Sleep Training with Multiples
Navigating baby sleep can be challenging enough when you only have one baby, but working with twins doesn't have to mean 'double the trouble.'
Regardless of the age at which you decide to go about sleep training, there are a few things that you will need to address:
- Optimal sleep environment
- Baby's temperament
Before beginning your process, if the twins share a room, I recommend setting up a portable crib in another room so that one doesn't wake the other while they are learning to self-soothe. The whole process really takes a solid two weeks to master, so giving them individual sleep spaces will go a long way in preventing one from waking the other. Once they are both sleeping through the night and napping well consistently, you can move them back into the same room again. Ideally, you want each space to have the windows blacked out for daytime sleep while working on mastering naps. A white noise machine is an excellent sleep aid that triggers the calming reflex and should be playing throughout their sleep. They should both be wearing an arms-out sleep sack to keep them nice and cozy, and the temperature of the space should be between 64-69F.
Although the babies are twins, they will have different temperaments, so one approach may not be the best fit for both. Since there are multiple sleep training methods, it's crucial to match the right one with each baby. You also need to think strategically and that you can only be in one place at a time. Having an overly hands-on approach may not be as practical unless both parents are hands-on during the learning process. A 'Controlled Crying' approach tends to work best when one parent will be handling all overnight wake-ups so that you can alternate back and forth when needed.
In all other regards, sleep-training twins is just like working with a singleton. By consistently working on settling and resettling using your preferred sleep training method, you can have two rested, well-adjusted babies ready to move back in together for silent nights ahead within two weeks to a month.
Abby is a certified infant and child sleep consultant and postpartum doula helping parents navigate all things sleep from newborn to age 5. Abby’s success as a sleep coach is attributed to her patience, knowledge, and years of experience.