Many new parents want to know if it’s okay to let their infant twins co-sleep (sleep together in the same crib/cot or bassinet). You will actually find that a good number of hospital nurseries will put twins together in the same bassinet and even incubator at times. Being together in the womb for so many months it seems natural that twins should remain in close proximity. When they are allowed to sleep next to one another they typically exhibit more relaxed, calm behavior. They also tend to do better at feedings and even show stronger vital signs. Numerous parents will continue the co-sleep arrangement for their twins when they bring them home, as well. It is basically a personal decision, but here are some things you should consider.
What kind of set up will you have? Twins can only sleep together in the same bassinet while they are still very small. They can sleep in the same crib, but only until around six months or until they start rolling over. You should have the extra bassinet or crib available in the event that it does not work out or other issues arise (i.e., one twin wakes the other up or gets sick). You may even decide on a “twin specific” crib, one that will accommodate both babies with a barrier or railing in the center. A lot of your decision will be based on how your particular babies behave in a co-sleeping environment.
I found that my own twins did well sleeping together in the same bassinet for the first couple of weeks. Then I put them each into their own bassinet, but kept them right next to each other. As they outgrew their bassinets, they went into their own full sized cribs, again right next to each other. They have always been great sleepers, and I have to wonder if it’s the comfort of having each other in such close proximity while at rest.
Although the American Academy of Pediatrics does not support co-sleeping of infants with siblings or adults (due to SIDS), they do not specifically refer to twins in regard to this matter. Always consult a qualified health care professional with any co-sleeping questions and concerns, as this article is not intended as professional advice.
Originally published Twin Pregnancy and Beyond