Guest Author - Julixa Newman
Potty training twins can be a very exhausting experience. To teach one child is a challenge within itself, while two can seem almost impossible! Let me start out by saying that is not as hard as it seems. You just have to make sure that you follow these simple guidelines. They have helped me, and I'm sure that they will help you!
Watch for the signs
Does one baby get up dry? Do they seem annoyed to have a diaper on? If you answered yes to either question, then this is a sure sign that one twin (if not both) is ready for the Big Boy/Girl stage! Another great sign is when they start going to the bathroom with you and they point and say “pee!” (They may even stand up in the tub and do this too...) I think that once they know what is actually done on the potty they are ready to start. Don't ignore these signs. Run out and get your potties!
One or Two Potties?
You might seem eager to just save the money and just get one potty. They can take turns, right? Wrong. Once one twin sees the other on a potty they will want their own. You might even find that even though one twin did not show any signs of wanting to go potty, they will follow along just because their sibling is doing so! The best part about training twins together is the little motivator sitting right next to them doing the same thing! This is one item that you should definitely purchase in twos. You don't have to get the flashy, noisy ones. An inexpensive, simple potty will do. Trust me when I say that you will be the one making all those wonderful, encouraging noises when they go!
How do I start?
There are different ways to start this process. Many parents feel that the “Big Boy/Girl diapers” just don't work because the toddler still feels dry even when they have made a mistake. I start in the morning and take both twins to the potty. Whoever goes can then wear their big kid underwear; however, expect mistakes. Do not think for one second that your child will automatically feel the difference and just tell you when they need to go. For many children, seeing that they have wet themselves a couple of times is enough. For others, it takes more than a couple of times.
After they have their big kid underwear on, start your timers! Take them over to the potty every ½ hour, or as often as possible. Make sure that they have a book or a special doll that they can take to their potty. Let's face it, some adults still take reading material to the bathroom. Wouldn't your toddler want to do the same? As they're sitting in the potty you might want to also remind them what they are there for. I like to sing a song that goes “Pee pee in the potty, pee pee in the potty.” Make sure to check the potty to see if they went, but be very careful to not startle them once they have started-that feeling doesn't come back so easily. Once they are done you might want to clap or offer them a little prize (whether it's a sticker or a piece of their favorite snack). Make sure that their twin is well aware of what just happened. Make sure to show them what their sibling has done in the potty and have them clap for their sibling. After a couple of times, the other twin will want a prize of their own.
Consistency is a very important part of this process. If you're in the middle of a move or going through a change at home you might want to consider holding off on potty training. Do not get upset if your twins seemed ready and all of a sudden show no interest. You can always go back to the diaper and wait a little while longer.