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Twins and Multiples:  Same Bedroom or Separate Bedrooms?

There are so many joys to having twins or multiples – cuddling two or more infants in your arms, extra hugs and kisses, and watching them form that bond that only multiples understand.  You also get two or more babies for the price of one pregnancy, which was an added bonus for me.  And of course with the benefits of having multiples comes some challenges.  One of those challenges is sleep.  Trying to settle more than one baby at a time can be impossible.  As they become toddlers and interact more with each other, new sleep challenges emerge.  A common question I get is how to stop twins or multiples from talking or playing when they should be sleeping?  Here are a few tips to follow if you find yourself in this situation with your twins or multiples.

Keep them together
Unless you have many extra bedrooms in your house with no one using them, its more economical to keep twins or multiples in the same room.  They have been together since conception, so to keep that twin bond close avoid moving them into separate bedrooms.  If you keep them together they quickly get used to each other’s noises, which rarely disturbs their sleep.  This is especially critical if you are doing some sleep training as its best to help each baby get used to sleeping while the other one might be crying.  

Move cribs to opposite walls
It will help if you move the cribs to the opposite sides of the room. This will not only create a physical distance, but it will also be less distracting if they can’t see each other.   My twins thought it was funny to pass their blankies to each other through the bars, which always resulted it tears as the blankies inevitably ended up on the floor.  I quickly adapted to that phase and dragged one crib across the room.  Problem solved.

White noise
Use a white noise machine or fan in their room to help drown out each others noises or talking, and lull them to sleep.  It will also help drown out household or street noise.

Tune into their tired signs
When all you can hear is talking, laughing and yelling from your twins or multiples bedroom, you’re probably wondering if they are getting enough sleep.  The best thing you can do is keep a keen eye on their mood and their sleep signs.  If you are finding them frustrated, irritable or extra weepy, especially towards the end of the day, they likely need more sleep.  To help them achieve this, move their bedtime earlier so that they can get their daily debrief over sooner and fall asleep at a more reasonable time.

Ride the milestone
All children will go through phases when it comes to their sleep, and twins and multiples are no different.  Recognize that this too is just a phase and it will pass.  The novelty of having a roommate will wear off, and they will soon start to choose sleep over chatting and yelling to each other.  Just be thankful that they can amuse each other so that you can do what amuses you.   

Jenn Kelner is a mother of 3 children (including twins!) and a Certified Child Sleep Consultant at BabyZzz.  She helps tired families with infants, babies and toddlers become well rested families through customized sleep solutions and support.  She offers various services including home, phone/Skype and email consultations.  For more information visit www.babyzzz.ca

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