One of the most debated topic with our parents of twins, triplets and more is their baby's ability to sleep through the night or not. During their first year your twins, triplets and more will develop and change quickly and often and their sleep needs will change to reflect this. Find out more in our sleep expectations webinar.
Harriet, an experienced Health Visitor and a qualified Sleep Consultant as well as a busy mum to her son and twin girls, answered commonly asked questions in our Ask the Expert sleep session, held in December 2020. Please click here to view.
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 newborn 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.
Many parents of multiples decide to sleep them together in the same cot for the first few weeks As soon as any of your babies start to roll, move them into their own cots to ensure that they will not roll onto their siblings and possibly restrict their airways. It is important that this is done safely and Twins Trust have produced a factsheet on keeping babies safer when sleeping. When your babies are ready, we also have information about moving in to beds.
There are a large number of sleeping products available to buy. The Lullaby Trust have guidelines to help you make an informed choice here.
Reducing the risk of SIDS
Sadly, some babies die suddenly and unexpectedly during their sleep for no explainable reason. This is called 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 that placing a baby to sleep on their back reduces the risk, while exposing a baby to cigarette smoke or overheating increases the risk. For more details on reducing the risk of SIDS please look at the Lullaby Trust website and on our factsheet. Remember that SIDS is rare, so don’t let worrying about it stop you enjoying your babies’ first few months. But do follow the advice to reduce the risks as much as possible.