Getting your twins, or more, to sleep!
When your babies arrive you may wonder what their sleep patterns will be like. You may also have questions about safe sleeping including how to sleep your babies together in the same cot. For more information, watch our video clips below.
Keeping babies safer when sleeping
Many parents find that sleeping their babies in the same cot (co-bedding) works well, at least for the first few weeks or months. Research has shown that sleeping similar-sized young twins in the same cot does not mean they wake more often; in fact, their sleeping patterns become more similar. Multiples that are used to co-bedding do not disturb one another.
Reducing the risk of cot death
Sadly, some babies die suddenly and unexpectedly during their sleep for no explainable reason. This is called ‘cot death’ or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Parents of multiples need to be particularly vigilant as multiple birth babies are more likely to be born premature or have a low birth weight and are therefore at a higher risk of SIDS.
Unfortunately we don't know why some babies die of SIDS. However, we do know placing a baby to sleep on their back reduces the risks of cot death, while exposing a baby to cigarette smoke or overheating increases the risk. For more details on reducing the risk of SID’s please check out the Lullaby Trust.
All the advice that we now have for reducing the risk of cot death and other dangers, such as suffocation, is contained in the factsheets below. Remember that cot death is rare, so don’t let worrying about it stop you enjoying your babies’ first few months. But do follow the advice below to reduce the risks as much as possible.
Co-bedding your multiples
Many parents of multiples decide to sleep them together in the same cot for the first few weeks /months. It is important that this is done safely and Tamba have produced a factsheet on keeping babies safer when sleeping. This factsheet sets out the main points relating to all babies and guidance that is specific to multiples.
Tamba has also produced factsheets that sets out all the information in more depth.
Below, Professor Helen Ball from the Infant Sleep Information Source at Durham University talks about how to co-bed your multiples and what you need to consider.
Below Vicki from The Children's Sleep Charity talks about what you might expect with regards to your babies sleep in the first 6 months.
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