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Tales From A Twin Mom: 5 Tips To Help Potty Train Your Twins

potty-training-twins-tips

Tales From A Twin Mom:
5 Tips To Help Potty Train Your Twins

One of the most frequent questions I get asked by other parents of multiples is, “How did you potty train your twins?

Is there a secret to it? No, unfortunately there isn’t. There is no magic age when your twins will automatically go on their own, or stop wetting themselves entirely. Every child is different, and some just take a little longer to get it. In en effort to help those that are currently going through the process of potty training twins, I have come up with a list of five tips that I wish I had known when I was potty training mine…

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1. BUY TWO POTTIES FOR TWINS

buy-two-potties-for-twins

You teach your twins to share everything, so they should be expected to share a potty as well, right? Wrong. Even though everyone in the household does not have their own bathroom, it’s a good idea to start out with one potty for each child in training. In the beginning, it is very hard for a child to grasp the concept of holding it in until the potty is available. You want to make every effort to help your child get to the potty on time; and if your twins are anything like mine, the one sitting in the potty will take her sweet time finishing up. I also recommend buying the same style for both twins. There is nothing like coming to realization that one child picked out a potty that played a song while the other just picked out one that was colorful, but too quiet.

2. TIMING IS EVERYTHING

POTTY-TRAINING-TIMER

When you’re beginning the process of potty training, you should start by having them go in the morning and setting a timer afterwards. I would set the timer for an hour and take them to the potty myself. Don’t expect your child to automatically go the moment you sit them down. Remember that their minds are not programmed to know what potties are for. Take a book in there with you and prepare to sit for a while. Do your very best to not get frustrated if they don’t do anything but run around the potty for half an hour. If they don’t go, then come back in 15 minute increments and remember to set the timer for a little longer next time.

3. REWARDS GALORE

POTTY-TRAINING-REWARD

Always have a reward readily available for when the deed has been done in the potty. Some parents give out stickers, others go for the treat method. Whatever you choose, always keep in mind that what one twin considers a treat may not be a treat for the other. One of my twins is obsessed with chocolate while the other was more interested in stickers. I would offer the chocolate lover 1-2 M&M’s while the other received her choice of shiny or furry stickers. I would also make sure to give them something if they tried to go. It’s important that you acknowledge the fact that they are doing their very best to go-and that you make it fun. I made my very own potty song and would often hear giggling from the other stalls in public bathrooms. Hey-whatever works, right?
If for any reason they make a mistake right after you took them to the potty, don’t get angry or upset. Just take them back there and have them try to finish. If you realized too late in the game and they’re done what they needed to, then start over. Clean them up and put on a fresh set of undies. Restart.

4. TRAINING DIAPERS

Changing table with diapers and towel for baby care

Every parent’s dream is to potty train a child and not have to clean up any accents around the house. I have found that this is exactly that-a dream. Unfortunately, I have learned that when you potty train children, you have to go all out. Pullups these days are very absorbent, and when the child has made a mistake, they don’t feel uncomfortable or wet. I find that it’s best if they “feel” that they went even if that means having a mop at hand all day. On your mark, get set-MOP!
 5. ACCEPTANCE

THUMBS-UP

I can’t finish this article without mentioning acceptance. You need to accept that maybe one twin or multiple is just not as ready to go diaper free; and that is OK. By giving that child a little more time, you might be even making things easier for yourself. Have that child still go with you to the potty while you tend to the other. Have them see what rewards are given when their twin/sibling achieves the task. It is important to not shame the child that is not ready. Some children learn by observing; and once they’re up for it they will just do it. My Baby B was very eager to be trained. She would ask to go to the potty every 15 minutes because she wanted her reward while the other had no interest. It took a good month for Baby A to join the potty party; and when she did, guess what? She decided she was ready to be trained, and just started going one day and never looked back.

Read more: Our Story Begins: The Breakdown Moment

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Reminiscing about the potty training days now is quite funny because I remember thinking that my children would end up going to college with diapers on. Many times I would think I was missing a special trick, but I really wasn’t. Potty training multiples takes time, patience, consistency and perseverance. Good Luck!
Chime in! What tips would you add? What helped you potty train your twins?
twin-parenting-julixa-newman

Julixa Newman, is a published writer/author, and the president of Stuff4Multiples.com. Born in Puerto Rico and raised in New York City, Julixa founded Stuff 4 Multiples in 2009, shortly after giving birth to twin girls. Her articles about parenting multiples are featured on several parenting websites, as well as in such magazines as Twins and Sixty Second Parent. She is also an entrepreneur who has designed several products geared at making parenting twins easier, including the TwinTrexx twin baby carrier. Her most recent endeavor is Forest Friends: Book About Me, which is the first baby book for LGBT families.

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