For families expecting multiples, there can be a lot of unknowns and uncharted territory even if you and your partner have other children. A lot of the common questions we receive about caring for multiples revolve around sleep with one of the most asked questions being, “Do I really need more than one crib?” We are here to help with a brief discussion on multiples sleeping arrangements that should help answer some of your questions about this topic.
In general, the more babies you have at one time, the higher the likelihood they will be born premature. Simply put, the womb isn’t able to accommodate more than one full-size baby in the latter stages of pregnancy. As space begins rapidly running out, babies are more likely to be born. When babies are born prematurely, they tend to sleep a lot as their bodies work hard to continue developing. Additionally, in the early stages of their lives, newborns don’t roll over or even move around much while they sleep. These facts lead many parents to believe that allowing their babies to sleep in different parts of the same crib is acceptable multiples sleeping arrangements. While this may seem like a good idea, for safety reasons, it is not a practice recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
To maximize your sleep when you have newborns, it can be a good idea to have the babies sleeping close to you. Being in proximity to your children minimizes the amount of effort required (especially important if you deliver via c-section) to respond to their hungry cries during the night. Utilizing two bassinets can make the middle of the night feeding sessions a bit more manageable. You may choose to have your babies all situated on one side of the bed or utilize both sides of the bed so your partner can help you with the feedings. Whichever multiples sleeping arrangement you choose while your babies are sleeping in your room, make sure that each baby has their own space.
Setting Them Up for Success
The best way to help your kids learn to sleep independently as well as sleep longer stretches at night and during the day is to make sure each baby has their own crib. By allowing each child to sleep on their own, you reduce the likelihood of one child’s startle reflex waking the other. You also help them to not rely on their siblings for comfort when falling asleep, a habit which can make it much harder to separate them later. However, the most important reason for following these multiples sleep arrangements is because it follows the AAP guidelines for safe sleep.