Being parents of twins is a unique gift. But nursing them is a very different story, compared to caring for only one child. Today, we help you tackle those challenging tasks, starting with tips on newborns twins sleeping arrangements.
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Should you co-sleep with twins?
One of the top concerns from mothers with babies is whether or not we should co-sleep with twins. If what you mean here is sharing a bed with your twins then the answer is a solid NO, not only twins but for under-1-year-old babies in general. The main reason for this is its huge risk of SIDS according to statistics.
There are many reasons for parents to put infants to bed with them. Getting more sleep or snuggles, for instance, is just one of many good ones and we understand the temptation.
However, adults may not be aware that their beds carry huge dangers for their babies, mainly of suffocation, strangulation, or entrapment. Especially for twins, who are usually born at low birth weight or prematurely, these risks can be even higher.
The topic of co-sleeping with babies is still an on-going, fierce debate considering its risks listed above together with its great benefits such as promoting bondings, creating a sense of security for the baby, and helping mothers with their breastfeeding and resting.
So, if you choose to co-sleep, fully be aware of the risks and learn how to reduce them as much as possible. And obviously, this is not a good choice for obese or smoking parents.
On the contrary with sharing the same beds with your babies, sharing your room with them instead is a recommended action by AAP as it minimizes the risk of SIDS by as much as 50 percent.
You can have your twins sleep in your room from six months up to one year old. Specifically for twins, your bedroom may not be spacious enough to fit two normal-size cribs in, you can try using smaller bassinets or the folded ones to save space.
Should newborn twins sleep together?
Like many parenting matters, letting newborn twins sleep together, also called co-bedding, comes with many diverse opinions.
Those who support the idea declare that twins can sleep together, and are much happier when co-bedding indefinitely. The rest, on the other hand, are more afraid of the risks posed by co-bedding and are more likely to separate their babies at the very beginning thinking they will have to eventually need then own sleeping space when they grow up.
Since we haven’t found enough proof that co-bedding is safe and therefore the answer to this matter is not black and white, AAP still leans on the side of separating your twins’ sleeping space for safety reasons.
Since the current SIDS rate is quite small, around 1 in every 2,000 babies, it is understandable that you still vote for the idea of co-bedding considering all of the benefits come along. If this is your case then kindly notice the following precautions against SIDS:
- Make sure your babies cannot touch each other. Space your twins apart when you put them down to sleep in the crib. You can also place them head-to-head with their feet facing two opposite ends of the crib. This keeps them from blocking other’s breathing.
- Assign a specific and consistent spot for each baby in the crib. This will help them easily get used to their sleeping space eventually.
- Co-bedding is only safe when your babies are still small. Once your twins start to be moving around the cribs or rolling over during sleep (between 6 weeks and 3 months), you have to put them apart into two cribs mainly to prevent suffocation, also to not let them unwantedly wake each other.
Options for newborn twins’ sleeping arrangements
Depending on your choice for co-bedding or for putting your twins into separate cribs, there will be different sleeping arrangements accordingly.
- Side by Side – Vertical
Exactly like how this position is called, you place your babies sleeping right next to each other, with their feet facing the same footboard. This arrangement can be impractical since it limits the space on either side of the babies. Also, moving one baby without touching the other can be challenging if you place them in this position.
- Side by Side – Transverse
Unlike the vertical position above, for this arrangement, you will lie your babies across the crib with heads and feet next to the side rails. This separates the babies further and thus leaves more space for both of them.
But the advantage of this arrangement is still the same as the previous one as the twins will outgrow the position quickly, requiring you to change position again.
- Head to Head
Placing your babies facing away from each other with feet on either footboard, one head almost touching the other’s is probably the safest and most practical arrangement for co-bedding.
Compared to the previous two, this position makes more space for both of your babies in the crib, both in length and width. It also helps you work with one without disturbing the other.
Twins sleep in two separate cribs
Even if you choose to co-bed your twins from the beginning, you will have to separate them eventually once they grow up, meaning to have two cribs ready in your nursery and sooner or later to get prepared ahead for this type of arrangement.
- End to End
For this position, two cribs can be placed end to end against the wall or at the center of the room. Wherever you want to place your cribs in the room, make sure to leave enough space between them so that your babies cannot reach the other to lean into or get stuck between. Your little ones are much stronger and active now, aren’t they?
Other than safety factors, you may also be concerned about your room space, unless you are privileged to have a ginormous nursery. Indeed, placing two cribs this way can take up lots of room.
In this case, go for mini cribs or even put some furniture like a changing table, glider, or small bookshelf in between the cribs. Just make sure your twins can’t see each other.
- “L” Shape
Placing one crib in the corner of the room and the other intersecting it against the wall is called an L-shape arrangement in short. Although it appears to be odd with one of your cribs cutting off the other, as soon as they leave sufficient room for you to access, there should be no worry.
L Shape is also a perfect option for small nurseries or parent’s bedrooms with limited space to fit both cribs in. The only concern you should know ahead with this layout is that it may help your mischievous twins “get-together” right behind your back. Put their cribs a bit far apart if you worry they will be plotting instead of sleeping.
The parallel arrangement means putting your cribs heading against the wall and pointing into the room. For this position, it’s better to leave enough space for you to walk between them and for them not to reach the other.
Twins sleep separately in your room
Sharing a bedroom with your twin babies is undoubtedly a common choice for most parents. There are mainly two common options: a Pack ’n Play with Twin Bassinets, or two Rock ‘n Plays.
- Twin bassinets
Of all the creative designs of bassinets available on the market nowadays, you can either go for two separate, free-standing bassinets or try the Pack ‘n Play one with two twin bassinets attached on top.
The PnP twin bassinet is a great crib for parents who would like to travel with their babies as it will save a lot of space wherever you sleep. So, just pack them up and play!
- Two Rock ‘n Play Sleepers
Another popular purchase among twin parents is two Rock ‘n Play sleepers. Due to their relatively good sizes, they can be placed right next to your bedroom even with narrow space available. The Rock ‘n Play sleepers can also be moved around the house easily and thus be utilized for naps or as seats for your twins during playtime.
The Rock ‘n Play just like its name, allows you to snuggle your baby to lull them into sleep, which makes this a perfect choice for newborns or reflux.
Twins co-sleep with you
- Twins on either side of Mother
This arrangement surely requires you to have a large bed. Or, only one parent, the mother, is on this bed to give enough space for two babies.
- Use a co-sleeper bassinet
Using an Arm’s Reach Co-sleeper bedside bassinet is a good idea as you can easily reach them in the night. You will not need to move your whole body to their cribs, plus no worry about not having enough space when your twins sleep on your bed.
Nursing twins is surely a tough, complicated and challenging task for any parents, but a privileged and rewarding one. Choosing sleeping arrangements for newborns twins is just one among hundreds of others you need to go through. But with an understanding of the basic safety guidelines, you will be all good to go. Hope you find what you need in this post!