How To's, Personal, Twins

How to: Get your babies to SLEEP


Sleep is the ultimate goal for all of us: we know that with sleep we think clearer, look better, act better, live longer, eat healthier and stay fitter.  It’s also the main culprit for the newborn fog that parents experience; we all want to move past this stage ASAP.  In this blog I discuss the magic tricks I use to  get my newborns and my toddler to sleep so well.  And at the end of this is a list of all my items that you’ll need to purchase to achieve a perfect night’s sleep with your babies.

By the time my twins were 12 weeks old I hired a sleep trainer and in a week they were sleeping 7pm-7am!  So incredible!  And my twins are two very different individuals who act totally opposite in most every way, from how much they eat to how much sleep they need.  Even so, they are now on the same schedule. (I am now pumping at 6am, 10am, 2pm, 6pm, and 10pm.  I gave up my 3am pump session once they started sleeping through the night by slowly adjusting it in 30 minute increments until I got to 6am.)

Aspen has been a good sleeper since I sleep trained her at 4.5 months old and since then she hasn’t slept less than 10 hours per night.  Now at 21 months she is averaging 14 hours per night with a 3 hour nap during the day.

Here’s my secrets with the twins:

Get them on a schedule.  My sleep trainer says as long as they weigh 9 lbs they can be put on a 4 hour schedule meaning they eat every 4 hours, and these guidelines can be applied for strictly breastmilk babies – like mine – or strictly formula babies or anything in between.  (I’ve also heard of the 12-12-12 rule: By the time they are 12 weeks and also weigh 12 lbs they can sleep for 12 hours.)  My twins went from eating 3-4oz of breastmilk every 3 hours to 5-8oz every 4 hours (sometimes I think they overeat and spit up but this doesn’t seem to bother them so I’m not concerned).  Once they were able to increase their ounces they were able to go for a 12 hour stretch at night.  Until this point we would give them a “dream feed”:  feeding them around 11pm but not waking them up all the way, just wake them up enough to eat but don’t change their diaper or undo their swaddle.

After each feeding keep the baby awake and stimulated for at least an hour (feeding time counts toward this hour) and up to two hours (except the 7pm feeding in which they will go to bed immediately after eating as this is bedtime).  After their awake period look for signs of sleepiness; once they yawn, swaddle them up and put them down.  Keep them in the same sleep environment whenever possible.  Ours is a dark, cold room with sound machines, ceiling fan, and tight swaddles. So to summarize:

Feed at 7am, 11am, 3pm, and 7pm (you may deviate up to 30 minutes in either direction if needed).  According to my lactation consultant a 3 month old may eat anywhere between 19-30 oz in a day.  (Hart eats about 19oz and Hayes eats about 28oz and both are totally normal.)  It doesn’t matter how much they eat in one sitting as long as they achieve those overall daily ounce goals.

If the baby is waking in the middle of the night acting hungry feed him.  If this happens institute the dream feed the next night as described above.  Each evening reduce the amount of food in the dream feed until it is eliminated.

Exceptions:

*Growth spurts: don’t starve your baby, if he’s hungry, feed him

*I always give a 24 hour grace period of going off schedule if something traumatic happens (for example: vaccinations or travel between time zones).  After those 24 hours we are back to the regular program, and this applies to Aspen as well.

*If your baby fusses, this is ok.  If he cries set your timer for 5 minutes, if he continues to cry assess his needs: is his diaper clean? is he hungry? is he burped? is his environment appropriate temperature/darkness/safe? Once you’ve checked off these boxes then put your baby back down (assuming it is time to sleep and he is tired).  Sometimes Hart will cry because he is overtired and I will give him gripe water.

PLEASE NOTE It is important that the baby is laid down drowsy but awake.

 

And now for Aspen!

As a 21 month old she has a tight schedule and routine.  Every night she is in her crib with lights out at 7pm.  Every night she wears a sleep sack, has her sound machine on, and goes down drowsy but awake in her crib.  Prior to this we read a book and say prayers.

Every morning Aspen wakes up around 8:30-9:00am.  Every day she eats lunch at 11 and goes down for a nap at 12:00.  She wakes up around 3:00-3:30 but if she wakes up earlier she isn’t allowed out of her crib until at least 2:00pm (but if I talk to her via the monitor and ask her to lay back down she usually will if she’s still tired).  Aspen knows her routine and knows we don’t deviate.  I keep her in a sleep sack so she won’t figure out how to climb over her crib, I think if I had put her down for a nap even a couple times without her sleep sack she would’ve figured out how to climb out even with it on!  So keep that sleep sack on your baby every time!

 

Remember, a well-rested child is a happy child.  Don’t force your babies to stay up late or push back a nap, they need AND want sleep!  Being overtired is a real thing that will become a long term problem and be difficult to diagnose as just sleepiness because behavioral issues will likely integrate into the child’s personality.  Your kid doesn’t have fomo so don’t keep them up for special things, let the babies sleep and everyone will be happier!

 

Here’s the necessities to achieve the sleep schedules my babies are on.  For less than $200 and following a schedule you and your babies will be perfectly rested!

Swaddle-me swaddle

3-pack for $29, Hart and Hayes wear these every day

 

Ollie swaddle (for your baby Houdini) 

$65, buy this for your baby if you love your sleep! Buy this for a friend if you have a heart.

 

Halo fleece swaddle for winter

$21, super easy to use and very warm and cozy

 

Dohm sound machine

$49, I put one next to each baby

 

Magnetic-me pajamas

$29, these are easier and faster than zippers!  Best invention EVER.  It’s all I ever put Aspen in and now the twins, it’s so FAST!

 

Kickeepants pajamas

$41, the SOFTEST and sweetest pajamas in the world!

 

Toddler sleep sack  (Aspen wears and XL, it looks huge but it fits her)

$32, every dollar is worth it because it keeps her confined to her crib

 

Toddler sleep sack for winter

$24, super soft blanket substitute for winter for your toddler

 

 

74 Comments

  • What do you do when your babies are too old to be swaddled anymore, meaning they can roll over?
    How do you transition from out of the swaddle and still keep them sleeping?

    • Hi! I just transitioned my lo out of her swaddle. I was super scared at first, but the way I did it worked and didn’t interfere with her sleep or ours. I purchased the swaddle up 50/50. I removed one side for a week and then the other. She now sleeps with both arms out freely and now it’s just like a sleep sack, but tighter on the chest- gives her a sense
      Of security.

    • Try the Love To Dream Swaddle Ups, my twins loved them. Once they learned how to roll we zipped off the arms and boom- it’s a sleep sack!

  • Wish I would have done some of this early on. My daughter is 1 and has never learned to fall asleep by herself. I always rock here to sleep, I wish I could put her in her crib awake 🤦🏼‍♀️

    • Yes that’s the only thing that concerns me. She is asleep a long time. My son did sleep training with baby wise book. He still is on that schedule. He slept from 8 until 6.trai with a 2 hours nap.

    • 9-16 hours of sleep a day is absolutely appropriate for a 2 year old. Sleep is when a child’s brain actually makes the neurological connections it needs for life. So, adequate sleep is essential!

  • This is great, Meghan! I have had my son on a similar schedule as well and it has worked just the same! People always roll their eyes at me about how “strict” I was with his bottle/sleeping schedule. But you know what he sleeps through

  • This is great, Meghan! I have had my son on a similar schedule as well and it has worked just the same! People always roll their eyes at me about how “strict” I was with his bottle/sleeping schedule. But you know what he sleeps through

  • I would love for my 16 month old daughter to nap better. She’s at daycare during the day and it never seems to be a strict schedule because of the age ranges. She does sleep about 12 hours a night and we have a little one on the way which I’m hoping I can get him on this plan too!

  • Interesting. That seems like a LOT of sleep for a 21 mo old. I’m a sleep consultant too, mom of twins and I have a third. This just doesn’t seem right. Does she have low iron levels?

  • My son will be 11 weeks tomorrow, and is already over 12lbs. He pretty much exclusively brass but every now and again does a bottle. Do you recommend doin a bottle/pump so you can monitor how much hey are getting? We dream feed at night, and it’s like every 2 hours. Do I wait til he’s full on crying to feed?

  • Maybe this explains why Aspen seems a little behind… she sleeps to much and doesnt get much activity for her brain for her age… She needs less sleep for sure.

    • Omg!!! Are you crazy lady! How dare you tell a mother her child’s seems behind! You are not a medical professional. I would flash on anyone that made that judgement about my kid. Shame on you!!!

    • I agree that it’s too much sleep for her age. My daughter just turned two and sleeps 11-12 hours per night with a 2-Hour nap in the afternoon…which is plenty and wonderful! However, I take issue with your comment that Aspen is “behind” …on what exactly? Because I’m a follower of Meghan and Nanny Carly and have only seen Aspen right on track developmentally. Kids have their own strengths and challenges, just like any human, and develop different skills at different times anyway. Your comment is uninformed.

          • I love reading your blogs and following you but this post seems very vague ..what do you do after the 5 minutes ? Are your babies just very good where they don’t cry after that lol see mine will go on and on all night we’ve seen nurse Nancy at Saint Luke’s with no luck I would love to know who your sleep trainer is 🙂

  • Do you not change your
    Twins diapers throughout the night? I would change the diaper 2-3x a a night. Maybe that’s why I have a poor sleeper at 3 still.

  • Every kid sleeps differently so don’t criticize if her daughter sleeps more than yours. Thanks for this great information Meghan

  • From the first sleepless night I was convinced to sleeptrainings but all knew that cry-it-out is so not for me!
    I googled another methods until found this one called hold-with-love by Susan Urban. It’s just few pages to read – it’s called „How to teach a baby to fall asleep alone” – and hours of sleep to save. With almost no crying at all! That’s the book I’ve found: https://www.parental-love.com/shop/baby-sleep-training

    • Just wanted to say that after reading your comment I decided to give it a try! I got Susan Urban’s ebook and read it very quickly ( less than 30 pages 🙂 and started sleep training straight away! It worked!!! Amazing! Just wanted to thank you for the link 🙂
      Good luck everyone!

    • Two years ago I sleep trained my son with this guide, and I thought it was the best guide with the best method out there. I’m 7 months pregnant, and I’m going to use this guide and few others from this series for sure. It was like a miracle after all these sleepless nights.

      • Is this that old?! Why didn’t I know any sooner? I discovered it lately, with my 3rd one and I am finally satisfied with chosen method! Woohoo!

    • This guide is just the best! My son was like the worst sleeper in the history and now he is the best! Thank you so much for sharing the link!

  • How do you get your boys to drink more? I have three month old twins too and I am trying to up the ounces per feeding but they fall asleep or won’t drink more.

  • Hi Meghan, do you ever get Aspen up because she is sleeping too long? She is close in age to my son and I typically only allow him to sleep around 3 hours since I am concerned he will not go to sleep as scheduled later in the evening.

  • I just saw your insta story where you walked into little ones room as he woke up and he was at the end of the crib and as you noted you were doing every unsafe sleep thing imaginable. It is one thing to be unaware of the dangers but it sounded like you knew how unsafe this all was but you did it anyways. Baby should be alone in a crib on their back. Dock a tot is not safe. Blankets are not safe. Crib bumpers are not safe. Swaddling after 8 weeks is not safe. Any of these could cause baby to suffocate or become strangled. I do not know why you would ever want to risk it, maybe you are unaware of how truly dangerous it can be. Please rethink how you are putting these little ones to sleep. You went in and Baby was alive and awake, some people were not as lucky in these situations 😢

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