There is no right or wrong way to potty train any child whether they are a single child or twins or multiples. My twins have been potty trained for about five months now and WOW I can’t even imagine what life was like before that. It was most definitely not easy for me this time around.
Remember that every child is different and each child should be treated individually. What works for one child may not work for another. Just keep that in mind as you go through this journey. And YES I call it a journey because it may take some time. Some children may take a month while others may take a lot longer. Some kids even go cold turkey. I failed at potty training my twins a few times then finally got it right! Now I am working on potty training them at night and it seems to be going very well.
So without further ado here is the list of ideas I came up with as I struggled through this milestone with my children. I hope these work for you as they did for me!
1. Buy them fun underwear with characters:
This is probably the fun part of the potty training process. Your kids will be excited about being able to pick out their own underwear with their favorite characters. Of course if you have boy and girl twins they will most likely have different styles and characters that they like. I always say just make sure they are also comfortable and made of 100% cotton. Although I haven’t seen any toddler underwear that is not, but just something to keep in mind. I would recommend starting off with maybe 5-7 pairs then keep adding more once they become more comfortable with using their potty and only underwear. Also realize you will most likely have many accidents at first, so some of these underwear you may eventually throw away. If it is just pee then it should be fine to soak them right after an accident but your little one may end up pooping in their underwear so be prepared to clean them off really well. I do recall tossing out a few pairs because it was not worth the cleaning for me.
2. Go at their own individual pace:
Twins are individuals and they are not the same kid. My daughter showed signs of wanting to use the potty, while my son never even showed signs at all. Then after I actually initiated potty training for both, my son ended up having a easier time potty training and my daughter had more accidents and was not interested anymore. My first born I was able to potty train him in one month before he turned 3, and my twins took several months after they turned 3. So each child is different. You should always go at their pace. Don’t put too much pressure on them. It is not a race. I think if they’re potty trained by age 5 you should be fine (at least that is what the pediatrician told me ). Although one BIG bonus is you get to save money on diapers. Don’t make one twin feel bad because they are not going at the same pace as the other. This could hinder their progress and lower their self-esteem.
3. Make sure their daycare/babysitter are all on the same page:
Whether they’re at grandmas and grandpas for the weekend or maybe with another parent you should ALWAYS communicate the potty routine with them. This was a BIG one for me. I am not a stay at home mom so making sure that everyone who watched my children were on the same page was crucial to their success. Make sure they know the rules or your techniques for potty training. At first I did not do well at communicating and just focused on potty training them in the evenings and weekends, which I believe confused them quite a bit. It’s better to have them on this routine all day and all throughout the week. Consistency is KEY!
4. Reward them/praise them:
I tried using a sticker chart and it really didn’t work out for me. What we ended up doing was having everyone clap after they had a successful “going to the potty” moment. So when they got out of the bathroom their brother and daddy were right there cheering him/her on! I have heard of parents giving them candy as a reward, mini toys if they go an entire week without any accidents etc. So just find what works for you and your budget (this may cost money depending on how you approach it) and use that as your way to reward them. Please note: You may find that they are expecting these rewards after they are fully potty trained so just be warned that you may run into trouble if your child is expecting toys or candy each time they use the potty.
5. Pull-ups may not always work:
I tried pull ups several times and found that they did not help at all for either child. They kept having accidents. It pretty much felt like a diaper to them so they were unable to tell the difference. Then I finally just bought them underwear. Did they have accidents? YES! They had so many accidents and I was constantly washing clothes and was very frustrated, but it also seemed to work 100% better than pull ups. When they started wearing underwear they were more aware of when they had to use the bathroom. They would stop what they were doing and say “MOM I have to go potty!” and we would run to the bathroom. Keep in mind that even though you will have more laundry and clean ups to worry about, this will only be temporary and just think about the long term outcome.
6. Let them watch you while you go to the potty:
I’m sure they do this anyway 🙂 Kids usually mimic what their parents do. They will watch you going to the bathroom, wiping, and washing your hands. If they aren’t already doing so, then start letting them in the bathroom with you and talk them through the process. Tell them that you knew you had to use the bathroom because your body told you to, so that is why you are sitting on the toilet. Now if you’re a male and pee while standing then this may only apply to your little boy but I find that little boys when potty training usually don’t pee while standing up, at least not at first.
7. Buy two potties:
You can buy cheap ones if that is an issue. I just found it easier for them to go at the same time when they both have their own potties. I found that one was scared to use the BIG potty but they were okay with using their own. My daughter didn’t mind using the big potty and she rarely used her little one we bought her. Also if they both have to go potty at the same time then they will be able to do so. I also put the potties in their rooms. This may seem gross but it helped when training them to sleep through the night without any accidents.
8. Talk to your little ones about potty training:
Before even beginning the process you should talk to them about this big milestone. While you use the bathroom explain to them how they will be using underwear soon. Let them know what your expectations are of them. Say “you’re going to start using a potty soon, and you’ll have to start wearing underwear“. Some kids might not be too thrilled while others will be very excited. It just depends on the child. As I mentioned earlier every child is different.
9. Let them go commando (if it is possible):
I tried this out with my oldest and it worked great. He was more aware of when he had to “go”. I was not able to do this with the twins because they didn’t like being naked and I was not at home as much. I was not going to ask the babysitter to do that. So again if the circumstances work for you then this is a good option you just have to make sure you keep an eye on them. If they have an accident it will get on the floors or furniture so keep that in mind.
10. Have them sit down on their toilets after each meal, first thing after waking up and right before bedtime:
This was a schedule that was recommended to me by their pediatrician. You should let them sit down on the toilet about anywhere from 30 min to an hour after eating. Even if they don’t have to go, it is a good idea just to have them sit down. If you already know their toilet routine then this is the time to put that in action. If you know your child usually soils their diaper 15 min after they finish eating dinner then that will be the time you would encourage him/her instead of the 30min-1 hour. Have them sit on the toilet right after waking up and then again before they go to bed.
So now that you have read all of that information and you are in the process of potty training just keep in mind these tips:
One Final Note:
It will take some time and each child is different so go at their own individual pace. There will be accidents and you will be doing a lot more laundry. You should probably start packing two extra outfits including shirt, pants, socks, and underwear. And YES I said socks. They also get wet. Praise them as you wish but don’t make it feel like a competition. Don’t make one feel bad because the other one is excelling. It might be overwhelming and stressful and that’s okay. It is normal to feel this way, especially if they are not responding well to this new change. Just be patient.
What other tips did I not mention? Comment below I would love to hear what I missed 🙂