As if sleeping wasn't hard enough for most parents on the planet, you deal with double the sleeplessness when you're the proud parents of twins. A pair of babies are typically thought to sleep well together, so the notion of sleep training might be strange to moms of multiples. And though there are many different methods for getting babies to sleep, you may be wondering if you can cry it out with twins.
Since the thought of two babies crying doesn't sound relaxing or sleep inducing in the least, your first reaction might be to steer clear of the method all together, especially because its name sounds less than comforting. But a little bit of research shows that it's not only possible, but oftentimes can be a gentle and simpler approach to getting both your little ones to sleep at the same time (and sleeping through the night while they're at it.)
After they're old enough to go all night without eating (around five to six months, according to Baby Cener,) it's fine to think about sleep training your twins. The premise for sleep training twins is the same as it would be for a single child: letting your baby "self-sooth" for short amounts of time, ultimately training them to sleep soundly on their own through the night. According to Baby Center, the cry it out method isn't simply leaving your baby alone to "cry it out" without comfort for as long as it takes. This isn't recommended or effective. The Baby Sleep Site defines it simply as "a sleep training method to help break sleep associations" and "setting limits on what you will and won't allow your baby to do at nap time (or) nighttime."
The various cry it out methods suggest following a bedtime routine and then lying your child down, letting them fuss or cry for set amounts of time (generally a few minutes) before going in to comfort them. According to the aforementioned Baby Center article, this slowly but surely teaches your child that they can fall asleep without being held or nursed.
Although it may be a bit more complicated (and what isn't more complicated with twins?) trying a cry it out approach, or a modified cry it out approach as detailed in another Baby Sleep Site article, can be a great way for all of you to get some more shut eye.
As stated above, creating a calming bedtime routine before laying your babies down, then allowing them to fuss or cry for a short amount of time before going in to comfort them, and then leaving again, is a predictable and comfortable way to help your twins get more sleep. And everyone knows you all need more of that.