Getting Twins to Sleep Through
"Please put some thought and energy into how you are going to create the right environment for good sleep and get a routine in place that works for you and your family, it will have an immense impact on how much you are going to enjoy parenting."
1. We read the book: “The Baby Sleep Guide: Practical Advice to Establish Good Sleep Habits”. It’s a short book, seems to cover everything I have come across elsewhere on sleep, and is very easy to read - I read it while doing night-time bottle feeds in about a week!
2. There are really 2 challenges with sleeping - getting the babies to sleep, and then keeping them there. These are both linked, as how we got them to sleep, impacted how likely they were to sleep through. Developing their ability to self soothe (i.e. fall asleep on their own without feeding, rocking etc) was critical.
3. Whilst sleep training shouldn’t start before 6 months so the child is grown up enough, we tried to establish good habits and sleep hygiene earlier. Most importantly we did our best to use the "3 rules" centred around getting to know our children, their cries and preferences, and pausing before we picked them up at night to give them the opportunity to self soothe.
4. Once you hit 6 months, you can start sleep training formally (e.g. based on the information found in “The Baby Sleep Guide…” ). There are a lot of different ways of doing this, we had to try a few in order to find the ones that best suited the twins, with predictably both needing different approaches, and this changed over time too!
5. Sleep regressions (aka baby sleeping considerably worse then they have been) can happen at any time; teething, growth spurts, walking, talking and sickness are common triggers, but there are plenty of others! These can be brutally tough especially on the back of a period of good sleep, we had to keep reminding ourselves that they were just temporary and we could get through it! The good news was that we still saw a general improvement over time when we stuck to the 3 rules and used sleep training.
6. We moved the twins into their own room at 6 months, and let them sleep on floor beds, which allow them freedom to get in and out of bed and move around their bedroom, which was childproofed. The bedroom is kept "boring" so they know it is a place to sleep.
7. We still have to phase putting the twins down to sleep so they don't get overexcited chatting to each other (and then running around the room like crazy!) before bed. We are still working on getting to the point where we can read them a story and leave them in the room nice and drowsy but awake, and then go to sleep on their own!
8. Some people suggested that we skip naps so that the twins are more tired and will sleep through the night. Every expert source we could find told us the opposite. Babies need naps to regulate their sleep patterns, so to a point (which we never reached!), the more sleep they get in the day, the better they are likely to sleep at night. The only thing we avoided was any sleep 2 hours or less before bed as this definitely made it harder to get them to sleep.
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(TG = Twin Girl, TB = Twin Boy)
I have been putting off writing this for a couple of days because honestly I feel a bit of a fraud - we have for the past 4 weeks had really awful sleep disruptions, and along with it making it really hard to string a sentence together, I hardly feel like I am in a position to share what we have been up to in the hope it helps!
It probably does illustrate acutely one of the things we found toughest about sleep, which is inconsistency! After all, before this latest sleep regression, we had 6 weeks or more of blissfully uninterrupted sleep (and in fact by the time I finished this post, were a few weeks into another good spell)!
Sleep is without a doubt the most important factor for me in terms of determining how good a parent (and husband, employee etc) I was going to be, and how much I am going to enjoy the parenting experience (and anything else I do). I think this is fairly common, although my wife definitely deals with less sleep far more gracefully than I do, and I am sure there are also people out there that have 4 hours sleep and feel like champions...but I'm guessing that's not most of us! It also of course has a huge impact on the twins health and mood, so it is doubly important to get this nailed so everyone is happy. Please put some thought and energy into how you are going to create the right environment for good sleep and getting a routine in place that works for you and your family.
The first thing I recommend before I get into our experiences is pick up a copy of “The Baby Sleep Guide: Practical Advice to Establish Good Sleep Habits” and read it. It's short, concise and easy to read, and covers pretty much everything I have come across with regards to sleep in much broader research and also heard from baby sleep consultants.
So where to start? Well, at the beginning I guess! I have split out this post into 3 periods as there are various developmental stages and sleep related changes that naturally impact their sleep patterns:
0 - 5 months
6 months to 18 months
18 Months +
We kept the twins in our bedroom for 6 months and slept them on their back (even when they could flip themselves over) as recommended by the UK's National Health Service (NHS) to avoid sudden infant death syndrome (SIDs).
0 - 5 Months
The first few months (especially for twins) are dominated by feeding, so the sleep routine fits around this (if you are in or about to enter this stage, I'd check out the “Bottle Feeding Twins” post too).
Notionally we had the babies in bed by about 8/9pm (at which point we went to bed too, as we were both up with them every couple of hours in the night so desperate to get sleep where we could). The twins were largely feeding themselves to sleep, or at least getting super drowsy and then with a bit of cuddling or rocking would pass out, but there was quite a lot of variability in how and when they go down as they got used to their new environment.
In order to keep the twins on the same schedule (critical to ensure we were able to get some sleep too rather than just ending up in a baby relay!) we were using alarms to wake ourselves up and feeding them both at the same time.
Over the first 3 months we saw the number of night-time feeds drop off as the twins stomachs grew - from 3 - 4 down to one or even sometimes none by the end of the 3 months. There was some inconsistency though, with so many things changing for the twins that we got mini regressions or randomness just when we thought we had it nailed. I distinctly remember coming to the conclusion that no pattern would last much longer than a week before something changed!
Even though the twins were super small, and it felt like we were just at the mercy of the milk gods, we were still really keen to do everything we could to set ourselves up for good sleep later on. A study conducted in France found that parents that practised the following 3 rules all had babies sleeping through the night by 8 weeks vs only 23% in control group babies* . What were these 3 rules?
Try not to hold, rock or nurse the baby to sleep, so they learn to drift off on their own without too much help.
If they wake in the night, take a moment to “pause” and try and tell if they are just grizzling or whimpering in their sleep and will settle again, before you go and soothe them.
If the baby wakes between midnight and 5am, change, re-swaddle and walk the baby around and see if they will go back to sleep . Only feed them if they don’t settle after this (assuming of course they aren't on a feeding schedule at night!).
After reading the “Practical Advice to…” book, this all made sense, as one of the most critical elements of getting a baby to sleep through the night is them learning how to self soothe and comfort themselves (which also aligned nicely with our desire to foster independence in the twins). The rules above introduced this concept gently early on, so gave us and the twins the opportunity to start learning sooner. Of course there is a balance here as we didn't want to cause them any undue distress, so getting to know their habits, moods and cries was essential so we could more quickly decide when to intervene. With things changing so much in the first few months it was a bit of a moving target, but we got to know them a little by little, which really helped us be better prepared for later efforts to sleep train.
The other key thing to watch out for is sleep cues, slightly less important at night than for naps, as most people will aim for a fairly consistent bedtime, but nevertheless it's still good to keep an eye out for the optimum moment to put them down and can help a lot as sleeping times change and routines start to shift. Here are some common cues - as with many things in the early days, some of these can also signal hunger too!:
‘grizzling’ or fussing
rubbing their eyes, nose and/or ears
staring into space
facial grimaces, including pulling faces
waving arms and legs about.
If you hear snoring, you missed it!
TB was a starer, which had the added bonus of being quiet so didn't disturb anyone else. Unfortunately TG didn't get the same memo, and would often have a little grizzle as she was going to sleep, and in fact if you did try to pick her up or comfort her it would usually just piss her off or even worse flip her into playtime mode for the next hour or so 😮!
The twins slept reasonably well through the night in between feeds, the main issue was all 4 of us sharing a room, with pretty much any disturbance causing one of the babies to stir. While the twins do sleep through a surprising amount of noise from each other, this took time to build up (like a year!), and this didn't seem to be true of say me tiptoeing to the bathroom. We were initially really bullish about not giving them a perfectly quiet environment to sleep in so that we didn't have to worry about noise when they were napping during the day, but honestly once you are about a week into sleep deprivation city, you will do anything to keep them sleeping, so we did our best to stay quiet!
This also adds another dimension to the “pause” rule, as you also have to factor in how long you think you have before the other twin wakes up! Given this, whilst we initially started them out in a cot together, within a couple of days we had them in separate cots at the end of our bed (not next to us) as this gave all of us the best chance of not waking each other up due to nigh time movements, and we could still keep an eye on them with our video monitor (individual cots are also recommended to avoid SIDs, so this was the right move). We also tried with and without swaddles, and settled on with swaddles as the best night's sleep, up until around the 4 month mark.
The Cots at the end of the bed aka "The Loo Gauntlet"!
Happily swaddled twins 😍
What went well?
At the time it didn’t feel like it, but in the grand scheme of things, the twins both slept between feeds, and we only had perhaps a couple of nights a week where we had some form of major car crash, usually TG deciding it was play time at 4am 😖🤣 . We very quickly got into a rhythm of both waking up and feeding the babies at the same time at night, and I would do what I could to allow my wife to pump ASAP, like putting down her baby if mine was already asleep. We really had to nail this team working so that everyone could get as much sleep as possible and were both on our best form the following day, as guess what, you have to do it all again! I was off work for the first month, which made it much less stressful for me to take a sleep hit to help out more.
We did largely follow the 3 rules, and did have some success, with us even getting a few consecutive nights of the twins sleeping through. Once we got over the initial relentless feeding cycle, and the fear of not just grabbing a bottle whenever anyone woke or cried, in general it was easier to follow the rules than we thought it would be. We really did quite quickly get a feel for what type of cry or wakeup it was, and giving them a little time to soothe before diving in also often produced unexpected self soothes. Getting the level of comfort right to put them down was a little tougher as sometimes they would just drop off in your arms unexpectedly, but it got easier with time, as they grew and became less sleepy, and we had more experience to judge their drowsiness levels and cues. One of the other tips from the book is just to be super boring if they do wake up in the night - no eye contact and singing, talking etc to get them back to sleep, to avoid them thinking its a regular late night playdate! This definitely seemed to help, although when TG woke up properly, she was super stubborn and would do anything she could to try and make eye contact and get involved. Super cute but sooo frustrating!
We were also surprised how much we used the video monitor we had even when the babies were in the same room as us. We could quickly check them without disturbing them, and if they did wake, when deploying "the pause" we could look at them on the monitor and assess what was going on before we moved.
Finally, as the twins needed less feeding at night, we also began to split the nights so that whoever was off duty slept in a separate room and could hopefully get a good nights sleep.
What was hard and what would we do differently?
I was probably too obsessive about trying to follow the 3 rules, as I was so conscious that once I was back at work, we really needed the babies to sleep well. I’m not sure in practice this level of focus made that much difference to what we actually did, but meant it was on my mind a lot. Looking back now, whilst it certainly set us up better for later, so much happens and changes from months 3+, I could have relaxed a bit about them occasionally falling asleep in our arms whilst feeding or having to rock them to sleep when we were having a tough night and just needed some sleep!
I distinctly remember during this period thinking about both twins “wow, (insert babies name here) is a champion sleeper, if only the other could sleep like this”, so clearly sleep habits did change a lot over this period. This could be mentally tough as we thought we have it nailed, or had a “good sleeper” on our hands, and then boom, things change and we felt like we had taken a step backwards and had to start figuring out what works again.
One of the surprisingly tough changes was going from say a feed at 4am and then another at 7am, to say a feed at 5am or 6am, at which point it’s harder to get them back down for a nap (or if you are an adult, you may need to get up for work etc anyway). When these timings shift, it can have a disproportionate impact as you can lose a whole nap slot, and this slot at the end of the night tends to be an important one!
As the twins drank more, dealing with silent reflux and wind became more of a persistent headache and typically interrupted their sleep (especially getting them down and the first hour or so). We tried a lot of things to sort this out, but only had limited success, with things not really starting to ease up until 6 months plus.
We also found the twins sleep characters were emerging, with TG's sleepy grizzling (not helpful when trying to keep TB nice and relaxed in the same room!) and also when she did wake up at night, was typically wide awake, and would take a long while (an hour or more 😪) to get back to sleep. TB on the other hand was easier to get down but would grizzle in his sleep and wake more, but often just a quick stroke of the head would get him settled and back off again. These sleep characters it turns out were very representative of how things were going to go as they grew up.
6 - 17 Months
This is a really long window - a year! At this point it feels like time is passing in dog years anyway, so this feels like a crazy long interval. I suspect for many there might be two phases, 6 months to a year, then a year to 18 months. For us there were so many two steps forward, two steps back, and two to the side throughout this whole period, I have covered it in the same window, as many things we thought we nailed at say 10 months popped up again at 13!
At 6 months, a lot happened!
Moving to their own room!
I was soooo looking forward to getting the babies into their own bedroom and being able to get to the toilet at night without feeling like Indiana Jones in the Temple of Doom. Of course, that was somewhat offset by the fear of leaving them on their own, eeek!
We wanted the twins to share a room as we had heard that overall they would be happier like this until they were much older, especially having been together since minus 9 months! We still think this is true, but it certainly created complications in terms of getting them down to sleep and also waking each other up in the night.
We made the decision to go straight from their cots to “Montessori” floor beds. These are beds that sit just above ground level, and allow the twins to get in and out as and when they like, in line with our overall philosophy of building confidence and independence. This meant that not only were we moving the twins to a new environment, but they were losing their nice cosy (if looking very small by this point!) cots. To try and phase the change in a little, we moved them to the new room in their cots for a few days, then dropped the cots down to floor level, and then finally moved them into the floor beds, starting with the days nap. This seemed to work well as we didn't see any change to their sleep habits. The first couple of nights, whoever was looking after the twins would definitely wake up way more than the twins and check the monitor was working and twins ok! Once a couple of nights had passed though, we realised we were as likely to get woken up by any crying through the walls as we were from the monitor, so we didn't have to worry that it would suddenly stop working (of course it never has!). Everyone's sleep improved as random wakeups from snoring and my multiple trips to the bathroom stopped!
Cots? Cots? Where we're going, we don't need cots...! (@6 months)
One of the consequences of us using floor beds was that we had to child proof the twins bedroom. In short this meant clearing out any loose furniture that could be climbed or pushed over, covering the plug sockets with full covers (not the plug-in socket adaptors which seem to be dangerous), covering any sharp edges, hiding any exposed wires, pinning up the curtains so they can’t be grabbed/pulled down, and finally we put stair gate on the outside of the door, just in case the twins could somehow lever open the door. You can also see in the picture that we used pool noodles to create some support around the babies and help stop them rolling out of the beds (although these didn't always work!). I was a little nervous about these being a smother hazard, so made sure that everything was tight and secure and couldn't be sunk into, and by this point both babies could roll, so I felt they wouldn't get "stuck" on them. We also wrapped some of the wooden bars with soft packing material and duct tape as the twins would occasionally fall into them as they were learning to stand and walk. The room was purposefully kept minimal and "boring" so the twins new it was for sleeping and nothing else, with muted colours so as not to stimulate them before bed.
We also quickly became experts in creeping across the room, avoiding creaky floorboards and closing the door like quiet little mice, but even so there were still plenty of times we couldn’t quite make it out of the room without disturbing someone - there is nothing more heart-breaking than having spent ages getting a twin back down, only to have a creaky floorboard or door handle wake them back up as you are leaving. I got into the habit of forcing myself to count from 0 - 60 slowly before I dared move a muscle once I thought I had gotten someone back down to sleep. If they stirred in that time, I reset the timer and started again! This really helped as, particularly after a really tough and long wakeup, I was desperate to leave the room and often I would try and get out too soon, before the twin was properly asleep, which usually ended badly…
This was a biggie. Up until the 6 month mark, we were still having a bit of a variable experience with sleep. We often said that each baby on their own would be a pretty good sleeper but between the two of them, especially when they disturbed each other, we were still regularly having some pretty tough nights, especially with TG's extended wakeups. We had been practising the “3 rules” leading up to the 6 month mark which certainly helped improve things and we had already seen evidence of them self soothing, and had a few solid runs of the babies sleeping through, so we knew it was possible. We were hoping that a little sleep training would help lock in the good periods we did have!
Sleep training has a bit of a mixed reaction when discussed, I think because of the expectation it automatically means you have to leave a baby to cry. This isn’t strictly true (although It seems fairly universally accepted by experts that it is often the “quickest” way to sleep train), as there are other methods that involve less, if any, crying. The most critical thing to enable any baby to sleep though seems to be that they learn how to self soothe (stop themselves crying and go to sleep without help, which in theory also happens when they wake at night) and settle in their own beds, so when they wake in the night they know where they are and will settle back to sleep instead of freaking out!
We already knew that TG would grizzle herself to sleep, and had already started timing her cries to get some idea of how long we were leaving her to grizzle before she slept. Once we were comfortable that we had passed the 6 months, it seemed logical to use the Ferber method of sleep training, whereby we left her to grizzle for slightly increasing periods (1 minute, 3 minutes, 5 minutes etc) with one of us going back in after each period to soothe her if we didn't judge that she was settling. Within a few days we got to the point where we could be confident she would sleep within 5 minutes, without us having to go back to her. Honestly, it still felt horrible to leave her to grizzle, but we knew this was the quickest and least stressful for everyone way for her to get to sleep - if we hung around in the room or tried to comfort her to sleep, she just woke up and wanted to play, got overtired and upset, and it got really tough to get her down, and this was x10 if she woke at night! This worked for naps (taken in their beds) and for bedtime, and meant that we would put TG down first so TB wasn't bothered by her noise. This also made putting TB down later quite nerve racking, as if we woke TG up, we knew it would be either loud or take a long time to get her back down.
TB was quite a different kettle of fish. We tried the Ferber method but he would never (within a period we were willing to leave him to cry for) soothe, and even worse, the longer we left him, the more his crying would escalate and he would just end up super upset, which was horrible. We scrapped the Ferber method and I went back to the “pick up, put down” method, which I had effectively been using for him whilst he was sharing our room. When he cried I would comfort him till he was happy, then put him down, and if he started crying again pick him up just long enough to comfort him, then put him back down, and repeat until he went to sleep when put down. Again the key to avoid later wakeups was that he went to sleep in his own bed, not rocked in my arms, getting this right was a bit of a challenge, but as usual, we got better at it over time! Thankfully, TB was much happier and it actually in general didn't take that long to get him down this way, despite how involved it sounds.
Working through all of these and figuring out what did and didn't work probably took about 3 weeks in total, and obviously there were some pretty stressful experiences as part of finding out what was best, but it certainly helped us have some confidence and consistency in how we put the babies down…for a while!
If they woke at night, the same patterns played out, with TB usually just needing a quick cuddle, or even just a head stroke, then would go back down. TB over time also woke up less, then a regression would hit and push us backwards a little, and we would have to remind ourselves that he would go back to sleeping more if we just went back to comforting him again for a week or so. If TG woke, it would usually involve a much longer slog of an hour or more to get back down, as we couldn’t just let her self soothe for fear of waking TB, and once she knew you were about, she would be way too awake to go back to sleep!
It took till about 13 months for us to be confident that the twins would sleep through each other's night-time cries. I suspect if we had been braver and taken the hit of a few really bad nights up front, this would have happened sooner. This meant we could finally leave TG to grizzle back to sleep, and even with TB could be a bit more selective of when we went in to soothe him as he got better over time. This was as we hoped a big turning point, and within a few nights we saw the number of wakeups decrease, and both twins starting to sleep through more consistently, and generally wake up happier!
As the twins grew, TB began drinking much faster than TG, so despite her needing to grizzle to get to sleep, we would put TB down first at night, as he was ready so much earlier than her. This meant we again had to abandon leaving her to grizzle to sleep, which just meant it took even longer for TG to get to sleep, typically in our bedroom. We worried that this would mean that she was waking up more in the night as she wasn’t self soothing in her own bed, but given we are still doing this, and currently have 90% sleep throughs, I’m not sure this made a difference in the end.
What Went Well?
Having the twins share a room was epic. They would wake up and squawk at each other, and once they could move around the room would go and grab some toys we left in the room and play. This was lovely to watch on the monitor and it was really clear how much reassurance they got from being together. As they have gotten older the bond just gets stronger, and we see them randomly climbing into each other's bed for a hug before one usually gets pissy and kicks the other out! It also means that we get some precious extra time in bed in the morning or to get ourselves together after a nap. I am really looking forward to how they get on once they are a little bigger, and are making dens in their bed and choosing clothes and getting dressed - it’s going to be a riot to watch! The floor beds are a big part of this as they allow the twins freedom to get in and out of bed whenever they want.
Cute AF (@15 months)
Morning! (@10 months)
The stair gate on the bedroom door has been really helpful, not only does it provide some mental reassurance that if they somehow manage to get the door open, they are still safe, but also it means that when one of us is, getting them up single handed, we can change a nappy or wash hands and teeth while the other one is still safe in the room, but can see what we are doing through the open door. Combined with talking them through what we are doing, this seems to make them much calmer than having to shut them in the room. They hear us more easily and can see us in the bathroom or on the landing, so feel less put out.
I would say from 6 - 18 months that we had something like 50% of nights as ok, and maybe 20% that were actually great with the twins sleeping through or as good as. On speaking to other twin parents, I think this is decent going, and I saw a really strong relationship between things like the 3 rules and sleep training and better sleep. The real issue was regressions…
What was hard and what would we do differently?
It turns out that there are a LOT of things that even with the best sleep habits and will in the world, stopped the twins sleeping. This meant that, usually just when we thought we had it nailed, something would happen and we would have a sleep regression (basically, their sleep gets a lot worse for say up to a week).
♫Locked up they wont let me out, they wont let me out...♫ (@9 months)
Here is a list of things that can typically (but not always!) cause some kind of sleep regression, as you can see it's long, and many of the things on the list were totally out of our control! We found teething was the most consistent ruiner of sleep, and whilst teething granules and baby nurofen before bed helped, there is only so much they can do, and so much we felt comfortable giving the twins.
Change in routine
Big development milestones (crawling, walking, talking etc)
You might be looking at this thinking “well, we’re f*&ed then, isn't that basically everything that happens to a baby when they grow up?!”, and honestly it does feel like that sometimes! What kept us going though was that we could see the positive (and occasionally negative!) impact of everything that we were doing to improve sleep, and whilst a sleep regression felt like it totally derailed this progress, after you come out the other side of a couple and see their sleep snap back to pretty much where it was before, with the same things helping to keep them that way, you gain confidence and know that the regressions will pass and what you are doing is winning the war….slowly but surely!
The twins sharing a room whilst a beautiful thing, was really tough when they would wake each other up at night, or even worse, you had just managed to get one twin back down at night and a squeaky floorboard on your way out of the room woke the other! It also definitely complicated the sleep training, as we had to dive in sooner to comfort the twins to avoid them waking each other up, which meant that they were slower to learn to self soothe, which meant more wakeups for all of us! I would definitely advise trying twins in the same room, but I would also suggest having a backup plan to split them into separate rooms if necessary - we toughed it out but it was insane at times, and I wish we had had a plan B ready to go, so o the really bad nights we could split them if necessary.
The floor beds…while they were epic in so many ways, there were a few issues that could probably have been avoided or at least minimised. Firstly, whilst the twins having freedom was absolutely the objective, at 6 months old, TG could just about roll over, and TB could crawl and pull himself up on things. Neither were capable of getting themselves in or more importantly out of bed gracefully on their own, so we were constantly worried that they would fall out! TG especially was still quite little, and even though it was a small 6 inch or so drop onto very soft carpet, it still seemed like a long way for her. In the end there were only a couple of scary moments, and it became apparent that the drop was not an issue for them on the odd occasion they did roll out, especially with some craftily placed pool noodles to create a slope and stop any of the wooden frame getting in the way. That said, It was hardly an ideal situation to have to worry about! There are floor beds that have side panels for most of the length to stop random rollouts, and If I did it again, I might even have just had the mattresses on the floor for the first few weeks until the twins grew a bit more. It’s also worth noting that at various times, one twin would go through a phase of seeming to want to climb out of bed and sleep on the floor in the room. It seems this is a phase many babies go through apparently, but of course we would have preferred it if they had stayed in their comfy and lovingly put together bed!
It may have just been that it coincided with the end of a particularly sickly period for us all, but around the 18 month mark we saw the periods of good sleep we had had from time to time finally start to stick! We went down to about one bad night a week, and the rest largely sleeping through! This was honestly life changing, and makes everything else more pleasant! Other than sleeping through each other's cries much better from about 13 months so they could self soothe a bit more, we didn't change anything, so I suspect this was a combination of the sleep habits we had put in place paying us back, and also the twins just getting older and more comfortable with sleep.
What Went Well?
As we approached the 18 month mark, we began to feel that the twins were ready for some bedding. When feeding them or just in general when they were in other bedrooms they were enjoying things like our duvets and pillows, and we thought they might have wanted something more to snuggle up to in their room at night. Once we put them in the room, not a lot happened! We kept the twins in their sleep sacks as we suspected they wouldn't stay under their duvet - this turned out to be smart as the twins always seemed to find a way to kick them off and carve out some space without a duvet or pillow in it. After a couple of weeks though we are seeing them play with them more when they are awake, and dive around a bit more enjoying the texture and comfort, so I suspect in the not too distant future we will see them get used more at night. It was good that they didn't seem to cause any sleep regression, which we were seriously worried about given how good things had been recently! One piece of advice I plan to follow is to keep them in sleep sacks until the summer, when you can put them under the duvet, and not worry too much if they kick it off, with them getting used to sleeping under it as we head into Autumn.
TB in his bedding, he didn't stay under it for long though!
What was hard and what would we do differently?
The one thing I wish we had paid more attention to was the advice to “feed on waking from a nap, then have an activity, then next nap”. This decouples feeding from nap/bedtime, which would have made it easier not to fall into the trap of feeding the twins to sleep. We managed to avoid this, but through force of will and being super attentive when feeding, rather than changing the order so that feeding was not before bed, making it easy for ourselves! More importantly this would have meant that the twins would have been used to feeding then an activity before bed. As it stands, we are at a point where it may not be possible for us both to be around to put them down for naps/bed, but they are used to a nice cosy feed individually before bed. If we had them used to feeding themselves milk, and then being busy with an activity, it would be much easier to pick them up one by one and whisk them off to bed. TBC how we are going to fix this, but we know that they should really now just be being put down on their floor bed, and left to go to sleep when they like, another big step to come…!