When you first found out you were expecting twins, your reaction was probably somewhat between excitement and panic. If you’re like most parents of a double blessing, you probably immediately had a number of questions. While there are a lot of things that don’t change about raising babies, regardless of whether it is one baby or half a dozen, there are some needs that twins and multiples (and their parents) have that are unique. And it’s always a good idea to learn as much as you can about it before the babies arrive.
One of the first questions many parents ask as they’re scurrying around buying two of everything is, “do we need two cribs, or can the babies sleep together?” The answer, quite simply is this: not only can they sleep together for the first few months of their lives, but they should. So, put back the credit card, at least for now. You won’t need a second crib until the babies are at least three months old, and quite possibly later than that.
There are several reasons for this. First of all, your twins have spent nine months in the womb looking almost exclusively at one another. By the time they are born, they are thoroughly familiar with one another. And for babies, familiarity means comfort. Everything in the world is strange for a newborn. Twins, however, have one thing that they come into the world with which they are thoroughly familiar…each other.
Twins generally find one another’s presence to be soothing. If for no other reason, you should lay twins down to sleep together because you stand a much better chance of actually getting them to sleep that way. Even when they touch each other or make noise, the close contact is more likely to help them sleep than to keep them from it.
Another reason to have twins sleep together during the first several months of their lives is that it is easier to get them on the same schedule that way. If you make a habit of putting them down at the same time, and getting them up at the same time, you’ll be doing yourself a huge favor in terms on not having one baby awake and one baby asleep all the time.
So, when should the babies be separated? Generally speaking, it’s a good idea to put them in separate cribs when they start rolling over on their own. Even then, however, you should place the cribs so that they can see one another, as this will still help them to relax and fall asleep.