My Life With Twins: Sleeping Arrangements (With Linky!)
*It was requested that I add a linky to My Life With Twins on Mondays! I think it is a great idea (thanks Kristin!) If you are a parent of multiples, feel free to write up a “My Life With Twins” post and link up! I’m working on a button too! I’d love it if you can link back here as well so all of us can connect!
One of the most cringe worthy comments someone can make to a Twin Parent is “Oh, two for the price of one!”. The well meaning commenter probably does not consider that you had to pay for two deliveries, probably were on some sort of bedrest, one or more of your babies was likely in the NICU, both children have to eat, and you have to buy two car seats at a time.
The ONE way that our girls were “two for the price of one” is with twin sleeping arrangements. At 17 months old, our girls still Co-bed.
When I was still pregnant I made the decision to buy only one crib. This was partially a financial decision. . .cribs can be expensive. There was also the question of space. Our nursery is not a large room, and I was not sure how I would cram two cribs in there as well as dressers, changing table, and rocker/recliner. I had read that many twins do well sleeping in the same crib for a time.
When we finally had both girls home at the same time I put them to bed together in their crib. I changed the direction that I placed the babies. When I had singletons I always treated the crib as a conventional bed and placed the baby in it as if the crib had a head and a foot like my bed. With the girls I swaddled them separately, placed them in the crib next to each other, and then tucked another receiving blanket over them, sort of “double swaddling” them.
They would often sleep as close to each other as they could be. . .and very often would be sleeping int he exact same position as her twin! For the most part they slept as well as any newborns. I cycled between wanting to keep them on the same schedule and letting each girl determine her sleep schedule. For most of the first year they tag team napped (I almost always had one baby awake or nursing) but they slept most of the same night hours together. Sometimes they would wake the other. . .or wrestle in the night, but mostly they snuggled up to each other and only one would usually wake at a time. (As a matter of fact my most stressful nights were the ones when both twins were up at once. . .it was rare!)
I love this picture of Emily, who managed to claw her way up onto Elizabeth’s chest to sleep. . .and Elizabeth only looks mildly annoyed.
At around seven or eight months old, I thought that with the girls new found mobility they would wake each other up too much to co-bed much longer. And then we went on vacation, and they spent two weeks in a pack and play. They never woke each other, even in the smaller crib, and their co-bedding relationship was cemented.
Now, at seventeen months, I think it would be cruel to separate the girls. They talk and sing each other to sleep at naptimes and at bedtime. I’ve also heard from fellow twin parents that at this age, if the twins are in separate cribs they spend much of the time trying to (and often succeeding at) getting into the other crib. We’ll likely move them into a full sized bed together when they graduate from the crib.
I strongly suspect that the girls very close bond with each other has been strengthened by sharing a bed every night. They don’t get the chance to go to bed angry at each other, and they never have that “all alone” feeling at bedtime. They also still don’t wake each other up. While they both sleep 12 hour stretches at night, on the occasion when one wakes up, she does not wake her sister. They do make sure that they wake each other up in the morning, and then give each other a big hug and kiss! These are some of the most priceless moments of twin parenthood!
Chime In! Do your multiples co-bed? For how long? Would you do things the same way if you had it to do over? You know I’d love to hear from you!
Do you have twins, are expecting twins or know someone who is? Make sure you click on over to my “Got Twins?” page and learn more about the wonders of twindom! Lots of advice and experience from pregnancy, breast feeding and beyond!