Gearing Up for Multiples: Sleeping Arrangements

Two baby boys playing on bed

Newborns sleep a lot in the early weeks, usually in short stretches around the clock. Multiples are also more likely to be born premature, which means they may sleep even more during their first weeks at home. Many families ask if their twins can share a crib. The American Academy of Pediatrics advises that the safest way for babies to sleep is alone, on their backs, in a crib, with no blankets or other objects — which means one crib per baby. Some families do make the decision to use one crib for their twins in the early weeks, with each baby swaddled and placed at opposite ends of the crib.

The AAP also suggests that babies sleep in their parents’ room for up to 6 months. Having your newborn babies closeby in bassinets like the HALO Bassinest Swivel Sleeper can make overnight feedings easier, especially if you’re breastfeeding. Bassinets are usually designed to hold only one baby up to 15-20 pounds or about 5 months. Carseats, bouncy seats, or rocking seats are not designed for long stretches of unobserved sleep. Make sure you check with your babies’ doctor about the safety of using these items in place of a crib.

If your goal is to have your babies taking regular naps and sleeping independently for long stretches at night as soon as possible, you may want to start early with having them sleep in their own cribs in the nursery. Putting a twin or double bed in the nursery can make nighttime feedings easier for you and also accommodate a Postpartum Doula or Newborn Care Specialist working overnight shifts. When the bed is not in use, you can set up a swaddle station with a pile of swaddle blankets for ease of use during the day. 

 

Come back next week for part three of Gearing Up for Multiples: Out and About with Babies.

 

Written by Rebecca Mills, mom of twins and postpartum doula and newborn care specialist at Music City Doulas.