If you have twins or triplets, it is possible for them to share a large sleep space - this is called co-bedding. 

Research has shown that sleeping similar sized newborns within the same large cot does not mean that they wake more often - in fact, it can help with forming similar sleep patterns. 

Generally, multiples who are used to co-bedding won't disturb each other, although every baby is different, so there will be exceptions. 

You can safely put two or three babies in one cot by placing them in the feet-to-foot position, with bedding tucked in and not loose (see the below diagrams for a visual explanation of this). 

Diagram illustrating the feet-to-foot position for twins and triplets as well as side-by-side sleeping in infant sleeping bags


How to ensure safe sleep guidance is followed when co-bedding multiples

Here's a few things to avoid when co-bedding your multiples:

  • Do not co-bed multiples in a small space, such as a moses basket or bassinet, due to the risk of overheating.
  • Do not use rolled up blankets or towels to prop up your babies. You will often see premature babies in hospitals using props like this, but it's important to remember that in hospitals they are very closely monitored. When you bring them home, it's important to follow safe sleep practices unless advised by your medical professional.
  • Do not co-bed your babies after they begin rolling or travelling around the cot - it's important that when they start moving, they have their own space to sleep.

Often, space is a big issue for families of twins, triplets and more - especially when the babies are unable to share a cot anymore. Many families do not have the space in their room or living area for two or more cots. 


Commonly asked questions around space

Twins Trust has worked in conjunction with The Lullaby Trust to provide some answers to common questions around space:

Q: My babies are now four-months-old and they're 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?

  • Placing your babies to sleep on their back for every sleep is essential to reducing the risk of SIDS. Travel cots, smaller cribs or cots or a combination may offer a good alternative for daytime naps downstairs until they are six months old.
  • If this is not an option, leaving all of the doors open and checking on them regularly is important. Using a baby monitor may give some peace of mind, but it shouldn't replace your presence in the room whilst they're napping.

Q: 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?

  • It can sometimes be difficult to follow the safer sleep advice if you are short of space. If you can’t fit two cots in your bedroom, make the advice work for you - leaving doors open between your rooms, or taking it in turn with your partner to sleep in with the twins in a nursery room can be good alternatives.
  • If possible, it may be that you can borrow something smaller than a full-sized cot for a couple of months, such as a crib or a smaller travel cot.


Overhead image looking down on twins sleeping in the feet-to-foot position at opposite ends of a cot


Can my twins and triplets share a next-to-me crib?  

These cribs (also known as a bedside crib or co-sleeper) are smaller than a UK standard cot size and have only been safety tested for one baby. For this reason if you have the space we would advise that you get a full size cot for your babies to share. This is more cost effective as once they are rolling or travelling around the cot the advice is that they have their own sleep space.


Explore more advice about sleep



Access further resources as a registered user
Register as a free user, or if you are already registered sign-in, to access further information, including our Sleep Top Tips Guide. Our Twins Trust members also get access to a Sleep Expectations webinar, to help guide you through the milestones of sleep and what to expect.



Personal stories from parents of multiples

Hear personal stories about how people have experienced sleep with their multiples and how Twins Trust services like our Twinline helpline supported them.

Diana's story
Twin mum Diana Daborn called Twinline in despair over sleep and routines issues in 2016 – now she volunteers as a Twinline listener herself.
David's story
β€œIt was a difficult time for all four of us,” said David. "The routine that we had suddenly was not working for us.


Further help and resources from Twins Trust

Sleep for twins, triplets and more is one of our most asked about topics and we understand that there are lots of questions you may have about how your babies are sleeping. We're here to support you during this stage of your children's development and the below resources have lots more useful information about sleep.


Our helpline, Twinline, is here to support you, answering questions about feeding, sleeping, starting school, friendships, getting to grips with the teenage years, or anything else multiples related.

Sleep online course

Our two-part course is designed for parents who have twins, triplets or more aged from 12 months old up until the age of five who are experiencing challenges around sleeping.

Sleep online clinic

Our regular sleep clinic gives you the opportunity to drop in and chat with experts and other parents of multiples about your babies' sleep.