It’s exhausting enough to have a 12-month old waking up throughout the night. Can you imagine TWO babies keeping you up at night? Well, I’ve actually had numerous parents ask me about the ins and outs of sleep training one year-old twins. Every twin parent’s DREAM is to see their twins finally sleep throughout the night without waking up.
Let me share a question that was asked by one of the moms in the My Sleeping Baby Facebook Community group. She wanted to know why her 1-year-old twins suddenly developed sleep problems and began waking up during the night when they used to sleep so soundly.
Here is her question: I need help with my one-year-old twins. They use to sleep through the night but we always rock them to sleep. Now they are waking up multiple times at night and don’t nap well during the day. What should I do?
In order to provide her with the best solution, here are few things we need to address:
The Twins’ Sleep Schedule
One of the main factors that can lead to sleep challenges with twins is their schedule. Whenever a baby is awake for very long periods of time during the day, they are likely to become very overtired. Overtiredness can cause twins sleeping problems such as poor napping during the day and unnecessary nightwakings.
In order to avoid overtiredness, these 1 year-old twins should not be awake for longer than 3 hours to 3 hours and 45 minutes throughout the day. The babies’ bedtime may need to be moved back earlier and/or the nap times will need to be tweaked if they are typically awake for longer.
Sleep Associations and Crutches
Sleep crutches such as rocking and feeding the baby to sleep have, for all intents and purposes, an expiration date. As your baby gets older, he becomes more aware of his environment and surroundings. This increases the chances of your baby waking up prematurely at the end of a sleep cycle.
These babies currently rely on rocking to sleep. Although the “expiration dates” of these sleep crutches vary from one baby to the other, it sounds like the rocking to sleep has reached its shelf life here. These parents would benefit from learning more about sleep training their 1 year-old twins so that they can learn how to fall asleep on their own, and how to fall BACK to sleep on their own. A sleep plan is a must!
Until these babies are sleep trained, there is nothing stopping them from waking up at night and calling out for assistance to help put them back to sleep.
Teach your baby to fall asleep independently. There’s no getting around it 🙂
Sleep training 1-year-old twins can be very tricky but it is the best solution for the situation at hand.
Now, this does NOT mean you need to put them in their cribs, say goodnight, leave the room and not come back in. You can absolutely implement a gradual, gentle and supportive approach while your babies learn how to fall asleep independently.