Do you remember that golden moment when you came to know that you are going to have twins? Your happiness would have known no bounds. There’s no doubt that twins double the happiness of being parents, but when it comes to raising them together, it’s something that will leave you exhausted. Handling two little munchkins at the same time is not that easy, not for all! And when it comes to potty-training them, you’re bound to get confused, and that’s alright. It may not be a piece of cake, but it is certainly not an impossible mission to achieve. There is no doubt it would require more time and more patience on your part, but you will be able to train your babies. We shall be discussing some useful tips that may make potty training your twins easier and more convenient. Read the post to know more!
Is Potty Training Twins Different from Potty Training a Child?
Yes, of course! It is very different to potty train twins in comparison to training a single child because you are not dealing with one kiddo but two kids of the same age. Potty training two kids of the same age at the same time will be challenging, but we know, being a mother, you will be able to do it. You can make it a fun time for your kiddos. Get two potty seats, preferably similar looking or identical so that babies don’t get confused or squabble over it. You can help your little ones decorate it too using colourful stickers to help them identify their own potty seat.
What to Do If One Twin is Potty Trained Faster Than the Other?
Every child is different and unique and thus may get potty trained at his own time and pace. When you are training your kids, one child can show better progress than the other, and it is very normal. Whenever one child shows the readiness to go to the bathroom, make sure you take the other sibling along. This way the other child will observe and learn what he may be expected to do. You should follow a set routine to train them. You can also make your kids sit on the potty seat every half hour, this way you save yourself from the trouble of going to the bathroom too often.
What Should You Do if One Twin is Ready for Potty Training and the Other Isn’t?
We have discussed above that all twins are different and do things at a different pace, same holds true regarding potty training too. You may notice, usually when potty training twin boy and girl, one would show the readiness but others may not be ready. There is no need to hit the panic button because potty training twins (where one is ready and the other is not), is a very common problem that parents of twins face. However, you can follow some of our potty training tips for twins, which are discussed in the next segment.
Helpful Tips on Potty Training Twins
Here are some tips that may help the parents in potty training their twins:
1. Prep Your Children
Before your children are ready for the physical changes, you can prepare them mentally for the coming changes. This means, if you plan to start their training a week from now, you can start talking about how grown up they are now and what grownups are expected to do. You can get them books of their favourite cartoon characters wearing underpants. You can also take them on a shopping trip and buy underpants and potty seats of their choice. All this will help the kids in preparing for the potty training session.
2. Make Sure That the Timing is Right
You have to look for signs of readiness in your child. The average age for potty training twins is around 18 months, but if your kids do not show signs of readiness, there is no need to force them. It is important to introduce the habit in a positive manner. They should not resent the entire process. If your kids are not wetting their diapers for a longer duration or peeing and pooping when you take them on their occasional loo visits, it may be an indication that your kids are ready.
3. Dress Them Appropriately
If you are planning on potty training twins at 18 months or later than that, make sure you dress them appropriately. Dressing your kids in clothes that they won’t be able to pull down (if required) on their own is not recommended. Make them wear clothes that they can remove in case of an emergency. Also, if you do not want your kids’ beautiful clothes to get all soiled, do not dress up them in such clothes during this phase. Some parents prefer warmer months for potty training their kids because kids are dressed up in lesser clothes, which can be easily removed. Also, there would be lesser dirty or soiled clothes for washing, in case of mishaps.
4. Make Similar Schedules
You need to follow a similar schedule for your kids, whether it is their feeding, sleeping, or pooping schedule – all have to be in sync. It is seen that if one child shows readiness or goes at a faster pace than the other, the other child may get inspired and may pick up the pace. Also, when kids know what they are expected to do things at a particular time, they prepare their mind accordingly and adjust well to it too. This means if the kids know that they have to sit on the potty seat after drinking milk in the morning, they may become consistent and get into this habit.
5. Be Flexible
Although sticking to the schedule is important to maintain consistency, sometimes, you may have to try different approaches for both the kids. This is because sometimes one approach may not work for both the kids. One may like privacy, whereas the other may be okay with his bodily functions. One may love to listen to your words of appreciation, whereas the other may not sway by your words. Therefore, sometimes you need to understand your kids’ requirements and function accordingly.
6. Be Prepared for the Mess
Potty training is something that you may have to struggle with, especially in the case of twins. Be prepared to deal with the mess because it is normal for kids to have accidents or setbacks. Have ample supplies of clean clothes; protect the things which you don’t want to get soiled or dirty, secure the areas with gates or if your kids understand the ‘off-limits’ then you can make these areas off-limits. In short, you need to prepare them mentally and also prepare your house to deal with the mess that may occur.
7. Get Two Potty Seats
Sometimes twins may not settle with sharing, whether it is their potty seats or toys. With just one potty seat in the house, you may notice that your kids may want to use it at the same time and then the squabble would begin. To evade such situations, make sure you get two seats, we suggest identical seats for your kids to save you from the unnecessary trouble.
8. Offer Rewards
Everyone likes rewards, it keeps us pepped up. Your kids are no exception to the rule and therefore if your kids exhibit good potty training behaviour, you should offer rewards for their efforts. The only glitch to this is, sometimes when one child shows progress and keeps getting all the rewards, the other may feel left out, or this may lead to resentment towards the sibling. This may turn out to be a setback for the other child, and he may take longer to get trained. On the contrary, if your kiddos enjoy competition, then rewarding may be a great way of achieving good progress. You can also reinforce positive competition by keeping it healthy. Do not compare or demean the child who is making slower progress. Make it more fun for both the kids.
9. Ask for Help
We do not deny that the potty training phase can take a toll on the mommy, but if you are not able to handle the pressure alone it will be a wise decision to seek help. Ask your partner for help; you can also ask any family member to come and stay with you for that period. If you can afford, hiring a nanny for this phase will the most viable thing to do. This is a temporary phase, and there is no need to feel hassled. Also, do not be too harsh on yourself, if you cannot deal with it, it is absolutely fine. Do not take it as a challenge and test your limits. Seek some help and be a happy mommy for your kiddos.
10. Seek Expert Advice
If your efforts fail after a week to ten days of trial, you can seek your doctor’s advice on the same. Your doctor may help you guide what you may be doing wrong. Your doctor may also see if your kids or kid is suffering from a medical condition such as constipation, which can make potty training as tedious as it may sound. Follow what the expert tells you to do, but you know what may be best for your child. Follow your instinct when in doubt.
Potty training twins can get tedious for new parents. However, we hope that the tips mentioned above will help you to an extent.