The age at which twins, triplets or more begin to notice each other and interact varies widely. A lot depends on how closely you keep your twins in proximity to each other. Do they share the same crib? Do you place them side by side on the floor for tummy time? or under an arch for overhead play time? These factors all can influence their interactions.
Hospitals in Europe have long practiced co-bedding of multiples because of the reported benefits for the infants, which include improved weight gain and growth as well as a reduction in physiological stress. Hospitals in the United States have begun to follow suit. However, hospitals in both countries are rethinking their policies.
More recent reports indicate that co-bedding can increase the chances of SIDS, although some sources attribute the higher incidence of SIDS among multiples to be primarily related to low birth weight and not necessarily co-sleeping. A commentary published in the journal “Pediatrics” on November 30, 2007 titled, “Cobedding Twins and Higher-Order Multiples in a Hospital Setting” concludes:
“Although cobedding multiples has become more widely practiced in hospitals in the United States, neither the safety nor the benefit of this practice has been documented in the published literature. Parents should be encouraged to follow established safe-sleep practices for infants at home.”
Even if you decide against co-bedding your twins, you can encourage their interactions by keeping the cribs close to each other in the bedroom. During activity time, you can encourage interactions by placing your twins together on the floor, side-by-side in the stroller, and holding them face to face with another adult.
No matter what age your twins begin responding to each other, it will happen sooner or later. It would be pretty tough to grow up as a twin without forming a strong twin relationship that involves playing, fighting, and emotional support. As parents of twins, we long for the day when we see the twin bond developing — and some of us must be more patient than others.
Copyright 2010 Kathryn Whiteley — TwinParenthood.com