Do you have two little bundles of joy on the way? If you’re a soon-to-be parent of twins, you likely have double the questions. When it comes to bedtime, here’s one of the biggest questions new parents wonder, can twins sleep in the same crib?
Unfortunately, the answer isn’t clear-cut. While some experts say that sharing a crib soothes newborn twins, others argue that crib sharing is dangerous. Below, we’ll go through the risks and benefits of putting twins in the same crib whilst also covering some must-know baby sleeping facts to help you give your little ones the good night’s sleep they need.
Can Twins Sleep in the Same Crib?
The experts are torn on whether it’s okay for twins to sleep in the same crib.
Some say it’s fine for twins to co-sleep when they’re small. The UK National Health Service, for example, says that twins can share a crib in their first few weeks.
Okay, you may be asking, but exactly how long can twins sleep in the same crib? Babies grow fast, after all. People in the co-bedding “yes camp” say twins need to move into separate cribs when they get big enough to start wiggling, rolling, and bumping into each other at night.
On the other hand, included in their recommendations for a safe infant sleeping environment, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) advises against co-bedding for twins. There aren’t enough studies to establish if it’s safe, and it could increase the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
It’s your job as a parent to gather information on both sides, talk to your pediatrician, and make the decision that’s right for your family.
Can Twins Nap Together Outside of the Crib?
The same considerations for co-sleeping apply to naptime. If infants are outside of the crib, they still need to doze on a flat, firm surface, and to be totally safe, you may want to separate them.
Some parents suggest putting twins down for naps in separate rooms to decrease the chance of them waking each other up. When one twin is well on their way to dreamland and the other just won’t settle, separating them will let the drowsy one rest without disturbance.
Risks and Benefits of Twins Sleeping Together
Here are the possible risks and benefits of twins co-sleeping in one crib.
- There’s a higher danger of sudden infant death syndrome (and twins are more likely to be born prematurely, with an already-increased risk of SIDS)
- Sleeping twins can bump each other and wake each other up
- Twins may turn over and sleep on their side facing one another, which isn’t a safe sleep position for babies
- Sleeping together can be comforting because it resembles their closeness in the womb
- Some studies show that co-bedded twins sleep better (however, this only applies to twins in the NICU. There aren’t yet studies to support whether this continues at home
- You may only need to buy one crib at first
Whether your twins end up in one crib or two, it’s important to follow safe infant sleeping tips at night.
Tips for Putting Twins to Sleep Safely at Bedtime
Now that we’ve presented both sides of the co-sleeping twins argument, here are some tips you can use to safely put your twins to bed and make life a little easier for your whole family at night.
Establishing a schedule is a proven sleep training technique for babies. We know, newborns have pretty irregular sleep patterns at first — but try to sync up your twins’ schedules so they eat, sleep, bathe, and get changed at the same time. When their circadian rhythms finally align and they’re snoozing on a schedule, you’ll have more baby-free time to catch up on some rest yourself.
Even though infants tend to sleep off and on throughout the day and night, not establishing a routine is a common sleep mistake new parents make. Sticking to a routine is tricky, especially with multiples. However, a consistent schedule will help you gradually create a more structured day and give your whole household peace of mind…and a few extra winks!
For example, an hour or two before bedtime each night, bathe your twins, massage them gently, feed them, and rock them until they’re drowsy before setting them into their cribs. Repetition brings structure, and structure brings consistency.
Bring on the Noise
One study found that 80% of babies fell asleep faster while listening to white noise. This smooth, static-like sound can drown out household noise and soothe fussy infants.
Experts recommend placing a white noise machine 7 feet away from a baby’s bed and turning the machine below its maximum noise setting.
Here are some of the top-rated white noise machines to check out:
White Noise Machine
20 sound settings, volume control, timer
Natural fan sound, simple to use
Wind and rain sounds, smart night light, time-to-rise feature
Self-soothing is your baby’s ability to calm down and go to sleep without your help. Every baby is different, but many start learning to self-soothe around six months of age. Here are some ways to start encouraging self-soothing in growing twins:
- Create a calm, dark environment
- Make sure all their needs are met
- Put them to bed when they’re drowsy but not yet asleep
- If they wake up, acknowledge them with a pat or song without taking them out of their cribs
Play It Safe
It’s also important to follow basic sleep safety practices. For the first year of an infant’s life, the AAP advises the following:
- Sleep in the same room as your baby for at least the first six months
- Always put a baby to sleep on their back
- The baby’s crib should be a firm sleep surface
- Keep soft and loose objects and bedding away from the sleep area
- Avoid overheating
- Do not share a bed with your baby
Always monitor your newborns and stay attuned to their environmental needs. By following these bedtime tips and safety musts, you’ll help everyone get some well-deserved zzz’s. If you’re running into continued sleep issues with your baby, talk to a sleep consultant for advice.
The Bottom Line on Your Twins Sharing a Bed
So, can baby twins sleep in the same crib? Now you know that while some tout the benefits of co-bedding for twins, others question its safety. You should always speak to your pediatrician to gather the facts and come to your own decision as a family.
While you’re planning your sleep setup for your little ones, did you know that snoozing on wool improves sleep quality? That’s why at Woolino, we lovingly design our baby sleeping bags with the softest Australian merino wool. Browse our collection of cozy, temperature-regulating baby sleep bags to give your little ones the best night’s sleep imaginable.
Still have lingering questions about cribs for twins? Here are some FAQs about sleep environments for multiples.
How Long Can Twins Be in the Same Crib?
Those in the co-bedding camp say that twins can be in the same crib when they are small enough. Once they are bigger and more mobile at night (wiggling, rolling, etc.), they need separate cribs for their safety.
Why Do Twins Need Separate Cribs?
Some experts argue that twins need separate cribs to avoid the risk of SIDS. There isn’t enough evidence to suggest that co-bedding is danger-free. In the same crib, twins can potentially roll on their sides to face each other, which isn’t safe — infants need to sleep on their backs.
Do I Need Two Bassinets for Twins?
Yes, if you are using bassinets instead of cribs, you will need one for each baby. Bassinets are smaller than cribs and designed for one baby each. One bassinet won’t be big enough for twins to share.
Why Can’t Baby Twins Sleep Together?
Some opt to put twins in two separate cribs to reduce the risk of SIDS. You can still keep your twins in the same room, in cribs next to each other. Ultimately, it’s up to you as a parent to decide.