Caring for infant twins overnight is a very demanding and exhausting responsibility. You want to take care of their needs as quickly as possible and then get them (and you) back to sleep.
I’m often asked, “Should you wake up your twins at the same time for feeding?” Most of the time, I’d say “yes.” In actuality, the answer is “it depends.”
As with many aspects of caring for your twins, your situation varies each day. It is thus extremely important that you stay flexible in how you attend to your babies.
My general rule of thumb is that when one twin wakes up in the middle of the night and is ready to eat, you should wake up the other and feed them both.
When our girls were infants, we followed exactly this pattern. When one of our daughters woke up hungry, my wife and I would get out of bed and head into the nursery. One of us would take the crier, and the other would wake up the sibling.
We’d feed both babies, burp them, change them, and put them back to bed. We could then zombie walk back to our own beds and sleep until we heard the next set of cries.
Since we were bottle feeding our twins and could both help with nighttime feedings, this pattern worked great.
The twins stayed on a relatively predictable (and nearly identical) schedule. This allowed us to get at least some rest at night between feedings that would have been impossible if we fed each twin one after the other.
If your twins are breast fed, it will be more of a logistical challenge to position and feed both babies at the same time. However, it is possible and you should try and stick to the “one wakes up, they both eat” nighttime schedule.
When your twins start to take turns eating, it makes for a very long night for Mom, Dad, or the care giver. By the time you feed both babies, one at a time, burp them, change them, and get them back to bed, there is very little time for you to sleep before it starts all over again.
(NOTE: Still expecting? Get weekly updates on your twin pregnancy here.)
So, should you wake up your twins at the same time to feed them? Yes, if you want to maximize your sleep and keep some sanity to your already crazy, sleep-deprived schedule.
Picture by Nate Davis
Need more help sleep training your twins? Check out this step-by-step guide to sleep training twins from fellow parent of twins, Nina Garcia: