What are Sleep Regressions
When an extended period of blissful sleep is rudely interrupted by an unexplainable period of frequent night waking or resisted naps during the day, we call this baby sleep regression. Sleep regression rears its ugly head around the ages of 4 months, 8-10 months, 12 months, and again around 18 to 24 months.
At 4-months, babies begin to become more aware of the world around them and want to interact with it. Your twins are shifting from a new baby sleep cycle to a more adult sleep cycle, which is why it is the ideal time to begin sleep training. 8 to 12-month old babies may experience separation anxiety. During the period between 18 to 24 months, babies have increasing mobility and may need fewer naps. With the application of consistent sleep training techniques, baby sleep regression can be overcome in typically 1 to 4 weeks.
Setting Up Your Twins’ Sleep Schedule
Twin sleep regression is double trouble when the twosome foregoes their nighttime or naptime schedule. According to experts, the trick to surviving this normal childhood milestone is establishing your twins’ sleep schedule.
If you do not have a sleep schedule, now would be an opportune time to develop positive lifelong sleep habits. If you have already established a routine that was working for you, now is NOT the time to abandon it. Embrace the routine. Adjustments may need to be made for changing needs, but the routine will ensure that your twins are not over-tired or hungry - two likely culprits of baby sleep regression.
Putting Your Twin Babies to Sleep at the Same Time
According to sleep expert Dana Obleman, author of “The Sleep Sense Program”, it is advisable to put both twins to sleep at the same time and to wake the second twin within 30 minutes of the first child waking. This will encourage a more synchronized, healthy sleep schedule for happy twins.
A bedtime routine is the first step in sleep training twins. Twins are unique individuals, so they may not naturally have the same sleep rhythms. You can quickly find yourself in a non-stop cycle of feeding, rocking, and soothing one baby after another if you respond to each twin on his or her own schedule. Take some time to observe how much sleep each child needs and what brings them comfort. Factor these into your bedtime routine.
Newborn twins sleeping arrangements
Should twins sleep in the same crib? Yes, it's safe for newborn twins to sleep together in the early weeks and months; twins sleeping in the same crib may help regulate their body temperature and their sleep cycles, but as they grow, they may also be the source of the other’s wakefulness. Separate cribs or possibly separate rooms may keep them from disturbing one another.
Studies have shown that babies sleeping in merino wool settle more quickly, cry less, and sleep longer. A Woolino Baby Sleep Bag will allow you to separate sleep regressing babies for naps and bedtime and still maintain comfortable body temperature.
Sleep Tips and Training for Twin Babies
- Focus on full feedings during the day. A full baby is a sleepy baby. Let your children sleep as long as they can, and only feed the one who originally wakes up. This will also allow your babies to naturally sleep longer stretches, and eventually through the night, as you let them wake up only when they are hungry.
- An earlier bedtime is advisable. Older babies may begin skipping naps, so adjusting bedtime earlier will prevent overtiredness.
- Put twins to bed at the same time but not necessarily together. Separate rooms may help keep the siblings from waking each other.
- Aim for sleepy but awake when laying babies down to sleep. A baby aware of their surroundings will be less likely to be frightened when awakened and will become more skilled at self-soothing.
- Make playtime a priority. Practice budding motor skills such as rolling over; pulling up; standing and walking requires energy best expended before bedtime.
- Have a consistent bedtime routine. The habits you establish will help your twins to settle into sleep more readily. A Woolino Baby Sleep Bag can signal sleepytime when included in your bedtime routine.
- Avoid bad habits. Do not apply a quick fix (i.e. rocking, bottles, co-sleeping) to a short-term problem that may lead to a long-term bad habit.
- Minimize your sleep time interactions. If your twins are safe and healthy, you should avoid picking them up; turning on lights; talking too loudly, or making eye contact. Wait at least 10 minutes, listening for escalating distress, before entering their room only to offer a pat on the back and a quiet “Shhh”.
- White noise. Putting one machine next to each crib can help block out one baby’s cries from waking the other.
Sleep training twins requires consistency. During a period of sleep regression, that may test your patience and endurance. Be not discouraged or dismayed. This too shall pass.