Can you actually get any sleep when you have newborn twins? That’s exactly what we will be discussing below!
You will also learn the best strategies you can use to get as much sleep as possible when you need to care for two babies at the same time. So let’s dive right in.
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Is It Possible For Parents To Get Sleep With Newborn Twins?
Yes, it is definitely possible! In order to maximize your sleep it is best to have a good plan in place.
The top options for taking care of newborn twins in order to get sleep yourself is exactly what will be reviewed below.
Do You Get Used To Sleep Deprivation With Newborn Twins?
Let’s see, the answer to this question would be both yes and no. I don’t think anyone ever “gets used” to sleep deprivation and it’s definitely not healthy to consistently be sleep deprived.
However, knowing this is a temporary situation helps. Additionally, you will be in what I like to call survival mode.
You will be doing what you need to in order to care for your two babies as best you can. In this sense I think you are used to the sleep deprivation that comes with having two newborns at home.
Again, with some planning you can at least get some sleep in order to get through these first few weeks. Additionally, most of these strategies involve two people being available, but there are tips you can use if you will be alone with your babies most of the time.
Tips For Surviving Nights With Newborn Twins
Below are various options you can choose for handling sleep at night with twins as newborns. I recommend picking the one that sounds best to you and planning around that.
You might also want to pick a backup plan or plan to use two of these strategies depending on the night.
With this plan one parent is in charge of both babies for the whole night, while the other one sleeps. Then the next night you rotate.
So the parent who slept the night before is on night duty and the other parent sleeps. I know many twin parents that have used this strategy.
Depending on work schedules this might be a good option. Each parent takes a 6-8 hour shift to care for the babies, while the other parent sleeps.
An example could be one parent sleeps 7pm-1am and the other parent sleeps 1am-7am. At least you know you can get some reliable sleep while trying to survive the newborn phase with twins.
Each Parent is In Charge of One Baby (aka The Baby Draft)
In this scenario, each parent has one baby to take care of at night. This is the method my husband and I used and we called it the Baby Draft.
Before bedtime my husband and I discussed which twin we were “drafting” for the night. Generally, we would have the same baby for 1-2 weeks because their behavior was somewhat predictable in this time frame.
This worked best for us because we liked sleeping in the same room. It was also comforting to have your spouse with you for support when needed.
A downside to this method is that you might be woken up when the twin you are not caring for needs to be fed or get a diaper change in the middle of the night.
Hire a Night Nurse or Nanny
If I did it all over again, I would probably look into this option just to get a break every once in a while. I was so exhausted and just having one good night of sleep would have been a huge help.
How To Get Sleep With Newborn Twins
Here are some more things you can do to help both your twins, and by default yourself, get more sleep.
Efficiently Change Diapers and Bottle Feed
Besides planning for how your twins will be cared for, it’s also great to be able to change diapers and feed your babies as efficiently as possible at night. I found our system for nighttime feedings and diaper changes to be very fast and effective.
You can implement it whether you have one baby, twins, or triplets, etc. We had a bassinet on each side the bed. And on each nightstand we had a waterproof pad, diapers, wipes, bottles, bottled water, and formula.
This set up allowed us to never leave the bed. We could do diaper changes and mix formula on demand from bed.
We found it was much faster to mix formula on demand rather than using a bottle warmer for pre-mixed formula. If you have bottles of breast milk, you could have a cooler next to the bed with a bottle warmer.
The saying goes “sleep when the baby sleeps”…I always hated this. I can’t sleep on demand like that. But if you do get a chance to sleep during your twins naps – take it.
Or if you have some help during the day, don’t hesitate to catch up on some sleep when you get the opportunity. If napping is just not in the cards for you, don’t stress over it.
I never was able to nap much.
Start Teaching Routines, Including a Bedtime Routine
From the time your babies are newborns I highly recommend implementing an eat, play, sleep routine. To learn more about how to do this, read our post on implementing a schedule with newborn twins.
Additionally, you might want to also grab these printable first year twins schedules, which includes a typical newborn schedule.
The other thing that I highly recommend doing from the start with your babies is having a bedtime routine. It doesn’t have to be long.
It could simply be changing a diaper in the nursery, putting on pajamas, reading a book, singing a lullaby, and then putting your babies down to sleep in the dark.
Swaddling is a huge help for getting newborns to fall asleep and to sleep for longer periods. I recommend these options for swaddling:
- aden + anais muslin Swaddle Blankets
- SwaddleMe Velcro swaddles
- Flannel receiving blankets from the hospital
I also highly recommend watching the Happiest Baby on the Block video, for details on why swaddling is so important. Plus, you will learn even more invaluable tips for getting newborns to sleep.
This little video was a lifesaver in our house.
What’s It Like To Sleep In the Same Room with Newborn Twins?
When you are caring for your twins at night it might seem like you will never get any sleep. I am a light sleeper, and at first I would be disturbed when the twin I was not in charge of woke up.
But after a week I was so exhausted, I could roll over and go back to sleep no problem. Our twins stayed in the same room with us for the first 12 weeks. After this time I was anxious to get them out because it’s pretty distracting to sleep with TWO newborns in your room.
We moved them to their own room once they had a somewhat predictable schedule and they were sleeping in longer stretches. This is when we felt comfortable having them separated from us.
Now you know how to get sleep with newborn twins and it’s time to put your plan together to make it happen.
Those are my tips on how to get sleep with newborn twins. Don’t expect to get a lot of rest, but hopefully they will help you survive those first 6 weeks!
Lastly, I want to share something that might help you out with newborn twin schedules. Go ahead and grab your FREE newborn twins daily log by filling in the form below.
Since it’s built for twins, you get a spot to write the baby’s name. You can also use the different colors to easily differentiate between your babies too.
That’s all I got on this topic. Good luck as you navigate the newborn twins phase!