Preparing for one baby during your pregnancy is hard enough, but when you multiply your numbers by two, a whole new set of circumstances appear.
One question in particular that only impacts the parents of multiples is whether or not you should place both children in the same crib. What I feel is tough about this question is that there's not one clear answer. So let's take a look: can twins share a crib?
Should Twins Sleep in the Same Crib?
While twins have shared cribs in homes across the United States and even in hospital settings, some feel that the dangers outweigh the benefits. Let's take a deeper look at the issue as a whole.
The Benefits of Placing Twins in the Same Crib
Twins spend their entire life in the womb together, and in some cases separating them at birth can cause hardships. Leaving them together in the same crib may help comfort them, simplifying the first few months of parenthood as you develop your twin routine.
Crib Sharing Benefits for Twins
Crib sharing is especially beneficial for premature twins as they tend to thrive more together, suggests pediatric doctor Stephen Turner, M.D. Sharing a crib also provides financial benefits.
Many parents choose to place the crib in their room for at least the first few months after birth before switching to separate rooms with a baby monitor. Having the twins in your room reduces the risks of SIDS in the first few months of life while allowing you to learn their different sounds and breathing patterns.
Possible Crib Sharing Dangers
To answer the question 'can twins share a crib', it's important to consider the potential dangers. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends limiting cribs to just one baby. This recommendation is due to the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) from problems like accidental suffocation.
In this scenario, a second baby would be the same as placing a stuffed animal or loose bedding in the crib when examining the risks. This recommendation is listed along with ensuring your twin is put sleeping on their backs, and that the crib is free of everything but a firm mattress and a tightly fitted sheet.
Crib Sharing Safety Tips
If you do choose to sleep both of your twins in the same crib, there are several items you'll want to consider to make the process easier on both you and your babies.
Choose one side for each baby and assign them to this spot in the crib. This is an especially helpful tip for identical twins, as you're still learning their unique features and behavior traits to tell them apart. Telling them apart is even more difficult when it's the middle of the night, and you're not fully awake. Another option is to assign a particular color to each child and use that color for their sleep clothing to help tell them apart.
Place each child head-to-head in the crib when possible. This placement gives you the benefit of being able to quickly remove a single child from the crib without having to reach over or disturb the other.
If you choose to place the twins side-by-side, or your crib is not large enough to place them head-to-head, be sure to place your twins, at least, two feet apart in the crib. This will help reduce the risks of SIDS, as well as reduces the risks of one child hitting and waking up the other with arm or feet movements. Once again, make sure that each child is always placed on their back to sleep until at least 12 months of age.
Along with proper placement, the other baby makes it even more important to keep the crib free of loose items like toys and blankets. Replace blankets with sleep clothing that fits well to the body and maintain the room at a temperature that is comfortable for an adult wearing light clothing. Watch for signs of sweating or heat rash if your twins are too hot.
When to Separate your Twins
Babies grow at an extremely fast pace. It's essential that you watch for them to overgrow the space of a single crib. A good sign to watch for is when they start moving and kicking more often.
If they are mobile enough to kick off a swaddling blanket, it's time for them to move to separate cribs as the risks for suffocation significantly increases.As a parent, it's up to you to look at the potential benefits and dangers of your twins sharing a crib and make a decision based on your individual needs and what's right for your family.
The Bottom Line
We like to hear your thoughts! What do you think? Can twins share a crib? How did you approach their sleeping arrangements? Feel free to leave a comment below if you have any further questions.
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