Is it time for potty training twins ? Only your twin toddlers really know for sure – as much as we as parents like to make this decision for them!
Now while potty training ONE child can be tricky – potty training twins with two at the same time is really going to take up all your time until it is accomplished.
No way around it – you’re going to need to be on the lookout for signs and unfortunately – smells and accidents. But it is a stage and you will get through it ! Just think – how nice will it be to have the twins OUT of diapers once and for all – and easier on your wallet too.
Good things happen potty training twins!
One of the best things about potty training twins and two at once is that there’s a little competition between them – so once you have one trained – generally – the other won’t be too far behind. We have boy-girl twins here and really – there was about a week’s difference in the two of them so don’t let sterotypes about who’s easier stop you from trying ! I can’t tell you how great it was to
a) not have to change dirty diapers anymore and
b) the reduction in garbage coming from our home ! ( I always felt terribly guilty about using disposable diapers and the landfills etc. ) and of course
c) the money saved – diapers are expensive !
Preparations for potty training twins!
OK – to do any job you’ll need to have the proper tools and potty training twins is no exception. While having twins does not necessarily mean you need two of everything – this is one of those cases where you do need two – potties that is. There is nothing worse than a couple of two year olds fighting over a potty and spilling it’s contents!
Cute story here – we had two lovely matching potties that they twins carried around and sat on but did not pee in. A neighbor was having a garage sale next door and one of the items on the grass was a potty chair. While the adults were talking, my daughter walked over to it, sat down in the middle of the yard and peed on the potty ! Everyone laughed, my son wanted a turn and needless to say I bought that potty chair. They were trained within a couple of weeks of that incident. We still have it on the floor of the bathroom as well as one seat that fits on the big toilet because a lot of the time they still insist they need to ‘go’ at the same time. Avoid potty battles !
So – two potties, lots of cleaning supplies , big boy, big girl underwear- especially if they like a certain character – Spiderman, Dora etc and maybe plastic pants to wear over them when you go on outings. Look for children’s books or videos that discuss potty training – it helps toddlers to relate to the idea. Flushable baby wipes, hand sanitizer and a really carpet cleaner ! (Seriously on the last one – that was the BEST investment ever – we have cleaned our carpets SO many times since the twins came – that was a huge money saver in the long run ! Bissell upright steam cleaner)
On another note – now is NOT the time for new anything – not new furniture, new flooring or new carpeting – you really want to wait until this stage is over – trust me – there will be accidents.
My thoughts on Pull Ups for what it’s worth
Having already potty trained two children prior to potty training twins, and working in the child care field years ago – what I’ve learned about Pull Ups is that they are essentially diapers that you pay more for and get less of. They are TOO absorbent so when your little one is trying to learn and has an accident – they barely feel it and just go on as if nothing happened. Or – in the case of the ones that have the disappearing pictures or the ‘cool feel’ – boys in particular seem to pee in them – simply to get a reaction – picture disappears – mission accomplished! This is totally backwards to what we’re trying to get them to do .
This is a messy job but in order for them to know they need to go – they need to FEEL it when they are wet ! That is what teaches them – having something absorb it all doesn’t. Expect to be doing a lot of laundry for a week or so and try to not have places to go unless you can bring along the potty with you ( mini-vans are great for this as I really don’t want my toddler twins in a public store bathroom !)
Signs your twins might be ready for potty training
They are now capable of staying dry for a few hours at a time this means they are starting to develop bladder control especially if you notice them waking up dry from a nap.
All of a sudden they do NOT like their wet or dirty diapers This is a good thing although having your toddler pull off a soiled diaper in their crib or the middle of the dining room can be pretty gross especially when they get it on their hands and then have to wipe their hands on things to get it off .
They start to show an interest when you or dad or an older sibling is using the bathroom being curious is a good sign and children learn a lot by watching so try not to mind the audience.
They are starting to want to ‘help’ dress themselves taking off their diaper or trying to pull on or off their pants – means they’re learning.
They have some way of communicating with you about being wet or dirty and can follow simple directions from you – It’s time to start trying!
The JellyBean Factor
Essentially the reward factor – you’ll need something for your potty training twins system. We used jelly beans with a lot of success with our twins – my older daughter it was Smarties and my oldest son was stickers on a chart. Find something that works for your twins – it will be your currency when one goes in the potty and gets a treat , the other will want one too and hopefully learn quickly what to do to get one. There is no one right way to do this – time and patience and trial and error. Every child is different!
Not all twins will be ready developmentally at the same time. That’s ok – then train the one who IS ready. Generally twins are good role models for each other so the other twin will be watching. Have the potties available just to sit on – don’t make a big deal about it. The less stressed the parents are, the less stressful an experience it will be for the twins. Try not to expect too much or rush the process and don’t yell at them when they mess up. Just encourage them to keep trying- once they actually GO on the potty – it’s like a lightbulb goes off and now they get it – they understand – and it just picks up from there.