As a new mom whenever I would come across this topic of potty training twins in a casual conversation with a friend or a relative, I would worry a lot. The mere idea of training two (almost at the same time), managing double the accidents and cleaning double the mess seemed quite challenging.
My first attempt at potty training A&A was when they were around 2 years old. I would leave them without diapers through the day at home and encourage them to use the potty seat. But we weren’t successful. They would cry a lot if I would make them sit on the potty seat and entire idea seemed a bit daunting to them. I guess neither I was well- prepared on how to go about it, nor I prepared them enough.
I re-tried when they were around 3 years old. This time I relied upon two things – one understanding their readiness and two, trying with better preparation.
Taking about readiness I realised if the child is not developmentally ready to get trained , he/she will show a lot of resistance. There is no point hurrying into it or pushing the kid because that only adds to our frustration. Also in case of twins each child takes his own time to show the cues and so we’ll have to evaluate them individually. In our case, my daughter started to show those signs first at around 2.7 years. She started to tell us when her diaper would get soiled, and would show interest in going to the toilet. My son took some time and seemed ready only after 3 years.
Also things become much easier if we prepare ourself and also prepare kids before starting the training. I prepared myself by reading about what all I can do to avoid accidents, things I can buy to facilitate the entire process. And also prepared kids by reading them books on potty training and telling different stories.
Sharing below some of the potty training tips that worked for us :
Take the call to tandem-train or not
A lot of twin-moms say that it’s easier to train both the kids together. However, it did not work for us. My girl picked up fast and got trained in almost a week. My son however took some time. One good thing was that my daughter had been a positive influence on him. Everytime she would urge to go to the washroom, I took my son too and that somewhere worked. Looking at her he would get encouraged to use the toilet seat too.
I have heard a lot about the three-day potty training method and many moms even vouch for its success. But in case of twins, trying something like this could be really intense and I personally didn’t prefer it. I rather chose to go slow. Since day one A&A have been on diapers 24*7, so taking them off diapers fully one random day didn’t look wise at all. Neither they could have adjusted to this change nor I. So we started with a few hours first, leaving them without diaper for a few hours only at home. Eventually when they started telling us verbally whenever they wanted to pee/poop, we did away with diapers for the school and evening too (garden time). Once they were fully trained during the day, we moved on to night training. It took us some time, (span of two months or so), but going slow helped in letting them adjust. We are still in the middle of night training for one kid and I am still taking it slow, and not rushing him into it.
I got some fun story books on toilet training and would read to them every night. The one that they enjoyed and that really created an impact was ‘Princess Potty’ by Samantha Berger, which depicted how a princess ditched her ‘royal diapers’ and started using her ‘royal potty seat’ and grew into a big girl. I also relied a lot upon videos and specifically showed them those episodes of their fav cartoons which highlighted on toilet training. (Peppa Pig’s potty training episode. , etc)
Fancy Toilet Seats
This was adviced to me by a dear friend. I got fancy toilet seats (mainly inserts that could fit into the toilet seat) which had their favorite characters printed on it. So each of them had their own and they didn’t have to share it. Everytime I had to take them to the toilet seat, I would build so much excitement that how their favorite seat is waiting for them and how the characters (printed on the seat) will be joyful to have them. Sounds silly, but it really works.
This worked as a motivation especially in the initial weeks. For every successful attempt I would reward them with stickers, hugs and applauses. We also invented a special celebratory dance and would do that everytime we step out of the washroom. All this helped to make them feel special and pushes them to keep trying.
This is the key. If potty training one kid requires a immense patience, imagine the case of potty training twins. You surely require truckloads of patience to bear the tantrums of two kids and not pushing them into it. I remember initial days when I left them diaper-free we would face many accidents. There have been incidents when one twin created a mess and before I could clean it the other started playing with it (much to my horror). It’s tough to stay patient in such situations but reacting any other way would only discourage them. One thing that I eventually did was preparing my house accordingly. I got bed protectors and stocked up cleaning supplies to make things easier for me. Also till the time they started telling themselves, I would take them to the washroom every one and a half to two hours and encourage them too pee. This way we could prevent many accidents.
At 3.7 now, my daughter is fully toilet trained and my son is ninety percent trained (except for night time). And I am hoping within a span of a few more weeks we would be successful in our attempt of potty training twins and our house will be fully diaper-free.
Did you find this post on potty training twins helpful? Do share on the comments if you have a tip to add or an experience to share.
This post is a part of#BlogchatterA2Z Challenge on the alphabet ‘G’. You can find all 26 posts on ‘A to Z of Twin Parenting’ under the hashtags #atozoftwinparenting and #themomsagaswrites on Facebook and Twitter.