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Multiples & Siblings - Making Sleep & Bedtime Simple!

When you have more than one child, whether it be siblings of different ages, or twins, triplets... the full juggling act in all it's glory rises! It can be tough to navigate sleep for each child, and the sleep math becomes more difficult too.

As a mother of two children, I know it can be very different from having just one tiny persons sleep to think about. So I want to give you my best tips and focus areas to make it as simple as possible for you.

First - each child is going to have their own individual sleep needs, and as easy as it can be to try to make them align, it really is important to honour them the bedtime and sleep they need.

Who's bedtime falls first? - now, this may not be the youngest one! It may be you have a toddler who's just cut their naps, so bedtime is much earlier than that of your 4 month old on 4 naps a day! Try not to push the one who needs the earlier bedtime to a later one to fall in line with the sibling who has a later one - this could bring overtiredness (early mornings, frequent awakenings etc). Work on getting them down at their ideal time - and whoever falls first is the one you focus on first.

Solo juggle?

If you don't have someone else at home to help - you may need to be creative in how you incorporate the one with the later settle into the routine for the first! Depending on the age you may need to keep them present and that's ok.

Girl and baby both lying on floor smiling
Sibling fun!

Room Sharing Yes, they may be room sharing or approaching that move. In an ideal world - they'd both be sleeping great and able to settle easily at bedtime. I know this can often not be the case though, so I'd hold off whilst you optimise both of their sleeps separately before transitioning especially if you are considering any kind of sleep training - work on this first!

If they are already sharing and you are making some bigger changes to their settles or timings - you can temporarily separate them until more aligned before bringing them together again. You may also want to consider moving the eldest out for a few days whilst the youngest transitions too to bring less disturbances.

Bed Space

Don't be tempted to rush your toddler into a toddler/single bed too early for ease. If done younger than the age of around 2.5 years, they cognitively don't understand the concept of staying in bed yet! So moving them too early could result in bigger sleep disturbances down the line.


If both are still napping, unless they fall asleep with ease you may want to consider different nap set ups. They have more stamina to fight naps - and so having their sibling in there at the same time may just be too stimulating! Even if they both fall asleep easy - it is also worth having a separate space as a back up plan for days when it doesn't go to plan.

As for nap timings - don't be tempted to push one to align with the other if it isn't age appropriate for them! Yes, it makes our lives incredibly easier but it will likely result in overtiredness. A 13 month old and a 23 month old on one nap a day will still have very different sleep needs, so resist temptation to push one further to fall in line as it may bring more challenging sleep in the night.

Quite often, the youngest tends to nap more on the go. With nursery/school runs and other commitments it is often the way it is - and you need to do what works! If little one naps at these times, try to see if they need an earlier/later wake to support this. Anchor those naps into the day and work the rest around it if this is your most important part of the day!

Make a PLAN!

No matter what changes you are making, get a plan in place. Whether that be room moves, routine changes, timings - align it with both kids and what needs to make it simple and seamless!

Twins and Multiples?

Often multiples have different sleep needs and settle preferences! This is because although they are twins/triplets - they have very different personalities and temperaments. So you may need a different approach for each one. For example - one may need slightly longer wake windows than the other, one may be much for stimulated than the other!

If their settle method preferences differ - work with the easy going one first (there almost always is one!) and adapt until they are both aligned then move on together. This goes for moving rooms too - you may want to move the one who takes a bit longer to adjust to new surroundings first before the other joins them.

Yes, having more than one child can have it's challenges but it can also be pretty amazing. If you are struggling in the juggle, please do reach out and we can get you on a focused plan to work for the whole family.

Jade Sleep Nanny

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