Potty Training Twins
By Cheryl Lage
I have 2 1/2 year old fraternal twin girls - I am currently visiting my mother across the country in hopes of potty training the girls in one month (I have been trying by myself at home for 6 months on and off, the girls have the concept but I did not have the discipline - my husband is self employed and works more than full time and is therefore little help in this venture.) We are making headway, but my biggest concern is how to get them to start going poop in the potty. One twin has done so twice, both times started in her diaper and rushed to the potty in mid poop. Any advice would be appreciated.
Have you ever hit on seemingly the biggest subject/issue of twin toddlerdom!
Fortunately, this is VERY fresh in my mind as we too have been been "making headway" in the potty-training arena. (We began January 12th, and just two weeks ago did I finally decide to do away with the nap time diapers. In my opinion, parental patience/energy level is totally overlooked as a primary factor in potty-training success....and with twins, the parental drain is doubled!)
I think you are wise to try to maximize the month with your mom in attempts to expedite the potty training process. Two sets of hands to clean up, and two mouths to offer praise and support provide great motivation to intensify your efforts. (As you eluded to, two babies to one potty-warden makes for challenging odds!)
Oddly enough, our daughter (against all potty-training gender stereotypes), like your two girls, was thoroughly anti-putting her poo in the potty. Even when her brother "never missed" with the poo, and she observed the profound accolades bestowed upon him, she was not going to do it. We also had two early poo "successes", but both were achieved by realizing she was going, and immediately pulling down her panties, and placing her on the potty.
Every child is different, so as much as I wish I could provide you with an "answer", I can only tell you that when we eliminated her naptime diaper (we were putting diapers for all sleep times), she relented. Oddly, she also wanted "privacy", and asked for it. (Her Daddy likes his "privacy" for poo time when he returns from work, and surely there's some mimickry involved there. If you haven't already, I would consider letting them watch you in the bathroom. Perhaps that will spur some motivation.) Of course when she triumphantly ran to me to bring me to her well-placed poo, I had reservations as to whether or not she had poo-ed outside the receptacle, and used her "privacy" to pick it up and put it in. (Me of little faith....) Reality is, she turned a corner, and put her poo in the potty THREE times in that single day.
If I had to guess what caused the advance for her in poo placement, I'd have to say the fact that I garnered up my maternal discipline, knowing the extra work it would entail, and stopped the nap time diapers cold turkey. Or, just as easily she could have just "been ready" to do it, and it's coincidental that she made the poo leap that week.
Personally, as much as I appreciate all folks who claim to have "the secret" for speedy potty training, my guess is the information they are dispensing just happens to be the last method they tried immediately before their kids actually "got it" for good.
With twins, it's abundantly clear that different motivations and different triggers work for each child. What works best for parents is familiarity with a lot of different potty training methods, a LOT of patience...and a LOT of cleaning products.
Be sure and check out the article posted here at Christian-Mommies for our perspective on the process. Please feel free to e-mail me with specific challenges that arise along the way. I'll be rooting for you!
Wishing you quick learners and toddler toilet triumph!
Feel free to contact me with your experiences in twin potty-training, or with any twin parenting dilemnas you may have at http://www.twinsights.com. I hope to hear from you!