Most twin parents agree that getting your twosome on regular sleep schedule is one of the biggest challenges for new parents of twins. What are some of the main issues when it comes to getting twins to sleep as opposed to singletons? What are sleep patterns and what can you expect from your newborns within those first few months? Plus, tips for getting your little ones on a consistent sleep schedule so you can get some shut eye too!
Sleep Tips For Newborn Twins
Please be advised, this transcription was performed by a company independent of New Mommy Media, LLC. As such, translation was required which may alter the accuracy of the transcription.
JEN VARELA: Most twin parents would agree that one of the biggest challenges is: “To get their two-some on a regular sleeping routine and the same routine.” I’m Jen Varela of Sugar Night Night. I’m here to share some tips on giving your newborn twins to sleep, so you can sleep. This is Twin Talks Episode Number Ten.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: If you’re pregnant with twins or you’re an experienced twin parent, odds are you have heard it all before. Now, it’s time to hear from the experts. This is Twin Talks, parenting times two.
Welcome to Twin Talks broadcasting from the Birth Education Centre of San Diego. Twin Talks is your weekly online on-the-go support group for expecting and new parents to twins. I’m your host Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald.
Have you heard about the Twin Talks Club? Our members get bonus content after each new show plus special giveaways and discounts. You can subscribe to our monthly Twin Talks Newsletter and learn about the latest episodes available.
Another way you can stay connected is by downloading our free Twin Talks app available on the Android and iTunes Marketplace. Before, we get started here; let’s just do a quick introduction. We have panelists talk about their families and how are connected to twins.
SUNNY GAULT: Okay, hi everybody. So, I’m Sunny. I’m filling in as the producer today. Shelly isn’t here right now. So, I’ll tell you a little bit about myself. So, I’m a mom of two little boys already. Sayer is about three years old and Urban is 18 months old.
I’m pregnant with identical twin girls who are due in about a month. So, while I don’t have a lot of sleep tips to offer new parents of twins yet. I will be taking notes on today’s episode so I can use them within the next month or so.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: You will be stalking up on your sleep beforehand.
SUNNY GAULT: I was trying too.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: As your host, I’ve got identical girls; Julia and Alexa who just turned four. I also have a singleton girl Michaela and she just turned one. So, we got three girls in the house. My husband and I always say: “Okay, we need a dog with Cojones.”
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Before, we start today’s show let’s take a look at an app that is great for parents and for twin parents. Since we’re talking about sleep today, the app we’re looking at is called: “Sleepy Sounds.” It’s found in the iTunes Marketplace as well as Google Play. It offers lullabies, white noise, nature sounds.
You can also record your own or stream your own music to help your baby sleep. Let’s see here. We’ll just put a little sample on here so that you can hear that. Here’s the lullaby version. So, it’s pretty mellow. I should add that the screen of the phone while it’s playing; it’s got this nice sort of pictures and stars that something that you would maybe see in some of those differences that project on the ceiling.
So, as far as apps go and I’ll bring in Jen on this. What do you think about something like this?
JEN VARELA: I think white noise can be terrific. I think it’s important what kind of white noise you use. So, the low tones – even Dr. Harvey Karp has talked about how you don’t want the high pitched sounds because the low tones is what helps regulate your brain to take away that chatter if you will. It’s even been helpful with postpartum depression moms.
So, I would probably be more inclined to take a look at what the white noise is on that app. I think white noise is great.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: It’s an example right here.
JEN VARELA: That’s a white noise. It’s not bad. It sounds like rain, doesn’t it? The key with white noise is that it needs to be continuous. So, like the sleep sheep that goes for 45 minutes and then stop, not so good because then when a child goes through a sleep cycle in partial arousal, what happens is – now, the environment is different from what they fall asleep in. So, it can be kind of stimulating.
So, if you’re going to use white noise. It should be continuous on all night long.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: So, maybe even use those, the old fashioned; those little round noise maker things that essentially like a fan like you adjust.
JEN VARELA: Yes, so white noise can be a lot of different things. I would just look for the low tones.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: And the low tones.
JEN VARELA: So, it is low tones and all night long.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Okay, so as far as the apps go, would you recommend this?
JEN VARELA: What’s nice about the world of apps now is that: “You can travel with it.” So, it used to be – you might have this big huge fan right? Well, you’re not going to take that with you to grandma and grandpa’s right?
I think the apps can be lovely from the standpoint of they are being portable. So, it’s not such a big thing to need them because you can take them with you. So, I think there’s a place for them.
SUNNY GAULT: Did you see, you got to be mindful
JEN VARELA: That’s a free app?
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: This is a free app, yes.
JEN VARELA: Okay, interesting.
SUNNY GAULT: Again, I’m not in the position at my one thing would be for twin parents. If it’s something that’s on the screen like – have you kind of do that between two kids? I don’t know if that’s really going to work like one maybe put it in front of the one twin. One twin can benefit from it but not maybe the other visually.
JEN VARELA: So, I would not
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: You wouldn’t even use that.
JEN VARELA: Not use that screen on.
SUNNY GAULT: That’s too distracting.
JEN VARELA: I’m not up for the visual. But, for the white noise, okay.
SUNNY GAULT: We’re you just kind of be strategic on where you put it and stuff like that.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Definitely. You know, one thing I will say I like about this is you can do your own music. You do your own recording. So, that might be something if you’re traveling and you want to leave with your babysitter or your nanny; something that’s very familiar.
SUNNY GAULT: Sure, that can be definitely beneficial.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: So, thumbs up; thumbs down?
SUNNY GAULT: Yeah, I think I would anything that’s free – I’m willing to try and try it. I don’t know if I would put too much, put all your hopes and dreams into it but if it’s free, why not? Try it.
JEN VARELA: Well, I like the convenience of it. That’s great.
SUNNY GAULT: Yes.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Okay, well today’s topic is: “The top tips for getting your newborn twins to sleep.” So, we are talking with Jen Varela – certified sleep coach and owner of Sugar Night, Night.
So, there’s probably a number of expecting parents that are listening right now and they were wondering what they’re getting into. What they’re in for. Also, there are new parents who are sleep deprived and desperately looking for a solution. So, can you just take a moment and explain how it’s different for twin parents or twin babies compared to singletons when it comes to sleeping challenges?
JEN VARELA: So, how much time do we have? We didn’t start this on an easy question. One of the things that was so fascinating to me in doing research on what are the different experts saying when you’ve got [inaudible 00:07:25-26] and Kim West, Tracy Hogg and all the different philosophies in sleep, right?
It’s so interesting because all of them say that: “There has to be some compromise.” I thought that was so interesting in a sense that we can all have our strict philosophies on what sleep should look like for a singleton.
But then, when it really comes down to the twins; it sort of like you’ve got to be open to the reality that there’s going to be some compromise.
Last night, I was kind of looking over my notes and it just hit me that compromise in acronym. I said:
C - ome
O - n
M - om
P - lease
R - elax
O - bstacles
M - ake opportunity for
I - ngenious
S - olutions
E - xhale.
If the reality is this: “When you’re working with twins, you are going to have to do some things that are different than you would be doing with a singleton.” So, I think scheduling really becomes more of a necessity with twins than it does as much with a newborn.
So, we’re going to be talking about newborns 0 to 3 months. So, the advice and the information I’m giving please be mindful. I’m talking about infants and newborns, young children. You really have to adjust your expectations a lot of twins are born prematurely right? So, their feeding needs are going to be adjusted with an adjusted age, right?
So, your expectation sometimes – well, how come my child’s not sleeping this longer? How come their “Awake Times” are so short? You got to keep that in mind. I’ve heard several twin moms say: “Survival.” Everyone’s still breathing. Today was successful.
Then, help. I just think you can underestimate the significance of help. So, Dr. Polly Moore, she has a book called: “The 90-Minute Baby Sleep Program.” I just had a laugh because this is one of a quote from her book. It says: “It’s okay to break the glass on the emergency box.”
So, I think it’s interesting that all of the sleep experts all make some exception to what their hardcore line would be in all of the books. That was so interesting. So, if anything just to take from that, it’s a little bit tricky and you need to what you got to do.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Survival, yes. In fact, I am familiar Polly Moore’s book which is great. We can put that on the website which is really kind of the more: “The Science of the Sleep Cycles” with the ninety minutes.
JEN VARELA: There are some strategies with that. I can go over some tips.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: But and to personally throwing with two babies and they might not be on exactly the same cycle. So, then we really got to play with that. So, that is definitely a huge challenge. So, help us understand those sleep patterns. So, for really young babies; newborns to three months, what is that look like?
JEN VARELA: This is what’s interesting; although, we’re talking about twins’ right? There’s going to be a lot of emphasis on doing things together; the reality is: “They are still individuals.” So, they may not have the same bio sleep rhythms, right?
So, they are showing that there’s some association with identical twins and having more of a similar sleep needs if you will versus fraternal twins. But you have to remember they’re all unique. So, what’s really significant about these early months is that: “Sleep will come in waves.” Your baby will need you frequently. So, they’re going to fluctuate a lot in the first six months what is like normal sleep.
In the beginning, newborns will sleep between 13 and 16 hours a day. There sleep is purposeful. So, you will want a baby sleeping so deep that they don’t wake because if they have a temperature; if they cold and they need you to make them warm. If they need to be fed, it’s a good thing that they’re having night awakenings. It’s purposeful.
The sleep cycles are short. So, basically, infants during the night will have a stretch between nine and 12 hours. During the day, they will have naps that would be between 2 and 6 hours total. So, they’re getting about 15 to 16 hours on a 24 hours cycle. But, it’s done typically in a 90 minute. This is some of Dr. Polly Moore’s information.
It’s typically on a 90-minute cycle. Meaning when you wake from one sleep, it will be about 90 minutes till they fall asleep again. So, that’s a significant thing because you can kind of prep and go: “Okay, 90 minutes we’re going to be sleeping again.” So, at two months; they’re probably still in about four naps a day. It won’t be until a little later that you have to start to see longer stretches.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: We talked earlier about they are twins that do come early and preterm. I’m sure that has a lot to do with their sleep cycles because I heard that earlier that: “Preemies often do need more sleep. It’s almost like they’re still in the womb.” Then, overall are some babies more predictable than others?
JEN VARELA: So, temperament plays a part in things. Again, sleep maturation is going to come in time. When things become predictable is a little later; usually at three months is when things start to form together and you can start seeing naps. We can talk about that too if you want. So, it does become predictable but it’s not typically until after three months.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Okay.
JEN VARELA: The way you start to see some regular
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Regular, so when we look at some of the different gadgets like we’re tracking the pooling and the peeing and eating and all of these for sleeping as well; should we expect some degree of predictability as far as the sleep cycles go in general? Within that first three months or just kind of
JEN VARELA: So, I think the 90 minutes is this much predictable as you can kind of look for is that: “90 minutes from one sleep to the next sleep.” Otherwise, the extending of sleep really doesn’t happen until after six weeks. That’s when you can start seeing sleep stretches of maybe four to six hours.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Sleep Regression, what exactly is that?
JEN VARELA: I get a lot of parents that will say to me: “They have a four-month-old that go – at three months, we were starting to like actually get like long stretches at night time and things were coming together.” Now, all of a sudden, they’re waking like every hour. We don’t know what to do. So, it’s like: “My baby break.”
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Is there something wrong?
JEN VARELA: Yes, right. So, Sleep Regressions happen for a variety of reasons. One is developmental milestones. That’s kind of the big one.
So, if you think about:
• Rolling over
• Sitting it up
I should say: “Crawling, walking.” It grows spurts too. So, if you look at what is the purpose of REM Sleep – REM Sleep is to take the information from the day and put it into a long-term memory.
So, when a baby goes through a really big developmental milestone, they’re probably going to spend more time in REM Sleep which means it’s going to be more disrupted sleep. So, it’s very normal to have sleep progressions around developmental milestones.
If you have big things happening in your family, that’s a lot of information. If you’re traveling, you’re moving – all of a sudden you have a ton of people in your home; mom goes back to work – a new caregiver. Again, that’s going to be a lot of information to process.
So, then, of course, it can be a medical issue to or teething or what not. So, a Sleep Regression is where you may have started to have a nice rhythm or stretch going and all of a sudden, things are falling apart. So, that happens for all children to varying degrees. So, some children will be more significant than others.
So, typically – I’m always recommending if you’re looking at sleep training to look at doing that after six months because then, you pass the big developmental milestone that happens between the 4 and 5-month mark. That one is usually a very big Sleep Regression.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: What’s that big developmental milestone?
JEN VARELA: I call it when they see the world. An example would be – they might not have noticed the Cather dog in your home and now, all of a sudden they see that furry thing going across the room and they’re tracking it. So, they’re not just focused in on their own little body, their hands, and their feet.
Often, it will happen when they find their toes because they come to the end of themselves and now, they see the world. So, it’s kind of: “I’ve had moms described it become alert or awake or if they’ve shown up more interactive.”
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Enough kind of fourth to the fifth month – so the Sleep Regression; I think we’re saying that: “Within that first three months, it’s really unpredictable.”
JEN VARELA: It’s very fluctuating.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: It’s fluctuating. So, we really want to see the Sleep Regression until a little bit later on.
JEN VARELA: Yes.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Okay, but it is normal?
JEN VARELA: Yes.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: So, it’s normal.
JEN VARELA: Yes.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: So, as far as different transitions taking place,
JEN VARELA: When can you expect that things will kind of get consolidated, right?
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Yes, when does that happen?
JEN VARELA: Right, so before six weeks that’s why I was saying earlier: “The longer stretch will be more similar between two and three hours.” Then at about six weeks of age, the biological sleep rhythms will start to organize. That’s where you’ll see similar between four and six hours night sleep stretches.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Six hours, yes. We’re looking forward to that.
JEN VARELA: So, then nap organization is really doesn’t happen until 4 to 6 months.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Four to six months. Okay.
JEN VARELA: Between 4 and 6 months
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: So, as far as the transition; we should really think: “The first three months, it’s not predictable.”
JEN VARELA: Unless you can look at those 90 minutes; knowing that you’re going to go awake and then asleep; then awake and asleep. It’s going to be in about a 90-minute increment between waking from one nap till when you fall asleep for the next nap.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Okay.
JEN VARELA: Or next sleep.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: So, really when people ask: “Are they sleeping through the night?” I don’t know. I seem to get that question all the time with both my twins and my singleton. I think my twins were about four and a half months when they were sleeping that six-plus hours which was fantastic. It was a really exciting milestone.
My singleton, she’s still not really sleeping six hours. So, it happens for different babies. I imagine, also their nutritional needs are probably a factor into that as well.
JEN VARELA: Absolutely! That’s where I think it’s super important to especially in these first few months that you are aligning with what the pediatrician and/or your lactation consultant is saying. In my world, priority goes first feeding and getting good feeding established; attachment and then sleep.
So, as much we really want sleep to have all these structures; it’s really not priority number one which is kind of sad because we feel like as parents, it’s like you’re exhausted. It is priority number one. It’s really not.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: It’s not a priority. Okay.
JEN VARELA: That’s crazy to say as the sleep coach. But I’m going to say: “First is making sure that you’ve got good feed relationship established.”
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Food, attachment and then sleep.
JEN VARELA: In those first few months for sure.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: We’re just going to take a quick break. When we come back, we’re going to talk about: “How to develop a strategy for handling your baby’s sleep patterns.”
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Welcome back. Today, we’re talking with Jen Varela learning some tips to help twin parents get their zero to three-month-olds in a good sleeping routine.
As twin parents, we’ve pretty much realized what we have to plan everything. So, in doing that, what are some of the things that they need to consider in developing a sleep strategy together for their twins?
JEN VARELA: Kind of interesting as far as where can you get another set of hands, right? So, you might find that there are things that you need to off. So, like a swing can be an extra set of hands or what not. So, I think when you’re really looking at sleep strategies, it’s kind of a bigger picture not just night time, right? So, you want to definitely get help where you can.
I think a lot of us just think: “We can do this, right?” So, I think getting help where you need help is really essential. Trying to synchronize the eating schedules that can really help a lot when one goes around then both go down – so, that’s where you want to try and watch what’s happening during the day as far as their napping goes.
Establish regular routines around your days and bedtime because there is a lot to be said honestly about routines and I know you did another segment on that. But, how your subconscious really aligns with those cues that it’s time to go to sleep.
The little ones, they do make that connection with you do the same thing and the same fashion every time. When it’s time to go to sleep – that would really help a lot with helping them associate that with sleep.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: When should the parents be putting together their sleep strategy? They’re doing all these research during the pregnancy and now, they know: “The three months are going to be a little crazy.” So, when should they be getting together, putting their heads together and developing that strategy?
JEN VARELA: This is where it’s still an individual person, right? So, you can’t go: “Okay, now we’ve hit six weeks. So, now it’s time to sleep train.” My philosophy would be – you don’t sleep train till after six months; however just like all the experts after they have compromised by saying: “Yes, you need to have some sense of schedule or what not.”
I think doing things in the same fashion in the same order can really begin to start that association with sleep. So, a sleep routine if you will like how you will sing a certain song when you’re changing the diaper when it’s time to go to sleep or using a sleep cue. Me and my company Sugar Night, Night because that’s what I say to my kids when it’s time to go to bed: “Sugar, night, night.”
So, sleep cues, you can start those. So, it’s an association that goes with the bedtime routine. You can start those early on for sure. As far as any kind of sleep training – that part of it I would say after six months.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: You were just for the parents’ kind of putting their own strategy together. Just getting on the same page and saying: “Okay, what are the rules that we’re going to take in creating our sleep strategy?” Maybe that means one parent might try to put them down while the other is either pumping or trying to get some sleep.
JEN VARELA: So, I think this is what’s really fun. With singleton families, sometimes the moms kind of consider a luxury to have a dad involved in helping. But, I think with twins, it’s essential.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: It’s a necessity.
JEN VARELA: It has, absolutely. So, doctors here a quote in his the baby sleep book. It says: “While mothers of single babies might consider night time help from their husbands is a luxury. For mothers of multiples, it is a necessity.”
So, he talks about how one strategy was: “Each parent took a child. So, that’s the child they were in charge of for that night.” So, at least they were only half the amount of time versus doubles and then, once one was starting to sleep during the night. Then, you start taking shifts on that one child.
So, I personally think that’s just one of the benefits of having twins is that: “You early on learn to work as a team instead of that getting delayed.” I think that’s kind of cool. We need them and/or a partner.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Exactly! I think definitely a big educational opportunity and its like: “Sorry honey, this is not negotiable.”
JEN VARELA: I know right.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: I have to admit. In talking to your husband or your partner; I’m sure – I mean parenting styles going to have a lot to do with that. So, how does that come into play? Maybe one parent is really lacking and whatever goes. The other one is: “Okay, no we want to be very exacting.” So, how do you negotiate that?
JEN VARELA: I have to say that probably in the first three months, there’s probably not a lot of negotiation going on. It’s really more like: “We got to do it together, survival mode.” But, I do think there could be questions about separation of duties right? So, once like: “That’s not just my job.”
I think those are good things to kind of talk about before the baby’s coming if you have that opportunity to kind of talk about how much do we really want the in-laws to be involved? The reality is probably with twins, you probably need to have family help. How are you going to manage that? What are your expectations?
So, I think those would be fabulous conversations to have prior to the children and not at 3:00 in the morning when you’re all both tired and exhausted. I think some basic ones would be definitely like how much help do you want from family.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: When we look at those three months of craziness, what are some of the practical tips that you can recommend to new parents for building a sleeping routine? What are you working into it?
JEN VARELA: So, I think keeping a simple feed and sleep log is really helpful because all of a sudden just because – where I’m at? How many ounces have I had? How much sleep do they have? It’s a way to kind of calm the anxiousness too for you – to know that your little ones are getting what they need and it will allow you to start to see when they do start stretching. So, that’s good to know.
We talked about before you want to get them on the same schedule. So, one way to do that is to wake the baby. It’s really scary for that to say. But, an example being if you know where you want the naps to be, wake them 90 minutes before you want the next the next nap to begin or the next sleep piece to begin.
You want to try and put them down drowsy but awake when you can. I would say: “At least once a day.” I call it practicing putting them down, drowsy but awake because some children will get there faster than others. So, that learning to self-sooth it’s not something you can necessarily rush.
After six months, that’s different but, if you practice putting them down, aware of their surroundings that can help so much. Then, wake them at the same time in the morning at least within 30 minutes of each other.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: So, they may not have exact same sleep cycle. So, usually for fraternal twins – so you were saying: “Give yourself kind of a 30 minute.”
JEN VARELA: The conflict on that if you will, is this whole – what happens when you have won that’s a really good sleeper. Now, you start waking that one to get them on schedule with the one that’s not as strong as a sleeper. Now, the one that was the strong sleeper is sleep deprived.
So, I think you have to be mindful and know that there could be some compromise sometimes where you let one snooze a little longer. Then, that’s going to produce regular sleep routines. So, it’s sort of a fine line there because you don’t want to discourage the one that’s doing well. He’s a good sleeper by wearing them out.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: This is not the exact science.
JEN VARELA: No. Not like how you do the twins. That’s why you’re in for survival. Everyone’s breathing.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Do you recommend putting twins in the same crib or bassinet or do you think keeping them separate is it disruptive to have them together or does it help them sleep better? What do you think?
JEN VARELA: So, there’s been some interesting studies out there which is kind of fun to take a look at. I like Kim West how she calls it: “Room to Room.” So, they’re used to being together.
So, in 2002, clinical pediatricians researched Apnea and monitors on 11 sets of preterm twins and compared the readings with the twins slept together in the same bassinet and slept separately.
Then, the twins that were sleeping together showed fewer episodes of Apnea which means there is definitely something happening for them being together. That’s a good thing even helped to regulate their breathing which I thought was interesting.
So, the trick on putting them into the same crib is or bed is that: “Obviously safety.” So, if you have rolling little ones, I think they need to be separated. Whether that benefit really is still in place after there are first few weeks is there’s a lot of debate on that because if they are really fully sleeping then not aware of the other one. But, initially, I think it’s a great thing.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: A little body want. I know I put my identical girls together and we’d swaddle them up and put them in a little burrito- babies next to each other. They slept well.
But, then as time went on; I would want to say: “Probably when they were about two months old and they started pulling their arms out of the swaddle, my husband and I as soon as we just wake up in the middle of the night because one of them which is: “They are crying.” What’s going out?” We couldn’t figure out.
JEN VARELA: They’re messing with each other.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Yes! They just pull their arms up and slap the other one in the head and then the other one’s crying; the one that slap just fine sleep.
JEN VARELA: Dr. Harvey Karp talks about that in his book: “Baby Guide to a Great Sleep” that they’ve even stone studies that it can cause breathing issues. So, one hand lays over the mouth or nose of the other child.
So, I think a good really [inaudible] is when they start reaching or grasping for things. You definitely need to be gradually moving them apart from each other. Two and a half months is a really good time to go.
Okay, the benefits that there would be probably have been used to the full extent that they’re going to be. However, you know twin families they have done it for a really long period of time. So, I think it’s a very individual decision. I just think you need to do it safely. Just like any co-sleeping situation needs to be done safely.
But, I do think it’s interesting in the study on how there are fewer episodes of Apnea – so that they were actually sleeping better or breathing better.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: It’s almost like a kind of co-sleeping then; just having kind of another baby. So, let’s see here. Now, twin parents are in survival mode and there’s at some point, they’re going to get really desperate. We’ve been there.
We’re thinking about putting together this sort of strategy and what about having sort of a backup plan? Is there something that twin parent should think about and say: “Okay, here’s our routine, what we want to do and if this all else fails then what?
JEN VARELA: I think that’s a very important thing to acknowledge and accept because it probably will happen. You’re probably going to hit a point where you know when both the babies are crying at the same time. You just feel like you’re losing your mind right?
So, I think you got a first go: “Okay, try not to think it too frazzled.” Know that your calming, soothing voice is essential for them. So, your perspective is very important. I know some parents too just feel like: “I don’t have enough to give because there’s always helping one and the other one’s crying.
So, I had a lady tell me, a really wise thing. She says: “Love and multiple so it doesn’t divide.” I thought: “That’s really true. When you are really loving, it does multiply.” The need that you’re not being able to meet like you maybe dream of doing for your child may get – may that because they’re going to have a forever play partner.
So, I think it’s important one piece is to take a look at your own expectations and take a look at where’s your level of – is it time to put the mask on your face like they show in the airplanes? You put the mask on you first and then on the babies. So, be mindful of where you’re at. Are you at a breaking point? So, help – ask for help.
One thing that I think is really significant for parents of twins is that: “It’s not just – can you help me with the babies? But who’s going to run the errands to the store and to the pharmacy and the post office and the grocery store.”
So, there are many other needs that could be delegated and often you will have friends and family members come and say: “I want to help, right?” Then, your answer is: “Yes, please.”
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Yes.
JEN VARELA: Here’s what I need on this day at this time. Here’s your task. So, if you can have your iPhone, your day-timer, your notepad with what your needs are – a list always going to someone asks you can actually give them a specific answer.
Honestly, for you to get to the phone to actually call them to ask them to do it and then get them and that could get their message and another message back. Then, at a point – you’re like: “It’s not even worth asking for help.”
So, I think one thing that can be really helpful is knowing what your needs are, have them ready so when someone offers you can give them the date, time, place and specific tasks. Just know that is really okay to delegate and ask for help.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Well, thanks so much Jen for joining us today and to learn more about: “Sleeping tips with Jen Varela or for more information about any of our experts or panelists, visit the episode page on our website. This conversation continues for members of our Twin Talks Club. After the show, Jen will talk about how twin parents can go solo and keep their sanity. So, for more information about the Twin Talks Club, visit our website www.TwinTalks.com .
SHELLY STEELY: Today, on our annoying comments that twin moms get. We have Christina in New York. Christina says:
“I have identical girls and people still say: “A boy and a girl.” I respond with: “No.” They’re both girls and they’re wearing matching outfits. I have people followed me around the store trying to look at the car seats to see them.
I also have people say: “I always wanted twins.” No, you don’t it’s more of a challenge than one baby plus I have two toddlers on top of my four-month-old twins which makes it even harder.
Other questions are always: “Whose family do they run in? Are they in yours or your husband’s?” I try to tell them that fraternal twins run in the families and ours are identical. Even if they did run in my husband’s family that has nothing to do having twins at all because it would have come from my side, they don’t listen.
One more: “People tell me: “They’re identical. Do you know that’s good luck?” Really?”
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: So, that wraps up our show for today. We appreciate you listening to Twin Talks. Join in on the discussion by posting your comments on the Twin Talks Facebook page or by calling our voice mail at 619-866-4775.
Don’t forget to check our sister shows:
• Preggie Pals for expecting parents
• The Boob Group for moms who breastfeed their babies
• Parent Savers an online support group for the new parents.
This is Twin Talks, parenting times two.
This has been a New Mommy Media production. Information and material contained in this episode are presented for educational purposes only. Statements and opinions expressed in this episode are not necessarily those of New Mommy Media and should not be considered facts. Though the information in which areas are related to be accurate, it is not intended to replace or substitute for professional, Medical or advisor care and should not be used for diagnosing or treating health care problem or disease or prescribing any medications. If you have questions or concerns regarding your physical or mental health or the health of your baby, please seek assistance from a qualified healthcare provider.
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