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How We (Eventually) Got Our Twins on the Same Schedule

How We (Eventually) Got Our Twins on the Same Schedule

Twins on the same schedule

Last updated on September 30th, 2021 at 10:12 am

When I found out I was having twins, I did a lot of reading. I knew I’d be in for late nights, early mornings, and many diaper blowouts, but there were many things I didn’t know. How do you breastfeed twins at the same time? Well, that never did work out for me. Sometimes there’s no handbook for these things.

One message that I did keep hearing over and over again was to get my twins on the same schedule, for my own sanity. That seemed to be the #1 tip, and even before the twins were here. I thought – well, that’s just what I’ll do. They’ll just have to be on the same schedule and then I’ll have this twin thing down. Likely if you’re reading this and you have newborn twins or you’re expecting twins soon, you’ve heard the same message.


Here’s the thing – that great tip? It forgot to mention that getting twins on the same schedule is virtually impossible at the beginning if either or both of the twins have health issues or are preemies. And a lot of twins are preemies.

Here’s our story: At 34 weeks, 6 days, and 22 hours (because dammit, I SO wanted to make it to 35 weeks and I was only two hours shy!), I had an emergency c-section. My son was head down and half out the exit. My daughter was upside-down and tucked up the side of my ribcage. I got to 10 cm dilated in the elevator to surgery; I almost pushed my son out onto the metal operating table. It was quite an event, but to be honest, the whole pregnancy was an event. I had been on hospital bedrest since 31 weeks, at home bedrest since 23 weeks, and I had gone into early labor at 28 and 31 weeks. Good times.


When eventually both children were home with us under this small roof, I thought, okay, it’s time to get them on the same schedule. I mean, I knew it wouldn’t happen immediately, but yet – if my son woke up at 2:00 am to eat, I’d just wake my daughter too and feed her then as well.

Here’s the issue: the size difference. My son was bigger, healthier – he ate like a king (still does at 27 months old and 37.8 pounds…). He started to eat every three hours around the clock. My daughter was smaller – she woke up crying for food every 1.5 to 2 hours. My son wouldn’t be ready to eat yet – what would I do? To add another complication to the mix, my daughter had reflux. When she would eat, as I gently rubbed her back to get out a little burp, she would projectile vomit against the back of the couch and scream her little head off. She screamed for four months.


So you see, that’s what they don’t tell you when they advise you to put twins on the same schedule. And if you’re breastfeeding? FORGET this advice in the beginning. If you only get your children to eat every few hours, your milk won’t come in the way it needs to in order to feed both children. Another critical mistake I made. My milk never fully came in.

My advice to you, who want to get your twins on the same schedule: Don’t bother for the first few months. Cater to the individual needs of your babies. Especially if they’re preemies – they’ll sleep oddly, eat oddly, cry a lot. If you have two healthy, easy babies, the schedule may just fall into place on its own.

We did put our twins on the same schedule eventually, and it was the best thing I EVER did for my sanity. I just needed to wait a few months. It was after the reflux settled down, after they both grew a bit. It was 5.5 months in. My son was already sleeping through the night and my daughter, after some gentle strategies, started doing the same. This was part of how we got our twins on the same sleep schedule.

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They slept at night in the same room, so when one was awake, they would both wake. That was fine with me, because that meant they’d be ready for their naps at the same time. When one woke from a nap, I’d wake the other. Then, they would be ready for bed at night together as well. Therefore…

TIP #1: When one baby is up, both babies need to be up.

When one baby is put down for a nap, both babies need to be put down for a nap. It could take some time, but eventually they’ll understand the rhythm and they’ll both sleep together, at the same time. This has worked for us since they were six months old. To this day, at 27 months, they go to bed together, wake up together, and nap at the same time. I’ll never put one down to sleep without the other, unless one is sick.

TIP #2: Put the twins in the same room (especially at night) while they’re still young.

I know people fear doing that, because it’s true: for a little while, one baby wakes the other. Eventually, they start to sleep through the others’ cries. In our house, we found the twins slept deeply enough at night to tune out each others’ fussing, but during the day, the sleep was never deep enough and they did ruin each other’s naps. So I put a pack-n-play in a different room and, to this day, they nap in separate rooms but are together at night.

boy girl twins.

TIP #3: Feed the twins at the same time.

Again, this doesn’t apply to newborns with any sort of health issues or massive differences in weight. It didn’t work for us until my daughter gained some weight and was healthy like her brother. We didn’t start until a few months in. But then…

When my son ate, my daughter ate. When my daughter drank a bottle, my son drank a bottle. When my son started solids, my daughter started solids. They always ate at the same time. As with everything else, they eventually fell into a rhythm and both became hungry at the same time. Yes, when they were little babies, this was a challenge when they would be crying and hungry together. I decided to stick it out, either double bottle feeding or trying to entice one with a toy while I quickly fed the other. For my sanity, I couldn’t be feeding them at different times – that would be my only job all day. Now that they’re toddlers, I want them to know that they don’t just eat whenever they feel like it. They eat breakfast, lunch, snack, and dinner together.

twin boy and girl

TIP #4: Be consistent.

Things like illnesses come up and then the whole schedule goes out the window, as it should. But if you want your twins to sleep well at the same time consistently, you have to stick to the routine – even on the weekends when you want them to sleep in as long as possible, even when you visit someone else’s house. Your family and friends will cluck at you sometimes and say things like, “Well, they need to go with the flow more. They’ll be fine if you push back the nap an hour.” Twins or no twins – we all know that doesn’t go well for anyone. With one baby, you can sort of adjust. Getting back on track with two babies is a lot harder, so stick to the schedule as much as possible.

These are the things that we did in order to get our twins on the same schedule and at the time I had no idea what a long-lasting impact that decision would make. I mean, I knew that being in control of both of my children’s eating and sleeping habits was helping me stay sane, and it truly helped them realize their daily routines. Perhaps I’m just super lucky, but I believe having them on the same schedule since they were young has helped them sleep well. They both consistently sleep all night long and take a two hour nap every day.

But there was also an added bonus: my twins do everything together. Even when they want to play with separate toys, they still want to be in each other’s company. I know I couldn’t possibly put one down for a nap without the other wanting to shuffle up the stairs too. I believe an added benefit to putting them on the same schedule has been drawing them closer together as siblings. They’re a team, and I’m hoping it’ll be a life-long special relationship.

megan champion

Megan Champion is a fifth-grade teacher and the mother of two-year-old boy/girl twins. She and her husband also share their small space with two hyper rescue dogs. After going through infertility treatments, navigating the chaos is exactly what they always wanted. She somehow finds time for her hobbies, photography and writing, and can be found blogging about infertility, DIY and money-saving ideas, and twin topics at Click here to read more articles by Megan on Twiniversity.

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