How to potty train toddler twins?

Updated on February 03, 2007
A.C. asks from Frisco, TX
29 answers

Any suggestions on potty training twin boys. My boys are two years and three months old. I'm beginning to wonder if we've started to soon. They know when they have tee-tee'd their pants or pooped but won't tell us until it's too late. Sometimes they say tee-tee and we go set and set and set. Other times they go like a charm. And rarely do they poop in the potty at all. We've tried the M&M's and they could care less about that. The babysitter has been very consistant as have we at home. Should we stop and hold off for a few months?

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Summary

All of your children may not be ready at the same time. If they aren't then just train the ones that are. If you have twins and only one is ready to be potty trained just train the one that is ready. Check out the article for other moms' advices.

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E.

answers from Houston on

I'm a mother of a boy almost three year old August 11th and a girl almost 2 year old August 18th. My son is 97% potty trained and his sister is learning quickly. The method I used was first, I found stickers of his favorite thing Thomas the Train - and everytime he went in the potty he got a sticker. He loved that. Also, whenever he went, he got to call someone, grandparents, aunts etc. and tell them the good news. This made him feel special. Also, previously before he started going so well he didn't like to be wet or dirty, which is why he would tell us after he had gone he could feel wet. I started putting him in real underwear around the house, and he immediately new he had gone as apposed to diapers where sometimes he didn't know right away.

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S.B.

answers from San Antonio on

I have a 4 year old son and he did not consistently use a potty until he was 3 years 5 months old. We tried to get him to use the potty beginning at 2.5 years old. I have been told that it takes boys longer to potty train, and not to push it. We let him go at his own pace, and he started doing it by himself when he was over 3 years old and never had an accident after that (and very rarely at night).

My suggestion is that you should let them go at their own pace. They will eventually get it once they are ready. No need to push it. Trust me, it will happen eventually!

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T.O.

answers from Austin on

my twins did not start until 2 1/5 years old and only as a competition... oh look what brother did..oh brother gets a prize ( two mini jelly beans) then the other child would just to be as "good" as the other. but starting and being trained are two different things.I think it was easied to train the twins then my singles...
we had potty chairs in the living room... once they started on their own I set a timer and it was "potty time" and we would go sit on the potty every 45 min or so.
but every kid starts at a different age, and some boys(like my youngest) do not want to start just yet....

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L.S.

answers from Dallas on

A.-
We used the 'elimination communication' method. You can find it on www.diaperfree.org (I could be wrong about the .org part). They start having 3-4 month olds use the potty, with parental assistance of course. We did this with my son and he was fully potty trained by 17 months. We started late by their terms (at 13 months). There have a Yahoo chat group for late starters (late by their terms is past 12 months). I'm sure they'll have some ideas on how to help you get through this tough time.

Good luck and happy tee-teeing!
L.

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L.

answers from Corpus Christi on

hi there..
we went through the same thing w/ my son when he was that age..he couldnt care less about potty training, he knew when it was happening but didnt care about having wet/dirty pants and getting changed..
i think waiting for a month or so longer is a good thing, once they show an interest and an excitement about using the big potty..after we had been working on it for quite some time i bought some underwear for him of his favorite cartoon character, i told him if they got dirty they'd get thrown away..that did the trick, after one or two accidents we were done..
we also utilized cheerios in the potty to aim at, and my cousin bought her son a bucket of army men and gave one each time the potty was used..
good luck! it can be very challenging!!
but basically i think boys take longer than girls with this sort of thing..

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D.O.

answers from San Antonio on

Sounds like you might be starting a bit soon, but see how it goes for another week or so. Boys usually (just a generalization) get p.t. later than girls. I have potty trained one girl. I started at 18 months, since I heard that is when they understand about when they have to go and all. It was all for naught because she just didn't get it. At 2 yrs 9 months, she started going to a Mom's Day Out program where other kids were using the little potty, and she got potty trained almost too fast! I was going to work on the p.t. after we went on a weeklong trip, but she decided on the airplane that she was going in the potty. I was pretty nervous! Once they are p.t. you have to constantly remind them to go potty before you leave the house and while you are out and near a bathroom, it's a lot of work. I was reminiscing how easy diapers were at that point! Well good luck, each kid is different and will get it eventually.

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W.M.

answers from Houston on

"How to Potty Train in 5 hours" by Christopher Westra was a great help to me when I was potty training my boys. I will be using the same technique to train my little girl soon. Good Luck!

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S.M.

answers from Houston on

PATIENTS! It sounds like you are off to a good start. DO NOT stop - you will be saying it's ok to quit if the going gets rough. It will be twice as hard to start again , and will it be ok to stop then too?
Remember - failure is not an option ! ! !
As for them telling you afterwards - they know what you want now and they are letting you know that they did it, soon they will tell you as they are doing it, then when they are going to do it. Like I said PATIENTS! And lotz of praise.
good luck S.

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A.H.

answers from Dallas on

I'm having the same problem with my son ryan he says he gotta go but he always does it before i can get him to the bathroom but zale goes on his on so i only have to wory about one boy... but if u need any help ask me...
I got Zale to go by when he went he got three stars on his chart i made for the boys if they behave they get two, if they eat all their food they get one, and if they go to the potty they get three... He's only two almost three in may..

T.M.

answers from Richland on

Try putting 5-6 cheerios in the toilet for "target pratice" we men are simple creatures with simple pleasures :).

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H.B.

answers from Dallas on

My mother in law trained her three boys this way.... Cherioes... you put them in the toilet and tell them to try and sink them!!! It's a great game and it worked for them...we have told others about it and it has worked for them also. It doesn't hurt to try!! Let me know if it works, H.

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K.D.

answers from Dallas on

It is about around 3 and older that it seems to be the easiest to potty train boys. To me it was easier to keep them in diapers , than to have an accident in the middle of Walmart. When I realized that no one in college was still wearing diapers, I relaxed. It can become a big problem with some kids, constipation etc.. It is something they can control and certain kids will fight you for that control. So I was willing to leave them in diapers long enough until they would finally say " I would like to go to the BR like everyone else". It never got that far, but anyone who has fought with childhood constipation, knows that is more miserable than changing diapers.

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L.B.

answers from San Antonio on

Try putting a stack of books next to the potty within arms reach, set them on the toilet and tell them to read the books and to let you know when they are done, walk away, periodically check in with them to make sure everything is alright, and so that they know you are still there but giving them thier privacy also.

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D.S.

answers from Dallas on

have you tried videos??? I reccomend having them watch "once upon a potty, for boys" Also, posting up a reward chart for when they potty is very helpful too. I also found that training pants do not work well when potty training. Gerber sells thick cloth underwear and plastic diaper covers that worked wonders for potty training my kid.

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M.O.

answers from Dallas on

Please don't be discouraged. My son was nearly four before he consistently told us that he needed to go to the potty. His Pediatrician was not concerned; therefore, we did not push the issue. We provided pull-ups until he was ready. We too offered M&M's as treats, put cheerios in the potty as a target, and read books while sitting on the potty that explained how little boys should tee tee and poo poo on the potty. He still wears pull-ups at night. Our Pediatrician stated that until he is six years old and still wetting, she will not be extra concerned. She suggested limiting liquids to approximately 16-24 oz per day, taking the child to the potty right before nap and bedtime and of course limiting liquids before bed time.

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T.C.

answers from Houston on

Don't give up! If you are past even the first day don't quit. I will only get harder the next time you start. I have twin girls and started a few weeks after their second birthday. I sat for about a week on the bathroom floor reading books and they finally just got it. For the first weekend my husband and I had to divide them to conquer them. They ganged up on me when I first tried to introduce it. The poop was the hardest but that is where the m&ms worked for me. I did not use pull ups unless we had to go to the store or somewhere that they could not have an accident. A diaper is a diaper and if they soil their clothes it seems to make a lasting impression. I cleaned it the first couple of times but then made them help me if they had an accident. They take ownership faster than you think. If you can try to stay home with them a few days in a row (it helps to have someone else with you) and be consistant with taking them every hour whether they have to go or not, they finally will get it. There is a book online that you can download from "The Potty Trainer". It seemed to give me the courage to keep it up and it was cheaper than one box of diapers.

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K.O.

answers from Houston on

Hi A.,
I am a mother of a 4 year old boy. I started potty training him a week after his third birthday. My husband went out of town and I spent the entire weekend working on it. I bought about 12 pairs of boys underwear and he wore those the entire weekend. I would ask him about every 20 min if he needed to go potty. I gave lots and lots of fluids all weekend long, too. It worked! For naps and bedtime he wore pullups, but that didn't last very long either. He rarely has accidents to this day. Just go cold turkey. I tried when he was a little younger, too, and it didn't work. I had the same problems you did, but I waited till he was 3 and then just devoted the weekend to it. By Monday he was wearing underwear and we would still just go to the potty every 20 to 30 mins. I am a twin, myself. I have a twin brother who is a minute older than me. I completely feel for you, being a mother now and not knowing how my mom did it with 2! Good luck with the potty training. It is not as hard as I thought it was going to be. I would wait till they are a little older, though. It will be so much easier for you. K. O.

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L.

answers from Dallas on

I think the sooner the better. I have a two and half year old boy who is fully potty trained except for night-time he still wears a diaper because 12 hours is a long time to hold it and he is not a morning person. I started when he was about 20 months old and read potty books, role modeled pottying, got an Elmo potty doll, and basically got excited everytime my son went potty on the big potty. I put him in big boy underwear and it made him realize when he was going potty and the feeling before. I reminded him every 2 hours and after meals to go potty. Within 4 months he was pooping and peeing on the potty sitting down. I had to remind him to hold his penis down so it didn't get everywhere. Peeing came easier than poop, but I offered prizes (hot wheel cars) wrapped up in tissue paper for poopies in the potty. He is now peeing standing up and if he has to poop he sits. I am so thrilled with his accomplishment. There is a window to potty train and if you miss it, you may have to wait until they are ready. I have heard this time and time again. Good Luck!

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B.S.

answers from Odessa on

Hello A., I think you are on the right track, you should probably waite awhile before trying again. 27months may be a little early. When they are ready they will do much better. I would let them be for a month or so and then start again. My grandson was the same way and when he finally decided he was ready then it was so easy. Have you heard of the peter potty, it is a little urinal for boys so they can learn to potty (pee) standing up like daddy. You might check it out. Boys seem to like standing and have a fear of sitting on the toilet. Have a great day

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M.A.

answers from Dallas on

Hi
Now I know this may sound weird but my sister put a round ring in the toilet and just let my nephew aim for the middle and he love doing it and he was then potty trained.

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L.S.

answers from Lubbock on

Hello- My advice would be to maybe wait a liitle and let your boys kinda tell you when they are ready- they will in their own time. With boys sometimes it takes a little longer. I have an 11 year old boy and 9 year old daughter, so it's been awhile for me, but hind sight is always 20/20! Good luck to you- L.

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D.A.

answers from Dallas on

We don't have boys but we have twin girls and let me tell you, while YOU are ready, they may not be, lol! At least that's what we found. One thing we found worked for us was to get two timers, we put their initial on it, and we set it for (yes, this part is exhausting but it really worked for us) 20 minutes. When they went off, which we staggered 5 minutes apart, each girl would run to their bathroom and we'd say potty time, or whatever you want to call it, and they'd sit there. After a couple of minutes, if they didn't go, then back out they went, in came the other one, and then we'd reset the timers. We would run water sometimes to help :) Also, if they did NOT go, we'd set the timer for 10 minutes to give them another shot, and if they did go, we'd do 20 again. One of our twins, baby A, had a horrible time - she needed pacifiers and for us to rub her back b/c it was tramatic for her. But for her personality, it wasn't shocking - she does things carefully, well planned and in her own time - she's STILL the same way and they're 4. Our baby B was like cool, lets do it, which is her personality to a 't'. Baby A was about 3 months behind but it worked.

OK, we tried at 2 1/2 and it was too early for ours, so we held off for a month and bam, Baby B took to it right away. We NEVER used pull-ups though b/c they were too much like diapers - we bought the plastic outers and the thick gerber training pants and off we went. Diapers were for bed time of course :) Hope this helps! Do you belong to a Mothers of Multiples group? If not, I'd be more than happy to e-mail mine about boys if you'd like.

D.

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C.R.

answers from Dallas on

A.,
Don't get discouraged. I am the mom to 4 boys and one little girl...and yes, two of the boys are twins. All of mine were trained by two. My daughter even younger at 11 mo.
It is possible! I think the key to potty training any child is consistency. If you aren't sure and you start and stop they get confused. It sounds like you and the sitter are both being consistent. I would be sure that as soon as they woke in the morning and from naps that they went straight to the potty...then you will have some established times. Once they go make a BIG DEAL out of it and then offer a reward...I found mini-m&m's to be the perfect size reward. Just continue to follow through with this and they will get the hang of it.
Good luck~
C.~

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M.B.

answers from Houston on

Hi!!
My youngest, a boy, just turned 2 in July (15th). Last night at Walmart I got a wild hair and bought him underwear. He sits on the potty sometimes, he sees his older sisters go in the potty and he seems to think that it's really cool, so I figured I would start. Well, this am, I put undies on him, told him to peepee in the potty, and well, he peed a river all over the floor. At the pool this afternoon, I found myself asking a mom of a potty trained little boy if there were any tricks. She gave me the best advice that I probably really needed. She said that she started her son at my sons age, and she really wished she had just waited maybe even another year. She said she spent an entire year fighting it, and after he turned three, he seemed to be ready to be potty trained, and so he was. I think I am gonna wait awhile, myself......Good luck!!
April

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D.

answers from Dallas on

I would hold off a few more months. That seems early to me. My son took a long time to be ready - almost 3 and a half, but he trained within 1 week and has has virtually no day-time accidents. Some would say I am lazy, but my husband and I didn't have to stress and my son responded beautifully once he was ready.

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E.M.

answers from Houston on

A.,

My oldest was almost 2 1/2 before we started to potty teach him. It was a disaster. I was upset, he was upset. Then, I decided to wait until he was 3. It was SO much better. It helped because he had better muscle control and understood the concept more. He simply was ready.

If you push them, it will become an issue and you don't want that.

Just try using the pull ups that let them feel cool or wet for now. Try again when they are closer to 3 or show more signs of readiness. Believe me, it will be MUCH easier.

Best of luck!

E.

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M.

answers from Houston on

I started potty training my son at the age of 3. It was hard and I made him clean up after himself. Trust me, after a couple of accidents, he started using the potty. Good luck.

~MJC

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T.M.

answers from Dallas on

A.

I have Twin Boys who are 2 years 3 months also-- I have started and do a set schedule in the am after waking up-after nap before bed time and then I put daipers at night --stickers as rewards, but we have had set backs on both of the boys periodcally--which right Now I am backing off for a week or 2 and then start again--keep in mind Avearge boys are 3 years old--and studies show the earlier you start they have greater chances of set backs--I guess this is were Patience comes in--

Good Luck--ps mine were born April 19 2004---email me if you want I have a file on Potty Training Twins I can send you if you want... [email protected]____.com

Blessings
T.

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