Potty training twins sounds like double trouble to most parents. While
it can be twice the challenge of potty training a single child, it most
definitely can be done successfully....And, twins may be even easier than you expect! I have written this article based on my own experience, as well as the experiences of other parents, so you're not getting generic tips or advice - this is GOOD stuff!
As every parent of twins knows, your children are two distinctly different people. Approach potty training with each child individually. It's entirely possible for one twin to be ready to potty train before the other.
Typically, one will be ready and begin potty training and the
other will follow closely behind. This can turn out to be a great benefit, as twins can essentially train eachother, so to speak. Children like to mimic other children, so if one twin starts toilet training, the other may want to "copy" the behavior. This is especially true with twins of the same gender. In this sense, many parents have found it easier to potty train twins over a singleton, who knew?
Each child wants to be recognized for his or her successes, so if you plan on using a sticker chart or other reinforcement system, be sure each child has their own. It may be hard, but be sure NOT to compare them. Pointing out to Lucy that Samantha used the potty better than she did today may build resentment and resistance on the next go around.
Try to tune in to each twin's specific needs, and don't stress if one is just NOT ready or having way more accidents. Some twin pairs, especially boy/girl pairs may toilet train as much as a year apart.
Be sure to reward and cheer for even the slightest progression towards going pee or poo on the potty. You can do simple things like a little dance or song that can include both twins even if only one went on the potty.
Don't ever scold or be angry when a child has accidents, but instead, make light of it and encourage them to try again the next time they have to go.
When you're potty training twins, you'll need supplies for each child. Let each one pick out their favorite underwear, potty chair and any other items you've decided to use (i.e. Pull-Ups, or chart stickers). This makes it much more personal to each twin and can also add some excitement and build-up to accomplishing goals.
The use of two potty chairs or seats is almost a necessity with twins because it never fails there will be times when both need to go at the same time!
Schedule a Time
Make the extra time to potty train a priority when your children or child seems ready. A solid routine will reinforce the habit to go on the potty. Some parents find it helpful to set aside a week or two where they focus on this.
Grab a colorful children's book that's all about going potty. There are several variations available with lots of different characters. Pick one or two that your twins really enjoy and set aside a time to read periodically to add extra encouragement and fun to the whole process.
You may want to have one or both twins go without bottoms around the house during this period. Either totally "commando" or with training underwear and other light clothing. This allows the child to have a more immediate reaction to the process.
If you or your twins are feeling overwhelmed with the routine, try only potty training during the day with a diaper or Pull-Ups at night. Often times, children will have no problem during the daytime, but still struggle with accidents at nighttime.
Although it may be easier to have both twins potty training at the same time, it still boils down to the readiness of each child.
Regression is normal in all potty training children. Toilet training twins is no exception. It can be very difficult to deal with two children in regression at the same time, or to have one making stellar progress and the other regressing badly.
Patience along with gentle
persistence are the keys to success here. Take some pressure off by taking a short break from toilet training or trying a totally new approach. Even a new potty chair can sometimes help. We love this one (pictured right) that looks just like a real toilet!
If the regression persists or the child seems uncomfortable, it may be a good idea to have a doctor check for other factors such as an undiagnosed urinary tract infection.
Okay, this one is probably the hardest! But, take a deep breath and constantly remind yourself that this stage WILL pass. The challenge of potty training twins will be well worth it when you end up with two children finally free of diapers...I know because I have been there!
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