Infant twins and naps - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 09-06-2010, 07:27 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi there.
My twins are now 5 months old, and we still don't have a regular nap schedule, or anything close to one. They were 6 weeks early, so I'm not sure they're old enough for a real 2 nap/day schedule, but I want to work towards that! Neither baby is sleeping in the day for more than 30 minutes at a time (and it's usually much less).

I'm finding it very tricky to put them down for naps; they sleep the longest on my lap after nursing. When I try to put them down, they inevitably either wake each other up within a few minutes, or I wake them up by awkwardly juggling the two of them into their cosleeper. Sometimes they fall asleep in the jogging stroller (but not reliably, and the double jogger doesn't fit through our door), or if DH isn't working, they can each fall asleep in an Ergo. I know how to handle this with one baby (DS1 is almost 5, and somehow he learned to nap), but physically maneuvering two is the challenge.

Maybe it's unrealistic, but I was hoping that I could get a few things done or spend 1:1 time with DS1 while they nap. Also, I am hoping that if they nap better in the day, they will also sleep better at night. I know that was true for DS1. At this point, naps require me to be physically involved the whole time. Any tips? Or is this just life with twins, so tell me just to deal with it! TIA!

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#2 of 8 Old 09-06-2010, 10:13 PM
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Well, for the first 6 months, I did physically nap with my two for the afternoon nap. I would nurse them, then lay down with one on each side of me in the crook of my arm. Around 6 months, dd2 became easier to put to sleep, so I nurseed, put her in the crib and then laid down with ds. This transitioned to nursing, putting dd2 in crib, laying with ds until he fell asleep and then sneaking away. I can now nurse both, put dd2 in crib, nurse down ds and then put him in the crib (since he crawls off of the bed now). It takes me about 15 minutes and then dd2 wakes up in another 30 minutes. So, I still don't get much time. Typically they take at least 45 minute, ideally 1.5 hour naps twice a day at nine months. I've found that their sleep pattern is about 45 minutes and I really try to be careful to not disturb them at that point.

So, they got used to being moved once asleep more than dd1 (now 4) ever did. Nighttime is still tough for us. However, neither baby is bad, it's just hard with two and hence twice the wakings.

FInally, the hardest part for me is keeping dd1 away from me or quite long enough for them to fall asleep. If you just accomplish that, pat yourself on the back.

J A with DD1 7/06, lost twins 9/08
DD2 12/09 & DS1 12/09
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#3 of 8 Old 09-10-2010, 11:05 PM's Avatar
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Mine are 18 months old now, but when they were your twins' age, I had them in a regular size crib in our room. Are they in an arm's reach co-sleeper? If so, they may be growing too large for it and need more space. A regular crib is the perfect size and you can buy a crib spacer to physically separate them in the same crib. This was a godsend to me because they kept waking eachother up. I put this down the center of the long side and it gave each twin their own space but they were still together. If you want to have them sleeping next to you, you can side car the crib to your bed by dropping one side and bungee cord the crib legs to the legs of your bed and span the crack with a thin blanket. The spacer will still work with some ingenuity in this setup. Here's the one I got:

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#4 of 8 Old 09-11-2010, 12:41 AM - Thread Starter
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Yes, we were thinking it's time to move them into a crib instead of the cosleeper, partly because I think they might be almost at the weight limit for the cosleeper. Glad it's bigger, too. I do want to set it up as a side-car.
I think I remember someone describing the way she maneuvered her sleeping twins from the nursing pillow into their bed gradually, without waking them. I can't find that post! Anyone have any ideas about that?

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#5 of 8 Old 09-11-2010, 12:50 AM
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I hope you don't mind me crashing from the New Posts page. But I wanted to say that yes, you should use adjusted age for this, which means they're just under 4 months old in terms of sleeping and that's still a bit young for 2 naps. They'll probably go to 3 naps first, about now: one about 2 hours after they wake up in the morning, one about 2 hours after waking up from that, and a short one in the late afternoon. Most babies go down to 2 naps a bit after 6 months. So if they wake up at 7, you're probably aiming for a nap at 9ish, one at 12ish, and 1 at 4ish. All give or take a 1/2 hour, depending on the child.

For information about naturally developing nap patterns, "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child" is a very interesting book. Just skip to the chapters that are about the age of your children.

Trying to live a simple life in a messy house in a complicated world with : DH, DD (b. 07/07), DS (b. 02/09), and DD (b. 10/10)
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#6 of 8 Old 09-11-2010, 08:35 AM
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Ditto to what lach said. I just posted something similar in the other napping thread on this forum:


My twins are now 7 months old and have been napping pretty well for a while -- of course, there are glitches and days that don't go as planned, but all in all, they are on a fairly consistent schedule. This was really important to me b/c i have two other children that need my attention, too, and I look forward to those "lulls" in the day when I can spend time with them one-on-one (or, at least, one-on-two!) Can you put them down for naps in separate rooms?
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#7 of 8 Old 09-11-2010, 03:13 PM
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Good advice so far. There's one other thing I can think of that might help from my experience.

I didn't realize until I had preemies (mine were 7 weeks early) that preemies often have issues with reflux that can interfere with sleeping even if it doesn't interfere with other aspects of life. And, dairy can aggravate reflux problems. I got much better naps with all my kids once we were dairy-free and I put them down with their head raised - in a swing, propped on a Boppy, or in a bouncy chair. When they slept on me, it was always when they were in a somewhat upright position.

Hope you get some good naps soon.

mother of Patrick (7/31/03), and Michael, William, and Jocelyn (4/27/07)
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#8 of 8 Old 09-12-2010, 04:05 PM
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I learned this great trick of being able to swing my legs off the couch without moving my upper body from a lying position. I would cross my arms and hold the pacy's in thier mouths after nursing (hardly ever nursed to sleep for naps) while lying down on the couch and bouncing myself with my feet. I would then get up with a babe on each shoulder, roll the one that was most asleep (usually R) and he would sort of flop onto his side of his crib then go around and put D carefully onto his side. I would usually get about an hour or so out of them. Then they started teething and that was hard, but they got the hang of it evetually. My mother is a professional and works with babies all day and she said that babies don't sleep for two reasons: pain or discomfort or hunger. Check to make sure that their clothes aren't too tight, that the room is not too cold/hot, they are not teething or hungry.

Good luck!

: wife to James, MoM to R babyboy.gif and D babyboy.gif  (Aug 2007) and E babygirl.gif (Nov 2009) and Y babyboy.gif (April 2012)

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