Sleep Training Twins

By: Brandy Black

The twins are 6 months old.  I’d like to say time has flown by and in some ways it has but the sleepless nights have begun to feel endless.  Our daughter wakes pretty much every three hours to nurse.  She loves her food, but lately she eats for a few minutes and goes back to sleep.  Our son on the other hand, who is two pounds smaller, only wakes once at night to nurse.  I have known for a while now that sleep training for her will be inevitable.  The pediatrician finally said it in our last check-up.  Our baby boy still needs to wake but she urged us to begin to train little B to sleep.  So on Friday we began the treacherous, heartbreaking process of sleep training.  I actually wasn’t going to start so soon because she is teething and has been particularly fussy, but we had gone to dinner and a movie as a family and got back at 9PM. B woke in the carseat-to-crib transition and she would not settle; I put her in bed with us and she kept fussing; I tried to feed her but nothing was working so we made a quick decision to just start.  I gave her a kiss and put her in her crib. She cried and cried and cried.  I went in every 5 minutes to give respite from the tears and then sat tortured by her cries.  This went on for 38 minutes until she fell asleep, only to wake again 3 hours later for another round of kisses and hugs during intermission of the school-of-not-so-hard-knocks sleep training.  At the 4AM hour she woke P with her crying and I fed him as we listened together to his sister.
After I put him down in the co-sleeper next to me, he began babbling to her through the walls; she calmed for a second to hear him.
Blah Blah blahhhh blahhhh
She, through breathless cries, repeated back to him Blah Blah blahhhhhh blahhhhh
He back to her
Baaaaaa Baaa baaa baaa
She back to him
(much more calm this time) Baaaaaa Baaa baaa baaa
He to her
Blah Blah Blah
She to him
now just babbling Blah Blah Blah
This went on for close to five minutes until they both fell asleep.  I don’t know what he said to her. (I translated an entire conversation in my delirium.) But he is an absolute angel for making her feel not so alone in a time that was hard for the whole family.  I can’t imagine how lucky it would be to have someone in life that knew me the way he does her.  It was an absolute miracle to witness.


  1. says

    So cute. Twins do have a strange and fascinating relationship. They shared a womb and who knows what went on in there but when they come out they can self soothe each other. Hope all your nights get better and both sleep right on through. When Mommy is happy and rested she will be a better Mom. Glad you are doing the training.

  2. Selina says

    Sleep training is such a difficult time for mommies and babies! How beautiful to have twins to help each other! My boy/girl twins have always helped each other sleep and now that they are almost seven they are still inseparable! They sleep in bunkbeds now and the greatest punishment I can deliver to them when they are too wiggly to sleep is to separate them. Fortunately I just have to threaten separation and they pull it together and both fall asleep. Hang in there! It DOES get easier!

  3. says

    Oh, I remember those days well. I never thought I would ever do “cry it out,” but I soon learned that the “going in every five minutes to shush and pat but not pick up” would just enrage my babes. So, hard as it was, I did it. I remember the first night I got four hours of sleep at a stretch: pure heaven!

    Hang in there, and hugs to you.

  4. Brandy Black says

    Well B is almost sleep trained for the moment, we all know how this changes but she now sleeps from 7 to 5AM which is a great improvement from every 3 hours. It took 3 long hard nights of jumping out of bed to give her encouragement every 5 to 10 minutes. I swear she’s proud of herself when I open the shades in the morning and tell her what a big girl she is. I even had our 4-year-old tell her how proud she is of her baby sister. Big steps. One down and one to go.

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