Going through transitions can feel stressful when you have a baby. When you have two babies, it can feel like an outright anxiety attack. What is the best age? Do we do this one at a time or at the same time? Will I ever sleep again?
My mom gave me some of the best advice when it came to any transition, “it is better to train a puppy than a dog.” That might sound weird, comparing babies to puppies, but it was sound advice. I did every transition on the earlier side or right when our Dr. said we were ready, and we were all better for it. Their memory is short and they quickly forgot whatever it was that was before.
I also told them what was going to happen in the days leading up to a big change. A few days before we did a transition I would let the boys know that something was going to happen and why, even when they were babies. Kids don’t like sudden changes and I believe when they are trusted with information, they handle it better.
We lost these at about 3 months, my boys weren’t so much into swaddles so it made it easy. However, if you have babies that rely on the swaddle, there are plenty you can get that allow for a gradual transition to a sleep sack including Halo and Love to Dream.
One alternative suggestion is taking one arm out for a few nights then following with the other if your babies resist the change.
Regardless of the method you chose, babies must have their arms released by 4months for their muscle development and discontinued completely when they show signs of rolling over or breaking free from the swaddle wrap.
We did this a bit later then people might suggest, in part because the boys were smaller and still needed a night feed until about five and half months and then we were traveling. I waited until we got back from a trip at 6 and half months and started sleep training. They stayed in our room until they could sleep on their own and through the night, then we moved them to the nursery.
Educating yourself early on the different types of sleep training is key to making the whole process easier, as often parents leave until they are faced with sleep issues that they look for quick solutions. The TLC online Twins & Sleep 101 class is a great alternative for live education and support!
I lost the bottle pretty soon after the boys turned one. We did it gradually, where I used a cup in the morning, then bottle for lunch and before bed. About 2 weeks later their lunch bottle was replaced with a cup, then about a month later I replaced their bedtime bottle with a cup. By 13/14 months we were bottle free!
We did this a bit gradual as well. Around a year old we went to only having pacifiers at naps. As soon as they woke, I would put them in a drawer so they were out if sight. Then once in bed I would give the pacifiers back. This actually caused no issues. If the boys asked for them I would just say, pacifiers are for sleeping only and distract them with something else. We were traveling around the holidays so I kept them for traveling, but when we returned, we got rid of them for good. A friend had a baby a few months previous so I told the boys that is was time to pass them on to Baby Roark because she needed them. There were a couple nights where they were restless but after a couple days the pacifiers were forgotten about.
Another tip I heard is to poke a hole in them, then they won’t work so the baby will just give up on it, on their own.
We did it on the early side and I am SO glad I did. I have friends who waited until three years old and it was much more of a struggle then it was for me. We started training at 23 months and by 2 they were trained. My biggest piece of advice is when you lose the diapers, LOSE them. Going back and forth sends mixed messages. Use pull ups for naps and bedtime but underwear only during the day.
About the Author
Kate DiRienzo-Payne, TLC’s Pre & Postpartum Associate, has lived in Los Angeles for over 12 years. Kate set out on learning everything there is to know about twins – classes, pregnancy books, testing products to speaking with other twin moms for advice. Along with raising two happy, healthy, adventurous twin boys, she is focused on helping other twin moms in the Los Angeles area giving each other the personalised support they need. You can also follow her journey at www.kidskillcoolness.com. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on our LA services.