Nat shares her top 10 sleep tips for newborn twins, sponsored by our friends at Love to Dream, creators of the Swaddle UP. Check out all of Nat's great advice below!
Top 10 Sleep Tips for Newborn Twins
Are we going to have a good time guys? We are! Hello everybody, it's me, Nat with Twiniversity. Today we are going to have a live feed. We are going to use our little babies. We are going to have a nice discussion on sleep tips for newborn twins. I am very excited to teach you guys some great little sleep tips thanks to our friends over at Love to Dream.
If you are a true dedicated fan of Twiniversity – then you know that we are big fans of Love to Dream. If you are a bonus fan of Twiniversity, then you know what our babies names are. If you know what their names are – shout it out because I want to prove that you know what I'm talking about. Also, I am going to give you a little logistics on how this is going to go. If you have never joined us for a live feed…we will be on for the next 45 minutes to an hour. I'm not really in a rush. We are here to answer your questions. We are going to be talking about top sleep tips for newborn twins.
It is a hot topic as you can imagine! It has always been a hot topic because who doesn't like to sleep?
I am Nat, I'm the founder of Twiniversity. Am I the mama of these little babies? They are so super sweet. I guess I am the mom! I am going to put them over there behind me. I am going to tell you the lay of the land. I am talking to you right here. Hello everybody. Look at my nice manicure. I did a gel French manicure – I am very excited about it although I chipped this nail already. Over here, on this side is where I look if you have questions, or comments, or anything I need to know. Julie is the wizard behind the curtain at Twiniversity as we say. She is literally typing me comments that are coming over on my computer. Then, over here I have my beautiful mind wall where all my notes are kept so I don't forget to give you guys any big tidbits.
If you are a first timer I would like to know. Is this your first video, do you come and watch us often? I have such great stories to tell you. I feel like I haven't seen you in like a million years! I am really, really excited. First of all, welcome. I am really overly excited. I will bring it down a notch – that's how I am going to do it. I really am. We had a Twiniversity class here in New York City last night and it was extraordinary. We had 14 families that were all between 24 and 36 weeks. I really thought that she was going to go, any minute, during class.
We talked a lot about sleep last night. It's one of the things that we talk about at Twiniversity classes extensively. If you are expecting and you haven't taken a Twiniversity class don't get stressed. We have one next Monday. We are going to be talking about safe sleep tips and sleep tips in general. Every time that you have a question just shoot it over. Julie will send it to me and believe it or not we already have questions.
I once again want to thank or friends over at Love to Dream. One of our all-time favorite swaddles. It's insanely innovative and you are going to see why.in a second. If you are adding items to your registry it is a good time to watch this because not only are we going to talk about tips, we are going to talk about the product.
For the record, I tried to tag you guys. I tried to tag Love to Dream. Julie if you could link them that would be great. We are going to send you the information on how to continuously follow them. I do recommend that you do because while I'm going to give you tips about twins, they are going to give you even more tips about sleep – safe sleep – and all that other stuff.
So, let's just jump right in. I want to know who you are, and where you are from. Clearly, thanks to Facebook, we know what your name is. Just throw right in the comments where you are from. What I would love is for everybody who's on this feed with us today to find a buddy. I like when you find a buddy for a few reasons. Sometimes buddies win prizes! But ultimately, Twiniversity's job is to really connect you with families, educate you, make you laugh, inspire you, and everything in between.
If during this live feed you find somebody that lives in your neck of the woods, let's say, maybe send them a quick message and say “Hey, do you want to be my buddy for the party?” We always have prizes because I love giving away stuff, but I'd like for you to find a buddy. Now if there's someone that you are not connecting online with today…always know that Twiniversity does have a parent-to-parent online mentorship program because it's not actually just for the moms. Let us know if you have any interest in getting a mentor or in becoming a mentor – which we always need. Once again, Julie will put a link in sometime during this feed. Link on over to it, apply, and we would love to get you connected. Look everybody – we have someone from South Dakota, Chicago – Julie's neck of the woods, Jersey, wow that's unbelievable. We're really spanning the globe here right? Very, very awesome. So that's the first question of the day. Where are you from and find yourself a little buddy.
Now, if you haven't joined a Twiniversity live feed before then you haven't met these little munchkins. This is Fred, and this is Ginger. Actually, I'm pretty sure that THIS is Fred and THIS is Ginger, I have to be sure…yep! Ginger is wearing the beautiful 50/50 swaddle up from our friends at Love to Dream. And Fred is wearing the traditional swaddle from Love to Dream. Let's go in and give some tips. Let's start with that and then we are going to talk a little bit more.
So, the first thing that you have to do is you have to make sure that your babies are sleeping in a safe environment. That is first and foremost. It is not too late to do this or it's not too early to do this. Because, if you're thinking like when your babies are here, if you're already trying to plan this do it today. And if you are building your nursery, build these items into your nursery.
For a safe sleep area we need a few things:
We need a sound crib or bassinet. That is one thing that is very, very important. If you are getting a hand-me-down crib or a hand-me-down bassinet…always make sure that you check the website for that manufacturer's information as far as recalls go or anything that you can find out. If you are buying something new, you have so much selection it is overwhelming. I always say at Twiniversity, put less money in the crib but more money in the mattress. Because the crib is something that you are going to use for a tiny window. If you convert from the crib into buying an independent toddler bed, you're still going to use that mattress.
Instead of just having a crib that converts to a toddler bed, I always find that it is easier to buy a crib independently and then a toddler bed. Many families do. You guys, you buy a crib that is convertible to a toddler bed – but you are going to buy a toddler bed anyway. So – if you need to watch your budget a little bit, this is a place that you could save some bucks on getting yourself a new crib. Delta makes a great crib, IKEA makes a great crib, there are plenty of companies out there. Kolcraft makes a great crib too. There is a lot of selection, but safety first so get yourself a good crib.
Next thing, make sure that the mattress fits correctly. If you buy or have an older hand-me-down crib with a newer mattress or even – not kidding – there was an issue with Pottery Barn mattresses. The Pottery Barn cribs were too large and there was too much of a gap between the end of the crib and where the mattress began. Your crib mattress should always snugly fit inside of your crib. That's one thing.
Second thing is – no blankets, no toys, no dividers. I love that there is a product on the market that is a literal divider that goes between Fred and Ginger in their crib. This infuriates me because if you are going to co-bed your twinnies, there really can't be anything in there. I know that a lot of families are like “but we got all these cute little stuffed animals at the baby shower and Grandma made us this blanket. I'm not saying don't use the blanket. I'm saying don't use it in the crib. You could hang all the blankets on the wall. If someone made you a beautiful quilt for your twinnies let's say. Take it, get little pins, hang it up like a clothesline. But, under no circumstances should there be anything but babies in that crib.
The next thing is – you know how we were talking about how the crib mattress has to snuggly fit? Well, the crib sheet also has to snugly fit. Sometimes this becomes an issue if you buy a jersey knit. If you use a jersey knit for a few generations of kids. If you have 5,6 kids – jersey knit isn't something that is necessarily going to go the distance with your family. You are probably going to have to buy something like cotton. Make sure that the crib sheet is snuggly fitting. Because, what could happen is once these babies turn they could get themselves wrapped up into that sheet. We definitely want to make sure that crib sheet is fitting very snuggly.
The next thing is – this is a big one – I know that we are pressed for space. No one knows about tiny house living more than this chick. Because me and Ginger live in a very tiny apartment in New York City. It is interesting because I don't know exactly when our building was built. But, I do know that electric was kind of and afterthought. So, the electric outlets are placed in very weird places and also at very weird heights. Not necessarily what is code nowadays.
If you live in an older home and you're finding that your plugs are in odd places, you really have to make sure that your cords are not anywhere near those cribs. Which means if you have to close up that outlet because that is the only place in the room that those cribs can live, that is what is going to have to happen. Make sure that there are no cords, no wires…this also goes for monitors. If you have a video or just a sound monitor sometimes they are corded, sometimes they are battery operated. If they are corded, please don't have any of the cords near where the babies are going to be sleeping. Now, we will get into more technical stuff, but you can't build a house without a good foundation and the good foundation is your twin's nursery.
We are already getting a million questions coming in. Let's just to one of the questions. April said, my twin girls are just turning three months and I'm ready to start sleep training. I've tried a little bit of the cry it out method in their naps. But, sometimes the second twin joins in on the crying and it seems to escalate. I feel like I have to go in and calm them down. If both twins are crying (aka screaming their brains out) while you are sleep training, will they both eventually stop? Or will it take double the time for both of them to get calm?
So I think what April is trying to say is if you start sleep training – or sleep coaching – whatever you feel comfortable with the terminology, she is saying if one is crying and the other one starts mimicking into that what do we do? If you are in the process of sleep coaching right now, or sleep training, I always say that. Kim West who is a very good friend of ours who is literally the sleep lady, she calls it sleep coaching. I can always hear her in the back of my head “Nat, you train dogs. You coach families.” I get it, but it's an old school thing to say.
It's become like this big stigmatized event in a new parent's life. I want to know right now if you are sleep training or sleep coaching give me some thumbs up or some hearts. Say yeah we are in the process of it right now. This is another great opportunity to find a buddy. When I was sleep training, or sleep coaching, the babies this one random chick Maria from Jersey – this is a true story. She reached out to me and was like Nat, when they are crying call me. My husband was great, I think that partners are fairly instrumental when it comes to sleep training or sleep coaching because they know that everything is okay, they are just crying. When biologically, the moms that just had the babies hears the babies cry your boobs start throbbing and your head starts aching and you have this kind of fight of flight. So maybe I'm going to go in and attack my husband or I have to get out of here. So it is good to have him there. My husband, he was really the one that was initiating the sleep training more than I was. I don't know how I was able to…I don't know if it was the post-partum depression that was just making me tolerate the sleepless nights? For a very long time I was just whatever. I couldn't do it, I couldn't hear the crying, it ate me to the core of my being.
My husband was like Nat, we've got to do this, enough is enough, we can't take it anymore. They were OLD! We didn't do this by the way at 4 months like April is talking about. We waited way too long. I am not tooting my own horn but- there was no one like me. No one saying okay here is how we are going to do this as a family. I have some ideas and we are going to make this easier for you.at the time when my kids were born which was 1936 right? That's how long ago it feels like our kids were born! At that time there was nobody really , Ferber was out there, Wiessbluth too – but it was really still too stigmatized. Now it is very very common place. It is not until I wear my Twiniversity hat that I realize how many twin families sleep coach, or sleep train, whatever – I roll my eyes at myself!
So, April, to get to you question. If your babies are sleeping next to each other you do not have to separate them for sleep training. Some people say yes, some say no. I will say this to you. Look at any nursery, at any hospital anywhere throughout the world. Look at a very large family with limited space. When a kid is crying it is very rare that a kid will chime in because of the first kid. They will chime in independently on their own. They don't need another kid to help them cry or to get them crying. If you look at a nursery in a hospital, there is going to be Ginger wailing her brains out and Fred is going to be sitting there sound asleep. They have two different cries. I don't know if this is the biology of twins crying. There is the crying that is wah-wah you play with me, where are you, where did you go, ahh? And there is the crying that occurs at vaccines, or at some kind of other trauma. I did not believe this myself – but I witnessed it many many times with my own kids.
My kids always slept in the same room. They sleep coached right next to each other. We didn’t have another room and even if we set one crib up in the living room – you would still hear the crying. It really didn't matter where the other kid was. Even as they got older they still felt the empathy for the other. I could see it at doctor's visits which is why I brought up vaccines. When my son would get a shot, my daughter would just start crying. And I would say “Why are you crying?” She was very verbal, very quickly and she would look at me and say “I don't know”. She just felt so strongly for her brother that it was a genuine cry. Now, could this happen during sleep coaching? I didn't see it. When she was screaming her brains out, he would be sound asleep. You don't need to separate them.
I would always remember that they are two babies that share the same birthday. It's important that you remember that your twins – while they are a package deal – they really aren't. They are two separate little babies that just happen to share a birthday. If Fred is soundly sleeping, Ginger might or might not wake up and I wouldn't worry about it. I would treat sleep coaching as this is the room they sleep in, they have to get used to sleeping with each other, and I would go from there.
Now you guys know that there are three different – well there are probably more than three different methods – of sleep coaching. The first one is gradual extinction. Where you put the babies in drowsy but awake. You set a timer somewhere in your house. Then you wait five minutes after they start crying. Then you go in, check on them, come out and you wait 10 minutes, you wait 15 minutes. You keep lengthening the time before you go back in.
That's called gradual extinction. They funny part is, how many of you think that Ginger can tell time? Ginger has no idea if it's five minutes or 10 minutes or 15 minutes. The timing increments are for you. It's for you to give them more and more opportunity and to feel comfortable that there is an end game. Okay, I'm going to wait 10 minutes and I'm gonna go in and see them and make sure they are okay. So, if you wait little bits and pieces they might very well find it within themselves to soothe and get themselves to sleep.
I would say, don't separate them and always remember that your babies are two different kids, and I wouldn't really worry about them screaming and waking each other up. If you have a different opinion I would love to hear it. Feel free to type in the comments right now what your experience was. Like “Nat, okay, I have 13 kids…” and by the way we do have Twiniversity families that do have 13 kids. And they would say you know “I noticed with kid 6 and 7 this is what happened…”
I am open to any and all suggestions. I am speaking by my personal experience and professional development that I have done since I founded Twiniversity. I am always open to new ideas.
What I do want to talk about is you have to have these sleep conditions. We talked about safe sleep. But there are four ideal sleep conditions. This is different. Different from setting the stage. This is setting the stage at a different level. We talk about this a lot at Twiniversity classes. This is where Love to Dream comes into the picture. Our ideal sleep conditions are number one.
You have to have a dark room. You could get blackout shades, you could get a lawn bag and duct tape over the window, we used a towel that we draped over the top of the window. You could buy $1500 blackout shades. I know Home Depot sells a product that goes over the window to protect the windows when you are painting. That is also effective. It doesn't have to be something that you are spending a lot of money on. We want to train these babies that darkness equals sleep.
It has to be a dark room in order for them to know that it is time to go to sleep.
Second ideal sleep condition is a cool temperature. It's got to be between 68 and 72 degrees. This is very important. Now, this came up last night in class when we were talking about our swaddles right? People were like, “I'm worried that they are going to overheat”. Because your babies have a hard time regulating their body temperatures for a little bit of time, always use the example that your babies wear one more layer than you do. So if your house is running on the cooler side and you are sleeping in nothing. It's possible, I don't know if you do. Then, just have the swaddle. If you wear a nightgown or pajamas to bed, then in addition to the swaddle, you would have them have a little pajama underneath it. That is what you guys do. Always think that your babies need one additional layer to whatever you are personally wearing yourself. Think about this, between 68 and 72 should be the ideal temperature. Julie and I found that there is a product called the Netatmo. It's a little pod device that looks like a salt shaker that will send alerts to your phone if it got too cold or too hot.
So know that products like that exist. Do you need them? I feel like it is a want not a need. You could just feel what the temperature is in your house. Certainly if you have central heating or central air conditioning – that is very easy to modify. If you don't, if you have window air conditioners or some other kind of heating element, or radiators, you may want something to make sure that the babies never get overheated.
The third ideal sleep condition is white noise. You have to have some kind of white house. People think my babies are born, you go to the nursery, the nursery is super noisy at the hospital. You come home, you put the babies in their cribs, and then its silence. You are like “Shhhh, the babies are sleeping”. The babies don't know what silence is. Silence is something new. They don't like this silence business, so give them some white noise. There are a lot of different white noise on the market. You could get a white noise machine, our friends at Cloud B make some fantastic white noise machines. You could get an old AM radio and put it on static. Your humidifier is white noise, your air conditioner is white noise, a fan is white noise. You need some kind of white noise in the little puppies room.
Now up, I am going to give you one more sleep condition and that is going to bring us right into our first “time”. And those of you who know what time it is – make sure you shout it out. For our friends who are joining us for the first time, watch what our experienced Twiniversity live feeders start to say and jump in on that.
The last ideal sleep condition is having a swaddle. Why do we swaddle kids? Why do we do this Nat? Ginger could you please tell me why we swaddle kids. Prize time is upon us. Why we swaddle. Number one, we swaddle because in utero your babies are really kind of compressed in there. I mean, just take Ginger and I don't mean do baby yoga with your babies. They are really cramped in there, so when they come out this is very liberating, but mimicking the womb is comforting to them because this is what they like.
The other thing is that babies have a startle reflex. When your babies are little, and for a while, you can watch them while they sleep. Sometimes they can be half asleep and the body will jerk or the leg will jerk. This is an instinct that they have. If your baby is in a swaddle, there is less of a chance that this is going to jar them awake because they are kind of compressed in there. Why we work with our friend Love to Dream is look at this swaddle. This swaddle is not your regular swaddle, this swaddle makes you swaddle your baby with paws up. Ginger is our demo baby of the day, and you can see that this swaddle instead of the arms down, if you are buying a swaddle strongly consider one like this. Watch this, when your baby is sleeping, you always put your baby back to sleep.
Everybody I want you to shout out right now Back to Sleep, Back to Sleep, Back to Sleep! I don't care if you think your baby feels more comfortable on their belly. Back to sleep all of the time, okay. This little Ginger girl, when she is back to sleep, and she rolls over for the first time. How exciting! She rolled over for the first time! If she was in a traditional swaddle, she might have a difficult time getting out of this position. With the Love to Dream swaddle, what happens is Ginger can push her tiny little paws down and she is able to lift her face. See how that goes. The other thing that is cool about this swaddle is – not only is she able to lift herself up by being able to press down on the little wings, she also has access to her paws. 30 minute
Ginger could sit there and chew on her hand, even though it is in a swaddle. She could still chew on this and it is fine to do. This is why we love the Love to Dream. I feel like they are a safer sleep option. I know that if I had more twins, or more children, this is what they would be using. This is also what I buy when I go to baby showers, this is what I buy my friends because a lot of people don’t know about it. Everybody's worried about the onesies that say that’s' the greatest, or I'll see you in my crib at 3 am with a bottle on it. That stuff is super sweet. But things that a mom needs and things that a dad needs – sometimes they don't always know what it is. And I do know and that is why usually I gift this. Or I get a carrier, but I'm really big on the swaddles. Plus, they are not obscenely expensive. They are a little bit on the pricier side, but they are well worth it. If you don't know, about making the investment, you can also buy different types of these.
Now we are going to give away some prizes! It's prize time. It was a long weekend of apple picking and watching Netflix. I have a new favorite show I think it is called A Taste of Home, or a Taste of the Country. If you don't know what you are watching next – this is it. I'm going to start a Danielle French Club. It's going to be wonderful, such a calming show, I loved it.
If you right now would like to win, we are doing two swaddle originals. The best thing ever. If you would like to win 2 swaddle up originals for your twinnies all you have to say is…I gave you a clue….Back to Sleep! Julie will pick a winner and we will go on to our next topic.
Topic number two. You put them on their backs until their first birthday. So if you wonder what do I do, how long do I do this? Back to sleep until you are one year old or not two years old. Until Fred and Ginger turn one they will always go back to sleep. Oh, my sweet babies! I love these kids. I take them everywhere by the way. If Love to Dream is watching today, just know that anytime I teach anything, Fred and Ginger are now my new entourage. It's better, because I can put them in a bag, and it's cheaper to fly with them.
The next sleep tip we are going to give you we've already talked about – its use those swaddles. The first one is make sure you have a safe sleep area. The second is make sure they are sleeping on their back until their first birthday. The third one is use a swaddle. The fourth one is use pacifiers. Pacifiers are your friend. They are not a dirty word. Parents of twins tend to use pacifiers more than parents of singletons because there are many MANY many times that we literally have to pacify a child. There are many pacifiers on the market. Make sure you are buying the correct pacifiers for your children. I can't tell you how many times I go to somebody's house for a consultation, or to help start potty training and I see that they are still using newborn pacifiers when their kids are out of that range.
It is critical that you use the correct pacifier for the age of your children. If you think about it, and if you have pacifiers in your home now, you will notice that the bulb of the pacifier extends as the age of your baby does. The reason for that is these little pearly whites have to grow in. If the nub, or bulb, of the pacifier is too close to their teeth it is going to totally mess with their oral motor development. Please don't do that. Mam makes a supremely superior pacifier that not only is going to the correct placement for your children's oral motor development. But, wait for it, it glows in the dark. What!? Who thinks of these things? They do – because they do pacifiers right.
Of all the companies that are out there, they are one of the oldest companies making pacifiers. They make glow in the dark pacifiers. When you are registering, if your babies are not here yet, and you are like I want to get a jump on this. Register for it in an array of ages, and also in an array of types. Some kids like silicone, some kids like latex. Some kids like the purple ones with the handle. Just know that there are better pacifiers so try to register for the better ones. People are buying you presents and hello, we want them to buy us stuff. Make sure that you have the correct pacifier and that you are using it. It definitely makes for a safer sleep situation.
Next thing is rocking, shooshing, patting, calming them down before sleep. We don't want to have level 10 fiesta before its bedtime. You don't. There is a reason why there are nursery rhymes. Be mindful speaking, try to keep everything low key. If you have the television on lower it. If you have music on put something soothing on. Leave the Ozzy Osbourne for the morning time. Right now, before you start putting them into bed, calm the house down. This goes for naps, this goes for bedtime, this goes for anytime you need your kids to chill. They feed off of your energy. If you are wild and crazy or if there is a party in your house or you have everybody over and they're chit chatting. Even if it's not like a legit party but your mom comes over and your aunt comes over and they're all cackling, laughing about crazy things you did when you were little – maybe everybody has to just bring it down a notch.
If they can't bring it down a notch, instead of trying to soothe the babies in the common area of you house, take them into their room. Put the lights down low, put them in their cribs. You could rub their tiny backs, you could shush them, you could calm them down. Definitely you need to have everything calm. Just like this before your twinnies go to sleep. Think about yourself as well. You know what, healthy sleep isn't just for your babies by the way. I don't know if you know this but many parents are victims. We make mistakes when it comes to sleep that we don't even realize. Did you know that you should never use your phone before bed because the light that is emitted triggers your brain into not knowing that it's time for it to go to sleep.
A lot of us pick up our phone before we go to bed we'll be like “I'm going to play one more game of Razzle.” “I'm going to check the weather for tomorrow.” “I'm going to do this, that and the other thing.” Before you go to bed is not the time to do this alright. Absolutely not, because of the way that the light comes out. Same thing for your kids. As your kids get older don't give them a tablet and say “Here, watch an episode of Clifford” or whatever they are into that day. You want to make sure you are creating this calming environment and believe it or not a tablet or a phone is not. Even though it is something they enjoy, it's not really good for them. So, skip that. Calm, shoosh.
The next thing that I want to tell you. We are up to number six. Please, always change them. Change their diapers before you feed them or before you put them down if they are wet. Before you put them down – let's modify this. In the beginning, right, for the first few weeks you are going to be feeding every three hours around the clock. We could talk about that in another live feed. We have tons by the way of content for you, so if you enjoy kind of this interactive experience that we have – we are live pretty much weekly. Next week we're doing something I think on formula feeding. That is going to be pretty exciting with our friends form Earth's Best. Just so you know that you should always make sure that they are dry. We don't want to put them in with a sopping diaper. It is pretty important that you buy the right diaper. Not all diapers were created equal. If you are an experienced parent you know that is true, sadly. I wish I could say that the 4 cent diaper worked as well as the 10 cent diaper. Some definitely work better than others. I've always felt confident working with Pamper's because they have the Baby Dry, 12 hour dryness. I know the science behind it because they are one of the companies that really took the time to make sure that I was schooled appropriately.
I could tell you that even if your baby peed a little bit in it it's not the worst thing in the universe because there are layers upon layers of protection that are going to protect that skin from the wetness. Okay, always if you know that there's poop in there that there is nothing a diaper is going to do for you. There is no diaper under the sun that will help you have less of a chance – well Pamper' might help a little because there is a little layer of lotion. But if your baby poops that is going to be directly against their skin and eat at their skin and create a pretty bad diaper rash. If you know that there is poop in there, please make sure that you change them before you put them down. If it’s a heavy duty sopping wet diaper please make sure that you change them as well. We always want to sure that they have a clean diaper before they take a nice little nap.
The next thing is as well talked about before – ideal sleep conditions. Blackout curtains, sound machine, cool temperature – these are important elements whether you joined us a few minutes ago or you watched us from the beginning. Know that you really do need these and I'm not just making them up to hear myself speak.
Alright guys, guess what, what time is it? Do you know what time it is? Tell be what time it is. Ginger, do you want to tell me what time it is? Alright Fred. Fred gets very jealous, I don't know why. You are the original and I should say I love you more. I don't because I love you both equally and there is plenty of mommy to share. I'm going to try to be as fair as possible, but you are right Fred. It is prize time. Prize time!! Ginger, do you want to tell them what the next prize is? (Fake Baby Ginger Voice) – “Our next prize is going to be one of Nat's books.” It's crazy, we've lost our mind, what day is it? It's Tuesday. I was going to say Monday Madness, then I realized yesterday was a holiday so it didn't count in my mommy brain.
We are giving away a copy of our book. If you don't have a copy of this little book of mine on my shelf right there, “What to do when you are Having Two”, I would love for you to have one. It is definitely the book that every parent of twins has to have in the world. Every expecting parent. It also covers everything through the first year. So even if your babies are here and you're like Nat don't be mad, I didn't know about your book. I'm not upset at all. Anytime that you can use the information is when I want you to have it. If you would like to win a copy of our book- what do you have to say? Just say I want a book. We will make it as simple as possible. No problems here. Just say I want a book and Julie will pick a winner and announce it. We are going to give away a book now and I am telling you that you will absolutely love it.
Of course it is available on Amazon and every place under the sun. Even if you don’t want to buy one – I am never offended by the way if you don't want to buy a book – most libraries carry this book. If they don't carry this book ask your librarian and odds are that they will get a copy of our book and they will put it in circulation. If you go the library regularly and you see our book I would be crazy honored if you took a picture of our book in your local library and you sent it to us. Either here on Facebook or over on Instagram. We do have an Instagram account as well and that is just at Twiniversity. On Pinterest at Twiniversity, on Twitter at Twiniversity, I think we have a Snapchat account at Twiniversity. And then personally, you could always follow me on Instagram at Nat's Real World – so just @NatsRealWorld which is just craziness outside of Twiniversity. It is my life with my twinnies and my 97 pound rescue dog and a pretty good husband. He's not here so I don't have to say that but I'm going to say that anyway. I have great, crazy adventures that we go on. Feel free to follow us on that. Definitely check out the book if you don't have the book.
Connie, congratulations. I'm so happy that you are going to read one of the best books that has ever been written by humankind. I'm being modest by the way. Really, it's a good book. We are going to update it though so if you read it and you're like Nat there are a few things that are a little out of date. I am on it! The guilt is upon me to do the right thing by you guys and I will.
The next thing that we are going to talk about. To reiterate the things that we have talked about already. Safe sleep, good crib, good mattress, firmly against the side, no loose fitting sheets. Place the child on their back to the first birthday, use swaddles, use pacifier, diaper change before sleep, prepare the room.
The next thing is make sure the babies are not overheated. Make sure. There are little things, some baby monitors that even have a temperature gauge inside of them. If you are worried about it. I know that I was worried about it and luckily it didn't become an issue. We live in a building that has steam heat. I can't change the temperature of our house. It is whatever the landlord gives us in our house. If the person below me is freezing, we all get fried. I have an air conditioner in this window, we use it the majority of the summer. If you are hot in your living room and you know that in the twins room it is hot as well make sure you do something to control that. You can put a fan, leave an air conditioner on, anything that has to happen. Just make sure that those puppies don't get overheated.
Next thing is put them down at the same time. Don't be like okay Ginger it's time for you to go to sleep, I love you so much. Oh, I'm going to go spend some time with Fred. Fred is my favorite. Fred, I'm going to read books just to you. Now it's time for you to go to sleep. Don't do that! Put them down at the exact same time because if Ginger is sleeping and now she sees you or smells you then it will be like nap times over. No, naptime isn't over. I was just trying to bring Fred in to the party. So, bring them in, put them down at the same time. Let's say everyone is sleeping soundly, then Ginger is an early riser. Ginger wakes up. Take advantage of the early riser, this is the opportunity that I am going to have to spend some just me time with Ginger.
Fred could stay sleeping. Fred may need a little bit more sleep. If that's the case let him sleep. Go, liberate Ginger, if you think that she has had enough nap time. Ginger is getting to be my favorite. That's terrible, I feel like today we have spent more time with her than with Fred. If Ginger is the early riser, go and get them it happens a lot. If this happens in your house and you notice that your babies are waking up at different times let me know. Let people see that it's not so crazy, that really this is the way things go with our babies.
The last tip I am going to give you. Because I am doing pretty well on time – I'd like a little credit. I usually either go under or I go over, but I think today that I'm literally going to finish on time. I think it is from that moment that we had before where I had that calmness. It put me back on my schedule.
The last tip that I am going to give you is to have a monitor. If you are worried about them or you are worried about how they are sleeping, or if they are sleeping, what are they doing? What's happening? Have a video monitor there so you could watch the kids and you could see what is going on. But, I am giving you a little disclaimer here. If the babies become your new reality show you may need to go just to a sound monitor. Because – watching them at a time that you are supposed to be resting is not really helping anybody. You have to rest whenever you can rest because taking care of these little kiddies is a big job.
As far as monitor recommendations go, there are a lot of monitors. VTech monitor is one that I like. Summer Infant makes a really good monitor. I think we have an article online, Julie if you could link to that on our website that would be fabulous. Try to use the monitor as a tool to see what is going on. Don't get too stressed about it. Always remember, if they are crying – they are breathing. It is something that someone told me a thousand years ago and I wish that I would have known that sooner. Then I would have realized that they are okay. Sometimes babies cry. Also, there isn't a right way to do this. That's something very important that I stress to you. . You know that my word is not law. I should have said that at the beginning of the feed. I don't want you to think the way that I do things is the right way.
Every family is different. Every home is different. Every set of twins is different. Every situation is different. If you are like, “You know what Nat, sleep coaching is not for me, we're gonna pass”, and you don't need to. Pass. Don't even think about it. But if you are at your wit's end, I can't do it – then it certainly will help you. At no time is Twiniversity big on parent shaming. Whatever you are doing is fine IF you are happy with it. If you're not happy with it, that's what we are here for. We are here to help you get through whatever it is. Sometimes there are things that I will recommend for families that I haven't necessarily done or agree with. But if I know that it is a good fit for that family, then that's my job. My job is to make sure that you are happy. Not to make me happy. I'm done! My kids are big. They are really great. Truthfully, I did a really good job. Give myself a pat on the back there. Most moms are like “I'm a terrible mom…woulda, shoulda, coulda…”. There are a million things I could have done differently.
Julie and I always joke and my sister and I always joke that the next book I write should be called “27 Things I could Have Done Differently 5 Minutes Ago.” Because I am always second guessing myself. I did it a lot when I was parenting them. When they were little. When they were infants. I have learned – now that they are older – I wasted all of that energy for nothing. I spent so much time getting stressed about the small stuff that I forgot to bask in the moments that were right before me.
So, while sleep is definitely a big issue, the tips that I gave you today are definitely legendary. And truthfully, I am telling you the truth…if you need a swaddle, this is the swaddle that you are going to get. It is because of our friends at Love to Dream. They give me these opportunities to come on today and say hey listen, let's talk about this. They are absolutely delightful to work with. They are like “What do you want the topic to be?” And I'm like “Here is what I think it should be.” Because, I see your questions. I see your comment on our pages.
Always know that we are here to support you no matter what you do. No matter when you do it . I got your back. Don't second guess yourself. Enjoy the moments that are right in front of you. Just really try to capture as many moments as possible. Because, one thing that I find all parents do is you lose perspective. You are like these kids are never going to sleep. They are never going to poop on the potty. They are never going to hold their own bottle. They will! They totally will! You just have to get to that point. Stay strong. I want you guys to have the best day ever.
I want to give away one more prize. Remember at the beginning of the feed I told you to find a buddy. What I would love to do because we are talking about sleep today. I would like to get you guys some gift certificates for Starbucks, or Duncan, or something like that. Something to wake you up even if you are not a caffeine person. Have a doughnut, or have a breakfast sandwich. All you have to do is say ” We are super sleepy” and tag your buddy. Even just write your buddies name.
We will try to get you and your buddy the prizes. That is what we want to do. I am sadly, very dependent upon caffeine now. I never drank coffee until I had kids. How crazy is that? I barely drank alcohol and I really never drank coffee until I had kids. Then after the twins were born I was like “Oh, yeah”, now I can see what all the hype is about.
If you would like to win, tag your friend. I love it. It makes me very happy to know that you guys are connecting. It's really important to find a buddy. I will always be a buddy, you know I'm good for that. But yeah, you've got to find a buddy that's either in your local area or you could find a buddy that is through Twiniversity. The Multiples of America is a great website to go to. If you have a local twins club, just go to Multiples of America. Julie could shoot the link over. You could find out if there is a club in your local area. Of course here in New York City we have the Manhattan Twins Club. I ran it for 10 years. I was my lifeline. My lifeline to humanity was what my local twins club was I strongly suggest that not only do you find your buddy for the feed because I like to give away prizes, but also to make sure that have that connection.
Thank you very much for joining us today. It was an honor to hang out with you I hope that the rest of your day is equally as wonderful as it has been, letting me into your home. See you later alligators. Have the best day ever.