Potty training boys is…messy. It’s constantly wiping pee off of toys, books, walls, hands, the other twin, etc. and doing ridiculous potty dances (x2). Then it hits you one day that you are more excited about your son peeing in a potty than you were the day he took his first steps. Why is this so monumental? I believe it’s because it’s the first real sign of independence and training twins is like hitting the mommy lottery. No more spending money on thousands of diapers. Plus, there is just something about big kid underwear that makes a twin mama feel proud. Like she’s one step closer to gaining a little sanity back in her life.
Let me preface this by saying (1) I only know boys so can’t really speak on behalf of training girls. (2) “They,” say, make sure your child is ready, but what “they” really should say is “Momma, make sure YOU are ready!” Potty training takes a whole lot of patience, 500,000 trips to the restroom (especially with twins), running like you are on fire to find a bathroom when you are out and about, and possibly a couple of weeks of interrupted naps and nighttime sleep. So first thing is first, make sure YOU are ready. Although potty training has its perks, I can say from experience that diapers are actually easier when you have twins (if you’re the type of person that likes to be out of the house). So again, when Momma is ready then more than likely your toddler will be ready too.
Here are just a few of my tips that helped me potty train my twins with success and not stress using the 3-day method:
1. Potty train one at a time.
Although I have twin mommy friends that trained both successfully at the same time, I found that training one at a time was an excellent decision on my part. I used the 3-day potty training method which requires A LOT of attention. Being able to fully devote all my attention to one just felt easier. And one of mine was obviously more ready than the other. I waited 2 full months until I trained the 2nd twin because I wanted to make sure the first one was completely accident-free before I started round 2.
2. Make them aware of going #1 before you even start the full-on training.
Before I started the 3-day potty training boot camp, I spent a couple of weeks with them outside just naked on the bottom (no diaper, no underwear) a lot. This made them aware that they were going. The bathtub is another magical place to start making them “aware.” We all know that as soon as we put them in the bath, kids just seem to go. This is the perfect opportunity to start potty training. As gross as it may sound, I let mine pee in a cup in the bathtub. For some reason, there is just something about peeing in a cup that motivates a boy (go figure). I honestly believe the bathtub was the first step in successfully potty training all my boys.
3. It’s all about the lemonade (and the great outdoors).
If you are doing the 3-day method, on day 1, give them something to drink that they normally would not get. This gives you lots of opportunities to “train” because it will make them go a lot. I would take them outside in just their underwear (not bare bottom, they need to feel that it feels like to be wet). I constantly asked them if they had to go peepee (you’ll say that a million times). Being outside freed me from cleaning endlessly. And honestly, with twins, you just don’t have time to sit in a bathroom for hours and entertain the one you are training. For me, it was just easier being outside.
4. Get the twins involved in each other’s success.
Twins love to fight. They also love celebrating with one another. Get them excited about seeing each other successfully use the potty. It may even motivate the other to want to potty too. I used mini m&ms as an incentive so naturally when one is rewarded, the other will want in on it too.
5. Don’t get discouraged, the 3-day method works.
Three is the magic number. Day 1 is usually spent with a couple of accidents and a couple of successes. Day 2 is almost like they revert. It’ll seem like everything you did yesterday was a waste of time. But if you stick with it, 3 seems to be the magic number if you are persistent. Don’t give into them. Even if they beg for their diaper (to avoid them asking for the diaper, I pretended to throw all the diapers away so they believed they were all gone). It’s also important to note that just because you train them in 3 days, doesn’t mean they will be fully trained, accident-free, in three days. Potty training takes months to completely master. Three days will get you on the road to a successful start, but it’s not the finish.
These are just a few suggestions that helped me potty train my twins. I’ll admit, it doesn’t come without a lot of patience, frustration, a ton of laundry, and a few hundred Clorox wipes. But teaching our toddler new things, even if it is how to use the potty, is always priceless!