Potty training twins is an intimidating prospect. Do you go on lock down for a week, follow a strict regime and get both done at once? Do you take their lead and see what happens? There are many different approaches to potty training but however you do it, it can be less stressful for all if you focus on one child at a time. Here’s why I ‘chose’ (a term I use loosely) to potty train my twin boys separately.
It’s been almost 18 months since my last post about potty training the Twins. Although we’ve been securely in underpants for a few months now, I didn’t want to tempt fate by claiming we were done! Potty training took us a while… more than a while. I ambitiously started when the Boys turned two but it was a total disaster and I had to hit pause.
I had full intentions of potty training the Twins together. Who on Earth would want to drag it out? My boys are identical so they’re on identical milestone pathways, right? Well, maybe not. We spent longer than expected in diapers, but we got there in the end.
After months of trying we finally decided it was just more simple to potty training twins separately.
6 Reasons to Potty Train Twins Separately
Potty Training the Twins Together Just Wasn’t Working.
I’m all in for being ambitious when it comes to parenting. You’re in charge, and if you want to potty train your twins at the same time, you go girl! However, if it doesn’t work out it’s OK to take a different path.
I spent months on and off trying to potty train the boys together and felt totally defeated. George had a good start but got bored with it quickly, and Arthur needed constant reminders and chasing around. It just wasn’t working and I felt like we couldn’t leave the house.
If it’s not working, pause, and try something different. Not all children will swallow the 3-day magic potty training fairy dust. One size does not fit all.
Keeping Track of Two Kids’ Schedules is Tough
Although it may seem simple to put both on the potty together at regular intervals, children are not robots. They do not pee on demand every 30mins and quickly they get out of sync and you lose track of who’s been and who hasn’t. You can be alpha-organized and get a chart or an app, but between the two Paw Patrol sticker charts we had and the constant change of clothes I just couldn’t manage it.
My boys are very strong-willed and soon became sick of the strict pee schedule I had them on. George, in particular, will not be told when to go, and trying to keep track of all the potty (and floor) action was exhausting.
One was Ready Before the Other
Despite being genetically identical, my boys are very different people. Arthur likes to please, George likes to have it his way. Despite George showing signs of being ‘ready’ before his brother, it was Arthur that responded to praise and sticker charts. He had accidents but stuck with it and was in underwear full time by his third birthday.
George would sit on the potty, claim he didn’t need to go, put his pants back on and wet himself while smirking in front of me. So I threw the towel in on George… diapers it is. It’s only when we went to Legoland six months later that he suddenly had a change of heart. In the gift shop he found Lego undies he liked the look of… instantly potty trained. That’s all it took. His terms, his chosen undies and bam, done.
Physically they were both ready at around the same age. They both showed all the classic signs of being ready but stubbornness is not to be underestimated!
So Much Cleaning Up
Potty training can be a messy business, and there’s really only so much pee I want to mop up in one day! And don’t get me started on turds in big boy briefs… do you clean them or just chuck ’em? No judgement.
Then their’s public bathrooms. When training you find yourself going to the restroom a lot. Now that both boys are fully trained we’re in and out pretty efficiently, but at the start it is slow work. And slow work gives even more opportunity for toddlers to stroke every surface in the cubicle. Just stop touching everything!!
Although both kids still have to come along, it was much less of a headache splitting up the early training days.
Each Kid has Their Moment as Champion
It may seem like a weird way to spend one-on-one time with your twins, but potty training them separately allowed both to have their moment. Instead of the process becoming competitive, the six month gap between by boys allowed me to fully celebrate their success! And Arthur was so proud of his brother when he joined the toilet crew, it was very sweet indeed.
Whether you Go-for-Gold and potty train together, or take it slow and train separately, be sure that it WILL happen eventually. I felt incredible pressure to get the Boys potty trained, especially as my firstborn was trained easily at a very young age. But this time around, later was better… maybe its a boy thing, maybe its a twin thing. Maybe every kid is different and that’s exactly why training them together is so difficult.
I wish you luck on your twin potty training adventure!