The hope of every new parent of twins is to get some sleep. The first several months with twins are a grueling course of nighttime feedings and sleep deprivation for parents.
You, as the parent, won’t get to sleep through the night until your twins are sleeping through the night. When do twins start sleeping through the night?
Magical Sleeping Age
Unfortunately, there isn’t a magical date that all twins decide to start sleeping longer at night. This is a gradual process and every twin is different. You’ll even see one twin’s sleep patterns differ from the other twin.
Some twins will start sleeping through the night as early as 8-10 weeks. Typically you can start seeing longer sleep stretches around 12 weeks. Many twins wait until 4-6 months.
The bottom line is that every twin is different.
What is Sleeping Through the Night?
Before you get your hopes up that your twins will sleep long enough for you to get 8 hours of sleep, double-check your expectations.
(RELATED: Still looking for the right twin gear? See my Twin Baby Gear Essentials.)
Sleeping through the night for twin infants is a stretch of uninterrupted sleep of 4-6 hours, not necessarily a full 8 hours. However, if you’ve only been sleeping for 2-hour stretches, 4-6 hours feels really good!
There are several ways you can increase your twins’ chances of sleeping through the night:
Stick to a Schedule
Do everything you can to get your twins into a predictable and comfortable routine. Every night they should do the same exact things in the same exact order. This helps them know that it is bedtime and that the ultimate step at the end of the routine is to go to sleep.
We’d feed our girls, bathe them, get them in their pajamas, and put them to bed. This pattern helped them establish good sleep habits.
Your twins wake up in the middle of the night because they are hungry. Try a “dream feed” where you do one last feeding of your twins before you go to bed for the night. Pull the babies out of their cribs and quietly feed them. They will likely stay half asleep but will fill their tummies.
A dream feed then allows the twins to sleep a little longer before needing food. More sleep for them means more sleep for you.
(RELATED: Love podcasts? Check out the entire Dad's Guide to Twins Podcast archive for additional twin tips and interviews with twin dads.)
Get Additional Sleep Advice
If you’d like more details on how to establish good sleep habits with your twins, I recommend Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Twins by Dr. Marc Weissbluth M.D..
Picture by Russell Harrison Photography