3 Tips for Sleep Training 1 Year Old Twins

Ordering your twins’ days will help lead to better nighttime sleep.

While On Becoming Babywise includes suggested schedule and sleep training advice from birth and beyond, we all know that parenthood isn’t always black and white. In those early days, sleep training can seem like a hurdle best left for another time. That’s okay.

Part of parenting is realizing your limitations, knowing what’s best for your current stage, and having a vision for your future.

Perhaps your twins are now approaching the 1 year old mark. You’ve settled in as a family, you have aspects of your daily routine that are flourishing, and now you’re looking for a more solid stretch of nighttime sleep.

It’s time to sleep train your twins.

Sleep Training Basics

Just the phrase “sleep training” can seem harsh. If I’m honest, it makes even me a bit wary. With parenting under a social microscope, it's easy to pass judgement on those whose approach to parenting is different than yours.

While there are many aspects to sleep training, one thing is sure: sleep training means that you’re intentionally merging baby sleep cues with a schedule that’s workable for your family.

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Sleep training is not letting baby “cry it out” for extended periods of time. In fact, sleep training with the Babywise Method is about empowering parents to listen to their instincts and create gentle routines and flexible schedules (while guiding babies towards nighttime sleep).

Remember This (Before You Sleep Train)

While sleep training twins isn’t all that different from sleep training singletons, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • While it’s easy to compare twins to each other, they really are two different people. Just like adults need to adjust to new morning or evening routines, each twin will need to become familiar with schedule changes.
  • If your one year old twins were born prematurely, you’ll want to think in terms of their due date (not birth date) when looking for sleeping expectations.
  • Keep notes on everything you try. If you adjust meal times, nap times, or bedtime routines write it down. While you may feel like you’re returning to the newborn days, having notes is a good way to see solid feedback on how each twin is adjusting their his new bedtime routines.


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How to Sleep Train Twins

Most parents of twins quickly find that having their babies on similar daily schedules means they are able to find little nooks and crannies of quiet times (both throughout the day and before they head to bed in the evenings). Let’s be honest, although the process of sleep training can be tedious, the end result can mean that you stay sane as a mom.

Tips for Sleep 1 Year Old Training Twins

Here are our top tips for how to sleep train twins (even at 1 year old):

1. Order Your Day

While sleep training is focused on nighttime sleep, the preparation for it actually occurs during the daytime.

A one year old should have a somewhat consistent morning wake-up followed breakfast, playtime, and a morning nap. After lunchtime babies are again ready for a nap before waking up for snack, playtime and dinnertime. Bedtime follows, approximately 12-13 hours after the morning wake-up.

Having a daily routine provides rhythm for your little ones. They will quickly anticipate mealtimes after waking up, they’ll be satiated and ready for playtime, and they’ll be tired out when naptime occurs.

Are you looking to modify your routine? Here’s an example sleep schedule for your one year old. Do note: Shortly after your twins’ one year old birthday you’ll find they begin waking up early from afternoon nap time. This may indicate they’re ready to drop their morning nap.

2. Quality Counts

One year olds are typically self-feeding table food. The transition from being fed baby food to self-feeding can be tricky; it’s hard to tell how much baby has ingested (and how much might be hiding in his chair). If you’re concerned your babies aren’t getting full at mealtimes, this can affect nighttime sleep.

You can combat this by spoon-feeding baby some of his meal and then letting him practice with finger foods. Greek yogurt, pasta, or other filling foods might become your best friend. Rounding out a meal with whole milk can also help to fill your twins’ bellies.

3. Consistency is Key

Once you’ve ordered your day and made sure your babies are receiving quality feedings, it’s time to stick with it. Sleep training is best done during a span of time when you can be home and aren’t traveling.

Starting with your more sensitive sleeper, look for sleep cues (rubbing his eyes, fussing) a couple of hours after his morning wake up. At the first sign of sleepiness it’s time for nap. Choose a quick nap time routine that works for you such as changing baby’s diaper, reading a short short, and singing a song. Lay baby in his crib with his pacifier or lovey.

Some babies may fuss for 5-10 minutes. If you know that baby isn’t sick, has a clean diaper, and isn’t hungry it’s okay to leave him and see if he settles. For prolonged crying you’ll want to check baby. Prolonged or sharp crying can indicate that baby has a problem.

Ordering your twins’ days, encouraging quality eating, and keeping a consistent schedule will help lead to better nighttime sleep.

Jess Wartinger

Jess Wartinger

Jess Wartinger resides in rural New York with her husband and five children. Formerly an early elementary teacher, Jess currently spends her time loving her kids and holding down the fort at home.

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