It is possible for twins and triplets to share a large sleep space and this is called co-bedding. Research has shown that sleeping similar sized newborns in the same cot does not mean they wake more often, in fact their sleeping patterns become more similar. Generally, multiples that are used to co-bedding do not disturb each other. It is possible to have two or three babies sharing a cot by placing them in the feet to foot position, with bedding tucked in and not loose (see diagrams and guidance below).
- Do not co-bed in a moses basket or bassinette due to the limited space and risk of overheating.
- Do not use rolled up blankets or towels etc to prop up your babies. Often you will see premature babies in hospital using things like this but it’s important to remember that whilst in hospital the babies are very closely monitored. When you bring them home it is important to follow the safe sleep guidance unless advised by your medical professional.
- Do not co-bed them once one of your babies is rolling or travelling around the cot. It is important that they have their own sleep space at this point.
Space is often a massive issue for families of twins, triplets and more, especially when the babies are unable to share a cot anymore. Many families do not have space in their room or in the living area for two or more cots. Twins Trust has worked in conjunction with The Lullaby Trust to provide some alternative solutions.
My babies are 4 months old and are too big to share a cot. I don’t have space for two cots downstairs for daytime naps. What is the safest way to sleep them in the day? Following safer sleep advice like placing your baby to sleep on their back for every sleep is essential to reducing the risk of SIDS. Travel cots, smaller cribs/cots or a combination may offer a good alternative for daytime naps downstairs until they are 6 months old. However, if this isn’t an option, leaving doors open and checking them regularly is important. Using a baby monitor may give peace of mind but shouldn’t replace your presence in the room whilst they are napping.
I’ve read that babies need separate sleep spaces once they can roll and move about the cot. What is the best thing to do if I don’t have space for two cots in my room? Sometimes it may be difficult to follow all of The Lullaby Trust safer sleep advice if you are short of space. If you can’t fit two cots in your bedroom for your twins, make the advice work for you – leave doors open between your rooms, or take in turns with a partner to sleep with the twins in a nursery room. If possible, you may even be able to borrow something smaller than a second cot for a couple of months, such as a crib or smaller travel cot.