Tips for sleep training twins and triplets

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Tips for sleep training twins and triplets

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I have been so lucky to work with 100s of parents of multiples, all the way up to quads. And boy, was that fun! And we had 4 babies in cribs in one room and the parents sleep coached them successfully for naps and night. It was great. It shows you that you really can do it. If it's 2-3-4 kids all in a crib at once. It's absolutely possible. Maybe a little more challenging, might take a little longer because they wake each other up. But it is doable and worth the effort. So usually what I'll do is I'll have the parents of course put them in awake into their cribs after a great day of naps and a soothing relaxing bedtime routine. And if you have twins, then one parent can sit next to each crib. If you have more than twins, then one parent can sit in the middle and kind of do the rounds to the different cribs and reassure them that everything's okay, always with the caveat that you can pick up if they get hysterical as long as you don't hold them to sleep. But you can comfort them and say, I'm here for you, but it's time for ny-ny. And then you stay until they're all asleep. And then you move out every three nights until they start to incorporate the skill of putting themselves to sleep. So typically parents will say will what if one my one twin or one my one multiple wakes up the other one in the middle of the night? What should I do? I mean, lots of times we don't have enough bedrooms that we can put everyone in the same room. Better to keep them all in the same room. And just note that they will eventually learn how to sleep through each other's cries. And yes. It is true that they will wake each other up. It's okay. You know, so you just go into the one that's woken up. It's okay honey. Attend to the one that's more awake. Stay with them. And go back and forth. The same thing as you would do at bedtime until they're asleep. And with naps, sometimes I have to separate them for naps. Particularly if you have one multiple who sleeps better than the other and really is disturbing the other one's sleep. And it's just really not fair. So I might do that temporarily. Get like a Pack-n-Play in the other room. And of course you can't really do the sleepy shuffle. You have to go back and forth between the rooms in time-checked intervals until they're asleep for naps. I've had some parents they just keep them separate for naps and together at night. And others who after some time bring the other twin or multiple into the room and they have shared naps together.

Watch Video: Tips for sleep training twins and triplets by Kim West, LCSW-C, ...

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Kim West, LCSW-C

Psychotherapist & Author, The Sleep Lady's Good Night, Sleep Tight

Kim West is a mother of two and a Licensed Certified Social Worker-Clinical (LCSW-C) who has been a practicing child and family social worker for more than 19 years. Known as The Sleep Lady by her clients, over the past 12 years she has helped thousands of tired parents all over the world learn to listen to their intuition, recognize their child’s important cues and behaviors, and gently create changes that promote and preserve his or her healthy sleep habits. 

West has appeared on the Dr. Phil, Today Show, NBC Nightly News, Good Morning America, TLC’s Bringing Home Baby  and CNN, and has been written about in a number of publications including The Wall Street Journal, Associated Press, Baby Talk,  Parenting, The Baltimore Sun, USA Today, The Telegraph, The Irish Independent and the Washington Post. West hosts the sleep section of The Newborn Channel, played in maternity wards in hospitals across the country. West is the author of The Sleep Lady's Good Night, Sleep Tight: Gentle Proven Solutions to Help Your Child Sleep Well and Wake Up Happy with Joanne Kenen. She is also the author of 52 Sleep Secrets for Babies and The Good Night, Sleep Tight Workbook.

Kim received her master’s degree in Clinical Social Work from Simmons College in Boston, Massachusetts. She lives with her family in Annapolis, Maryland.

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