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 partly 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!


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Comments: 13

  1. Kristin K June 27, 2011 at 10:20 am Reply

    My multiples STILL co-bed and they are 5 1/2 years old :)

    • Dakotapam June 27, 2011 at 10:46 am Reply

      I had a feeling. . .pretty sure that will be us too, which is fine with me!
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  2. lissa June 27, 2011 at 10:37 am Reply

    Those girls of yours are so cute!!

    I linked up!

    • Dakotapam June 27, 2011 at 10:47 am Reply

      Thanks Lissa! Your little (not so little) guys are precious as well!
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  3. Krystle June 27, 2011 at 1:09 pm Reply

    My boys co-slept in the NICU and the first several weeks at home. Until one little guy had such bad reflux we had to majorly incline his bed, so they started sleeping separatley. I had planned on having them co-sleep until about 5 or 6 months, but I’m glad they got to for a bit, and to me, when it mattered the most those first few weeks in the NICU when I couldn’t be there 24/7.

    I do have a friend with twin girls who co-slept, until one morning they went in and one girl was on top of the other smushing her face down and she was struggling to breath. Yikes.

  4. Kristin June 27, 2011 at 4:34 pm Reply

    Wow, I am so impressed they still co-bed! Those pictures are precious! We never did that, other than the first 4-5 months when we were pretty much all sleeping together (them on top of me, mostly!). After that I was too worried about them waking each other up to try it (which they did constantly from different beds anyway, ha ha). They have always slept pretty close/within sight and sometimes touch — right now they have two toddler beds foot to foot with each other and they like that arrangement. I’ve head such nightmare stories about twin toddlers/preschoolers keeping each other up at night but so far (knock on wood) we’ve had really smooth sailing with that! Whew!

  5. liz June 27, 2011 at 6:27 pm Reply

    This is one of THE CUTEST, SWEETEST things I’ve ever seen! I love all the pics of them snuggling together!

  6. My Life With Twins: Planning for Preschool « Intrepid Murmurings June 27, 2011 at 11:52 pm Reply

    […] well as the maddening insanity that I encounter as a parent of twin toddlers.  Check Pam’s My Life with Twins Linky today for more posts about twins by those in the trenches.  And bloggers with multiples, please […]

  7. Morningglory June 28, 2011 at 6:09 am Reply

    My Twins do not co-sleep, maybe this is because they are faternal? I don’t know if this may have something to do with it.

    My boy Twin is showing some bad signs of over dominating. Not in a nice way towards his sister. I am worried he may hit her while in the same bed. Sometimes I let them play together for a few minutes in his crib or hers, but never for very long because he quickly get’s either jelouse or paturbed. He doesn’t allow her to play with toys for very long, and steals her drinks / snacks. Any advice on this issue would be greatly appreciated. My Twins did co-sleep for about the first 6 months tho. they were so tiny, I kept them in a play pen versus a crib.

    • Dakotapam June 28, 2011 at 10:20 am Reply

      I don’t have much advice. I wish I did. I know that twins can get this way towards each other. Sometimes ours will break out into a fight, but they are mostly pretty loving towards each other. The way I have handled sibling fights (non twin) in the past was to immediately comfort the victim, and then dole out negative consequences for the aggressor. Sometimes they are attention seeking, so to give negative attention to them straightaway can encourage further bad behavior. However, anyone who spends much time around my children knows that I am FAR from a parenting expert:)I flounder around like the rest of you! I was by your blog last week, your twins are growing up so much!!!
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  8. ChariT June 28, 2011 at 8:12 pm Reply

    My babies are 16 months now. I stopped putting them together a long time ago lol!

    They wouldn’t stop keep each other up all night so I had to separate them!

    Stopping by from #TwinTuesday on twitter!

    ~Blessings momma!

  9. Vanessa Cunningham January 24, 2012 at 2:13 pm Reply

    DO you think it is worth putting them back together to sleep in one crib? They have been in separate cribs since 4 months old. They are not sleeping thru the night and we are exhausted. They are one. They eat and nap great. HELP

    • Dakotapam January 24, 2012 at 2:20 pm Reply

      I say anything is worth a try. 12 months seemed to be the magic sweet spot of my girls (mostly) sleeping through the night. Are they breastfed or bottle fed? Or are they weaned. This can make ad difference as well.
      Dakotapam recently posted..Menu Plan Monday My WayMy Profile
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