at the same times of day whatever works for you has been really successful. My boys were still getiing up 2 times a night at 3 months, but that is also the time I moved away from 2 feedings overnight. Instead of letting them wake up twice, I waking them to eat before I went to bed at about 10:30 or 11 and then they would wake again on their own about 5:00. Then they started sleeping later and later in the morning. ONce they were sleeping until after 6:00, one night I tried to skip the 11:00 feeding to see if they would wake up and they didn't. I think it depends if you are bottle or breastfeeing also. I was pretty strict with following what their Dr. told me b/c they were born 9 weeks early. The other great piece of advise that he gave me from the start was to always put them to bed whether it was for a nap or the night when they were partially awake, rather than rocking them or so on. It was the best I thing I did for them and for my husband and I.



answers from New York on


My twins are 2-1/2 years old. Like another responder, I've had them on a schedule since they came home from 3 weeks in the NICU where they were on a strict 3 hour schedule. They slept in the same crib until about 3 months (when their moving around would wake the other up), and since then have always slept in the same room. It's remarkable how much one can sleep through the other's crying.

Someone else wrote to always put them down awake. I strongly strongly agree with this. We have always done this and they are always able to put themselves to sleep. We put them in their cribs/beds at the same time whether for nap or night time. We used a lot of the suggestions in the BabyWise book, including letting them cry for up to 10 minutes (which feels like an eternity). I have some significant disagreements with the authors, but agree with many of their techniques for helping babies learn to fall asleep on their own -- terribly necessary for multiples!

In addition to putting them down awake, a regular routine is, I feel, absolutely necessary. Babies love routine, love to know what to expect. It brings a degree of safety into their world. So whatever you find that works for you, do that and do it everyday.

Good luck. It DOES get easier. Now my daughter and son play together (and fight together!) and watching their growing relationship is a great joy. They are devoted to each other.

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