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).
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Potty Training Twins Tips
Be Mentally Ready
The first thing to do, in
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.)
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.
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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