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9 Simple Tips for Successfully Potty Training Twins

Potty training twins.

It’s one of the things I feared most in my time as a parent. Even during my twin pregnancy, I thought, Shoot. I’m going to have to potty train twins.

It isn’t just the twin thing, I was kind of scared to start the potty training process with a singleton too. But to train twins? Two at once? Yikes.

So I did the only logical thing.

I put it off as long as possible.

I didn’t even think about potty training, I denied I was ever going to potty train my twins, and I planned on a life with diapers.

Unfortunately I couldn’t live that way forever. So as I put big girl panties on my twins I put on my own big girl panties with them and got it done.

Here are my twin potty training tips (from a mom who fears potty training).

picture of two Once Upon a Potty books, one boy and one girl

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Potty Training Twins Tips

Be Mentally Ready

The first thing to do, in fact this needs to happen before you even start potty training, is make sure you are ready.

Yes, you. The twin parent. We don’t care about the toddlers right now, we want to make sure the adult who will be facilitating the training is ready for what is about to happen.

I know, I know. It’s just potty training. And it’s exciting! It means the end of diapers!

It also means the end of diapers. The end of not having to find bathrooms when you are out. The end of not spending half your day talking about all things potty.

Teaching one child good potty habits takes some work and you are teaching two. And if you start and stop or are hesititant it is just harder.

So if you aren’t ready, don’t start. Once you decide to go for it, commit fully. (And if circumstances dictate that you have to start training before you are ready, get ready. Get your head in the game ASAP.)

Make Sure Your Twins Are Ready

Sometimes there isn’t a choice in potty training. School or daycare requirements mean you have to give it a go. But if you can make sure your twins are ready to train.

This age range varies. I am personally a fan of late potty training. But trying to potty train a child that has no desire to use a potty is HARD.

Do yourself a favor and make sure your twins are ready. (Don’t worry, there are things you can do to help with this.)

picture of two Once Upon a Potty books with text: 9 Smart Tips to Potty Train Twins From a Mom Who Dreads Potty Training

Do The Pre-Potty Training Work

There is a lot more to being potty trained then just sitting on the potty to do your business.

Can your child push their pants down? Can they pull them back up?

What about hand washing? Can your twins reach the sink? This sort of independent skill matters.

These are things you can practice before you even start the real potty training. And you’ll be happy you did. Potty training is busy, and if you have these basic steps at least part way down it will go much more smoothly.

picture of two toddler potties with text: 9 smart tips for potty training twins

Talk Up Potty Training

Talk up potty training. Toddlers love anything that makes them big kids, so really play up the big kid status.

The real key to this though? Make sure they know they aren’t ready yet.

Oh, sure, soon. Soon your twins will be big kids and be ready to potty train. But… Not quite yet.

You want to make your toddler twins want to potty train. What do kids (and adults for that matter) want? What they can’t have.

Your goal is to get your twins excited to potty train. Pick a date to start and build up the excitement. Toddlers that are excited to potty train are toddlers that get potty trained.

Gather Your Supplies (That Means 2)

With one toddler you can be a bit more spontaneous with potty training. If your singleton is ready and you find yourself in the right headspace you can just help them sit on the regular toilet and give it all a go.

Twins? You need 2. (Story of our lives, right twin moms?)

I am a fan of the little training potties, but I know not everyone likes potty chairs. I think with twins they are the way to go. You are training two people, you need two places for them two go.

You can go with one toddler potty and the regular toilet. But my twins tend to want what their sister has, which means it is best to have two training potties. (Tip: We got both of our potties at resales. You can find them for cheap!)

We also have two copies of the potty training book we like. Both girls get one. I don’t like to cater to twin demands, but my bigger goal is to have potty trained twins.

Explain How Going Potty Works (And Yes, Use Real Terms!)

It sounds silly, but it can be easy to forget to explain to our children exactly how one goes to the bathroom.

I have found the easiest way to do this is to simply narrate your bathroom habits.

Yeah, it’s a bit awkward the first few times you do it, but tell your child I have to go to the potty now. Then keep up the play by play as you go through the motions.

Generally speaking, I don’t encourage my kids to go to the bathroom with me. A mom needs a minute of peace now and then. But during pre-potty training and potty training we party in the bathroom. Everyone comes with.

This modesty free time really helps your twins see what is going on and start to get the idea of potty training.

Have Plenty of Reward Opportunities

You want your twins to want to use the potty, and a great way to do that is with rewards.

My personal preference is some sort of candy or treat. The reward needs to be immediate, but it can’t last for too long. You want them to want to earn another, right?

With twins, I made sure to have plenty of reward opportunities. This meant my girls could earn their treat for sitting on the potty and actually using it.

They also got a treat for staying clean and dry. This one was important. I’ll explain why in a moment.

You want to keep your toddlers interested and feeling successful. So keep those treats coming.


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Don’t Compare Progress

We all know not to compare our twins. But we all also know how hard that can be when facing a situation where direct comparison hits you in the face.

But even if your twins thrive on competition, don’t turn potty training into a competition.

First of all, you don’t want fights in the bathroom. Huge messes are to be avoided.

Secondly, there is so much in potty training that you and your children can’t control. Namely when your toddler will have to use the toilet.

Kids have different potty training personalities. Some like to go every five minutes because it is novel and fun. Some have extreme playtime FOMO and wait until the last possible second to run to the potty.

And some kids just take longer to figure out what is going on with their bodies.

You do not want to have any opportunity for shame or feelings of failure to come into play. Those just create bathroom issues and make any that are already present worse.

So when one twin successfully uses the potty, I find a reason for the other to get a treat too.

Maybe the other twin just sat on the potty. Or stayed clean and dry. (I told you this would come back.) Just not having an accident is good to celebrate too!

Make potty training a collaborative effort and celebrate all the victories.

Make Potty Training Twins a Team Effort

Toddler twins spend a lot of time together, and that is just going to increase during those early potty training days. I know when we are out I don’t want to be taking a million trips to the bathroom, so my twins need to learn to go at the same time.

The best way to make these trips, and potty training twins in general, successful is to make it a team effort.

I encourage my twins to cheer for each other when they successfully use the potty. We all clap and dance when they reach their goals.

This collaborative approach builds us all up, and it really helps with potty training success.

Remember Your Patience

The hardest part of potty training is the lack of control. You can’t do this for your twins and accidents will happen. Patience is the key that makes all this work.

If you keep cool, you will find success.

And remember, your twins will get potty training. The diapers won’t last forever, and the challenges of teaching two toddlers at once to use the potty will be worth it.


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Potty Training Twins FAQ

When should I start to potty train my twins?

There is a wide range of ages for potty training.  Some toddlers start at 18 months old, while other toddlers aren’t ready until age 3 or 4.  Twins are no different in this. 
The key to potty training twins is to make sure they are ready for it. 

With twins, it does help if their communication skills are at a point where they can let you know they have to go potty.  It can be more challenging to watch two toddlers for signs of needing to use the potty, so being able to communicate that fact helps.

Do twins potty train later than singletons?

No, on average twins potty train at the same ages as singletons.
 
Twins may seem to potty train a little later if they were born premature.  But the adjusted age is in the same range.  And twins might potty train later due to parental readiness (it can be a lot for a parent to handle), but there is no reason twins would have to potty train later.

Are twins harder to potty train?

Twins aren’t necessarily harder to potty train as individuals.  The challenge, like with most things twin, comes from the fact that there are two to potty train at the same time.  You have two individuals to teach and to watch as they go through the process.

Give yourself time and be patient with your twins as you go through the potty training process times two.

How long does it take to potty train twins?

The time it takes to potty train twins varies, but on average from introducing the potty to being fully trained, it takes 3 to 6 months. 

Yes, there are methods like the 3 day potty training method that train faster.  Often these methods work at introducing the concepts and building good habits.  Yes, some twins will be accident free after those 3 days. But don’t be surprised if it takes a couple of months to solidify good potty habits.   

What do I do if one twin is ready to potty train bu the other isn’t?

If one twins is ready to potty train, don’t hold him or her back just because the other isn’t.  Not every child will be ready to train at the same time and that is okay.  It can be easier to train one at a time.  And seeing their sibling trained can be good encouragement to gain that ability too.

Should I potty train my boy twin and my girl twin at the same time?

Whether you should potty train your twins at the same time or not depends on how ready they are as individuals.  Girls are often ready to train before boys, so it might work out well to potty train one and then the other.

Some twin parents find it easier to deal with the accidents and staying close to home with both twins at the same time as opposed to having to do it twice.  Whether you potty train at the same time or separately should be decided based on readiness and what works best for your family.

Do I need two potties to potty train my twins?

Having two potty options will make potty training twins much easier.  That could be two training potties or a training potty and the regular potty.  But when they are learning it can be hard for your twins to wait and take turns with a single potty.

Having two potty options will make potty training your twins much easier.  The two options do not need to be exactly the same though.

Why shouldn’t I use a reward chart when potty training twins?

Rewards are a valuable tool for potty training.  And reward charts can help give your toddler goals.  However with twins having reward charts can add a competitive edge to potty training. 

Twins can potty train at different speeds, and it can be confusing for one twin to get a special prize and not the other.  Consistent rewards that they both have an equal chance to receive will help.  Keeping potty training a positive experience is key.

Do I need to night potty train at the same time I day potty train my twins?

Nope.  The skills for using the potty during the day are different than using the potty at night.  Some families like to attack both day and night training at the same time, but you do not have to.  Keep underpants on during the day and simply put diapers back on for sleeping.  Your twins will understand the difference.

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Rachel

Wednesday 26th of August 2020

I know in the next year we will potty train, and this was SO helpful! Thank you!!!!

Kim

Wednesday 26th of August 2020

I'm so glad it was helpful! And good luck with the potty training. You guys will be great!

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