Answers to your Babywise twins frequently asked questions.
My twins slept through the night before 3 months old. They were on a predictable schedule for naps and feedings (yep, even with breastfeeding). And we got out of the house on a regular basis.
When I was expecting twins I heard all of this wouldn’t be possible. We would never sleep and life would be chaos for, well, for some time.
Want to know the secret to doing more than just surviving the first year with twins?
Yes, this method, which some think is controversial or too restrictive, gave our family the freedom to thrive with twins. And it can do the same for you too.
What's In This Post?
- Why Use Babywise for Twins
- Babywise Twins: FAQ and A
- Babywise and Twins Stats
- Additional Twin Resources
- Babywise Twins Tips
- How To Get Twins on a Schedule
- Daily Wake Time with Twins: How To Get Your Twins on a Schedule
- Twin Wake Times and Bedtime Routines: How To Get Your Twins on a Schedule
- Anchor Naps: Setting Your Twin Nap Schedule
- What do I do now? Newborn Twin Schedules
- Twin Schedules
- Twin Sleeping Arrangements: Safety and Practicality
- No Cry Sleep Training: How To Gently and Effectively Teach Your Baby To Sleep
- Breastfeeding Twins: Your Ultimate Resource Guide
- Twin Sleep
- The Best Sleep Tools for Twins (Because Twin Parents Need Rest!)
- How To Sleep Train Twins in the Same Room
- How To Do a Dream Feed with Twins
- How To Survive the Witching Hour with Twins
- What To Do When Your Twin Babies Cry at the Same Time (And You're All Alone)
- Twin Escalation Syndrome: Yes It's Real and How To Stop It
- Why We Chose To Use The Babywise Method
Why Use Babywise for Twins
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Keep in mind the goal of Babywise is not to stretch feedings out too far too fast. It isn’t to leave babies to cry for hours. And it isn’t about ignoring the needs of your babies in order to make your life easier.
It’s about meeting the needs of your baby twins. It’s about teaching healthy sleep habits and making sure you are feeding your babies enough. And overall it’s about meeting the needs of the entire family.
You might still have some questions about Babywise with twins. Here are the answers to the most frequently asked questions.
More Twin Resources
Babywise Twins: FAQ and A
The Babywise Method is the parenting method from the book called On Becoming Babywise that utilizes the eat wake sleep cycle to encourage good sleep habits and create a solid daily routine. The goal is to meet the needs of your twins by really getting to know them and knowing when you last met their needs.
Eat wake sleep is how your twins will go through their days. They wake up and you feed them. Then they have their awake time followed by a nap or bedtime.
The goal of this is to create healthy sleep habits where your twins don’t need to be fed to sleep. This is super helpful with twins because it can be hard to transfer two babies who have nursed to sleep from breastfeeding to bed.
Quite simply because it makes twin life easier. It is very hard to rock two babies to sleep all the time. Getting out of the house would be impossible if my twins didn’t nap at the same time. And Babywise meant I could successfully breastfeed twins.
This method helps you fulfill your priorities as a parent.
Getting twins on a schedule can seem overwhelming. But it doesn’t have to be.
1. The first step is to set a daily wake time and stick to it.
2. Make sure you are feeding your twins frequently (every 2.5 hours is not uncommon).
3. Follow your babies’ sleepy cues and have a solid bedtime routine.
Read more here: How To Get Twins on a Schedule and Sample Twins Schedules
Sleep training twins is not impossible. Remember that sleep training is about teaching good sleep habits. Here are some quick tips to sleep train your twins.
1. Wake your twins up. A consistent daily wake time will help overnight sleep.
2. Set the stage with a good sleep environment and proper sleep tools.
3. Put your twins to bed sleepy but awake.
4. Use minimal interventions when your twins do wake during the night.
Yes! You absolutely can. Twins, especially newborn twins, often sleep better when they are near their sibling. And twins don’t seem to be disturbed by the crying of their brother or sister.
Follow all the same sleep training techniques as you would with a singleton. I found utilizing a pacifier made sleep training much easier because I could easily reinsert it without my twins waking all the way up. This minimized crying and helped keep everyone asleep longer.
Learn more here: Sleep Training Twins in the Same Room.
Technically, yes. You can let any baby cry it out. But cry it out isn’t the only sleep training method, and it is not a required part of having Babywise success.
Many moms prefer to use gentle sleep training. It is your choice as a parent. You can read more here: How To Do No Cry Sleep Training.
You should start creating good sleep habits as soon as you bring your twins home from the hospital! Setting daily wake times and good bedtime routines can and should be started as soon as possible.
It is often recommended to wait until your twins are 4 to 6 months old to start sleep training. But working towards quality nap time can start when your twins are just a few weeks old.
The AAP recommends each twin has their own safe sleeping environment. That means no extra toys or blankets. A flat surface with taut sheets is best.
Many twin parents will tell you that their twins slept better together. I can only recommend the safe sleep guides. You can read more about twin sleeping arrangements here: Safe and Practical Sleeping Arrangements for Twins.
Babies often go through a phase in which they wake up 45 minutes after they go to sleep and have a hard time falling back asleep and staying asleep. Infant sleep cycles are only 45-50 minutes long, so the problem comes from making that transition between sleep cycles.
Why is this transition hard? Main causes often include teething, being hungry, or any other physical discomfort. Your twins might need your help to work through this transition and learn how to stay asleep longer.
The first step to fixing the 45-minute intruder is to make sure your twins aren’t hungry. If they are hungry, feed them! But because that requires either getting two babies up or risking having our twins eating at different times, I try to eliminate other reasons before jumping to feeding.
First, make sure your babies are physically comfortable and not chilly or bothered. Offer a pacifier to help soothe. The shush pat method is a great way to calm your twins at the same time.
You might also need to change your twins’ wake time between naps. Being awake for too long can lead to your twins being overtired and not sleeping well. Conversely, having not enough time between naps might mean your twins aren’t tired enough to sleep for the whole nap period. Examine your twins’ schedule to see where changes might be made.
A dream feed is when you put your twins to bed at an early bedtime, then wake them up between 10 and 11 (on average) to feed them one more time before you go to bed.
The idea is to keep your babies mainly asleep. Have a dark room, no loud noises, etc. This is a time when you want to nurse your babies back to sleep.
The purpose of this feed is to help you maximize your sleep as a mom. Babies tend to have one long chunk of sleep in a 24 hour period. You want to be able to sleep during this time. So you feed them one last time before you go to bed to help maximize the time before they will need to eat again during the night. Top of the tank if you will.
You can dream feed twins just like you do a singleton, you just need to plan ahead a little bit more.
Start by getting the deeper sleeper into position, they won’t notice the jostling as much. Then get the lighter sleeper into position. Feed. Then gently transfer your twins back to bed.
It is extremely beneficial to have help transferring your twins from feeding back to bed. You want to keep them as asleep as possible.
Get the details on how to do this feeding: How To Do a Dream Feed With Twins.
The 4 month sleep regression is a time when a baby’s sleep cycle changes. Babies are also learning more and becoming more aware of the world around them around this age. The result can be a disruption to sleep.
The best thing to do is to continue your good sleep habits. Feed your twins if they are hungry, offer a pacifier, or use alternate methods to soothe your twins back to sleep. These can include the shush-pat method, white noise, and swaddling.
Keep your good sleep habits of a darkened room, safe sleep space, and consistent routine. This will help you get through this challenging time.
Your twins will cry at the same time. And it will happen when you are alone with them. Here are 5 tips to help soothe them.
1. Use your nursing pillow to be able to hold both twins to you at the same time. Physical contact is very comforting for twins and the pillow will give you more stability.
2. Use a pacifier and/or a lovey. Babies are soothed by sucking and a consistent comfort object can help them learn to self soothe. Bonus tip: Sleep with the lovey yourself so it smells like you.
3. Use a swing or bouncer. These sorts of seats provide motion that babies find soothing. You can calm both babies and still be able to take care of older children.
4. Wear your babies. Twin baby carriers are available.
5. Talk or sing to your babies. Babies love the sound of their mother’s voice.
Read more here: How To Soothe Crying Twins When You Are All Alone
You should feed your twins whenever they are hungry. (The Babywise book says to do this.) For newborns that is about every 2-3 hours. Newborn twins would do well going no longer than 3 hours from the start of one feeding to the start of the next.
The goal of scheduled feedings is to make sure that you are feeding your twins frequently enough, as they need 8-12 feedings in a 24 hour period. With twins, it is better to aim for a shorter time period between feedings. It can be hard to get two sleepy babies to stay awake for full feedings. By feeding more frequently you will make sure that your twins are eating enough.
Twins who spend time in the NICU are usually started on a 3 hour schedule, so continue that when you get home.
Yes! You should wake your twins to feed them until they are over their birth weight and/or your doctor says you no longer need to wake them to eat.
Even after you no longer need to wake them at night you should still wake your twins to eat during the day. This will prevent them from making up missed calories during the night and will help them stay on schedule.
Tandem nursing can be tricky, but it gets easier as you practice and your twins get older. Tandem breastfeeding is the easiest way to make sure your twins eat at the same time and stay on the same schedule.
If you have your partner or another adult at home you can simply take one baby and get into nursing position, then have the other adult hand you the second baby. When you are finished the other adult can take one baby and you can get up with the other.
If you are alone, follow these steps:
1. Get all your nursing supplies into place.
2. Place your twins in bouncers or another safe seat in front of your nursing position.
3. Put on your nursing pillow. Place one twin in your nursing spot next to where you will be sitting. Do not walk away.
4. Pick up the second twin and sit down. Get this baby into position.
5. Carefully pick up the second twin and get her into position.
Get more information and tips here: How To Breastfeed Twins: The Logistics of Tandem Nursing.
Bottle feeding twins at the same time will help you keep them on the same schedule. If you have another adult around to help you, each of you can feed one baby. This is a great way to let dads get involved and bond with the twins.
If you are on your own you can bottle feed your twins at the same time. The safest recommendation is to hold each bottle for your baby. Place them in boppies or a twin nursing pillow in front of you. Sit down with them and feed them.
Bottle propping is not really recommended, but it is something that many twin moms find ways to do safely. Read more about bottle feeding twins here: How To Bottle Feed Twins.
The easiest way to get twins napping at the same time is by waking them at the same time every day and feeding them at the same time. This will naturally help them get on the same schedule.
Twins are individuals, so they may have different sleep needs. For young babies, it is best to focus on feeding times. Do your best to help your twins sleep through nap times, but feedings are the priority.
For older babies work on setting good sleep habits and starting naps at the same time for both twins. Your main efforts at naps should be your anchor naps, the first morning nap and the main afternoon nap. These are the naps that last until your twins are over a year old.
If your twins wake early from naps and will not be soothed back to sleep, do your best to maintain your feeding schedule. This will help keep your overall schedule consistent even if nap times get off.
Babywise and Twins Stats
When I research methods, I like to know how successful they really are. And as a scientist, I like stats.
Now it is hard to find real numbers on how successful a parenting method is. What defines success for one family will be different than what defines it for another. Even baby sleep can have variances.
But I was curious, so while it isn’t a big scientific study, I did take an informal poll amongst a group of twin moms that all used babywise. I questioned when their twins slept through the night.
The results were impressive! Of the responses I got, 51.9% of twins slept through the night by 3 months, and 90% by 4 months! Now, this is a small group of responses (only 54), but it gives me reassurance that Babywise didn’t just work for my twins, it can work for a lot of twins. And it gives me confidence to recommend twin moms at least look into it to see if it can help them out too.
Additional Twin Resources
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