One of our resident sleep experts, Tanya Greene from Sleep Right Sleep Tight shares her sleep tips for twins, triplets or more.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you became a baby sleep consultant?
I have been working with children for 15 years now, and personally am a Mum to 4 gorgeous children. I worked in Childcare before having my own family, and then gained my qualifications to help other sleep deprived families get a great night sleep. My passion is helping each individual family get through those sleepless nights and bedtime struggles.
I made the decision to help other families through their sleep struggles after having problems with our daughters sleep. She was 15 months at the time and waking approx. 5 times a night. Where we were living at the time there was no help, so I turned to an online program. We had amazing success! From this, I knew my path was to help families in similar situations as ours.
Why is it important to help your twins or triplets learn to settle on their own?
A baby’s sleep patterns are affected by what is happening throughout their bedtime. They generally look for whatever is happening at this point to be repeated throughout their night when they wake. If your twins or triplet are reliant on outside aids, dummy’s, feeds etc. in order to fall asleep, you will find that waking throughout their night, they need these to come back to get themselves back to sleep. They are what we call sleep associations.
What is the process of working with you like? How does it work? What can people expect?
When I begin working with a family I like to find out as much information as I can before we begin. I don’t want to turn your world upside, however we do want to change the things that aren’t working. We start our time together with an initial consult. This can be held in home, via Skype or phone, and can be anything from 1.5 hours right through to 12 hours with your family. The longer we are in home the more physical hands on support you get through the toughest times. After your consult I will personally touch base with each family at least every second day with a phone call. I encourage families to reach out at any stage via phone, text or email, so this support is very flexible. The intensive support offered is ongoing for 3 weeks to reach your goals for your little one’s sleep and settling.
What is the youngest age you will work with a baby? Is your goal at this age to get them to sleep through the night, or do you have a specific age they must be in order to work on getting them to sleep through the night?
I work with family’s right from birth. At different ages we have different goals and expectations. With newborn twins or triplets we are setting them up slowly with good sleep foundations. Once they reach 6 months of age they have the ability to sleep a solid 11 to 12 hours overnight.
What kind of techniques can parents expect to use when working with you?
We would never ask a parent to try anything they are not comfortable with. We don’t use or recommend the cry it out method, but prefer to offer our little one’s comfort through physical touch and verbal reassurance. We have seen how well babies and toddlers respond to their parents comfort, so encourage each family to support their children through this development. Each age can vary, with our little one’s we encourage parents to pick up their multiples through the comforting stage, with our slightly older children we use a lot more hands on comforting.
What are some steps that parents can take to prevent creating bad sleeping habits with their twins or triplets?
Ensure you have a nice strong, consistent bedtime routine. Baby’s and toddles thrive off routine! Check your twins and triplets are on the right track with their awake time. Too little or too much awake time can lead to difficulty settling and sleeping. Try and nap your multiples in the same sleep space each day so this becomes familiar for them. Lastly you are wanting to encourage your multiples to go down into their bed awake, and start the sleep process in their sleep space.
If you had to give sleepless parents a word of encouragement or support, what would you tell them?
Every parent is going to parent differently. It’s important to find what works for you and your parenting style, taking on board advice, and putting into practice only the things that sit well with you. Use your village, you certainly don’t need to do this alone. And lastly, even on your bad days, your babies love you unconditionally!!
Are there any sleep aids (sound machines, swaddle sacks, black out blinds, etc.) that you swear by?
A great swaddle for your newborns is the best thing you can do. There are quite a few out there, however be careful they give the hips movement and are not too tight. We love the GroClock for our toddlers, setting visual boundaries around sleep times works a treat! Lastly, to make your room pitch black, you can’t go past old fashioned garbage bags sticky taped to the windows 😉
Tanya Greene, founder of Sleep Right Sleep Tight. is a certified Sleep Consultant having completed a comprehensive training program.
My passion is helping each individual family get through those sleepless nights and bedtime struggles. Sleep deprivation affects us in so many aspects of life – emotional, mental and physical health.
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