Toilet Training Twins
Hindsight is 20/20, and if I knew then what I know now about so many aspects of raising twins. I’d surely do some things differently!
One such thing is toilet training twins, and so, for those of you who may be thinking ahead, or just entering that delightful phase with your toddler twins, I thought I’d share a few reflections.
First and foremost, I would say that being in tune with your toddlers vis-a-vis their readiness to leave the comfort of their diapers and delve into the wonderful world of potties and toilet seats is critical. As parents of twins, we so often think we have to do everything simultaneously, but remember, these little creatures are in fact two distinct individuals with their own unique biological timelines, and one may be ready before the other when it comes to sleeping through the night, crawling, walking , speaking and yes — toilet training, too! Being in tune with your babies will allow you to better sense when each child is ready for this next step.
Another suggestion is to get ready in advance. I mean, really get ready. The biggest mistake I made was trying to do too much at once without preparing myself adequately first. Although I had chatted with a few other parents of multiples about toilet training, and bought several children’s books about potties, pee and poop, the truth was that I had not done any real research on the topic, and thought I could just simply set aside 3 days, train both boys, and be done with it.
As it turned out, that was not the case!
Toilet training is one of the biggest challenges parents of toddlers face. Potty training twins can seem like an insurmountable challenge! But it can be done, and it doesn’t have to be painful.
Before you even begin, I would encourage you to talk to other parents of multiples and see how they did it. A variety of methods exist for toilet training. Read at least one good book (two is better, so you can compare approaches, and think about what makes sense for your particular family situation and personal philosophy), and discuss plans with your partner, so that both parents can be on the same page.
This should all be done well before your twins reach potty training age. Do the reading and discussing around 12-14 months, so that you are ready to go when either or both of your toddlers shows readiness.
You can always revisit your conversations and do further reading when the time comes, but having a solid foundational understanding on which to build your toilet training twins plan is enormously helpful.
Next, know that it is okay to have fun with this “chore” Alex and Simon enjoyed reading to each other or themselves while sitting on the potty, we put a basket of toilet-themed books in the washroom to encourage potty time and make it fun!
If I were to do it all over again, I’d keep the book basket, but avoid the potty altogether, and simply use a toilet seat insert, which can go in the adult toilet to make it more child-friendly. The washroom is after all the place to go potty for adults, why would a toddler, who wants to imitate everything she sees, pee somewhere else?!
Be prepared for a little inconvenience as you have to stay near a potty/toilet at all times in the beginning. Consider separating the twins for a few days, i.e. have one parent take one out grocery shopping, or to the park or library, or even for a special visit with Grandma, so that you can focus on toilet training the other toddler without the distraction of his not-yet-ready-to-train sibling.
With a little preparation, flexibility and cooperation from your co-parent, your twins will be diaper-free before you know it!
It is important to understand that twins may reach their twin baby milestones at differing times, so potty training might be appropriate for one twin and not for the other twin. You will know best when to start the process with each of your twins.