Top 10 sleep tips for multiples:
1. With multiples it is important to get them on the same schedule right from the start. Wake your babies at the same time each morning to get them on the same routine. This is the key to developing a healthy sleep pattern and giving you some well-deserved rest. Put them down around the same time. If one baby wakes up for a feeding, wake the other child (ren) and feed them as well. After 12 weeks (adjusted age) you can try letting them sleep as long as they will. You may have one twin who sleeps through the night. But if not, and they are still waking up at different times I would continue to feed them at the same time until they are ready to wean.
2. Once your babies are six weeks past their due date, work on gently shaping their sleep by putting them down awake but drowsy at bedtime. Stay right with your babies. Pat and shush off and on. If you try this for about 15 minutes or so and there is more crying than sleeping, it’s okay to pick your babies up and “help” them go to sleep and try again on another night.
3. For babies under six months, I encourage you to feed them at least every 3 hours during the day, even if you have to wake them up, so that you can promote night sleep and they won’t want to seek out the calories at night.
4. Keep them together at night. You don’t usually have to worry about one baby waking up the other: Most twins and multiples don’t seem bothered by their sibling’s crying, even when they’re in the same room.
5. Although many parents of multiples will put their newborns in the same crib, be advised that the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends against crib-sharing because of the added risk of overheating, accidental suffocation, and SIDS.
6. You can use a white noise machine in between the cribs/beds to help block out each other’s sounds if you think one child is bothered by the noise.
7. Separate for naps. Daytime sleep is more of a challenge. It’s a harder time to put oneself asleep and as the children get older they may play or distract each other.
8. Find a bedtime routine that works. With multiples, bedtime can be a challenge. Start with a bath, lotion, pajamas, a final feeding for babies under a year, and then a book or two. For toddlers who are becoming mobile, just close the door and read.
9. If you have to sleep train your children once they are six months or older, I would recommend training them all at the same time. Have a sleep plan and stick with it consistently until the sleep issues have resolved. If you find that one of your babies is a champion sleeper and the other needs help, consider temporarily separating them at night while sleep training and then you can put them back in the same room together once they are sleeping well.
10. For children around two-and-a-half and older who share a room, give them 10 minutes of talking time after lights out. Set a timer and when it goes off, the talking should stop.