Potty Training Twins - Dublin,CA

Updated on March 08, 2009
T.A. asks from Dublin, CA
10 answers

I have a 14 year old son and an 11 year old daughter and they were easy to potty train. One day at the age of two for both. Now I have two year old twins (3 in June) and lets just say potty training has not gone well (All 12 times we have tried.) If you have any ideas that may help, please let me know. I have tried bribing and telling them that princesses don't pee in their pants. Both have sensitive skin so the diapers/pull ups are rough on them.

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So What Happened?

One twin potty trained and then about 3 months later the second one just did it in one day. Guess my time line didn't work for them. Seems so silly now, but it didn't then.

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answers from Sacramento on

Looks like you have gotten some good advice. I have twin girls who will be three this May. We have had the training potty out since they were two but have not actively tried to train them. With everything else we have going on, I made the conscious decision not to stress over this and just wait until they show interest and are ready. Since we do not have a deadline, like preschool yet, this has not been a problem. Yes, there are parents who give me grief that the girls are almost 3 and are not potty trained, but I tell them that I would rather enjoy playing with my girls than stressing over whether or not they have to pee or poop right now. It will happen when they are ready.

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answers from San Francisco on

I don't have twins, but multiples run in my family. I also have several friends with twins (I think I gravitate towards them given the family genetics). All of them say multiples are harder to potty train than singles and typically train later. The cousin with triplets is a pediatrician herself. One trained a full 6 months before the other two.

Above all, wait for them to be ready or you could have a power struggle on your hands. Both my sister and cousin with the triplets had to wait a year for preschool (they missed the age cut-off for Kindergarten by mere days), and needed that "extra year" for potty-training to be ready for preschool.

My kids both have sensitive skin and allergies, so I used cotton cloth diapers and training pants. A laundry pain - I washed everything myself to be sure we didn't have allergy issues with the detergent. It definitely helped, as I could see a difference in the skin when I needed to use disposables on vacation or when camping.

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answers from San Francisco on

When they are ready, willing, and able it will happen before you know it like magic. Their muscles have to develope before they can "perform" what they need to. I do not ask a child if they need to go potty but just say, "It is time to try and go potty." No pressure, lots of praise. There is no concern unless they are four years old so say doctors. Don't worry.



answers from Sacramento on

Hi T.,

I have now 5 year old twins and I thought potty training them was going to put me over the edge!!! It was much harder then I ever thought it would be..and harder then anyone told me it would be. I now have a 2 year old who is so much further along at her age then my twins were. I'm not sure if I have any specific advice...my twins weren't potty trained until they were almost 3 1/2 (not from a lack of trying:)), so I may not be the best person to give you advice, but I feel your pain. I really had to wait until they were ready and cooperative with it. There are so many different methods and feelings on what works. Each child is different (and that is hard when you are doing 2 at a time). The best thing I did was let them run around the house without anything on and have them sit on the potty often (if they would cooperate!!). I would say stay as positive as possible (not always easy with 2...) and know that it will happen. If they are not ready now, stop and wait a couple of months and then try again. They are still relatively young. I do think trying to potty train 2 at one time brings some special challeges. Since I potty trained my twins first, my singleton seems like a breeze.

Good luck and hang in there....it will happen!!



answers from San Francisco on

Hi T.:
Like the previous posters, I have twins who were older than yours when they finally trained and I think "waiting until they're ready" is a good option to keep your sanity intact ;-). Mine were somewhere around 3.5YO when they finally "got it" and once they put their mind to it, the process actually went fairly quickly.

Of course, there are some families who will have the fortitude and cleaning supplies to go cold-turkey diaperless and get it done within a couple weeks....ours was not one of them! I think it's like taking a long hike up a hill - some people will opt for the steep, direct ascent with their mountain climbing gear, others will take the more time-consuming and less nail-biting gradual ascent.

Try to maintain a sense of humor and a good stash of cleaning supplies (Some folks swear by "Nature's Miracle" which you can get from pet supply places, it's an enzyme-based cleaner that can get the stink out of accidents. I found that "Kids'n'Pets" worked pretty well and cost less, I got it at Target). And keep reminding yourself the following things:
1. My kids are *not* the world's oldest potty trainees
2. My kids *will* become potty trained when they're ready
3. Their college applications and future job prospects will be in no way altered by the age at which they got potty trained.

I wrote about our family's potty-training journey in our twins club newsletter a couple years ago, feel free to email me if you'd like a copy.



answers from Sacramento on


We tried the pull-ups when I was attempting to potty-train my now 30 month old twins (boy/girl). They are a complete waste of time.

We went to the store and I let them pick out their own panties/underwear. When we got home, they got to put them in the washing machine and then the dryer. The next day, we said 'good-bye' to the diapers and ONLY used them for naps and nighttime (since they are both still in cribs).

Clearly, this is something that you want to schedule when you don't have to leave the house for several days in a row. The first 3 days were rough. But, my daughter (who had shown signs that she was ready) finally got it. Once she got it...we have had ONE accident (in the 2 months that she's been potty trained). My son, on the other hand, was clearly not ready. So, we will wait until they are closer to 3 before attempting this again.

Every child (even twins) are different and progress at different times. The key is to not stress over it too much. Give it a good 3 full days and if it doesn't happen, then just wait. However, I have found if they feel the full effects of no diapers/pull-ups, they become much more aware of when they have to go potty. Just be sure that you have spot remover/steam cleaner ready!!

Good luck!!

~ L.



answers from San Francisco on

I have 3 1/2 year old boy/girl twins who were potty trained (daytime at least) before they were 3 (I attribute starting preschool at 2 yrs 8 mos old to part of this b/c of the competition w/the other kids). My daughter has just been fully potty trained (nighttime too) since the end of Jan this year (after several attempts of trying to wear undies at night & this last time actually working for more than just a few nights) & my son still wears a pull-up at night. That said, before they started preschool, I offered them the potty chair at about 18 mos old & my daughter started on it the first day (amazingly), while my son started a few months later. It would go back & forth as to who did well & who didn't or sometimes they would both do well or sometimes they both would not use it at all or have a lot of accidents. I never rewarded them w/anything tangible though (like a treat or a toy) for going, just praise. Then when they got older & were starting to use the potty or toilet a lot more b/c they were recognizing that they had to go, I would be a little hard on them when they had accidents b/c I saw that they were just waiting until the last minute to go, meaning b/c they both believed they were big girl/boy I'd say they were not like a big girl/boy when they had accidents, that they were like babies - this actually worked most of the time & they would start going sooner & have less accidents, but of course not always, nothing is foolproof w/kids. I think it just takes a lot of time & patience & that the kids will do it at their own pace. In short, I praised them a lot when they went & was a little hard on them when they had accidents when they were older & had been doing it for awhile, but I think that has paid off for me. Now it's trying to get my son to not wear a pull-up at night, which could be soon as he is waking up dry many nights - he's a drinker though, so as long as I stop the drinking at least 1 1/2 hrs before bed & let him go right before bed, he'll wake up dry most of the time. Anyway, good luck to you & hope this has helped you a little.



answers from San Francisco on

I have successfully potty trained 2 sets of twins. My first set were fully trained one month before they turned 3. Most recently I traiNed my 2nd set in September. They will be 3 in April. I tried to do this one month after they turned 2. It was horribly frustrating. I put it on hold and tried again in Sept. They were 29 months. I used the 3 day potty training method, which actually took 5 days.

I had to have a full week with not much on the calendar. I bought a bunch panties and undershirts. I kept them in their panties all day. The first day we didn't go anywhere execpt to pick up my older kids from school. We didn't use any diapers at all. Not even at night. I had them "throw away their diapers" (not really though I had friends with kids in diapers still). We had two baby potties in the living room, one that fit on the toilet, a folding travel seat for the store and one Baby Bjorn one piece potty for the park, etc.

We played all day in the living room (we have wood floors)drank all kinds of bad stuff, juice, soda etc, and had lots of crackers to make them thirsty. I kept putting them on the potty every 30 mins or so. The first 3 days were horrible, they fought tooth and nail when it was time to sit on the potty. They would sit on the potty and then pull up their panties and go in them. I almost gave up on the 3rd day, but I didn't want to do this again. After the 3rd day we went to the store, tired to use the potty there and all that jazz. They saw these cute Littlest Pet shop toys and wanted them so bad. I bought them and put them up in the living room and said they could have them if they went in the potty. The 4th day was a little better but they still didn't seem to be getting it.

The 5th day, was awesome. One of them was just sitting there and said "poo poo in the potty" and then went and did it. She was pretty proud of herself and then asked for her Whale toy that she picked out. The other one still didn't want to do it until she saw her sister going all day and having fun with her toy. So, then she decided to go too.

Night time, went like this: We stopped all liquids around 6:30. They go to bed at 8. I woke them before I went to bed so they could try and go. Then I woke them up again in the morning 30 minutes before they normally got up and had them sit on the potty till they went.

It was hard, frustrating, and messy but it worked.

The Baby Bjorn one piece potty is awesome for travel and going to the park. It's only $9.99 and fits in a backpack. We keep it in the car with a bunch of grocery store plastic bags and baby wipes. The bags fit right over the potty and they go in it, and then we throw the bag away. LIFESAVER!!!

I know this was long, but please feel free to email me if you have any other questions.



answers from San Francisco on

My twins turn 3 in June too and so far no real luck in consistently going on the pot. They often tell me after the fact that they've gone. We internationally travel a great deal so while it'd be nice to not have to carry diapers, the thought of having to run to the bathroom with 2 little ones is daunting. So, I'd love to hear what others have to say. My 5 year old was potty trained at 2.5 but then totally regressed when her sisters were born. She was back on track by 3 and 3 months.



answers from Stockton on

Must be a twin thing. My girls are now 4 and have been potty trained since about 3. They are my third and fourth children, so I did have some experience prior to them, but they did not want to learn. We tried and tried from around the age of 2. Finally I had to give in and let them tell me when they were ready, not the other way around. Once they were ready it ended up being during the warm months, and I just let them run around in their panties and we stayed off of the carpeted area. It took a while, but eventually they got the hang of it. One was more excited about it than the other, but once the other one saw all the praise and excitement she was soon to follow. The only advice I can give is to let them tell you when they are ready. Maybe try once a month and see if there is any progress. Eventually they will be interested and things will go much easier with less frustration on both sides. Take care and know that things will work out.

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