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Kids Health QA: Co-Sleeping Twins

Q. I'm pregnant with twins, and thinking about putting them to sleep in the same crib. Is that safe?

A. The "official" answer: The American Academy of Pediatrics discourages having babies sleep with siblings because of the possible risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), but its policy doesn't directly address twins. However, lots of newborn nurseries do put twins together, finding that they fare better that way -- their vital signs are stronger, they're calmer, they feed better. It makes sense; being side by side is what they've always known. Every mom of twins I've known has put them in the same crib at first, too.

If you do let your infant twins sleep together, separate them once they start looking crowded in their crib, and certainly when they start rolling over. Until then, try to make sure you're taking other SIDS precautions:

 

  • Place your babies on their backs to sleep. Always.

     

  • Don't overdress them (overheating ups their SIDS risk).

     

  • Don't use blankets, bumpers, stuffed animals, or pillows.

     

  • Make sure the crib mattress is firm and the sheet is pulled tightly over it.

     

  • Quit smoking (we know it's hard!). Smoking before and after giving birth increases your children's risk of SIDS.

     

  • Consider using pacifiers -- they may decrease SIDS risk.

     

  • Breastfeed, if you can, for the same reason.
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