Whether you already have a child or are a first time parent, having twins will be a completely new experience. Since there are two babies, your sleeping schedule will be drastically different. Expect to adjust your sleeping schedule to match your newborn twins feeding schedule. Sometimes parents get lucky when a baby sleeps through the night, but with twins this is a rare occurrence. When one seems to sleep through the night, the other wakes up and starts crying. This inevitability leads to two hungry and crying newborns. This will continue throughout their infancy. A good rule of thumb is that a newborn will need to be fed every 2 – 3 hours.
Newborn Twins Feeding Schedule for the First Month
For the first week, twins will sleep for 14 – 18 hours per day. In the following weeks, twins are expected to sleep between 12 – 18 hours per day. These numbers sound great, but there is a downside. They will only sleep for 2 – 3 hours at a time. When they wake up, they will want to be fed.
I recommend that when one twin wakes up, you feed both twins. Keeping your twins on the same schedule will help make your life a lot easier. Try to feed both twins at the same time. This will drastically shorten the amount of time feeding takes.
Remember that one parent doesn’t have to do all the nighttime feedings. Both parents can wake up and care for the newborns or you can take turns with a helper for the overnight duties. Just about the time you get used to a routine, your twins will change things. So don’t get too comfortable. Although sleeping for 2-3 hours at a time isn’t too comfortable to begin with!
Newborn Twins Feeding Schedule after Six Weeks
Twins will go through cycles and each pair is different. Some will find their schedules right away, while others will take longer to settle into a routine. Typically, the hectic schedule of the first month will taper off when the newborns are around six weeks old. This is right around the time when you will notice that they start to sleep for longer periods of time. Over the next few months, twins will eventually start to sleep for 4 – 6 hours at a time. This makes feeding times much easier because you will finally be able to sleep for more than a few hours. However, with the newborn twins feeding schedule changing, expect to feed your twins one to two times per night.
As a parent, the feeding schedules of your twins will be very hard to adapt to. Sleep deprivation and a crazy first year are the reality of every twin parent. Thankfully, twins will start sleeping more as they grow older and this definitely helps your health and well being. Once twins start eating in larger amounts, feeding them every few hours can be changed. It is not uncommon to feed twins only four times per day when they are six months old. This, of course, is determined by their weight and health.
(NOTE: Still expecting? Get weekly updates on your twin pregnancy here.)
If you are ever in doubt of how much and how frequently your twins should be eating, please consult your pediatrician.
You’ll find more tips and tricks for feeding your infant twins in Chapter Four of my book, the Dad’s Guide to Raising Twins: How to Thrive as a Father of Twins.
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