Hello my wonderful friends, I finally put together the tips and tricks that I learned from sleeping training my twins. (You can read my whole experience here). Even though it wasn’t easy at the beginning, the end results is well worth it. Not only do my twins have an awesome stretch of sleep (12 to 13 hours) but also our family can have some down time so we can spend some quality time with my older daughter without the twins.
Here are what we have learned:
- Observe Observe Observe – There’s nothing easier to setup a natural routine which is led by your own baby. When the baby is about 4 months, you should be able to see a pattern emerge. You should know how often you should feed him/her, you should know how many hours he/she can be awake, etc. Once you have the information, you should be able to form a schedule easily.
- Be Consistent – Babies crave schedule and consistency especially when they are really young so when you are sleep training your baby or babies, you must be consistent with their awake, feeding and sleeping routine.
- Take care all basic necessities – Before you put your baby down, you should make sure he/she is changed and most importantly not hungry!. You can’t go to sleep when you are hungry neither can your baby. Also, make sure the room the baby is staying in isn’t too hot or too cold. In our case, we put a heater in their rooms to regulate the temperature. Once it is heated up to the temperature that we set, it will stop blasting heat in the room. (we set our heater at 23ºC)
- Put baby down while he/she is awake – Your baby will resist (aka crying bloody murder) when you put them down awake because they haven’t learned to self-sooth yet. But if you know you have taken care of all the basic necessities of a baby, you know they are just crying because they are not used to self-sooth themselves to sleep. Initially it is going to be so difficult because their cry is quite unbearable but self-soothing is such an important skill for them to harness so be strong and keep at it. It took us one week for my twins to get into the routine.
- Build a strong support system – When your baby cries, your mother/father instinct is to pick up your child and sooth them but if you want to successfully sleep train them, you shouldn’t because you are trying to give your baby a chance to learn to self-sooth. In order to combat that, you should have your partner with you. In our case, I have my husband with me during their bedtime and I tried to do other things to distract myself.
- Remove all distractions and create a soothing atmosphere for your baby – Sleeping is not something you can force, it is something you have to naturally fall into. By removing all distractions like toys or light up gadgets it will help to create that soothing atmosphere. We also remove all blankets and crib bumpers so I know they won’t be suffocating on anything, it totally gives me the peace of mind I needed. For some babies, they might like white noises, so putting a white noise machine in the room might be a good idea. You know your baby best and trust your gut instinct.
- Don’t let you baby nap 2 hours before bedtime – This is super intuitive, if the baby isn’t tired, he/she can’t go to bed. In order for your baby to sleep through the night, you shouldn’t let he/she nap 2 hours before his/her bedtime.
- Set a bedtime for your baby that works for your family – If you know it is hectic at 6pm then don’t pick that time as your baby’s bedtime. Discuss with your family what time works best for all of you so you can always follow through with the routine.
Twins specific tips and tricks:
- Separate their rooms if possible – We are lucky enough to have a 4 bedroom house so we an separate the twins into two different rooms because we don’t want one to wake up the other. Especially my Twin J is very persistent so by separating them Twin B can sleep much better
- One down both down – When sleep training twins, it is wise to setup the same schedule for both of them. So if one goes down for a nap, the other one should go down for a nap as well.
How to setup your baby’s sleeping schedule
The last step to sleep training your baby is to setup a solid sleeping schedule for your baby. It is always best to work backward. Here’s what we did:
First we figured out what’s the best time for your baby’s bedtime. In our case, 8pm works great for our family.
Then we work backward because we know the absolute latest the baby should be awake at 6pm (no napping 2 hours before bedtime) so the baby should be napping at 3pm to 4pm if he/she naps for 60 to 90 minutes.
We did the same thing for the nap before that. Eventually we created a solid sleeping schedule for the twins.
My Twins’ Sleep Schedule between 6 months to 10 months:
8:00am – Wake Up
11:00am – Nap
Noon to 12:30pm – Wake Up
3:30pm to 4pm – Nap
4:30pm to 5pm – Wale Up
8pm – Bedtime
Midnight – Back into bed with me (breastfeeding throughout the night)
My Twin’s Current Sleep Schedule (12 months+)
8:00am to 9:00am – Wake Up
1:00pm to 1:30pm – Nap
2:30pm to 3:00pm – Wake Up
8:00pm – 8:30pm – Bedtime
Thank you very much for reading! I hope this is helpful for those parents who are trying to sleep train your baby/babies. Please share your experience by commenting below or on my GlitterMommy facebook page.
Good luck and wish you all many restful nights ahead!!!