Baby Sleep Solutions for Moms of Multiples

All new moms face exhaustion in the beginning, but moms of multiples probably take the prize for being the most tired. Getting two babies to sleep at the same time may seem impossible (one is fine, the other is crying!), but synchronizing your twins’ sleep isn’t as difficult as you might think. Here, six tips that will help your new babies -- and, in turn, you -- get enough sleep.

1. Dinner’s served.
Many new moms of multiples agree that getting their babies on the same feeding schedule helps them start sleeping at the same time, too. Double-duty feedings may take some practice to pull off, but if they both have full bellies at the same time, they should (in theory) feel drowsy together, too.

2. Set the scene
As with just one new baby, establishing a routine -- and sticking to it -- is important. Your babies will come to expect it and will feel comforted by the familiarity. Most bedtime routines include a bath, stories, some cuddling, a lullaby, and then a tuck-in at the same time each evening.

3. Two’s company.
Twins and triplets are used to being snuggled up together from their time in the womb, so sharing a crib post-birth is a fine idea. Many multiples sleep together for the first few months or until they are able to roll over. (Infants usually start rolling from side to back between 1 and 5 months followed by rolling back to side 2 to 7 months.) Your multiples can share a crib for naptime, too.

4. Got tears?
It seems logical that when one new baby cries, her sister or brother will chime in. But know that many twins and triplets are able to sleep through the din. Check on your quiet baby first to be sure she’s settled (you don’t want her to miss out on the attention she may need), and then help out your screamer.

5. Short and sweet.
As you would do with a single baby, discourage nighttime waking by keeping the room quiet and dimly lit. Keep talk to a minimum, feed them, and then place your new babies right back in the crib. The message you’re sending is that nighttime is for sleeping.

6. Wake a sleeper?
It may seem counterintuitive to rouse a sleeping twin when you’re feeding her brother, but doing so can help get them on the same schedule. Gradually, your multiples will wake up at the same time to be fed and then fall asleep again together.

Twins’ sleep schedules can be tricky to arrange at first, but once you’ve started, your new babies should sync both their nap and nighttime routines. But don’t go it alone! An extra pair of hands is important in the beginning, so get help from your partner, your mom, a friend, or a doula.