With the help of Professional Twin Mommy, Maggie Martin, (you should totally check out her blog!), we’ve put together a list of tips for potty training your multiples. These will be presented in a two-part installment.
Potty training by itself can feel like a pretty daunting task, but how about tackling it for two, three, or maybe even more toddlers at the same time? How do you even begin?
Well first, you have to remember that you have already managed to have them all and feed them all and change them all for a couple of years now… so you’re probably going to be better at this than you might think! Take a deep breath, and the advice of a few wise parents who have already gotten through the process, and see if in the end maybe you can get through this one too!
When you are potty training multiples there are a few things you will want to first consider.
Readiness: Just like rolling over, first teeth, and first steps, your multiples are very possibly going to be ready to potty train at different times. Some parents find it easier to train one child and then the other. Sometimes one child will be totally interested and the other not at all. You may have a child of each gender, and it isn’t uncommon for girls to train earlier than boys. If one child is ready and another is not, work on the first, and move on to the second when the time is right. (You can read more about general readiness for all kids HERE)
Maggie’s Experience: If your multiples are ready to potty train at the same time, I think that’s absolutely doable. You’re really choosing between a few days of parental torture or a few rough days followed by a repetition of the rough days a little while down the road.
My twins weren’t ready at the same time, so we’re potty training separately. I had planned on having distractions in the bathroom for my little girl who was training, but not my little boy, who was either following us into the bathroom and raiding the cabinets or climbing the dining room table.
On that first day when we were spending so much time in the bathroom and I hadn’t really planned anything for Linus to do, things got a little wild. While I was reading a picture book to Veda, Linus did a UFC-type jump from the top of the big potty right on top of me, causing the very sharp corner of the book to slice through my finger. Lesson learned.
It became clear that for the first couple of days when we were practically camped out in the bathroom, I needed to have some activities planned for him as well. A few things that kept both kids’ attention: books with sound effects, reusable paint with water books, and a jack-in-the-box.
One training potty/potty seat or two (or three, etc.)? If you are going the route of portable potties, general advice is to get one for each child. Some families do just fine with one. If you and the kids are up for it, it’s a nice way to reinforce taking turns and waiting patiently. Do what works for your little crew.
Maggie’s Experience: We bought two potty seats because our little boy was initially jealous of his sister and tried to push her off when we started practicing sitting on the potty before bath time. Since that initial little tussle, I think we could manage just fine without two freestanding potty seats. I think the ideal situation would be having a freestanding one and an adapter seat. That way you’re not taking up all of the floor space in your bathroom, but you’re also set if down the road both kids have to use the potty at the same time.
There’s nothing wrong with keeping the potty chair in the playroom so that you can supervise both kids during potty time.
Read PART TWO