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  • Writer's pictureSummer Winter Mom

10 Things we did for our babies to sleep through the night

Updated: Jun 19, 2020

I’m excited to share with you that BOTH of our twin girls successfully began sleeping 10-11 hours straight through the night at 2.5 months (12 weeks in our case). They continue to do this every night, they’re currently 3.5 months old.

This blog is not meant to be instructions or professional advice in any way, and every baby is different. I’ve received many questions about how we got to this point and am simply sharing what we did and what worked for our twin baby girls.

1. We let the babies wake on their own. The first few weeks were a bit of a blur; feeding all the time, multiple times a night. At first we were informed that babies need to eat every three hours... so we set an alarm at night. Well this lasted all of one night because we never would actual make it to the alarm. A baby’s cry would beat us to it every time. So we quickly stopped setting alarms and decided we would just let them wake on their own and that would wake us up. (We live in a small apartment so we could hear every noise they made. We also initially used a baby moniter to make sure we didn't miss a thing). We are also fairly light sleepers so there was no doubt that between the two of us we would hear them and get up. This is how we knew that they were capable of sleeping longer as they got older; simply because they would tell us on their own when they were hungry. We got so used to the frequent nighttime feedings that when they began sleeping longer, we naturally woke up and went to check on them multiple times to make sure they were okay! & They were perfect as could be! [Sidenote- if your baby is below their birthweight, it's important to feed them on the 3-hour schedule through the night until they reach a healthy weight. We started being flexible once they surpassed their birth weight and were stedily gaining.]

2. Dark and boring at night, bright and lively during the day.

This one is super important - even when they were first born, their days and nights were switched. This is very common with newborns because they’re used to being rocked to sleep by mom’s movements during the day, during their time in the womb. So our solution was to be fun and lively during the day hours, opened all the windows to let natural bright light in, played music, smiled lots, spoke with energy (even when we didn’t have any)... then at night we kept all the blinds closed, most the lights off except a nightlight in their room which provided just enough light for us to change them, we were quiet and calm, and didn’t do much interaction other than change, feed, burp, & put back down to sleep during each nighttime feed. This significantly helped set their day/night time-zone and then also gave them zero incentive to wake up at night unless they actually had a need.

3. Short naps during the day.

We never let them sleep longer than 3 hours at a time during the day. Honestly they seldom make it that long anyways, they usually wake up from naps before hitting the 2 hour mark but if they happen to sleep longer, we will wake them. We also try to give them a good amount of stimulation during the day. This is also important to make sure they are getting enough nutrition during the day so they won't feel hungry at night. (This doesn’t mean they can’t nap multiple times a day, but simply giving them more wake time in between naps).

4. We kept them on the same schedule as one another.

Though we were basically letting the twins make the nighttime feeding schedule based on their own needs, we would always feed both babies every time. If one would wake up, we would wake up the other too. This kept them on the same schedule and kept us from getting up every other hour at night for a different twin.

5. Same bedtime every night.

We always put them to bed around the same time each night. It is always our goal to have them both in bed and asleep by 9:00pm. Then they generally wake up around 7:00am. We also try to always put them to bed while they’re still awake. This helps them gain the ability to sooth themselves and learn to relax while awake. If they were fussy, we would hold them for a moment to make sure they didn’t have a burp stuck or something. If there was no need then we’d put them back down. Generally when all their needs are satisfied, they’re pretty calm and just go right to sleep.

6. Made sure they got enough milk during the day as they continued to sleep longer.

As they slept longer and longer (3 hours, then 4, then 5, then 6, and up to 11 hours), we fed them more often during the day and tried to make sure they got a certain amount since they were eating less at night. I breastfeed as much as I can during the day but if they are still hungry within an hour after feeding then we bottle feed or I breastfeed again. In other words we make sure they’re totally satisfied every time. I also still pump multiple times a day to make sure no “liquid gold” is put to waste. When they began sleeping through the night we had reached 6 feedings per day (originally it was 8, then 7). Our routine is not a strict schedule but looks something along the lines of this; 7am, 9am, 12pm, 3pm, 5:30pm, 8pm. I think of it as breakfast, brunch, lunch, afternoon-snack, dinner, dessert.

7. Swaddling & not swaddling

We swaddled them every night until they reached the point when they were able to get out of it. For us the switch happened just a couple nights after they began sleeping through the night. When we stopped swaddling, we put them into sleep sacks and they seem to like it (their room was also kept as a nice cozy temperature so they weren’t too cold or too warm). We also only swaddled during nighttime sleep and did not swaddle during daytime naps.

8. They slept in their own beds, in their nursery.

First they slept in bassinets; but after about 2 months they began to move a lot and scoot down to the point where their legs were blocked by the wall of their bassinets. So then we decided to put them in their “big girl cribs” to see how it would go, and they continued to sleep through the night. In fact they seem to love having their arms out wide while they sleep. We switched them into their cribs around the same time we stopped swaddling them.

9. Some bottle, some breast.

At nearly every nighttime feeding my husband and I would both get up. There were two babies, and let’s face it - breastfeeding two babies at once is no easy task, especially when they’re still learning to latch and these are our first babies. We bottle fed them at night and I would also pump. This helped us track their meals, especially important during the early weeks when we were focusing on their weight gain. (Pumping also helped increase my milk supply). During the day I would more commonly feed them at the breast because I had more energy to work with them on their latch while also being able to feed more frequently if they didn’t get enough. After they began breastfeeding better I would breastfeed them more often at night.

10. All breastmilk until 3 months.

For the first 3 months they were both entirely fed with breastmilk (about 80% my milk, 20% donor milk from a good mom-friend of mine). Once we ran out of the donor milk (around 3 months), we began supplementing with formula (we tried multiple different formulas until we found one that worked best for them but they were already sleeping through the night and the formula, so far, has not made any impacts on their sleeping schedule at night).

That’s about it! Maybe it sounds like a lot. But let’s face it, anything with newborn babies can feel like a lot. If I were to offer some specific advice, I would say, just enjoy each season and every phase because it will pass by. Just enjoy bonding with your baby (or babies!) and love them with everything you have. ❤️

*****more in depth YouTube video on this coming soon!!


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