Preparing to Potty Train Twins

07 January 2013

It's finally time to bite the bullet and start actively potty training the twins. The process has been a while in the making and now I think we're ready to take the plunge as all the preparation steps have been taken. What steps?

    Baby Bjorn Extra Comfort Chair - I love the high back
  1. Buy 2 potty seats. We own 1 Baby Bjorn, 1 Arm & Hammer and 2 Bambino Mio pottys - 2 pottys for each level of the house. My favorite is the Baby Bjorn and I would recommend that for younger toddlers like mine. It's important to have at least 1 potty per child. If I had to do it again, I wouldn't go with the rule of having potty stations on each level of the house because we spend most of our active waking hours on one level.
  2. Get babies used to sitting on the pottys: The girls have been sitting on their pottys right before bedtime since they were 16 months old. I've only had Spice pee in the potty a couple of times but the objective here was to get them used to sitting on the potty for at least 5 minutes at a time
  3. Get them to understand what to do on a potty: Strategies for this include watching videos, reading books and having them watch you go potty. Having them watch me take care o'my business is what worked for the best for us. I did buy a potty book and a DVD but the book is still in my laptop bag and the DVD makes absolutely no sense to me. I may still revisit those two but for now, I consider them to be un-needed
  4. Talk to your partners in the potty training journey. This list include spouses, sitters etc. As my girls are in daycare on weekdays, I had a discussion with their room teacher to ensure that she's on board and we have a good game plan. The end result of our discussion is that the girls will be put on the potty at regular time intervals in the daycare and we'll switch from diapers to pullups. Note: There's a school of thought that considers pull-ups to be detrimental to potty training but it's more important to me that the I provide tools that the daycare teachers are comfortable and happy to work with
  5. Get educated on the nuts and bolts of potty training. There are so many resources and books available that give advice on potty training. It's good to read and adopt a style that fits your parenting style as well as your kids' personalities and age. One popular technique that I will NOT be using is the 3 day potty training technique. Here's a list of resources I found particularly useful on the subject of potty training in general and potty training twins in particular
*  The BabyCenter page on Potty Training Basics
*  MandyE's potty training process for her twins which was paced over a few months. I'm definitely adopting a slower-paced style of potty training that eases the girls and I into the "new regime"
*  Julia's use of the 3 day method with her twin girls. I love her tips of tackling day and night potty training at the same time. May try it.
*  Diaper-Free Before 3 - The first and only book I've read on potty training. I agree with the author's style of not making a big deal out of what is basically another bodily function and it's helped shape my approach.

Notes on this Potty Training Twins Series
I'm writing this series to document my successes and missteps in attempting to potty train my almost 26 month old twin girls. I hope that this will come in useful for another parent of twins but I have to include a caveat that to be successful, potty training has to be personalised. What works for our family may not necessarily work for anyone else. Here's a summary of our specific situation and what informed my choices:

  • I work outside the home 5 days a week and the twins attend daycare so I've decided that my active potty training will be evenings when we get home and on weekends. On weekdays the girls get pullups and scheduled potty time in the daycare
  • My twins are young toddlers so most of the steps will be tailored to their age which is establishing a habit through repition. I've noticed that with older toddlers, parents are able to have conversations about the process but with my girls, that's not always possible

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