Twins are double the fun, right? But also double the work, many will say. But that doesn’t mean that raising twins has to be any different that raising a singleton. I’ve worked with many families of multiples and the fact remains that their concerns over sleep are exactly the same as anyone else’s. Today we’re looking at nap tips for twins- read on if you need some help with this.
So let’s picture the scene for a moment. Baby wakes, parent wakes. Parent does what parent needs to do- changes nappy, feeds baby, rocks, soothes, sings… then another baby wakes. Parent already has one baby, so what does parent do? Yes, parenting twin babies is hard work, I’m not suggesting otherwise at all. But it’s not impossible! I usually find that most parents of twins have already got strategies in place to deal with a situation like the one described above- but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t areas in which I can help. And when it comes to naps, I have a few tricks up my sleeve! Here are my nap tips for twins- let me know if they help.
As with anything, a good routine is the foundation for sleep. More so for naps! Your babies need to know where they are going and what they are doing when it comes to their daytime routine, and they’ll learn pretty quickly too. So make sure that your routine is tight and you have a really great nap time routine as well as a bedtime routine. This can be mirrored on your bedtime routine, with a feed and a story etc. Just as long as you are consistent, you have a nice peaceful atmosphere and your sleeping environment is ready. So you want to be dim, quiet and at the right temperature for safe and comfortable sleeping.
Stay consistent but also flexible
Consistency is key to maintaining a good sleep time routine and it helps your baby to anticipate nap times better. But babies are not robots, and when you have two of them it’s even more vital that you’re able to be a little flexible now and then. Your routine has to work for you and your babies, and it might need tweaking now and then for various reasons and to work around the rest of the family too. Don’t be afraid to do this! There will be days where your routine will go totally out of the window but don’t panic. These days are normal. And if you are consistent in the techniques that you use to soothe and calm your babies they will respond to that. Use your instincts and allow your babies to guide you. Remember that you know them best!
Keep up with developments
Remember that as your babies grow and develop, their sleep needs and patterns change too. And then remember that no two babies are the same, not even when they’re twins. So the information that you read and the advice you’re given about milestones and the general ages at which babies reach them should be taken with some flexibility. Your twins might not reach them at the same time, and so their naps might not always synchronise as nicely as you would like. Sorry!
The best advice I can give here is to tell you to go with the flow and let your babies guide you. If one twin is ready to drop a morning nap a little sooner than the other, there isn’t much that you can do about that. Stay calm, stay flexible and remember that each challenging phase most definitely will pass.
Don’t be afraid of separating babies for sleep
Sometimes twins struggle to np together. And you know what? That’s fine. If you’re able and you have space, allowing them to sleep separately might not be a bad idea. That way, when one whimpers in their sleep they won’t disturb the other one, and vice versa. And, as already pointed out, one baby might want to sleep a little longer than the other, or might not need as many naps as the other… the possibilities for differences between twins are there, and you need to be ready for them.
Accept help when it’s offered- or ask!
Nobody is going to give out awards or medals for the parents who battle on without any help at all. Babies are hard work. Put two into the mix and they’re REALLY hard work! If help is offered, take it. If it’s not, don’t be afraid to ask for it.