When my twin girls were born, my son had just turned two. For almost an entire year I had 3 kids under 3. This meant a year of 3 in diapers, 3 in cribs, and a year of very strict schedules. From the very beginning, my twins were on the same schedule. There were times that they fought it and times I wondered if they should be on different schedules. They are two babies after all, so their needs could be different! But I stuck with it, and I am so thankful that I did. Having my kids on the same schedule means that I get a break during naptime. This leaves me refreshed and recharged, and I’m a better mom because of it. In today’s post, I’m outlining some troubleshooting tips to help keep your twins on the same schedule.
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Make sure that both babies are receiving full feeds. This is so tricky with a sleepy newborn and even trickier with two sleepy newborns. Do whatever you can to keep them awake long enough to nurse or take a bottle. Tickle them, undress them, diaper change, etc. You can stroke their cheek to trigger the swallowing reflex; if bottle feeding, gently wiggle the bottle and tap it against the roof of their mouth.
Swaddle and White Noise
Make sure you aren’t keeping your babies up too long and causing them to be overtired. This is a fantastic resource to figure out how much waketime your baby should be getting.
Problem: One Twin Wakes Early
If one of your babies wakes up early, you have essentially have 3 options: get baby up, get both babies up, or try to get baby to go back to sleep. There are lots of factors to consider.
If it’s only been a short amount of time since they ate, try to get baby to go back to sleep. Do whatever it takes! Try a paci, swing, wear them. Your goal here is to get them to take a good nap. Don’t stress at first if their nap isn’t in their crib.
If it’s been 2.5 hours and you think your baby could be hungry, you should wake both babies up to feed them. If your goal is to keep them on the same schedule, do not feed one baby at a time. I would offer a paci first to try to get a little more time and see if the other baby would wake up. If they spit out the paci and are getting agitated, then get both babies up to feed them.
Another great option is to compromise. If one baby wakes up 45 minutes early, let them hang out for 20 minutes or so and then feed both babies. This way, he isn’t getting a full 45 minutes of playtime before he’s supposed to eat, but you also aren’t feeding them a full 45 minutes early.
Problem: One Twin Won’t Go To Sleep
If their optimal waketimes are different, it is only going to be by a few minutes. Put them down for a nap at the same time, even if one of them doesn’t seem quite ready for a nap. One of my girls needs less sleep than the other, and to this day (they are 22 months), they nap at the same time. She just plays in her crib and talks to herself until she’s ready to fall asleep.
Problem: One Twin is Tired Early
If one baby is ready for a nap early, put them both down. I always cater to the needs of the baby who needs the most sleep!
Problem: They Keep Each Other Awake
If you ultimately want them to share a room, they need to get used to it. My girls have rarely woken each other up. I do keep their white noise on fairly loud just in case.
If you have the space and don’t want them sharing a room, then go ahead and separate them.
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Caitlin is a SAHM to Theo, who will be 4 in January, and identical twin girls, Josie and Margo, who will be 2 in February. Follow her blog, Rogers Party of 5 for honest and raw writing, and a glimpse into the whirlwind of twin life!