How To Manage Twins At Night

Helping twins sleep at the same time

  1. Set the same bedtime for both.
  2. Try two beds for two babies.
  3. Establish a bedtime routine for two.
  4. Settle your calm baby first.
  5. Put your babies to bed when they’re still awake.
  6. Swaddle your babies.
  7. Discourage nighttime waking.
  8. Accept that multiples sleep through the night when they’re ready.

Helping twins sleep at the same time can be hard, but it’s possible. Start with your twins’ bedtime routine and establish a bedtime ritual for each twin. Then, once your babies are settled, put the calm one to sleep before you even touch the other one. Swaddle your babies and help them get used to the feeling of being swaddled by putting their arms in first and then legs. Other tips include:

Getting a good night’s sleep is hard enough with one baby, but when you have twins, it’s even tougher. Twins sometimes need more help getting their act together — and rest — than other babies do. Here are a few tips to help you put your twins to sleep at night.

Twins are an extra special challenge at night. It’s not just the fact your babies will be in the same bed, it’s also that you both have to get up before your one-year old and then put them back to bed again. Follow these simple tips for helping your twins sleep at night.

Sleep Training Toddler Twins Same Room

Teaching two babies to sleep through the night may sound more complicated. But generally speaking, the same rules apply.

Set the same bedtime for both

The idea is simple: Put your babies to bed at the same time, and they’re more likely to develop a synchronized sleep pattern. If you don’t, one or both of them will be awake at any given time – and you will become very tired, very quickly.Babyby BabyCenterREAD MORE

Baby sleep training:The basics

Another way to sync up your babies: As soon as one cries to be fed, wake up the other one and feed him, too.

Try two beds for two babies

There’s no evidence that sharing a crib benefits twins, though many do it – and some parents say their babies seem to sleep better. But the American Academy of Pediatrics advises against crib-sharing, saying there is added risk of overheating, accidental suffocation, and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

Twins born prematurely, or with low birth weights, have a higher risk of SIDS, and having separate cribs can lower their risk. Your twins may find it comforting (and can sleep safely) if you place the cribs close enough for them to see one another.

Establish a bedtime routine for two

Develop a soothing bedtime routine – maybe a warm bathbedtime story, and a few minutes of cuddling or singing – and make sure it’s simple enough to include both babies. Stick to the same activities and your babies will soon learn these signal it’s time to settle down.

Settle your calm baby first

If one baby is typically fussy and the other usually calm, you may be tempted to spend more time with the loudest one. Alexander Golbin, M.D., director of the Sleep and Behavior Medicine Institute, strongly advises against this. The problem, he explains, is that your quiet baby will miss out on the same level of attention.

So if one starts fussing, check on the other one first to make sure she’s happy and settled. This makes sure that no one is overlooked, and both children feel secure and loved.

Also, don’t worry too much about one baby waking up the other: Many twins and multiples don’t seem bothered by their sibling’s crying, even when they’re in the same room.

Put your babies to bed when they’re still awake

Help your babies fall asleep on their own by letting them drift off in bed, rather than in your arms. This can mean putting each to bed after a joint bedtime activity – maybe a quick cuddle after reading a book together or singing a song. Resist the urge to rock or nurse each to sleep because babies who are put to bed while still awake learn to settle down on their own.

Swaddle your babies

The age-old custom of swaddling, or tightly wrapping each baby in a thin blanket, may help them feel safe, secure, and ready for sleep. Be sure to stop swaddling at about 2 months, before your babies can roll over. (You can then switch to a wearable blanket to keep them warm at night.)

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text How to swaddle a baby


How to swaddle a baby

Get your baby ready for the perfect sleep with these three simple swaddling styles.

Discourage nighttime waking

Cuddle and talk to your babies all you want during the day. But at night, keep interactions to a minimum so they’re more likely to fall back to sleep. When they wake, don’t make eye contact, keep their room dimly lit, and put them right back to bed after feeding them.

If your babies are at least 12 months old, you can encourage self-soothing by giving each a special soft toy or blanket to sleep with. These so-called transitional objects are comforting and can help soothe them back to sleep.

Accept that multiples sleep through the night when they’re ready

Developing a regular sleep pattern often depends on your babies’ weight, not their age. This means identical twins tend to sleep through at almost identical ages. Fraternal twins’ sleep patterns may be more independent, especially if they’re different in size or temperament.

Tips from BabyCenter parents

Often the best advice comes from people who have been in your shoes. Here are some tips from BabyCenter parents:

  • I have learned that my twins are independent souls, and they sleep better in separate rooms. One sleeps through the night, and the other gets up in the middle of the night to eat. One waking up is better than two waking up.
  • Blackout curtains and white noise are a must for twins! No cute little night-lights, etc.

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  • I separated my twins for sleep training at 5 1/2 months, then put them back together in the same room once they were sleeping well on their own and dropped their last middle-of-the-night feed around 7 or 8 months.
  • My twins didn’t sleep well in the same crib, so they went to their own cribs but shared a room (and still do at 3 1/2 years). To help them sleep, I used a white noise machine.
  • The sooner you get your twins sleeping in the arrangement that you want long-term, the better. Our twins have shared a room since birth. Sure, there have been rough nights, but they needed to get used to one another.
  • Sleeping has never come easy for my twins. We co-slept for a while because it was the only way anyone got any sleep! Then here’s what worked for us: We separated our twins the first half of the night – 7 to 10 p.m. Then after a dream feeding, we put them in the same room. It’s been working for us. The next step is to put them in their room together starting at their 7 p.m. bedtime.
  • My twins had a major sleep regression around 6 months, which culminated in their scooting and teething. They had another regression around 10 months when they started cruising. When this happens, I recommend you give it time. Things should normalize again. Think of naps as practice – disrupting each other is inevitable, but they’ll learn to sleep through the other’s wakings. Also remember that every new day is a fresh start.
  • My twins are 8 months old, and they have to share a room. I have a great sleeper and a terrible sleeper. Life totally changed when I hooked an iPod up to speakers and played lullaby music softly while they sleep. They are totally sleeping through the night since the first night I did it! I think it just reassures them if they happen to wake up in the night, which they were doing up to this point at least three times a night.
  • I did not separate my boys into different rooms. They got used to each other’s cries, and now it’s a piece of cake! I’ll rock one twin until he’s really drowsy, then I lay him down and let him fuss for a little and get situated. Then I start with the second one. This means their naps and bedtimes start 15 to 20 minutes apart. With twins, you have to learn to be flexible and let go of expectations. Patience is very important. I just do everything one baby at a time. That’s all you can really do.


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Surviving Nights With Newborn Twins

Putting your twins on the same sleep schedule and sleep training them may take a bit of doing, but it’s worth the effort in the end. Here’s how to set up a routine so they’re both sleeping blissfully at the same time.


Two babies are double the love, of course, but they also require extra work at every age and stage. Sleep training twins so they can be on the same sleep schedule is one area that new parents are often eager to tackle, since syncing both babies’ nighttime routines can mean more shut-eye for everyone.

Keep in mind that more than half of twins are born prematurely, and while they may sleep more overall than full-term infants (up to 22 hours a day), they do so for shorter periods of time. If your babies are eating every four hours, let them snooze — and when they’re ready for sleep training, here’s how to do it.Top ArticlesIs It Normal if My Newborn Baby's Toes and Feet Flare Out When I Touch Them?Why Is My Baby in a Fencing Position?These Are the Best Gyms With Child Care Around the Country

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When can you start sleep training twins and putting them on a schedule?

Sleep training twins isn’t very different from that of single babies, as long as your little ones are healthy. For full-term infants, the sweet spot to start sleep training is between 4 and 6 months, as this is when babies are old enough to self-soothe and fall asleep independently. You can start getting them on something of a schedule around 3 months.

If your twins arrived prematurely (before 37 weeks of pregnancy), you may need to go by their adjusted age to determine when it’s an appropriate time to sleep train and get them on a schedule.

Should you sleep train twins in the same room?

Your home’s size will dictate whether you’re able to sleep train your twins in the same room, as not every house has extra bedrooms to accommodate nightly separation.

If your end goal is to have your twins share a room, then it’s fine to sleep train them together, especially if they’ve already been sharing the same space and are used to it.

How to Breastfeed Twins

Keep in mind, however, that in most sets of multiples, there’s often one who’s a better sleeper than the other. And even if your twins end up displaying similar sleep patterns, there will likely be nights when your babies will wake each other up. 

You might find as you delve into twin sleep training that one baby doesn’t wake up the other very often — and if that’s the case, lucky you! But if a sibling is inconsolable or the two of them keep waking each other no matter what you try, then you can take the better sleeper out of the room if you have some extra space and sleep train them separately.  

Tips for sleep training twins and getting them on the same sleep schedule

You’ll need to tap into your patience reserves when sleep training twins and trying to sync their schedules, but know that with time and practice, you can definitely be successful. Try these smart tips related to feeding, naps and bedtime routines that can impact twins’ sleep schedules:

  • Do double-duty feedings. The key to a twin sleep schedule is to get your cuties on a feeding schedule first, since babies who eat at the same time will likely become drowsy at the same time too. 
  • Watch for sleep signs. After you’ve fed, burped and changed your twins, check them both for sleep cues, such as yawning and eye rubbing. Next, put them down drowsy but awake and always follow safe sleep guidelines (place baby on back, on a firm surface, with each twin in his own crib or bassinet) to lower the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
  • Coordinate twin naps (safely). The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that twins sleep on separate surfaces to help guard against SIDS. You can put them down for naps simultaneously as long as they’re not in the same crib or on the same sleep surface, even if one twin takes longer (with back rubs or soft lullabies) to drift off to dreamland. 
  • Wake a sleeping twin … if the other is up for a feeding. Yes, it kills you to purposely rouse a peaceful baby. But if you don’t, you’ll be playing leapfrog with your tiny, tuckered-out tadpoles all night  — and no one will get quality Zzzs. After a few nights, your twins should start to get hungry at the same time and doze off in (relative) sync. 
  • Create a solid bedtime routine. Consistent bedtime routines are important for all babies, but especially so for twins. Start off with bathtime and then dim the lights, play some lullabies, read books and offer a cozy before-bed feeding. Repeat the same routine every night so your babies will know bedtime is coming soon.
  • Add white noise. A sound machine that plays a repetitive rhythm can help lull a baby to sleep, and it’s a savvy addition when sleep training twins. The reason? White noise can help block out nighttime wailing, preventing the fussy baby from waking the one who’s sound asleep. 
  • Set small goals. Since many twins are born at lower weights than singletons, it can take longer to reach sleep training and schedule milestones, especially if you’re nursing on-demand at night. Instead, celebrate small achievements: dropping a nighttime feeding, teaching your twins to soothe themselves with a pacifier, both sleeping for four hours in a row (woo-hoo!).
  • Divide and conquer. If one twin is sleeping through the night, let him snooze temporarily in a different room from his sibling, even if it means moving his playard or crib into the kitchen or bathroom. That way, the nighttime wakings of the other twin won’t give him a case of the midnight cranks too.

Sleep training twins and getting them on the same sleep schedule demands a flexible approach, so be ready to shift when you need to and try different tactics. It may take longer for twins to sleep train, but take heart and know that your sweet babies will catch up to their singleton peers, and they’ll soon snooze like champs — together.

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