It should come as no surprise that one of the most challenging aspects of being a parent is trying to put a newborn or a toddler to sleep. Moreover, when there are twins to care for instead of one, this task is going to be substantially more challenging.
The best approach to ensure that both the parents and the kids get the required amount of rest is to create a consistent sleep routine for the twins. This will help ensure that everyone gets enough sleep. In this regard, putting twins in the same space for sleeping can be helpful as there are several benefits of twins sleeping together.
Challenges of Getting Twins to Sleep
According to NHS UK, there are many reasons why it becomes difficult to set a sleep schedule for your twins. Firstly, in most cases, twins are born prematurely. They spend the first few weeks of their lives in the NICU where they are used to being nursed frequently. After coming home it might be difficult for them to get into a new routine.
Secondly, because their stomachs are so little, newborn newborns require frequent feedings because they cannot hold a lot of food at one time. It is disruptive to their quality of sleep to have to wake them up in order to feed them.
Again, if more than one person is taking care of the babies, it will take them a while to get used to the different techniques of different caregivers. This might also affect their sleep.
Benefits Of Twins Sleeping Together
In order to combat the challenges mentioned above, there are a number of different approaches that can be followed. Fixing their sleeping arrangements is one of them, as for newborn twins sleeping arrangements matter a lot.
To ensure the quality of newborn twins doctors and healthcare officials suggest that twins sleep in the same cot or same crib, at least for the first few weeks or months. This process is also known as co-bedding. There are many benefits to this practice when it comes to the quality of sleep of twins and the care they receive.
Firstly, according to NHS UK, placing twins in the same crib can help them in regulating their body temperatures and sleep cycles. Their combined body temperature will keep them warm and happy in the same crib during the colder months. Additionally, consistent exposure to human smell and touch prevents them from experiencing feelings of loneliness and fear.
Again, the twins have shared a womb for nine months. They have always lived together in a small space together. So, being close to each other makes them feel better. In a new environment, especially right after they are born, the twins need to feel safe and comfortable. When babies are calm, they can eat, sleep, and have a good time in general. Each other’s presence will be a soothing matter for them.
Also, it will be easier for the caregiver to take care of the babies if they are sharing the same space. This way, they will not have to clean and maintain two separate cribs. Breastfeeding the twins will also be easier if they are sleeping together in the same crib.
Risk Factors and Safety Tips For Twins Sleeping Together
Even though it is a good practice for newborn twins to sleep together, there are also some risk factors. Mayo Clinic defines SIDS, or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome as “the unexplained death, usually during sleep, of a seemingly healthy baby less than a year old.” SIDS is sometimes called “crib death” because infants often die in their cribs. Sometimes, placing twins in the same cot may result in unintentional suffocation and, subsequently, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. It is an important risk element to consider when selecting to utilize a single cot or crib for two infants.
Again, it is advised to use a single cot for co-bedding the twins, but not a Moses basket, as it will be too small for two babies. You can use crib pillows for your twins in the cot.
Finally, after some months the twins will inevitably grow in size. They will also move a lot. During this period they will need more individual space and privacy. Perhaps this will be the best time to move them to a bigger bed or to separate their sleeping arrangements altogether.
At What Age Should Twins Stop Sleeping Together?
There is no fixed answer to this question as each set of twins grows at their own pace. For the sake of simplicity and bonding twins normally sleep together in the same bed during their infancy and early childhood. As they grow up, they also grow apart, and naturally, they want their own space for the sake of privacy, individuality, and creative growth.
It is a good idea to separate the beds when your twins become toddlers, as they move around a lot and can disturb the other twin’s sleep. At this point, you can consider upgrading them to separate single beds in the same room. You can also opt for a bunk bed for your twins once they are a little older as bunk beds look fun and appealing to kids while saving space in the room.
Should Twins Sleep in The Same Room?
As Dr. Dina puts it, “There’s no specific age when you should separate your children into their bedrooms.” For the sake of bonding experience, twins are encouraged to share a room during their early childhood. Many twins of the same gender even share the same room until they leave their home for college or other endeavors. In such cases, you can create separate spaces for your twins within the same room.
As for twins of different genders, they should not share the same room past the age of 10.
However, if your twins ask to sleep in separate rooms, regardless of their age or gender, you should arrange for that if you have the financial means to do so.
In conclusion, there are many health, financial and psychological benefits of twins sleeping together in the same bed, or the same room. However, as they grow older they need more space for their individual growth, both physically and mentally. They should be given their own space if they themselves ask for it.