How I survived potty training twins

How I survived potty training twins

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Originally, I felt intimidated by the whole idea. There were so many things to consider when potty training one child, let alone two.

Do we potty train them at the same time?

Should we try to do it separately since one of the boys seemed way more into it?

Do we try a specific method, or do we just wing it?

Trying to tune out friends and family chirping unsolicited advice from the sidelines was also tough. One friend would say, "Oh, he is ready! You need to potty train him soon or else he'll never learn!" Followed by, "I have a friend of a friend that potty trained their kid in two days. It was so easy!"

Those well-intentioned tidbits weren't helpful. They only made me second-guess myself. Deep down, I knew that we'd get it figured out when the time was right. Nobody goes off to college still in diapers, right?

Timing was the first hurdle: Just when one of the boys started to show interest in using the potty, he got a stomach bug. After a few days of massive diarrhea during the holidays, I realized that it could wait. While I look at our boys as individuals, I felt I needed to give myself some street cred and tackle training both boys at the same time. If I could birth two babies at once, I could certainly try to teach them both to aim.

I waited for the weather to warm up so we could be outside as much as possible. I also wanted to have a pretty solid plan of attack. I speed-read the book "Oh Crap!" by Jamie Glowacki, and I liked what she had to say. It made sense to me. So honestly, just as you would with any good recipe, I doubled it.

I knew what I was getting into. There would be messes on the floor, on the wall, and on the carpet. With my hopes high and expectations meh, I felt as prepared as anyone could be to potty train two toddler boys at the same time. I didn't have time to focus on the end result. Instead, I found small victories with every pee – in the toilet or outside – as long as it wasn't in a diaper.

We kept two small portable potties – one upstairs and one downstairs – at all times. We also lugged those potties everywhere with us those first few days. If we were riding bikes out front, one potty was parked on the porch. If we were building in the backyard, a potty was on the deck.

My husband and I started potty training on a Saturday; that way we could each take a kid. We made a big deal of saying goodbye to diapers by donating them to a neighbor. Then the craziness began!

I've never watched my children more closely than I did in those first days of potty training. We scrutinized their behavior, facial expressions, and body language for any possible signal of the need to pee. It was exhausting.

Watching every detail of your children's behaviors is nuts. Not only are my children different personality-wise; they are different learners as well. This means their cues for having to pee and poop were not the same. One would go and hide behind the couch, and one would run straight to the potty. The minute one of us looked away, bam! That's when the peeing began.

We unplugged from our phones. We hung around the house. We played together. As simple as it sounds, it was a pretty awesome opportunity to connect as a family.

One day we were out back, and one boy had to pee and needed help aiming into a Solo cup just as the other came running and also had to go. My reaction? Grab the dog’s Kong toy and let him pee in that while I aimed it off the deck. Crisis averted. Everyone was successful.

Looking for the small victories took my attention away from things that usually would riddle me with anxiety. This was an opportunity for our family to be patient and learn together, without pressing the pause button on life.

Shortly into the process, we took a road trip. Determined to keep on with our lives, we pulled over for numerous bathroom breaks, and threw down puppy pads in the car seats in case of an accident. As soon as we clicked those car seats and got back on the road, we would hear, "I need to go potty!" And so we were pulling over once again. It took us a few extra hours to get there, but we did it. The memory of plopping that portable potty down in a gas station parking lot still cracks me up today.

It only took about a week or so for this whole thing to shake down. There were no prizes, sticker charts, or candy. But there was praise and a whole lot of confidence-building. I really enjoyed watching the boys become independent and proud of their new accomplishment. Yes, we looked a little like The Gong Show that week, but we made it.

Opinions expressed by parent contributors are their own.

Watch the video: ::: Potty Training Twins::: How I did it (August 2022).

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