When you bring your babies home, can you let twins sleep in the same crib?
Absolutely. Should twins sleep in the same crib? It depends…
At the hospital, the nurses had our twins together in the same bassinet. When we got home, we just continued this pattern. From their time in utero, each twin has constantly been with their sibling. Why not continue?
Do twins need their own crib? Current safe sleep recommendations for twins are that each twin has his or her own crib.
Let’s look into some of the challenges of this recommendation for twin parents and what worked in our family when our girls were babies.
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Twins Sharing a Crib
When we brought our twin babies home, we already had two older boys (both under the age of 3). One of our sons was still in a crib. We knew we wanted to eventually move him to a big bed and then move his crib to our twins’ nursery, so we only started with one crib in our twins’ room.
From the day our girls came home from the hospital, they shared a crib.
We found that our twin babies would actually turn towards each other when they were sleeping side by side in the same crib.
Your infant twins have a special bond and are very familiar and comfortable with being in each other’s space.
As newborns, your babies aren’t going to move around much so where you put them is where they will stay in the crib. This means that we could have both babies sleep together without them interfering with each other too much.
We’d swaddle each baby individually and then have another blanket swaddle them together. (Remember to not use bumper pads in the crib.)
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Twins in the Same Crib and SIDS
The primary reason that each twin should have their own sleep surface is to reduce the risk of Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
According to the Mayo Clinic, one factor that could increase the chances of SIDs is sharing a bed with siblings, parents, or pets.
Yes, there are other factors and much is unknown about SIDS but if you can eliminate any risks in your control, please do so.
Two cribs are best for twins. Each crib mattress should have a tight, fitted sheet.
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Always put your babies down to sleep on their backs and make sure their cribs are free from stuffed animals, toys, bumpers, pillows, etc.
If You Only Have One Crib for Twins
When your twins must share a crib, try to make the space as safe as possible for your babies.
Your infant twins are small and can both easily fit in the same crib. You can:
- Place the twins in opposite ends of the crib
- Position babies such that they are head-to-head (this avoids one kicking the other)
- Establish the routine of always putting Twin A in one spot and Twin B in the other spot
- Move the twins to separate cribs when they start getting active (see more below)
Where Are Your Twins Sleeping?
Evaluate your home and your twins’ sleeping arrangements. Is their room upstairs or in a far-off corner of the house?
Do you want the convenience of having your twins close to your master bedroom for nighttime care?
Current medical recommendations are that your babies sleep in the same room as you for the first year. With twins, the logistics of this can be quite challenging or even impossible. Do what you feel is best for your family.
Spend Money Over Time
Do you need two cribs for twins? Yes, eventually you will.
Do you need to buy both right now? No.
Can twin babies sleep in the same crib if you’re short on cash? Yes.
Many twin parents are tight on cash and can only afford one crib at a time. If this is your situation, you can space out the crib purchases over time so that you don’t have a huge expense all at once. Or ask for cribs as baby shower gifts or from the grandparents!
What about wiggly babies?
Eventually, your babies will start to wiggle and hit each other when they share are a crib. Don’t freak out. They were doing this in the womb for months (just ask Mom). If it doesn’t bother them, it shouldn’t bother you.
When to Separate Twins in Crib
How long can twins stay in one crib?
We kept our girls in the same crib for several months until they started getting bigger and rotating around. We knew it was time to separate when were jarred from sleep because Twin A had put her foot on Twin B’s head and Twin B was crying.
When that time arrived, we put two cribs in the same room, with one baby in each. The girls seemed to miss each other at first but would call out to each other via squawks or gurgles in a form of echolocation (think bats) to make sure their sister was near.
Hard to Sleep?
So you may ask: Don’t they wake each other up if they sleep in the same room or crib? No, not necessarily. Typically one twin can sleep through the cries of the other. You’ll even find one of your babies with arms or legs sprawled over the other with both twins sleeping contently.
Your Newborn Twins Sleeping Arrangements
As a twin parent, you have to balance current medical recommendations with the reality of your home situation.
Space constraints, budget limitations, and your personal parenting preferences must all be balanced when coming up with the answer to can twins share a crib?
Our girls shared a crib just fine for several months. We’ve also heard of many other twin parents having success with this. On the other hand, remember that eventually, they will both need their own crib. If you can afford two cribs now and have space, start out with each twin in his or her own crib.
You’ll find more details about twin sleeping arrangements and overcoming sleep challenges in Chapter Five of my book, the Dad’s Guide to Raising Twins: How to Thrive as a Father of Twins.