The term potty training itself runs a cold sweat in many parents. It is one of the challenging baby milestones every parent urges to cross successfully and hassle-free. But it doesn’t always turn easy without creating much stress and fret in the parents. And when you have to train two babies, nevertheless to say your mind will be swirling hard and fast. But there are ways to train your twins without straining yourself much. Yes! Potty training twins can be made easier. Let’s check out how. I will also be sharing our experience in potty training twins at the end of this article.
6 Lucid Tips for Potty Training Twins
Before getting into the tips and tricks, reading this article will make your potty training journey stress-free and triumphant – The secret behind successfully potty training your child. Once you read it you will apprehend,
- What makes potty training so challenging?
- How should you be prepared to commence the potty training journey?
Now with all this cognizance, how can we make potty training twins easier? Here again, this will not be a step by step guide to potty train your twins in a certain number of days.
Instead, this article will help you in making the right decisions, choosing the right products and show you ways to handle this journey without much trouble.
1. Prepare Yourself First
What a pleasure to watch the twins smile, roll over, crawl, sit or stand and interact with each other! You are incredibly blessed! That’s true! But no one could ever perceive the other side of this sweet journey. Round the clock chores, sleepless nights, nonstop diaper changes, more and more that have been tampering with your life and made it upside down. Amidst this busy living, one fine day a thought will pop up “How am I going to potty train my twins?” The world would seem to halt for a second.
Diapers would look like angels that have saved you so far. That single thought how your day will be without diapers and how to teach these tiny kittens to use the potty without any accidents and cleaning the pee and the poo all through the day will suddenly haunt you.
Now leave all these overwhelming perceptions and get back to the real world. You should first compose and organize yourself. This is simply another milestone which your babies will cross at some point in time. So make sure you are out of stress and relaxed with an immense patience injected into you.
Think before you Step In
Give yourself a lot of thought and brainstorm.
- Am I ready to step into this journey? – Is your family circumstance good enough so that you don’t find this to be an added stress? Are you in a clear mind knowing the challenges that you may have to face and willing to accept them and go ahead with confidence and patience?
- Are my kids physically and mentally matured to commence this journey? – Will my kids be able to follow the instructions I will be giving? Do they have control over their body to try and hold the pee or poo until they reach the potty?
Once you are affirmative about both these queries you are all set to go!
2. Should you Potty Train the Twins Together?
Different is a word that describes all Children!
Every baby is unique in the way they think or act. Similarly the time they take to reach their milestones could certainly vary. Hence there is no ideal age for potty training. Some babies are potty trained well before one year of age. While some don’t get skilled even after five years of age.
Their physical and mental maturity, environment and the way they get trained all have a great influence on when each baby gets potty trained. While we could greatly avoid comparing our child with other’s child, a comparison between twins becomes totally inevitable. But we should bring in the realization that,
They are Twins! Still, they are Discrete!
While one of your twins could be showing signs of readiness like intimating you when he pees or poos, the other twin may not be equally ready. So you should first believe that there is no need to potty train twins together.
Decide based on your Scenario
- Some twins may be reaching their milestones together and would be in the same cognizance level. In those cases, potty training twins together will be the easiest route.
- But some twins may have a drastic variation in their level of maturity. Also one may be a quick learner while the other may be a bit slow. So If both your twins are not equally ready and you start with the potty training exercise in parallel, then you may be in a lot of mess. In such cases, it will be wise to train them discretely.
- The other scenario is when you may personally find it easier to train them separately instead of a parallel approach irrespective of their maturity levels. This could be due to your availability, the support you have or the family circumstances. Again, it is totally up to your convenience and comfort.
So these are the pointers you should perceive.
- You can potty train twins together or one after another. The final decision depends on you and your twins. There is no general rule.
- Even if you have decided on potty training twins together, chances are there that both may not be showing the same level of progress. You should be ready to deal this.
3. Let them Perceive What, When, Where and Why
When it comes to children, things get easier when we make them understand What, When, Where and Why. After all, every child is curious in knowing these details. Until they recognize all the information, they will be very reluctant and non-cooperative to take any new step. The same is applicable for potty training twins.
Let them understand the basics.
- What are pee and poo?
- Why or when do you pee or poo?
- Where should you pee or poo?
- Why should u use a potty?
You can help them realize the facts,
- By showing videos or stories related to using a potty.
- With a short description (in their baby language) about the anatomy of our body and how it works?
- By disposing stools from the diaper into the potty.
- By showing them how to use the potty by demonstrating it yourself.
Once the kids are clear about the basics, their fear and hesitation to learn a new routine in their life will fade away. They will be more intrigued to use the potty.
4. Choose the Right Potty Training Products
Many times the potty training journey fails as we miss to choose the right tools. There are a few factors which you should consider before opting for any product.
- If your children are scared to use the regular potty, then you can go for trainer chairs.
- Your twins will find it easier to use it without your assistance.
- You may have to dispose and clean the potty chairs after each use.
- Children may get playful and the whole training process may be in jeopardy.
- You may have to again teach the kids to use the regular potty once they grow up.
- It will be an one-time training.
- Usage will be easier for the parents as they need not dispose of or clean after every use as in the potty chairs.
- Some kids may be reluctant and have fear to use it owing to the height of the potty.
- They may need assistance everytime they want to use the potty.
Hence you should consider the comfort level of you and your twins and then choose the product which will make your training easier.
Now whether it is a potty chair or a potty seat, the next question is “Should you be getting one or two?”. When it is twins, it doesn’t always mean that you have to buy everything in double. It purely depends on your family circumstances and economy.
There is always a possibility that both may want to pee or poo at the same time. In that scenario, it is better to have two potty seats or chairs for an emergency. But if you can’t afford or want to cut-price then you can certainly go with one potty seat and manage accordingly.
5. Identify and Develop a Routine
Try to determine the pee or poo pattern of each of your twins. Something like whether the kids pee in every two hours or poo around the same time every day. Accordingly, you can bring in a routine. You can even first start with the pee training and then move to poop or you can teach them both simultaneously. Again it is up to you.
For the initial few days, you may have to follow this pattern and routine and take the kids to the potty and help them to use it. Once they get trained, they will start intimating whenever they want to pee or poo.
Start with only daytime training first, then once your twins are comfortable you can try to go diaper free at nights. Again at nights, you can follow a routine like waking up the kids once in every three or four hours and make them use the potty. Then slowly encourage them to let you know when they want to pee in between sleep.
There is a high chance that kids may make this practice playful especially when you are training with potty chairs. They may start to use it all the time for fun and may forget to use it when they actually want to pee or poo.
We cannot blame the kids here as potty chairs come in attractive shapes and colors that the little ones start thinking them to be toys. So it is better if you set the guidelines clear from day one. “Potty Chair is not for playing. Use it ONLY when you have to pee or poo”
6. Encourage without Discouragement
Potty training without accidents will never happen. We cannot expect the little ones to start using the potty perfectly from day one. Even if you continue to watch and rush them to the potty every time, still there are high chances for accidents.
So this is the first thing you should remember – Never shout or spank or punish your twins when they accidentally pee or poo in their nappies. Rather encourage them to let you know sooner to avoid such accidents in future. Also, make sure the message is clear, otherwise some kids may start making accidents playfully simply to test your patience.
When you are potty training twins together you are relieved if they both cross this milestone concurrently. But it may not be the case always. One could be quick and the other may find it difficult to cope with this new step. Here is when you should not compare.
Don’t yell at your slow learner and praise your quick one. Keep encouraging the slow learner and give him some additional time. There is nothing wrong if he learns it late and there is no hard fast rule that your twins should learn everything at the same speed. It can be convenient for you, but it can be a burden for them. Let them learn at their own pace.
Praise each and every genuine effort that your twins put to reach this milestone even if it is a smaller step. Use child-friendly approach to get them interested and keep going. You can encourage them with tiny rewards like stickers or a small toy or whatever is affordable for you. You can be more creative here to attract their attention.
But there is one disadvantage in the reward system when it comes to potty training twins. Whenever a situation arises where you have to reward only one twin, there are possibilities you will end up disheartening or demoralizing the other twin. So you should be careful in dealing with this. Maybe you can tell the other twin if he is conscious and makes a successful attempt to use the potty next time, then he will get a bonus or something like that.
So this is all that you should be aware of before potty training twins.
- There is no predefined age for potty training.
- It’s better to teach a physically and mentally mature toddler than pressurizing and stressing a very small baby.
- There is no definite rule that you should be potty training twins together.
Our experience in Potty Training Twins
We started potty training our twins together as they both showed signs of readiness. We preferred the potty seat over the training chair. Since we were able to manage with one potty seat, we didn’t have to spend double.
Once we were into the training, it slowly turned out that one was a quick learner while the other was very reluctant. However, we didn’t pressurize our slow learner. We gave him time but kept on encouraging him to try and try again. He would be so upset when his brother got stickers every time. But we made him perfectly understand that he need not be upset as he can also get as many stickers once he starts trying.
The one who showed interest was potty trained in 2 years of age while our other tot was trained at around 2.5 years. You can see a long gap here. Though they started together, one of them was fully potty trained only after a huge delay.
But it happens with kids. Every child is different. We can be stress-free if we accept this simple fact, be patient and move on. And nevertheless to say there were countless accidents during our potty training journey. LoL 🙂
The happier part is eventually our twins were potty trained, no matter in what speed and at what age.
If you found this article useful, please go ahead and share it with your fellow moms.
If you have ideas that have made your potty training journey easier we are all ears to hear it from you. Please share it in the comments section.
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Image Credits: Main Image by donnierayjones on Trend Hype / CC BY , Should you Potty train Twins together? by Buster Benson via Flickr.com , Choose the right potty training products by PittCaleb Flickr via Compfight cc , Encourage without Discouragement by teaperson Flickr via Compfight cc
Note: Text has been added to the original images.