Are there suggestions for a sleeping schedule for twins?

Erin - posted on 08/28/2012 ( 5 moms have responded )

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I have 5 mos. old twins, boy and girl. They are sometimes on the same schedule for eating and sometimes not which I am ok with so that I get to spend some 1 on 1 time with each. I want to get them both to bed tho at the same time but am afraid that they will keep each other up for naps and bed. 1 has been in the crib for naps and nighttime, but the other in the swing more than I know he should be. Do I just put them down at the same time and let them cry it out until they both stop? Or will 1 perpetuate the other and it will be a crying fest? Also, 1 sleeps about 6-8 hours at night and the other wakes up every 3 still! I would love to sleep for a longer stretch and have them sleep as well! What to do here for sleeping for everyone?

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User - posted on 08/30/2012

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I had one baby that would wake up randomly like your daughter and one that would sleep a consistant 10 hours stretch even before we did the sleep training (I consider her a "natural sleeper") and I went with her lead since the babies only had a one pound weight diference. I figured if she could sleep without eating so could the other.

This would be my approach (and it is recommended in the book too) if you know that they can sleep 8 hours, then if you put them to bed at 7pm let them CIO if they wake until you have reached the 8 hour mark, which would be 3am ish, then feed them and put them back in their crib do not rock or hold back to sleep, then if they wake between 3 and 6 CIO, however if the wake between 6-7 then start your day. Also make sure that they are consuming all the food they need during the day. You can figure out how many ounces they need in 24 hours by multiplying 2 by thier body weight. For example if your baby weighs 10 lb then they would need 20 ounces of formula in 24 hours. If they are getting all 20 ounces during the day then they probably don't need extra at night.

When we did the sleep training the girls still had one night feeding at 5am, then they would go immediately back to sleep and wake at 7am. They slept though it a few times so I decided to drop the feeding and if they woke at 5am I would let them CIO until 6am. I think it took a week to drop this feeding and it was the hardest one.

In my experience once they learn how to fall asleep on their own when you put them in their crib at bed time then if they do wake in the middle of the night they go back to sleep within 5 minutes. We never got to this point but I would not let them cry for more than an hour.

Also, I remember starting the process was stressful because I did not like to hear them cry. However, it did not bother my husband, so he sould stay inside and I would go outside for a walk and he would let me know when they were asleep :)

Erin - posted on 08/29/2012

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that definitely helps and makes sense! thank you! 1 other question tho...our son sleeps about 8 hours and then wakens. Our daughter varies more from sometimes 1 hour and sometimes 5 or 8. There is no telling what each night will bring. How do I get them to both sleep thru the night like you said from 7pm to maybe 6 or 7am? What should I do when they cry in the middle of the night? Let them cry?

User - posted on 08/29/2012

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I have 11 month twin girls. Since I brought them home they have been on the same schedule for eating and sleeping. I would first suggest the book "Healthy Sleep Habits Happy twins". Around 3 or 4 months their sleep schedule was looking a little crazy they would sleep though one night then not the next and naps were all over the place. After doing a little research I can across this book and credit it for saving my sanity! I decided to sleep train the twins at around 4 months (5 months is a great time to start if you wait until they are older it gets very hard). This was the best decision I ever made. It changed their and my quality of life because we were all well rested. If your twins share a room I would do train them both at the same time. It will amaze you that one will still be fussing and the other is sound asleep.

First you should start with night time sleep and teach them to fall asleep on their own. There are a few different methods but this is what I chose to go with because it works the fastest. However if you do not want them to cry there are other methods in the book they just take longer to accomplish. Go through your bedtime routine (bath,story, bottle). Then lay them in thier crib awake. My girls fussed for about 30 mins the first night then slept until morning. The second night 10 minutes. That is all it took now they very rarely complain instead they fall asleep instantly. Once you have mastered night sleep move to naps. Go though your nap routine and put them in their crib awake. They very rarely keep each other awake.

At 5 months the girls were asleep in cribs at 7pm and awake between 6-7am (we were not feeding any longer at night, they stopped night feedings around 4 months). First nap at 9am, second at 1pm, and maybe a 3rd depending on how the day went at 4pm. I hope this helps!

Kim - posted on 08/29/2012

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I tried every way to put one child down at a time, but at the same time. But found it easier to just put them down together, and let them cry it out. Obviously go in to console, but don't pick them up, just calm them down and walk right back out. 5 months is a great age to start sleep training. I found eventually they would fall asleep, even with the cries of the other. They still are able to sleep through each others cries/screams most of the time. Consistency is key! Do the same thing everyday until they get it. :) good luck

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