Will They Ever Sleep at the Same Time?

The first six months of my twins’ lives is a blur. My husband and I were so sleep-deprived that we wore T-shirts labeled “Grump 1” and “Grump 2.” Honestly, those first six months felt like six years! It seemed like our babies had a secret pact to make sure that at least one of them was awake around the clock. As soon as one fell asleep, the other woke up. Of course, as soon as one baby awoke, one of us would race to comfort him for fear he would wake up the other twin. Better to have only one awake, we reasoned, so at least one parent could get some shut-eye. In babies’ first three months of life, it is essential that they eat every three hours, so this schedule was unavoidable. But by the time they reached six months of age, we knew we had to do something or else we would never have tolerable personalities (or a sex life!) again. We finally decided that the only way we could get them on a schedule was for us to set the times, NOT the babies. If one of the twins woke up after only a few hours, we decided to let him cry for a while instead of rushing to pick him up. We no longer worried about waking the other twin, and we often found that either the dozing twin would sleep right through the crying, or else he’d wake up and they’d both lay there “talking” to each other for a while. Miraculously, it didn’t take long before they figured out that we weren’t going to come running if it wasn’t wake-up time and they gave up their cries, either sleeping or playing until they knew we were willing to be available. That six-month mark was a very welcome turning point in our ability to get some rest!

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About Susan Heim

Susan M. Heim is an author and editor, specializing in multiples, parenting, women’s and Christian issues. Her books include "Boosting Your Baby's Brain Power"; "Chicken Soup for the Soul: Twins and More"; "It’s Twins! Parent-to-Parent Advice from Infancy Through Adolescence"; "Twice the Love: Stories of Inspiration for Families with Twins, Multiples and Singletons"; and, "Oh, Baby! 7 Ways a Baby Will Change Your Life the First Year." Upcoming books include "Chicken Soup for the Soul: All in the Family," "Chicken Soup for the Soul: Devotional Stories for Women," and "Moms of Multiples' Devotions to Go." Susan's articles and essays have appeared in many books, magazines and Web sites. She is a member of the National Association of Women Writers and the Southeastern Writers Association, and has a degree in Business Administration from Michigan State University. Susan lives with her husband and four sons (two teenagers and twin grade-schoolers) in Florida.