Bebcare Academy - Understanding the Sleeping Patterns of Twins
A blog post by Guest Blogger Allie
While it isn’t uncommon for babies to have a fraught relationship with sleep, parents of twins know how much more difficult it is to get two babies on a simultaneous sleep schedule. According to a BBC News article on twin births, approximately 1.6 million twins are born each year worldwide. The figures indicate that there's currently a peak in twin incidences. This means that it has become increasingly important to understand the sleeping patterns of twin babies.
Establishing a sleeping routine for your twins can seem daunting at first. However, recognizing the sleeping patterns of twins can help a great deal for parents who want to know the factors that will ensure continuous, quality sleep for their babies.
Co-bedding helps babies sleep better
Co-bedding is when you put your twins to sleep in a single cot while they’re still small enough to fit comfortably. This closeness in proximity allows for a better regulation of body temperatures and sleep cycles. As twins get older, however, they may outgrow the shared space of a single cot. For older twins, you may place them in separate cots that are located right next to each other for continued comfort.
As a precaution, though, an article on Twins Trust suggests separating babies when they sleep as soon as they can move on their own. This ensures that they won’t roll onto their siblings and possibly obstruct their airways. Understandably, parents will still feel the need to check in with their babies through the night to feel reassured, and this is where baby monitors are particularly helpful. In buying a baby monitor, it’s important to consider one that allows you to go about your daily routine without interruptions. Equipped with a unique white noise silencer technology, Bebcare baby monitors help eliminate white noise coming from the background and prevent disruptions that could detract the parent’s sleep quality.
Babies' sleeping pattern is largely genetic
Although it has been established that environmental influences affect a baby’s sleeping pattern, with the development of a routine impacted largely by what infants experience, a baby’s behavior towards their environment is often too subjective to be quantified. In fact, aspects of development once thought to be attributed to a child’s environment are revealed to have a genetic component.
Maryville University expounded on a study of twins which found that genetics makes up 60% of a baby’s temperament. Furthermore, the university looked at whether the sleeping patterns of twin babies, fraternal or identical, are primarily determined by genetic influences. With twin babies, although poor sleeping patterns can be corrected by creating a sleep-friendly environment like exposure to sunlight, whether a baby is easy to calm and soothe when crying is indicative of the genetic factors they have inherited. Fortunately, overcoming their genetic disposition is possible by way of activities such as rocking, swaddling, and swaying.
Babies' sleeping pattern can benefit from a white noise machine
White noise not only helps block out wailing sounds, but it can also lull your twin babies into a soothing sleep. In an article on the effects of white noise on newborns, Amy O’Connor reports that 80% of those exposed to white noise dozed off within five minutes, while only 25% fell asleep as quickly without background noise. Incorporating white noise machines into your twin babies’ sleeping routine can foster a restful environment for them. Don't worry though! Bebcare baby monitors can filter out the white noise with a bit of tweaking.
It’s important to factor in the duration of white noise machine use. Despite the fact that white noise sounds can be incredibly helpful during the more difficult stages in synchronizing your twin babies’ sleep patterns, it isn’t good in the long run to have them exposed to the same noises every night. Reliance on a white noise machine can detract from establishing an independent sleeping schedule when your twins grow older. So use it for the first few months, then sparingly across the next few weeks to help your babies transition into self-soothing.
For parents, understanding the observable traits of twin babies’ sleeping patterns is important. Setting up parameters aligned with the information on sleeping patterns can be a huge step in ensuring that your twins will be raised in a happy, healthy way.
Note: We want to thank Allie Darwin for authoring this guest blog post!