Congrats! You either just found out you’re having multiples, or you’ve just had them and aren’t sure where to start with sleep and getting them on the same schedule – and let’s face it, you need the break during the day. Here are my top tips for helping your multiples with their sleep and getting them on the same schedule:
1. Routines are key: Develop their routines so that events happen at the same time. Feed them, change them and put them to sleep at the same time so it becomes part of the routine for them.
2. Cap naps: If Baby A wakes earlier than Baby B, wait 30 mins (sometimes even just 15) then wake Baby B up. Still put them to sleep at the same time. One may have higher sleep totals than the other.
3. Apps: Use an app to track EVERYTHING. This will help you keep track of their feeds, appointments, sleep, weight, meds etc. This will also help you identify who has higher sleep totals and more sensitive to timing of sleep.
4. If your babies still require a night feed, feed them at the same night waking, Don’t go back to sleep and wait for the other one to wake. This will help you and your family get longer stretches of sleep (hopefully!)
5. Sound Machines! Many multiples end up in the same room. If this is your case, consider adding a sound machine to their room to help block noise from each other.
6. Setting Sleep Boundaries: you want to encourage healthy sleep habits and set some boundaries, so don’t hesitate to coach them in the same room IF they will be staying that way for a longer period of time. They will get used to each other’s noises and not waking one another up in the night… oh and remember tip number 5? Sound machines help with this too.
7. Age: you’ve decided to start setting sleep boundaries but not sure when to start. My first rule of thumb is to start when YOU are ready; that said, you want to work off of their adjusted age, not their birth date if they were born early (same goes for singletons). In my experience, multiples typically require MORE sleep so your wake windows may be on the shorter side.
Swaddles to Sleeping bags: In the early weeks to months consider using a swaddle (I love the Love To Dream swaddles). This may help with sleeping and fussy times (aka witching hours x2!). Once they are old enough or showing development milestones of rolling, switch them to a sleeping bag (I love the Woolino 2m-2y sleeping bag. Blog here as to why… http://tinysleepersbigdreamers.ca/blog/woolino-sleeping-bag-review/)
8. Soothers: Soothers not only help prevent SIDS in the early months, but they can also help extend naps from those short cat naps. If your babies wake after a short nap, try placing the soother into their mouths for a few mins to help encourage them to go back to sleep and extend those naps – this will come in handy later on!
9. Sleep. When. Babies. Sleep.: I know, I know, this is easier said than done but seriously, do your best. Even if just a 10 min cat nap. Let visitors, family, doulas or anyone else take care of the household chores.
10. ASK FOR HELP. This is ok to do! It’s an exhausting time but its ok to ask for help whether it be around the house, to take a shower, or to get some rest.
If you have tried all these tips and exhausted everything from all your mom friends, parents and fellow multiple moms and are still needing assistance, contact us, we are here to help! firstname.lastname@example.org
Super cute photo by the amazing Laura De Souza from LD Photography. Check her out at http://www.ldphotographycanada.com/