Twins Twins Twins...Beauties that come in two. I am always in awe when I look at the faces of two little beings that look so much alike. As parents of twins you know, double the fun can be double the sleep deprivation. It's hard enough sleep training one child but imagine two... Lucy and Ruth were no exception. These adorable six month old girls are fraternal twins which means sleep training them is typically more difficult. Their sleep patterns are completely different and are usually looked at as two different cases merging together on one schedule. They were also premature. Ruth spent one month in NICU, while Lucy spent two months, and was woken up every 3 hours to be checked. Their parents, Cindy and Mark, hadn't slept a wink in six months and thought they might never be able to sleep again. Their main concern was to get them on a schedule and to be able to have the girls share a room!
I think it’s safe to say that scheduling and sleep training for twins is necessary for survival! Unless you’re okay with constantly feeding a baby and having a baby up with you 24/7, then getting your twins on the same routine is the best route to take. I focused my attention first and foremost on getting Lucy and Ruth's feeding schedule to co-inside. It may sound difficult but with a little distraction, it is possible. We scheduled their feedings every three hours and made it a set time no matter what. They took the same amount of ounces but Ruth usually ate about a half ounce less.
Once their feedings were set, we worked on naps. I moved Lucy's crib into Ruth's room and instantly they were sharing a room. We placed both babies in their room together at the same time for their morning nap. Twin parents who schedule and sleep train their babies don’t have to worry so much about one baby waking up the other if they are in the same room and one is crying. Chances are they are going to sleep in the same room for a while, so the best thing to do is to get them used to each other’s sounds right from the beginning. Trust me when I say once they are used to one another’s cries, one will sleep through the other’s sob fest. Lucy cried as soon as she was placed in her crib. Ruth laid quietly sucking on her pacifier and looking up at her mobile. We focused on settling Lucy with the technique given. After about 10 minutes of off and on crying, Lucy finally settled down. After 15 minutes had passed, both girls were sound asleep. 30 minutes on the dot and Ruth woke up crying. I walked in and gave Ruth her pacifier and placed my hand on her belly, rocking her gently. Lucy didn't flinch. She was sound asleep. Ruth wasn't having it so we took her out of her crib and walked out of the room, letting Lucy sleep a while longer.
First round of naps weren't bad. For bedtime we did the exact same routine. We placed the girls down together after a gentle bedtime routine and after 15 minutes, they both were asleep. Every few hours one of the girls would wake up but each time, Cindy and Mark would do the training method technique. They were stretching longer and learning to self soothe. Since Cindy and Mark started sleep training when their twins at a young age, one method was able to work on both babies. Babies around 6-8 months adapt much more easily to changes than when they are older. As the babies get older and develop their own personalities, it might be necessary to choose two different methods, as one method may work better for one child and another method may work better for the other child. In that case, both parents may need to be more involved in the process, and it could take longer. But the fundamentals of acquiring healthy sleep remain the same. Lucy and Ruth stayed consistent with their routines.
Lucy gave us a battle for a week when we put her down in the crib, but she was a great sleeper as far as taking long naps and having nice long sleep stretches. Ruth, on the other hand, went down a lot more easily but was the queen of catnaps. No matter what kind of sleepers babies are born as, all children can establish healthy sleep habits if they are encouraged to do so. Now, there isn’t a nap that goes by where Ruth, queen of catnaps, doesn’t have to be woken up. It’s amazing! We had Ruth and Lucy sharing a room and sleeping 12 hours a night within 2 weeks of sleep training! It has been an amazing time learning the ins and outs of these perfect little munchkins. Sweet dreams Ruth and Lucy!