Habit-changing your twins is probably one of the most crucial periods of raising them. Now that you have been raising them for quite a while, we will assume that you have an idea about how different it is to raise twins than to raise a single child. It is a bittersweet journey where you see two personalities together but also get exhausted from time to time. Potty training them is nothing different than that.
When you have twins, the mess will be double the experience and the sweet moments. However, it is a unique thing to learn for children as they have to be a little independent to clean themselves, wash their hands, and remove their clothes all by themselves. Therefore this transition needs your attention and ample time. To successfully potty train twins, you need to follow some specific techniques and be patient. A pro tip is combining these two, you can train your twins for any activities in the future as well.
Before You Start
Waiting for the Right Time
Every child grows up at different pace. Some children learn potty training before they turn two and some don’t. It is only natural. However, the average time for children to start is between 18-24 months. Wait till your child is ready to go potty. A good indication might be that they don’t wet their diapers in a long time.
Another way to know it is a good time is by seeing how interested they are in the process. If they want to join you when you go to the bathroom, it is the best time to introduce them to it. Sometimes kids want to imitate adults. Take advantage of that and make them sit on the toilet just like their parents. You can also try to take them to the bathroom with you and pretend you are using the toilet so that they know how to use it as well.
Checking for Medical Issues
Your child might be avoiding potty due to medical issues. Therefore it is important to treat external issues first to get them to practice. Besides if it is difficult for the kids to defecate, they will not want to focus on the process. To avoid that, you can feed your children more fiber, lots of water, fruits, vegetables, etc.
Buying Two Potties for Your Twins
To spark some genuine interest in them you can try to buy some colorful and unique potties for your twins. Children are very curious about everything and that is what makes it easier to get them used to a new habit. There are several potties on market specially designed for children that can help you make the process easier.
A 3 stage potty trainer might be the best one for you while they try their first time. With this product the first few trials can be done with a comfortable top and then as they get more familiar with it you can take off the soft seat and place it on top of an adult toilet. It can also be turned into a step tool for them to get used to other potty habits like washing their hands.
Have Precautions Ready
Expect some accidents to happen as you transition from diapers to the toilet. During the practice period, you will have to be alert most of the time. Don’t let them play on the carpet or the couch for too long, especially after meals. You can try to get washable mats to place on the floor to avoid accidents.
Another great addition to this can be potty training pants! These pants come with different cartoon characters to make children want to wear them too. These can prevent small accidents and give you extra time to clean up and take them to the toilet.
Potty Training Kits and Toys
A technique that works on all children is keeping them company while they figure out something new. Keeping some toys, kits, and potty training activities to bring out only when they go potty will help them have something to look forward to.
To help you in this case, check out these potty training kits that include colorful step tools, stickers, kits, and whatnot. It will keep your twins distracted and happy as they make one of the biggest transitions of their time.
Reading a Book on It
We have talked a lot about what to do for the twins. Now it is time to talk about the transition for parents. As a parent of twins, you will need to get some help from an expert on how to train both of them at the same time.
If you wondering where you would find books on this topic, check out this amazing book called Potty Training Bootcamp For Twins. This potty training twins book will be a step-by-step guide on what works on twins and what does not. It can also guide you through some facts and research that have been done on this issue.
One by One or Together?
Before starting the process, as a parent of twins you will have to decide if you want to train them together or one by one. Both options have some pros or cons. If you start training one kid at a time, you will have less mess to deal with. It will take less time and the entire focus will be on one person. However, in the long term, it’d be time-consuming since you will have to train another kid after one.
If you want to train them together, expect the double mess, and double the workload. But it might encourage the twins to learn together and help each other. It also depends on how your twins interact with each other. See which option fits the best for the two and you as a parent.
How to successfully potty train
Make Them Wear Comfortable and Appropriate Clothes
Now that you have all the precautions ready it is time to start and observe. Many parents prefer summer to introduce their children to going potty as they wear fewer clothes and it is easier to remove those before going to the toilet.
You also need to be mindful of what they wear during this period. Make sure they wear something that is not too tight and easy to remove. That way not only do they find it easier, but you will also have fewer clothes to clean.
Try to Understand Their Signs
Once you potty train baby, she/he will try to show signs of when to pee or poop. Try to observe them and understand to avoid any accidents. If you see them getting distracted, trying to get your attention, or confused, take them to the toilet.
It is a big transition for your kids as well. You can also teach them to give you signals when they need to go. For example, once you place them on the toilet, remind them of the words to use when they have to use the bathroom.
Follow the Clock
As a parent of twins, you might be already familiar with having routines and schedules for both of them to make things easier. It is no different with potty training. For twins, it is more efficient to create a specific time for both of them to use their new potty. It is ideal to visit the toilet half an hour after their meal. Right after they wake up in the morning can also be a good time to visit the toilet.
As you will have to train two kids at the same time, it might be a bit difficult and you will have to spend twice more time in the bathroom trying to make them pee or poop. Try to be patient during this time as they are only learning. However, try to strictly maintain the schedule to avoid any accidents and make them get used to it.
Expect Double Trouble
As you will be teaching twins, you will have more mess to clean. It is just normal for them to have accidents. In this case, it is more efficient if you have double the supplies as well. Have more supplies for both of the kids so that they don’t feel guilty about creating a mess and having to wear someone else’s clothes.
Every time they try to go potty, give you a sign, pull down their pants or even sit on the toilet, give them a star sticker on their hands, one extra sticker, or 5 points on a chart. It will work as positive reinforcement and encourage them to go potty.
However, as you have twins, you have to be very careful not to compare them as it might make them feel inferior. Children learn from one another and try to use that as something positive. If one of them is performing poorly, give them a sticker for being with their siblings. You can get colorful reward packs for both of them for as cheap as $6.
Use Positive Language
Creating a positive environment around the entire learning process is essential. Don’t let them feel like this is something they are struggling with or that it is a big deal. Use rewards, encouragement, and celebration as a regular part as they try their best to go to the toilet.
Avoid any kind of punishment or disappointment as that will make them less confident. If your child is confident about them, they will be excited to show you how far they have come.
The entire process will test your patience and flexibility. So try to be as flexible as you can. If one of the twins is trying to alter the schedule, go along with it. It will mean you will have to spend much longer in the bathroom with them, but it will help them feel more comfortable.
If one child wants rewards more than the other, encourage him or her more but also include the other twin. As a parent, you have to be mindful and flexible.
Ask for Help
After all the techniques and methods you have followed, it can still feel very overwhelming. You can ask your family members, friends, and your parents to help you out. Your partner might be the best help you can get. If both of you try to handle the twins, the workload will be less.
You might also notice that none or one of the twins isn’t showing progress. In that case, don’t hesitate to reach out for help. You can reach out to a pediatrician, an expert, or a professional in child development to share your issues. You can try to find your own group of mothers of twins in your community to help you out with ideas and what worked for them. You can also get an expert guide to potty training here.
While training twins instead of one child, this is where it differs the most. Usually, parents with one child use sticker charts to count their child’s progress which encourages the child to do better. However, since you will be training twins, you need to be careful about this method.
Any kind of comparison between the twins will make them upset and discouraged. It can even make them feel inferior to others. Instead of following charts, encourage them both and inspire them to help one another. That way not only do they learn things quicker but also develop stronger bonding. You can use the stickers, kits, and toys we mentioned before to offer them rewards.
Deadlines Don’t Help
Giving them deadlines will only put extra pressure on them which is unnecessary. Especially when you are dealing with children, deadlines can stress them out. Children are naturally fast learners, so they will learn how to go potty in no time!
One of Them Learns Faster?
This is a common problem among twins where one of them learns something quicker than the other. In that case, always remember that every child has his/her own pace. It doesn’t mean one of them is smarter. It just means they are different individuals with different learning methods.
As a parent, it will be your responsibility to give them both the time and attention they deserve while they try to learn something new. You can ask the one who is learning faster to accompany the other child to the bathroom. That way, both of them will learn that helping someone who is struggling is not something embarrassing, rather it is rewarding and the right thing to do.
You can also watch a step-by-step video on youtube about potty training twins
Every child is different, so whatever step works on one child might not work on another. Let your children follow their own timelines without worrying too much. But also, closely observe them so that you know when it is time to consult with a doctor as well.
Encouragement and rewards are two things that will always inspire children to perform better and learn faster, so you can always rely on these two techniques to potty train your twins while customizing the others according to your child’s personality.