Help A Reader Out: Twins and Room Time

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TwinMommy said…

Twin question about room time. My twins are 17 months old and they share a room. I usually give them independent playtime in separate pack-n-plays with both in the same room. Any advice for moving from the pack-n-play to roomtime. I know I can’t leave them together yet. Val and twin Moms I’d love to hear your suggestions.

valplowman

Valerie, also known as The Babywise Mom, is the mother to four children. She has been blogging on Babywise and general parenting since 2007. She has a degree in technical writing and loves using those skills to help parents be the best parents they can be! Read her book, The Babywise Mom Nap Guide, to get help on sleep from birth through the preschool years. You can also find her writing at Babywise.life, Today Parenting, and Her View From Home. Read more about Valerie and her family on the About page. Follow her on FacebookPinterest, and Instagram for more tips and helps.

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12 Comments

  1. Val
    March 28, 2010 / 1:21 AM

    I still have yet to have successful room times with my twins who are 21 months old. Always ends in screaming, tears, crying, even if it's 5 minutes. Something about twins, they just yearn to be together. Could you put a gate up in the room so you could have one twin in the room (and still keep an eye on them) and another one in the living room? Maybe put one in the living room in the pack and play so they can't run over to try and knock down the gate to get at their sibling.The funniest thing mine do is toss toys back and forth over the gates because their rooms face each other. It's like they are passing tools back and forth trying to escape their entrapments.

  2. Ticia
    March 28, 2010 / 2:48 AM

    I was never really successful with alone time or room time with my twins. Room time eventually became successful, and we still do it from time to time, but it's done together.As to how to try it separately, maybe that's the other twin's special time with Mom for the day?

  3. Laura
    March 28, 2010 / 2:51 AM

    Hi, I have posted a couple of comments, but never seen a response. What is the best way to ask a question?Thank-you so much for your time!

  4. Redheads
    March 28, 2010 / 3:21 AM

    Laura, you should join the Chronicles Yahoo! Group. On the home page of this blog, there is a link that will take you to the group and to join it. Your questions will be answered by several experienced BW moms, including Valerie, and you will alsofind many moms like yourself who have similar questions and issues about using BW. You will receive a response(s) in just a few hours or less to your questions.Amy

  5. Tracy
    March 28, 2010 / 4:37 PM

    Maybe I'm not doing it the way BW prescribes, but I don't worry about separating my twins. They sometimes play together; sometimes play independently. More oftentimes than not it is parallel play, and I don't see any harm in that. My impression (and I could be wrong) is that independent play is to teach them that they don't need to be entertained; that they can entertain themselves. Like I said, maybe it's just my twins, but they don't spend a lot of time entertaining each other (like most toddlers, they're pretty self absorbed) so the time that they have independent of me (but still with their sibling) is still teaching them that. I guess my point is, I wouldn't worry too much about it. I babyproofed a couple different rooms in my house and let them go at it.

  6. Tracy
    March 28, 2010 / 4:38 PM

    Oh, I should mention, their rooms are 100% babyproofed, so they often have independent play in there; they are right next to each other and they can go back and forth easily.

  7. Ashlee
    March 29, 2010 / 3:36 AM

    My twins (now almost 2.5) have been doing room time since about 18 months. We do it separately. they need a break from each other sometimes otherwise they will kill each other and room time is great for that. they come back out reset till nap time. I have had them nap in separate rooms since they started disturbing each other's naps. everyone's priorities are different, but it is/was important for me to teach them to be ok independent of each other as well as together. I just babyproofed two rooms and gave a few toys to each. started with 15 minutes and then upped it to 30 then 45 min. at about 2 years old I went up to about an hour.

  8. twinmommy
    March 29, 2010 / 12:57 PM

    Thanks so much for all your thoughts! It is greatly appreciated. We currently do 40 minutes of independent playtime where they are both in separate pack-n-plays next to each other (like Tracy's comment and I totally agree with you about "independent" from Mom!). Mine like to be together as well. The roomtime part scares me in that I have a gentle giant of a little boy (97th percentile in height) and his sister is much smaller (3rd percentile in weight). I'm worried about them hurting each other in the room as I have to keep a close watch when they are out of the room. Based on your comments I think I'll wait until they start trying to escape before giving up the pack-n-plays for roomtime. From Val's comment, I could hear the whistling from the Great Escape in the background 🙂 Thanks again everyone, I LOVE this blog!

  9. Jessica
    March 29, 2010 / 11:29 PM

    I would allow one twin to have room time ALONE while you are having a structured learning time with the other child, or time with Mommy, possibly TV time. Then switch them. Maybe there could even be a short period before you switch them that they do something together, maybe snack time, structured learning time together. The possibilities are endless. 😉

  10. The Wards
    March 30, 2010 / 1:05 AM

    I have 2.5-year-old twins that still have roomtime. As Ashlee said about her twins, my girls need a break from each other. They love playing together but there comes a point where they need a break (not to mention the other benefits of roomtime). And, I want them to learn to be independent of each other as well as of me. They share a room so one of them has room time in their room and the other is in the play room. They switch each day who is in what room. It's worked really well for us. Hope that helps.

  11. Tracy
    April 5, 2010 / 6:36 PM

    TwinMommy, my boys aren't that old yet, but I always do independent play time out of each other's site. They can sometimes hear each other and that starts some nice loud twin communication, but oh well. Anyway, you might want to try moving their playpens to different rooms before moving to room time. I think it's important for them to learn to be "alone" just like a singleton does.

  12. Plowmanators
    April 8, 2010 / 5:25 PM

    This is what I think I would do if I had twins. I would do something similar to what Jessica described. I like the idea of one in independent play while you spend some one on one time with the other one, then switch. Then you get the benefit if them learning to play independently and also them each getting individual attention from you.

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