They say two are better than one, two means much more fun, and the list goes on and one. Being a mom of twins has been such a blessing and seeing their bond grow brings so much joy. However…..when it comes to this thing called potty training….it has been a challenge. One of the first things you learn as a mom of multiples is to get them on the same schedule. I never did that and we turned out fine but I wanted to try it with potty training. Again that did not last long but I do have some tips on how to potty train your twins.
Tip one: Start when they are ready
When the twins turned two I was ready for them to be potty trained. I was over changing diapers and buying diapers. We started putting them on the potty at two and a half. We used the trainer potty and we sat them on it and waited for them to use it. Madelyn would at least sit without crying but Ethan wanted no parts of the toilet. My husband and I decided not to torture ourselves and so we put potty training on hold. Low and behold months later Madelyn began to show an interest in using the potty. So we decided to sit her on it one day and she immediately uses the bathroom. We took that as our cue to start potty boot camp and the rest is history.
Tip two: Each child is wired differently
In the beginning, we tried to potty train both Madelyn and Ethan. Madelyn is pretty easy going whereas Ethan is very boisterous and strong-willed. Ethan had no desire to learn when we first began and we are still on that journey. Madelyn has picked it up and she is doing well. As a mom of multiples, we try to encourage them to do everything together…eat, sleep, play, etc. With potty training be ok with one starting and progressing before their twin. This could be the start of them establishing their own little world outside of twindom.
Tip three: Be consistent
This goes with saying. Consistency is probably one of the biggest keys to potty training. We are all familiar with establishing a routine with our family, the same can be said for potty training. For us, we take trips to the potty every hour. As she has become more accustomed to it I will ask if she has to go use the restroom. Set a consistent routine to include when they wake up, before nap, before bedtime and washing their hands with each trip. Toddlers and adults thrive when there is consistency.
Tip four: Utilize modeled behavior
One advantage of having twins is that they tend to imitate one another. The more Madelyn uses the bathroom, the more Ethan shows an interest. Now has it always been this way? Absolutely not but over time he has become more of a willing participant. Ethan has even gone as far as telling me that it is Madelyn’s turn to use the bathroom. He understands the concept of potty training and now it’s just a matter of consistently using the potty.
Tip five: Relax
In a world where parenting, motherhood, and all things children are constantly under a microscope it is easy to feel pressured into critiquing every ounce of being a mom. Potty training falls into that category and if your child is still wearing a diaper at the age of three then something must be wrong with you or the child. Our twins didn’t start potty training until three and Ethan is still hit or miss. Something that freed me was some words encouragement from their caregiver/second mom. She said, “Felicia I have never seen a middle school child in diapers…they are fine”. Soak that in and happy potty training time.