Sleep Tips for Multiples – Part 2
Bedroom talk, don’t worry it’s not that kind of talk, but rather it’s something we need to be clear about as we want to set our little ones up for success and our sleep environment plays a key role in that!
The Perfect Sleep Environment
I am sure you are getting sick of hearing this over and over again at every website you visit but the reason why you hear it over and over again is because it is essential in getting a good night’s sleep (and nap for that matter).
So here are the details:
- Dark cool room – living in northern Alberta this typically isn’t an issue for us as it’s dark a lot of the year and cool 90% of the year BUT in those LONG summer nights when the sun stays up until 11:30 pm you can bet I need to work at getting those bedrooms super dark! Some tricks of the trade – garbage bags and duct tape work wonders, black out blinds are cheap and easy to find nowadays – my favorites are eclipse and the Ikea brand, Blackout EZ window coverings (https://blackoutez.com) are amazing and if I am being honest, in university I even resorted to tinfoil! A recommended temperature for the little ones’ room is around 68–72°F (20–22.2°C).
- White noise – this doesn’t need to be anything fancy as long as it’s PURE white noise, avoid music, ocean sounds etc. We want it simple, boring and consistent. A fan works wonders! I often suggest two white noise machines for multiples – basically one at each crib and then in my own home, when my second set of twins were little, I had a fan running outside their door just for good measure!
To Share a Room or Not
I always advise families to start as they plan to move forward. So if there is a space issue and the babies will be sharing a room indefinitely then start them together. If you are fortunate and have the space, I found that my children have always slept better when they were in separate rooms. With my first set of twins it took me a long time to come to terms with separating them so my compromise was to nap them in separate rooms and have them sleep in the same room for bedtime.
Naps are more sensitive sleep situations so it was a great compromise and it helped each of them get the rest they needed during naps. Having them used to sleeping in another room and sleep space (play pen) was also beneficial when it came to travelling – they adapted quickly when we travelled – most times. I am not going to lie and say that they were super-duper travellers but isn’t that what makes good memories!
If sharing is the decision then have no fear multiples adapt very quickly, because let’s be honest, they don’t have a choice. They very quickly get used to each other’s noises and nuisances. I have also used a curtain style system in rooms to separate multiples while they sleep but then open them up during the day to have a shared bedroom. I find that this solution works wonders for older twins when they start to “scheme” up ideas and become little Houdini’s jumping from crib to crib. If they can’t access it they can’t play crib exchange! Keeping the cribs on the opposite sides of the bedroom (if possible) also helps with these ninja type fiascos!
It Takes a Village
Yup, you guessed it – sometimes we just need to call in the troops and ask for help! This could be a friend, a family member, a sleep consultant J just somebody to help. It could be as simple as helping set up the perfect sleep environment and/or have someone there with you during bath and bed. All moms are superheroes but we only have one set of hands and sometimes multiples require another set!
Teaching our multiples the skill of independent sleep will go a long way in surviving multiple-hood. When our babies are able to fall asleep on their own without the assistance of mom and dad it makes life so much easier for everyone involved. It is an amazing gift you will be giving your children and this is a gift that keeps on giving – in health for your children and in sanity for mom and dad. So please don’t be afraid to ask for help in the sleep department, if a sleep consultant isn’t for you, ask friends or family for help and advice, and read some sleep books. I highly encourage you to make independent sleep a top priority for your little ones!