Bedtime for your twins might just be your favorite time of day. After a long day of work and caring for twins, bedtime offers you the promise of sleeping children and a much-needed break. Establishing a bedtime routine with twins is a great way to control the chaos of your twin life and help your twins at the same time.
What Is a Bedtime Routine with Twins?
A bedtime routine for your twins consists of a predictable and repeated sequence of steps that you do every night before you put them down to sleep.
Your twins likely go through a series of steps like these regardless of age:
- Clean up in the bath
- Get dressed in pajamas
- Read stories
- Brush and floss teeth
- Have family prayer
- Go potty (check/change diaper)
- Go to the bedroom
- Say prayers
- Tuck in to bed
- Mom or Dad sing them songs
- Say good night and shut door
Depending on the age of your twins, these steps may have both twins doing them at the same time or one at a time.
As a parent of twins, you are constantly working to care for and meet their needs. You need a break. Unfortunately, these breaks are few and far between. If you can always look forward to a certain time of night as the light at the end of the tunnel, it will be easier to plow through challenging days.
The beauty of a bedtime routine is that once it is established, almost any adult can run your twins through the steps. This is great for when your kids go visit the grandparents or you want to get out for the evening and hire a babysitter for your twins.
The caregiver may change but the routine is the same and this helps the twins adjust to your absence.
Bedtime routines are so familiar that they are predictable. Your twins will learn what is next and will start to take that next step without prompting. The established routine sets your twins up to help themselves be self sufficient.
Bedtime can be a time of anxiety as you leave your twins alone in the dark. They might want you to stay with them or comfort them. The joy of the bedtime routine with your twins is that they become comfortable with what is happening because they’ve done it every night as long as they can remember. Even when one twin is restless, the other will still likely follow the routine and this will help you juggle any bedtime surprises you need to handle as a parent.
Try to establish the routine you’d be happy with for the long term. Once bedtime routines are set, it will be harder (but not impossible) to change later.
(RELATED: Don't reinvent the twin parenting wheel. Get my 7 Things Every Dad of Twins Needs to Know.)
Picture by Gareth Saunders.
Need help sleep training your twins? Check out this step-by-step guide to sleep training twins from fellow parent of twins, Nina Garcia.