I had big problems potty training my first child, so I was absolutely dreading potty training twins! But when I did, it really was a breeze (certainly in comparison to the first time around).
Here are my tips for potty training twins
- Firstly, have potties in the house, allow them to play with them, investigate them and experiment, without any expectations. (I would also recommend having a travel potty for when you go out the house, I used popette plus, it was so easy to carry round in my bag or under the buggy)
- Then, try to sit them on the potty at convenient times of the day for you, on a regular basis, eg first thing in the morning when they get up, after lunch, before bath, before bed. Probably for a long time nothing will happen.
- Look for signs of each individual twin to be ready. Here are some signs to observe that your child may be ready:
be dry during nap times or overnight
start to tell you when they are wet/dirty
show a strong interest in using the potty
be able to do a wee or poo on the potty on a regular basis
- Make sure you are also ready, the timing has to be right for you too! You need to be prepared to be cleaning up lots of puddles and messes and have the time available to observe the children constantly. You need to choose a time when you are not feeling too stressed in yourself.
- Once you have decided one or both of your twins are ready for potty training. Buy some pants, maybe let them choose, tell them what a big girl/boy they are wearing pants etc
- Try to get them to sit on the potty to try every 30 mins at first, and give tons of praise when they succeed.
- Also, then allow them to have some accidents, so they become aware of when they have a full bladder and need to use the potty (rather than being dry only because they keep being told to do a wee on demand)
- Stay calm. If you get stressed over it, your child will pick up on it and may start to feel stressed themselves which will have a detrimental affect on the training
I believe the biggest key to successful potty training is timing it right. If the child is truly ready and you are ready, both physically and mentally, then potty training should not be a big problem.
My twin potty training experience
Looking back on it, I timed it completely wrong with my first child, he was physically ready for training, but not psychologically ready. because of this, I became very stressed over it, which he picked up on and it became a vicious circle for 15 months!
I was very keen to avoid this problem the second time round. I decided to potty train my twins separately as I felt one twin was ready while the other was not. C was dry over night (12 hours), which suggested she had the ability to hold a full bladder, she also told me when she had a dirty nappy. She didn’t seem worried about sitting on the potty.
I bought her some pants which she liked. She sat on the potty when she got up in the morning (after being dry over night) and eventually she did a wee. She had lots of praise and a sweetie. From then on it was just a case of keep asking her to sit on the potty, allowing some accidents to happen and eventually she got it. She was very good, we even went out for the day to the zoo on day 4 of potty training and had no wee accidents. Poo training is a little more difficult, but it didn’t take too long, once she got over the fear factor, she was fine.
Twin 2 (J) at that time was not psychologically ready, she didn’t like doing poos, she almost seemed scared of it, so I didn’t force her. 5 months later she seemed a little more accepting of things, then she sat on the potty one day (by herself) and did a wee. Then she did it again 4 times! So I thought, right, you are most definitely ready. I bought her, her own pants, not expecting to start the training immediately, but as soon as she saw the pants, she wanted to wear them and she was dry almost straight away, even the pooing didn’t take long! I think she liked it because it gave her some independence.
Should you potty train twins together or separately?
That is the big question? There is no right or wrong answer. If you feel your twins are ready at the same time, give it a try.
Training twins together can be useful, as sometimes they try to compete with each other, so they have an incentive to learn. They can also learn from each other, when they see what one does, the other copies. It also allows you to get the mess and stress over with in one go. It does however mean lots and lots of washing! It will only work if they are both ready.
On the other hand, maybe it is slightly less stressful if you only have one child to train. There is less mess and less washing.
The one thing I would say though, is, be prepared to put them back in nappies if it is really not working! There is no point stressing the children and yourself out if it is not working. Put the nappies back on and revisit the potty training again another time.