Help A Reader Out…Twins Sleep Troubles


Tracy seems to be having troubles with her twins in some fashion. As you will read, she had naptime troubles, but good nights. As she has fixed naps, nights have started to be thrown off. Please read and see if you have any advice and/or experiences to offer! Thanks!


Tracy said…

Hi Val, this is the first time I’ve posted, but I’ve used your blog as a research tool since my boys were born. I have twin boys who are almost 11 months old. They have never been great nappers and I feel like it is because I am not good at reading their cues and understanding what changes are going on. That being said, they are GREAT nighttime sleepers and always have been. I think I have let that fact allow me to just say “oh well” to the daytime nap routine. People are always telling me that they are just ready to drop a nap or drop a bottle or something, but I know that is not true. I have two questions for you.

1. Do you always nurse or give milk before solids or meals? I’m confused as I feel like I have read some things about saving the milk for afterwards.

2. Neither of my boys ever sleep a consistent (2)1.5-2 hour naps two days in a row. They either won’t sleep one of the naps or will only sleep 45 minutes. Then, the other one will either be really, really long or just an hour. I am so confused and just don’t know what to do.

Here is there ideal schedule:

7:00 – wake, bottle, breakfast
8:45 – nap
11:00 – bottle, lunch*
1:45 – nap
3:30-4 – bottle, dinner
5:30 – sometimes a small snack and water
6:45-7 – bottle, bath, pj’s
7:15 – bed

*Morning is a tough time, because one or both of them is almost always awake when it should be nap time and I feel like it is throwing everything off. They are great with independent play, sibling play, meals, and nights. I do love babywise, your blog, and really want this to work.

January 13, 2010 6:00 PM

Plowmanators said…


1. Yes, during the first year, I give milk before the meal. I did things differently with my two older children after one year. With my oldest, I still did take a full milk feeding before the meal. That was really the only way he would drink what he needed, plus I would hold him and it was the only time of day he would hold still 🙂 With my daughter, I gave her milk with her meal and she drank it all. I am not sure what I will do with McKenna…we will see what her personality is like.

If they don’t drink milk during the meal, I give them a sippy of water to have with them so they can have something ot drink.

2-Do your boys nap together in the same room? If so, that could be part of the overall problem. I think most kids sleep best in the day alone. But, I do have a neighbor wtih twins who has her twins still napping together at 18 months old. She puts a fan in there for white noise.

You might try a bit longer of waketime in the morning. Most kids that age can handle 2 hours waketime. If yours can’t and you know it, ignore me 🙂 Go with what you know, but most can do 2 hours. Then your afternoon is long…so waketime length might be the problem here.

I think I will post your sleeping question as a help a reader out question. Is that okay? There are lots of moms with twins specifically who might be able to offer some help.

January 27, 2010 12:12 PM

Tracy said…

Thanks for the response Val and yes, please use my sleep question as a help a reader out question.

Since posting this a couple of weeks ago, I started having trouble with the boys taking a really long time (over an hour) to fall asleep in the afternoon and resorted to the yahoo groups page for any thoughts. I took some of the responses and have tried to extend waketime and shorten the morning nap. I borrowed a pack-n-play from my mom and have them nap in separate rooms (which seems to help). I also made the afternoon just a bottle and snack and moved dinner later to eat with us. It seems like the naps are starting to get better (2 good days in a row, at least), but both boys started waking early in the morning (5:15-6:!5 instead of 7:00). I’ve stuck to the new plan though and it seems like they are starting to do better (6:40 this morning). Below is closer to what we have been doing.

(~6:30 wake)*
7:00 – bottle, breakfast
9:00 – nap (wake after 1:15 if needed)
11:30 – bottle, lunch
1:30/2 – nap
bottle/snack when wake
5:30 – dinner (I’m kind of moving this back closer to 5:00 to try and help with the bedtime bottle and early morning waking)
6:30 – bath, pjs, bottle
7:00 – bedtime*

*The things that are happening now are taking a long time to fall asleep at night and waking early in the morning. I am also a little unsure on the exact nap times as I sometimes have to adjust based on what time they wake in the morning. I would love for the boys to go back to sleeping 11.5-12 predictable hours at night.

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7 thoughts on “Help A Reader Out…Twins Sleep Troubles”

  1. As a comment on twins sleeping in the same room. I have twin boys and at almost 5 they still sleep in the same room. It was actually worse problems for them to be separated, especially at that age.It looks like a lot of the suggestions I was going to say she's already doing. I was going to suggest moving dinner back and shortening the morning nap. Maybe moving lunch to later, I don't know.

  2. Hi, I have two year old twins. They still sleep in the same room (and still in cribs for as looooooong as I can keep them in there!) They didn't drop the morning nap until 18 months. For taking a long time to fall asleep, what about trying to put them down earlier and wake from second nap earlier? This was our schedule at around 11/12 months600 wake/bottle7 breakfast830ish/845 sleep10 wake1130 lunch1230 sleep3 wake5 dinner6 bath, bottle, book bedI have always had a fan in their room and have used sleep sacks to make sure they have a cover (even right now!) Yes, they slept a lot.

  3. by 11 months we were down to two bottles of only 4 ounces each. One when they woke up and one before bed. The rest of their fluids they got via water. I supplemented their dairy intake with cheese and yogurt. IMO I think your twins are getting too full on their bottles. If they are anything like mine were, they may be hungry and need some food to last in their bellies. Just a thought.

  4. My twins are 16 months old, and I will say that the 11 – 14 month stretch was a tough one. There were a lot of transitions, including sleep changes, walking, talking, and eating habits. We started weaning from bottles around the point you are at, and we gave milk with meals in sippies. I dropped bottles by replacing them with sippies for one feeding for a few days, then another feeding, and so on, until we were giving only a bedtime bottle. We dropped that one shortly thereafter. As far as the naps, I know you've heard this before, but it really does sound like they are ready to transition to one nap. At that age, my two were able to handle a waketime of 3-4 hours with no problem if they were getting good naps and nighttime sleep. I read somewhere that the early morning waketime can start occuring because they'll compensate for that loss of sleep with a morning nap. When I got them to just one nap per day, they started sleeping through until 7am again (we are on a very similar schedule to you, but with one nap.) What I did was try to hold them off of that morning nap until a little bit later every day until they were able to stay up until almost noon. Now they nap consistently from noon until 2-3pm every day, go down easily for naps and bedtime sleep, and sleep very well at night. This was a looooong transition, like I said, it took us several months. Sorry this is so long. And this is just what worked for us. Every situation is different, it seems. If you have any questions, feel free to email me at tvano1991 at gmail.comGood luck!

  5. Oh, I wanted to add, while we transitioned to one nap, we put them to bed earlier. It seems counterintuitive, like if they go down too early they will wake up earlier, but we've actually found the opposite to be true. Also, my two have slept in the same room since the day they came home and they can sleep straight through the other one screaming bloody murder, but if that hasn't always been the case, you may need to get more creative. I have a friend with twins that are the same age as yours, and she has one sleep in a PNP in their room while the other is in the crib.

  6. I don't have twins, but I have 2 kids 20 months apart and had a lot of the same issues. When my oldest was that age he went through a phase were he would NOT take an afternoon nap at all during the day and of course the next day he could hardly stay awake. He would just sit in his crib and cry for the entire hour. I finally decided that if he wasn't going to nap he was at least going to have an hour of quiet time and put a few books and soft toys in his bed with him. Most of the time he would talk and sing to himself and just before I was ready to go in and get him he would pass out. He always seems to have nap time issues about 2 or 3 times a year and they last for a few weeks each. I too, put a fan in the room with my 2 kids and it works really well. They never wake up when the other is crying. It took a little getting used to for them, but they like it now. Oh, and we recently moved and tried putting the kids in separate rooms. It lasted a couple of months before I put them back in the same room. They seem to sleep better knowing where the other is.

  7. I haven't read thru the other comments so if I'm repeating things I'm sorry. I have 16 month old triplets. First, I would try to stretch out your morning to 9am nap and work that up to a 9:30 nap and so on. We are still on a 10am-10:30 am nap and I put them back down at 3:30pm for a quick nap. I did have to separate one baby for naps and It helped them sleep so much longer for naps also nighttime. We do have a white noise machine, because I have older children that I don't want to have to constantly be telling to be quiet. I don't mind if one child is up before the others, it's our one on one time, but I do want at least and hour or more of time to get what I need done. I don't go pick them up unless it's time or they are unreasonably upset during nap times. I hope that helps some. I recently tried going to one nap a day and after 2 wks decided to go back to 2 a day. They weren't quite ready for my new New Year's schedule. So be flexible and do what works for your family!


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