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Newborn Twins Sleeping Arrangements

Like most expectant parents of multiples, you’ve probably spent a lot of time thinking about your future newborn twins sleeping arrangements. After all, sleep is precious and we want our babes (as well as us parents!) to be able to snooze safely and soundly.

The question everyone wants to know is: can the twins share a sleeping spot (known as “co-bedding”)? We tried to get a definitive answer on this, but like many parenting matters, the answer is not very black and white.

First, some definitions:

  • Co-Bedding: when siblings or multiples share the same sleeping area, such as a crib or a co-sleeper
  • Co-Sleeping: when one or more parent shares the bedroom with their babies, either in the same bed or with babies right next to or near the bed
  • Bed-sharing:when one or more parent sleeps in the same bed as the babies

The two questions here are:

  1. Can the babies share the same space (co-bedding)? The follow-up question is…
  2. Can the twins sleep in the bed with mom and/or dad (bed-sharing)?

Note that the chief concern (accidental smothering and suffocation) is the same for both of these situations.

Co-Bedding

Regarding #1 (co-bedding), the conservative/mainstream school of thought in the western world is that it’s best to separate the twins “early on” since they’ll need their own sleeping space eventually. The attachment parenting contingent refutes this, saying twins can sleep together indefinitely and are happier for it.

The worry is that co-bedded twins pose a smothering risk to one another.

The group Rednose (Australia) claims that research shows that the safest way to sleep twins in the home is in their own safe sleeping container (crib, portable crib, bassinet, or cradle) in the parent’s room for the first 6-12 months.

On the other hand…

“You may put your twins to sleep in a single cot [crib] while they’re small enough, either because they slept together in [the] hospital or because space is tight. In fact, putting twins in the same cot [crib] can help them regulate their body temperatures and sleep cycles, and can soothe them and their twin.”

NHS Choices (UK)

Dr. Sears, a well-known American attachment parenting expert, also okays the practice of co-bedding “in the early months.” Some may choose to do it longer – even indefinitely.

You see, the thing is that babies cannot really move around much (flip over, crawl, etc), especially while properly swaddled, until at least 4 months of age.  It would seem sensible that co-bedding them until 4 months (or until you notice they are able to flip and move around) might be a practical middle ground. But again, use your own discretion and definitely speak to your pediatrician about your co-sleeping/co-bedding concerns.

Bottom line: that there isn’t enough evidence to recommend for or against co-bedding. And for this reason, the AAP (who always takes a conservative approach) recommends against it. If you’re the worrying type, go ahead and separate them so you don’t lose any sleep over it.

Bed-Sharing

Bed-sharing has its own risks; namely, blankets, pillows, duvets, soft mattresses and other items that are known contributors to SIDS and/or accidental suffocation. A 9-month-old in Meg’s BabyCenter.com birth club died when he rolled into a crack between the mattress and the wall and suffocated Meg says she’ll never forget it. Unfortunately, these stories are not too uncommon.

SIDS occurs when babies stop breathing due to entering a stage of very deep sleep and may be exacerbated when a bedding item (or a parent, for that matter) obstructs or partially obstructs their airflow.

Bed-sharing proponents point to bad data and the fact that countries like Japan, which have the highest rates of bed-sharing, also have some of the lowest rates of SIDS. The important thing to note is that your typical American bed looks very different than your typical Japanese bed, which is low to the floor with few sheets, and nothing large and fluffy. The Japanese also have lower rates of maternal smoking and alcohol consumption, both known risk factors for SIDS. As you can see, it’s really hard to say what is definitive causation and what is simply high correlation.

But anyway, I [really] digress.

Personally, I slept better at night knowing my girls were safe in their bassinets. And if you do decide to bed-share with your twins, please make sure you do so safely.

Best Bassinets for Twins

Graco Pack ‘n Play with Twin Bassinet ~ $279

In our bedroom, we had the Graco Twin Pack ‘n Play bassinet pulled up to the bed like a sidecar. It worked great for the first few months until the girls started sleeping in their cribs. And after your babes have moved out of your room, you can use it for travel for months (years?) to come.

Once they pass the 6-month mark, you can use it as an extra large pack ‘n play. Note that because it’s larger than normal, you can’t really wheel it from room to room (without taking it apart) because it’s wider than a door frame.

Some people have had issues with it sagging in the middle while in bassinet mode. We had no issues until we took it apart and put it together again (albeit not very diligently). It takes some effort to get it just right, but then you are set.

Baby Trend Twin Nursery Center ~ $199

Baby Trend is breaking into the double bassinet game with a very cool looking Twins Playard Set. New on the market, the removable bassinets get me almost excited enough to want another set of twins….almost.

Both of these bassinets can be removed and used on their own, which makes it a very versatile piece of gear. I love the changing station and the organizer on the side. More functional, perhaps, than the Twins Pack ‘n Play.

Graco Pack ‘n Play On-the-Go ~ $75

Another option for your twinnies, or even for your higher order multiples, is to get one mini pack ‘n play per baby. This one is easy to fold down and move (from room to room, or to take with you on trips), and will grow with your babies from the newborn to toddler stages. It weighs about 20 pounds. One per baby, please.

Best Play Yards for Twins

Joovy New Room2 Portable Play Yard ~ $149 + Joovy Room2 Twin Nursery Center Bassinet Playpen Accessory ~$89

Note: you’ll need the Playard AND Room2 Twin Nursery Center.

Joovy’s newborn sleeping solution, the Room2 Nursery Center, has two separate bassinets for babies up to 15 lbs each and a changing table that hangs from the side when not in use. Guys, having a place to change the babies at night while in your room, is a HUGE must-have! We like this nursery center because it can later be a play yard for older twins.

Joovy offers parents of multiples a lifetime discount (did I tell you I LOVE Joovy!) just call them at 877-456-5049 or email customerservice@joovy.com

Once they pass the 6-month mark, you can use it as an extra large pack ‘n play. Note that because it’s larger than normal, you can’t really wheel it from room to room (without taking it apart) because it’s wider than a door frame.

Some people have had issues with it sagging in the middle while in bassinet mode. We had no issues until we took it apart and put it together again (albeit not very diligently). It takes some effort to get it just right, but then you are set.

Romp & Roost Luxe Play Yard ~ $239 + Sheet & Divider~ $39

Romp & Roost, a relatively new company, came out with this dividable play yard in June, 2018. This is a great solution for when you need two separate sleeping spaces in a small area. The divider is removable for when the twins get older, or for play time together.

This isn’t the ideal solution for newborns since they are so low to the ground (meaning you have to bend down more). Great for a second floor, grandparents’ houses, or to take on trips.

Best Co-Sleepers for Twins

For bed-sharing, many parents opt for a “container” of sorts that goes in your bed to give baby his own safe sleeping space.

If two sleeper contraptions in the middle of your bed doesn’t sound practical to you (I don’t have a king bed either…), Dr. Sears, the attachment parenting guru, recommends a co-sleeper to allow for the extra space needed.

Arm’s Reach Co-Sleeper Mini Ezee 2-in-1 ~ $169

Get one for each side of the bed. These are great options, but not particularly lightweight or portable.

Halo Bassinest Swivel Sleeper ~ $264

The easy swivel has c-section MOM’s in mind. This is a smaller sleeping area than the Arm’s Reach, so one per baby, please. With any of these, you can also mix and match. One Bassinest and one Graco Pack ‘n Play, for example. Again, these have a short lifespan, so save some money and borrow this stuff if you can.

Halo Bassinest Twin Sleeper Double ~ $484

Similar to their regular sleeper (pictured above), their version for twins is bigger, and includes a breathable mesh divider so babies can have their own space, yet still enjoy the same sense of togetherness as they did in the womb.

The sleeper swivels a full 360 degrees so you can easily bring the twin who is fussing closer to you for feedings, soothing, etc. The side walls lower and raise back up so you can pull your babies out, and put them back in again; they also lock into place for safety purposes. The entire sleeper can be raised or lowered as well.

Little Folks Twin EZ Fold Ultra Compact Double Bassinet by Delta Children ~ $139

Sold exclusively at Walmart, the Twin EZ Fold Double Bassinet is a much less expensive — but similar — option than the Halo Bassinest Twin.

Like the Bassinest Twin, a mesh panel separates babies so they each get their own flat, safe sleep space, while still being able to see one another and remain close and snug.

The bassinet is on wheels which means you can roll it from room to room, and, in the middle of the night, easily rotate it to bring the baby who needs you most (read: crying the loudest!) closer to you.

It has storage pockets on both sides to store items like burp cloths, pacifiers, diapers, wipes, etc. Bonus: it’s lightweight and folds compactly, so you can take it anywhere — to the grandparent’s house, on vacation, etc. Check it out here.

Best Cribs for Twins

Lots of people ask if the babies can sleep together when they are so tiny. And sure, they fit, BUTTT once they squirm, roll, do the worm, etc., again, there is the risk of smothering each other—yikes. Not to mention waking each other up. Your call, but better to play it safe, IMO.

Again, the thought is that… eventually, your twins will need to be separated to sleep, so most pediatricians recommend separating them relatively early so you don’t have to worry about a difficult transition.

So…two cribs it is.

With double the cost staring at us, we went with the sleek and modern Ikea $99 Gulliver crib. Tried and true.

If you’re looking for a crib that comes in multiple colors, we like the Union 3-in-1 Convertible Crib. For $119, it’s affordable so you can get multiple (ha)!

You got this, parents! There will come a day when your twins will sleep (and so will you!). Good luck!

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