Before you start potty training twins, there are a few things you need to think through. You can’t plan how your twin toddlers will react to the toilet or potty, but you can do a lot of things to make sure that they’re motivated. It’s important that they’re positive towards using the toilet or potty. Your reactions to their training efforts also need to be positive (even though it’s hard, when they wet themselves several times a day!)
Take a look at these 7 tips on potty training, before you start potty training twins.
1. Timing is crucial
Don’t start potty training twins, when something radically different is about to happen. This could be them starting in nursery or kindergarten, a move or getting a new sibling. Wait until things have settled down a bit, before you introduce them to the toilet or potty. This will make your potty training efforts more likely to succeed.
2. Start up slow
Start by simply talking about it. Let them join you, when you go to the restroom (they’ll probably follow you anyway) and tell them what you’re doing, when you’re on the toilet (yes, that’s right!). For instance tell them “I’m peeing now,” “I’m wiping now,” (let them give you the paper), “I’m going to flush now” (let them flush) and “I’m washing my hands now” (let them wash their hands too). Tell them, that they’ll soon be able to sit on the toilet themselves, and let them try it, if they want to (hold them tight, their tooshies are too small for ordinary toilet seats). If they’re very young warn them about the sound of the flush (it’s scary to some children).
3. Include and motivate
Take them out to buy potties or toilet training seats and let them decide the colour on their own. Buy them each one, so they feel individual ownership. The best way to potty train largely relies on the personality of the child, but one thing is key to all children – they need to be motivated. You can motivate them in many different ways, such as for instance making up a funny song, when they pee (you may feel stupid, but they’ll love it). You can also let their favorite teddy try the potty or buy a few children’s books for them to read when on the potty. Think very closely before you hang up charts praising – and inadvertently comparing – them for their accomplishments. Make sure that potty training doesn’t become a competition between the twins, where one twin is left behind feeling inadequate.
4. Use a role model
If your twins have a playmate, who are further ahead with potty training, than they are, he or she could be a big motivational factor for them. Children copy other children and if they have a bond and play well together, your twins will try to mirror their friend. Obviously you should only use this method, if they’re used to going to the bathroom together and are comfortable with it. You could also use an older sibling as role model.
5. Be aware of differences
Your twin toddlers may be ready to potty train at different times. You need to consider whether they should start potty training together or apart. If they are as much as six months or a year apart in readiness and they start out together, you may inadvertently make one twin feel very inadequate and the other could feel guilty. On the other hand starting them up together could be motivating for both of them. No matter what you choose to do, it’s crucial that you never compare them. Make sure, that they know, that faster isn’t necessarily better.
6. Dress them appropriately
When potty training twins you need to dress them in clothes they can pull off quickly. Onesies is a no go. Underwear is better. Let them wear dresses, skirts or joggers, they easily can pull down. Depending on the climate, it could be an idea to let them run around bottomless sometimes – this will save you some laundry (but you’ll be cleaning floors instead).
7. Don’t push them
Children will get out of their diapers eventually and use the toilet or potty. Don’t push them. It might backfire and prolong the process. Make sure that your standards for when children should be potty trained isn’t being forced upon them. It’s very dependent on the child, what age is optimal for potty training – read more about age and potty training.