Having twins is double the joy of bringing up children. But it means two times doing mundane duties such as cleaning and replacing their diapers. While changing nappies is mostly inevitable in the first year, you can hope to reduce the frequency of this task as the baby enters the second year.
Around this time, you can begin potty training your babies if they are ready. But what is the right time to begin, and how to toilet train twins? Potty training twins might have a set of challenges, but it is not very different from training a single child. Read on to know what you can do for smooth, mess-free, and stress-free potty training for twins.
How Is Potty Training Twins Different From Potty Training One Child?
Apart from the fact that there are two babies to train and two potty seats, the potty training process is similar to that of a single child. The process can be easy if the twins are synced in their potty schedule and training. In such cases, your babies are observant of each other and may feel encouraged to get trained looking at the other doing the same.
On the other hand, if the twins’ schedules are not synced, you need to be patient with the baby who is yet to catch up, as you have to repeat every step. Remain flexible and optimistic and remember that even though they are twins, each child is unique.
When To Start Potty Training Twins?
Potty training depends more on developmental milestones than on age (1). Usually, babies show signs of readiness by 18 to 24 months, while a few children may start at three years. Putting twins into this equation, you may have one child ready for the practice while the other is unwilling to let go of the comfy diaper pants. Hence, it must be understood that you cannot enforce this practice but go by their readiness.
Here are a few signs that your twins are ready for potty training:
- They start to tell you when they’re pooping or peeing
- Your baby can pull down their pants
- Maintain their diapers dry for nearly two hours and has fewer poop accidents
- They follow a poop schedule
- Wet diapers start to irritate them
- They prefer to wear underwear rather than diapers or pull-ups
- Your baby has an interest in potty seats and practices sitting on them
- They are curious about your bathroom habits
If one or both of your twins display any of these signs, they are ready to be potty-trained.
What To Do If One Twin Is Potty-Trained Earlier Than The Other?
If one of the twins is ready before the other, do not worry and do not compare them. Instead, be patient and encourage the other one. You can try to make the child sit on a potty seat while the other does their business. This might help the child register that the potty seat does the job of a diaper and is used to poop or pee.
Even if the child is merely sitting on the seat, doing nothing, do this as a ritual every day. Eventually, when one of the twins has succeeded, you may notice that the other is gradually showing interest in the potty training process.
Don’t get disheartened if this trick doesn’t work. Despite your efforts, if the child is not inclined to use the seat, give a break and try again after a few weeks.
What Is The 3-day Potty Training Method?
The 3-day potty training method requires a baby to go commando once they’ve shown signs of toilet readiness. In this method, diapers need to be avoided entirely for three days, and the child needs to be continuously reminded that they are not wearing any diapers and hence hold their pee or poo.
- Give your children extra drinks and encourage them to pee in potty seats. Alternatively, you can also make them sit on potty seats once every 15-30 minutes.
- The child may resist, so try to remind them with gentle nudges and make their potty seating time fun through some games, conversations, or tricks. You can show them movies, make them blow bubbles, or sing a song while on the seat.
- Reward them after they’ve peed or pooped in the seat, or give them words of approval for a job well done. Repeat this for two days and pay close attention to them. Poop accidents are meant to happen, and you must be prepared for them. Remember not to scold your children for these accidents.
- As it requires your full attention span for three days, you cannot accommodate this practice into your busy days. So, choose a weekend or days when you can focus on this job.
Though your twins may not be potty-ready entirely, the children are likely to know the potty basics by the end of three days. Over a period of time, you can potty-train them successfully.
How Do You Potty Train Twins If They’re Both Girls, Both Boys, Or One Of Each?
Some parents find it easier to train girls than boys, as they only need to be trained in one position. But this doesn’t mean you can’t train them together.
- If the twins are both girls, you can buy two similar seats and follow the same training process for both. The same is true if the twins are both boys.
- In the case of boys, you need to buy potty seats with splash guards. Once the boys learn to pee while sitting, you can teach them to pee while standing.
- In the case of a girl and a boy, you will have to buy different types of seats suitable for their anatomy and follow a different training approach for each child.
Should You Potty-Train Twins At Daytime Or Bedtime?
Daytime potty training happens way before the night-time training. Even if your twins have successfully potty-trained, you can still expect them to lose control over their habits during the night. Moreover, training them at night before they’ve controlled it during the mornings could disturb their sleeping pattern. Therefore, it is good to train them during the daytime first before the night-time.The chances are that the daytime potty training process may influence them over the night. Once you’ve observed dry nappies at night over a period of time, then you can start with sleep-time potty training (2).
Tips On Potty Training Twins
Here are a few potty training tips you can try to make the process convenient for you and your twins.
1. Do some preparation
Before you start with the potty training process, you can prepare your twins for it. Showing movies, reading potty books, or taking them to potty seat shopping, which could curate their enthusiasm. You can get them underwear with their favorite cartoon prints to motivate them. Give them a headstart a week before the actual practice.
2. Go bottomless
As the twins may not be under control for the first few times, you would have an increased laundry load. Try letting them go bottomless for a few hours every day after they reach the age of potty training. Gradually, your children might show a few signs of readiness.
3. Bring in reinforcements
During tandem training, the number of poop accidents is bound to surge. The chances are that while one is on the potty seat to begin, the other could be on the carpet, ready to soil it. Therefore, have somebody to help you out in training.
4. Use rewards
If your twins are competitive, incentives can be a great success during potty training. Choose a reward that wouldn’t disturb the other twin who failed to accomplish the task. Find what suits your team, be it candy, a toy, or a cookie.
5. Don’t use one twin’s potty success to encourage the other
Avoid comparisons. Do not use expressions such as, “Look at your brother/ sister. He/ she is a good boy/ girl.” They are a constant reminder to the other twin that they’re lagging. Let the other twin be motivated by themselves. All you need to do is be patient and gently motivate them. A constant comparison could trigger feelings of jealousy and may even lead to regression among twins.
How Long Does It Take To Potty Train Twins?
Toilet training may take from three to six months (3). It might take longer or shorter for some children. Be consistent and calm throughout the training. If your twins show readiness to potty train simultaneously, it could save you time and effort.
Potty training is a part of bringing up children. They will learn and reach the milestone sooner or later. Hence, do not feel disheartened if your initial efforts went in vain. Take a step back, relax, and try again later. Every time you are worn-out, remind yourself that this is just a transition phase and this too shall pass.
2. Top tips for night time potty training success; NCT – New Parents Support
3. Toilet training; KidsHealth