Giving birth and then caring for twins is much different than with a single baby. One of the most difficult tasks is that newborns do not have a reliable schedule.
A top priority for twin parents is to get their babies on the same schedule. However, until your babies are at least 6 weeks old this can be hard to do.
In this article I will be reviewing what to expect for a newborn twins schedule, as well as tips to put them on the right track for eventually being on the same schedule.
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Can Newborn Twins Be Put On a Schedule?
It is nearly impossible to have the same routine every single day with a newborn. So with two newborn babies it’s probably not going to happen.
But there are things you can do to start teaching your newborn twins about routines. The best way to go about this is to implement an eat, play, sleep routine.
Setting up an eat, play, sleep schedule early on in your twins life is not only beneficial now, but it can also help with routines during the toddler years.
Newborns will sleep 14-19 hours a day and feed every 1-2 hours. Considering these requirements, here’s a sample newborn sleeping and feeding schedule.
Just keep in mind that unfortunately, each twin might be doing these things at different times. You will need to do the best you can to survive these first 6 weeks with your twins.
I recommend getting as much help as you possibly can. And remember this is just a stage. Soon your babies will be old enough to establish a more reliable schedule.
Wake up & eat
Wake up & eat
Wake up & eat
Wake up & eat
Wake up & eat
Bedtime & night feed
Dream feed & back to bed
Following a schedule for newborn twins is daunting. I do not recommend having an expectation that your newborns will be on the same schedule initially.
Your goal should be to get them on the similar schedules when they are capable. This would be anywhere from 6 weeks to 3 months old.
Below you will find tips you can implement now, so that when your babies are ready they can get on the same schedule.
During the newborn phase schedules change significantly. In this time span your babies will grow faster than any other time in their lives, and their breaks between naps will become longer and longer.
You can start the process of teaching your babies a simple routine now. What you will do is follow an eat, play, sleep routine.
Sometimes your newborn twins will do this at the same time and other times it will not work out that way. But the idea is that you are teaching them they can expect certain things to happen in a certain order. This will make is much easier to put them on the same schedule when they are old enough.
I do want to point out that around 2-3 weeks and 6 weeks newborns go through growth spurts. Each of your twins might have these growth spurts at the same or different times.
They might need more frequent meals during this phase. That could mean shorter naps and showing hunger cues more often. Do not be alarmed if your very fluid routine is just off on these days.
Longer naps might result in more disturbed nighttime sleep. It’s okay for naps to be long, but if my babies were going on past 3 hours of sleep I would wake them up. They needed to eat anyway.
This also helps prevent your babies from being awake the entire night. If you let them sleep a lot during the day, they might think night is the time to be awake more often.
I generally followed this rule. It will be much easier as your twins grow, but you can still implement it during the newborn phase.
Whether it’s for naps or nighttime sleep, if one twin wakes up, wake the other one after 30 min. This will help them naturally get closer to the same routine.
Now, if you have one baby going through a growth spurt and he or she is only napping 10 minutes, I do not recommend waking up your other baby in that case. Use your best judgement and follow this rule when things are normal for both of your babies.
Teaching your babies the difference between night and day is crucial if you want them to sleep train on the earlier side. Here are a few tips you can follow to teach day and night difference.
- Blackout curtains: Use blackout curtains to keep the room dark during naps and when the sun rises
- White noise machine: White noise mimics the sounds babies hear in the womb, helping them feel secure and fall asleep more quickly
- Sing lullaby only at night: This will help your twins eventually understand that this a signal for bedtime
- Keep house lively during the day & quiet at night
Setting up a schedule is a good thing and writing it down is way better. If you can log your daily routine with twins, there are higher chances that you will stick to it.
Writing down the schedule makes you more productive and do more work in less time. Moreover, you can share the schedule with a family or friend if someone is going to help you care for your babies.
Newborns develop faster. Their sleeping and eating requirements change over time. During growth spurts they will feed more. With time their naps will get shorter.
So, it is best to be flexible with your schedule. Be ready to make changes in timings but at the same time you will want to stick to a pattern.
Understand that your twins are two individuals. They may have different requirements.
One baby might need more food. Or, one twin may hit the growth spurt earlier than the other. When following a schedule/routine, make sure both babies are fulfilled.
If you are breastfeeding or pumping for twins in combination with formula feeding, you might want to formula feed at night. Formula is heavier than breast milk, meaning your babies will stay full for longer and wake up less often to eat.
The first step towards getting on a routine with your newborn twins is learning what they are doing each day. That’s where a twins daily log is super helpful. A log will keep track of each baby’s feeding, sleeping, and diaper patterns.
The good news is that I created one for you! And 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.
Just fill in the form below to get your FREE printable newborn twins daily log.
Of course you also are here to learn about newborn twin schedules. I actually put together a whole bundle that includes sample schedules for your first year with twins.
The bundle includes sample twin schedules for newborns, 3 months, 6 months, and 7+ months. Plus, you also get my secret tips for sleeping training twins and putting them on the same schedule.
Every twin parent desires to get their twins on the same schedule. Luckily, there are things you can do for newborn twins to start establishing a routine.
Caring for twins is different than caring for a singleton. Especially when both babies have different demands at different times.
For twin parents, putting their twin babies on a schedule is a huge benefit that might just save their sanity. Use the tips above to get started on the right foot with establishing a good newborn twins schedule and routine.
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