How do you handle nighttime care for newborn twins? Each family will handle this differently, but I wanted to share what we did to give you some ideas. We did not have a plan for night care before the twins arrived, I think because we just didn’t know what to expect. What ended up happening is what my husband coined “The Baby Draft”. This meant each night we would choose a baby to be in charge of. As you may have learned from my previous posts, the twins were bottle fed, which made this possible. We would discuss which twin we were in charge of each night, but generally we would have the same baby next to our bed for 1-2 weeks because their behavior was somewhat predictable in this timeframe. In the end, The Baby Draft is what worked best for our family. We liked sleeping in the same room and it was comforting to have someone next to you for support if needed.
The following set up worked really well for us:
A Rock N Play sleeper on each side of the bed and on each night stand we had a waterproof pad, diapers, wipes, bottles, bottled water, and formula. This allowed us to never leave the bed, we could do diaper changes and mix formula on demand from bed. It was much faster to mix formula on demand than when we had used a bottle warmer on the nightstand for pre-mixed formula.
With all of us in the same room at night, even though I was not in charge of one of the twins, I would still be disturbed when she would wake up. But, after a week, I was so exhausted that I would be able to roll over and go back to sleep no problem. The twins stayed in our room for the first 12 weeks. I was anxious to get them out because it’s pretty distracting to sleep with TWO newborns in your room. We waited until they were sleeping in longer stretches and until we felt comfortable having them separated from us since they were small when they were born, as twins typically are.
Some other options for nighttime care of twins include:
- Have one parent in charge of both babies for the whole night, while the other one sleeps. Many twin parents we know have done it this way.
- Hiring a night nurse – if I did it all over again I would probably look into this option just to get a break every once in a while. Of course, it would be pretty expensive.
This is the start of many posts on sleeping. I can be borderline obsessive with establishing a reliable napping and sleeping schedule. It is such an important thing to make life easier with babies and toddlers, especially if you have twins.