Safe Sleep for Twins
Babies spend the majority of their time asleep. Understandably, one of the top priorities for parents is to ensure their little ones are sleeping as safely as possible. Parents often wonder where their babies should sleep and what the ideal environment is for sleep. Here are some of the top tips and reminders for a sound and safe slumber for all of your babies.
Back Is Best
Most importantly, always, always, always put your babies down on their backs. This is one of the most effective ways of reducing SIDS.
Ensure Each Baby Has Their Own Sleep Surface
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends babies sleep in the same room as a parent or caregiver, on their own sleep surface, for at least the first 6 months of life (ideally for the first 12 months). Many twin parents wonder, “Can my twins sleep in the same crib?” This question is particularly pertinent for parents trying to figure out how to squeeze two cribs into their master bedroom!
While the AAP discourages bed sharing of any kind, parents of twins often feel strongly about keeping their babies physically close. Logistically this can be tricky, as babies often move a lot in their sleep. Even when swaddled they often manage to get an arm free, posing a problem for anyone sleeping nearby. (I know I wouldn’t sleep very well if my sister was constantly hitting me in the face!) The HALO Bassinest twin sleeper is a great option to consider as it allows you to sleep as close to your little ones as you like while still maintaining a separate sleep space for each baby with its unique mesh dividing wall. Plus, it’s 360-degree rotation and lowering side walls make tending to your babies from bed much easier than a play yard or stationary bassinet.Once you transition your babies to the nursery, they should each sleep in their own empty crib with a firm, flat surface. Be sure your crib meets government safety standards—drop-side cribs are no longer permissible. All you need is a tight, fitted sheet on the mattress. I know it’s tempting to make baby's crib cute with bumpers and stuffed animals, but please, take them out of your babies’ sleep area. Animals and blankets look just as cute on a chair or shelf. Instead of a blanket in the crib, swaddle your baby, and if your baby has outgrown the swaddle (as soon as they show signs of rolling over from back to front or breaking free from the swaddle), put him in a wearable blanket like the HALO® SleepSack®.
Create a Healthy Sleep Environment
Carefully consider the placement of cribs in the room. Make sure that no drapery or cords from window treatments are in arm's reach. Similarly, wires of any kind (particularly cameras from video monitors that are often very close to the crib) must be safely secured behind furniture, so baby cannot play with them. Outlets should be covered throughout the room and furniture should be bolted to the wall.
When your children sleep, they will do best if their room is a dark, calm space. Children sleep best in a room around 70 degrees F, dressed in clothes similar to what an adult would find comfortable. Beware of overdressing your babies. Overheating increases the risk of SIDS, not to mention it's difficult to sleep if you’re too hot. Purchase blackout shades for your windows so the room is as dark as possible, especially during nap time and early in the morning. A white noise machine will help muffle other noise in and around the house. Vibration can also be a soothing for your little ones. The SnoozyPod® is a great option to help create a calm, soothing environment as it combines both white noise and vibration for the crib. Lastly, ensure the nursery isn’t too stimulating. Toys—especially those that may spontaneously make noise or have flashing lights—should be put away before sleep time.
Now that you’re set up for safe sleep, go enjoy your little ones and rest assured they’re safe and sound!
About the Author:
Lauren Lappen – MA. Sleep Associate at Twin Love Concierge, Lauren is the proud mother of an older daughter Ellie and fraternal twin girls Kira and Rebecca. Lauren is a graduate from Washington University in St. Louis with a B.A. in Psychology and Educational Studies, and has an MBA from Babson College. She is also a Certified Pediatric Sleep Consultant by the Family Sleep Institute and an ICF certified Coach through Fielding Graduate University. Lauren always had a desire to use her coaching to help parents of young children and channels her passion for sleep by transforming the lives of parents struggling to get the well deserved rest they need. You can reach Lauren at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on the Twin Love Concierge online Twins & Sleep class or private sleep consulting.