Preparing for Twins is one of the most exciting and daunting tasks for any new parent. The nursery will become such an integral part of your household and making the nursery as safe as possible for the many hours that the babies will be asleep is top priority. Twin Love Concierge asked Lauren Lappen from Wee Sleep Solutions, Certified Infant and Child Sleep Consultant, to share her tips on setting up your twins nursery for a safe slumber.
You recently learned you’re having twins! One of the most exciting things to do when preparing for a baby (or two!) is setting up and decorating the nursery. As a sleep consultant, I want to ensure all our little ones are as safe as possible at all times, especially when we put them to sleep. So here are some of my top tips and reminders for a sound and safe slumber for all of your babies.
Most importantly, always, always, always put your baby down on his or her back. This is one of the most effective ways of reducing SIDS.
Babies should sleep in an empty crib or bassinet with a flat hard surface. Be sure your crib meets government safety standards; drop-side cribs are no longer permissible and slots shouldn’t be more than 2 3/8 inches apart. All you need is a tight, fitted sheet on the mattress. I know it’s tempting to make your nursery cute with bumpers and stuffed animals, but please, take them out of your baby’s sleep area; these are suffocation hazards. Animals and blankets look just as cute on a chair or shelf. Instead of a blanket in the crib, swaddle your baby, and if you feel your baby has outgrown the swaddle or if he’s rolling around, put him in a sleep sack. Studies show that swaddled babies sleeping on their back are at a lower risk for SIDS than are unswaddled babies sleeping on their stomachs. When you swaddle make sure you leave enough room for their legs to extend so you prevent hip displasia.
Do Twins Wake Each Other?
Parents of twins ask me all the time if their babies will wake each other up if they share a room. The truth is, if you decide to keep your twins in the same room, they will learn to sleep through each other’s noises. There is no need to be dragging pack ‘n plays around your house to separate the babies at nighttime (as one family I worked with actually did!). After a few days, they really will get used to each other and will tune out one another’s cries.
If you do chose to have them in the same room (as most twins are), many twin parents debate whether the babies should share a crib. While the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends against bed sharing of any kind, parents of twins often feel strongly about keeping their babies physically close. Regardless of your decision, once either baby starts to role, or begins to break out of the swaddle, babies should have separate sleep spaces. When able to role, babies often move a lot in their sleep. I know I wouldn’t sleep very well if my sister was constantly hitting me in the face! One simple solution to this is to have two cribs side by side, so the babies can see each other, but move freely.
The perfect sleep conditions
- Carefully consider the placement of cribs in the room. Make sure that no drapery or cords from window treatments are in arms reach. Similarly, wires of any kind (particularly cameras from video monitors that are often very close to the crib) must be safely secured behind furniture so baby cannot play with them. Outlets should be covered throughout the room and furniture should be bolted to the wall.
- When your children sleep, they will do best if their room is a dark and calming space. Children sleep best in a room around 70 degrees, dressed in clothes similar to what an adult would find comfortable. Beware of overdressing your babies. Overheating increases the risk of SIDS, not to mention it is hard to sleep if you’re too hot.
- Purchase black out shades for your windows so the room is as dark as possible, especially during naptime and early in the morning.
- A white noise machine will help muffle other noise in and around the house. Ensure the nursery isn’t too stimulating; toys, especially those that may spontaneously make noise or have lights flashing, should be put away before sleep time.
Now that your nursery is set up for safe slumber, go enjoy your little ones and rest assured that they’re safe and sound!
Are you expecting Twins? Come join our Expecting Twins Workshops around the country – NYC, Connecticut, Houston, Miami and LA, see the classes tab on Twin Love Concierge.[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]http://twinloveconcierge.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/L.Lappen-headshot.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Lauren is a graduate from Washington University in St. Louis with a B.A. in Psychology and Educational Studies, and has an MBA from Babson College. She is also an ICF certified Coach through Fielding Graduate University and always had a desire to use her coaching to help parents of young children. Not having children at the time of her training, Lauren felt she needed to earn the accolades before attempting to instruct others on issues of child rearing.
Now a mom to 3, daughter Ellie and twins Rebecca and Kira, Lauren recognized the importance of self-care and sought to instill healthy sleep habits in her children so that she could ensure her own rest and be at her best as a parent, wife and friend. Initially, sleep was not without its challenges. Lauren’s first baby was underweight and she was nursing, so it was several months before an uninterrupted night’s sleep was possible. Lauren knows how it feels to be sleep deprived, and can empathize with others who are in desperate need of some rest. This experience in the trenches allows her to better assist families; having (sleep)walked in their shoes, she knows how essential it is to have a healthy sleep routine. After routinely helping friends with their children’s sleep woes, Lauren realized she could help more families by becoming a certified Sleep Consultant and co-founded Wee Sleep Solutions. You can also follow Wee Sleep Solutions on facebook [/author_info] [/author]