Breastfeeding Twins at Night

By Krista Gray, IBCLC. Last updated May 22, 2014.

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Getting Sleep:  One advantage of lying down while nursing twins.

Getting Sleep: One advantage of lying down while nursing twins.

Getting rest with a new baby in the house can be challenging . . . and doubly so when you have two (or more) new babies.  Breastfeeding twins at night is not only important but it can help you get more sleep than formula-feeding.  Here are some tips and strategies to help.

First, begin with reading this information about getting sleep with a nursing baby.

Additional sleep strategies with twins:

  1. Sleep with babies in your room
    While nursing at night, make sure to have your babies close by.  While there are pros and cons to having twins sleep in the same bed as you, you definitely want them nearby.  For some moms this means bed sharing and for others it means having a side cart or crib(s) in their room.  Either way, babies are close by and can nurse on demand without mom having to walk to another room transferring babies in and out of bed as they wake at night.  .
  2. Don’t wake the other baby at night
    As long as weight gain is good, your milk supply is strong, and your babies are nursing effectively, don’t worry if only one wakes at a time to nurse – especially at night.  Though you can nurse twins lying down, it does tend to be easier to nurse just one baby lying down at a time.  If there are ever those times when  just one baby wakes, lie on your side with your baby next to you and he can nurse and you can go back to sleep.  If the other baby wakes later, you can switch two babies out – either sliding him over or returning him to his bed and bringing the other baby to lie beside you and nurse.  The important point is to nurse on demand for each baby – but don’t worry if they don’t need to nurse at the same time.
  3. Keep everything you need nearby
    On your nightstand, make sure to keep water, a snack, music, a book, phone, iPad, remote, a diaper – whatever you might need if you are awake during the night.  Anything that allows you to rest in bed and not have to get up is helpful.
  4. Have plenty of pillows handy
    Make sure you have plenty of pillows on your bed so that you don’t have to get them from the couch or other daytime “nursing station.”  Propping plenty of pillows around you while nursing twins allows you to relax more easily and rest no matter what position they nurse in.
  5. Keep the lights low and don’t change diapers unless necessary
    You want to encourage your babies to fall back to sleep easily after nighttime feeds so make sure you don’t have lots of lights or noise around them.  Only change diapers (nappies) if it is essential.

You will get into a rhythm quickly and find ways to get rest in the most unlikely of circumstances!  Just remember, no matter how tiring it is, taking care of 2 (or more) babies is going to be exhausting no matter how they are fed.  Breastfeeding just allows a wonderful way to nurture your babies as well as allowing you as much sleep as possible with two new little bundles of joy in your home.