Potty Training Twins - Marysville, WA

Updated on June 05, 2010
M.C. asks from Marysville, WA
9 answers

I have 19 month old boy / girl twins and I am looking for advice on potty training. Signs from the kids, different techiques, seat attached to toilet or portable potty, how to do both the kids at once or should I do one at a time....I am a bit overhelmed at the task ahead.
They both are just starting to talk, only a few words and use some sign language that we taught them early on. They do communicate really we and do understand when we ask or tell them it is time to change them. On some mornings, my son will wake up with a dry diaper but not everyday. If asked, both of our kids will poop on command....I will let them know that it is almost nap time or we are going bye bye and they need to poop and usually with in a few minutes...they will...which makes me think maybe they are ready because they know what it means but I am still questioning myself.
How do I know when they are truely ready if they aren't able to tell me?

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So What Happened?

I want to thank everyone for your heartfelt advice, it has really helped me to decide to wait. I seem to be the one ready to pottytrain not my twins. I think life is frustrating enough for them right now with learning to talk, so we will re-evaluate this in a few months.
Thank you again.

More Answers



answers from Corvallis on

I strongly recommend the book "Diaper Free Before Three". I thought it was encouraging and well written. I used it for my second child and potty training went much more smoothly then it had for my first. I'm planning on starting even earlier with my third child(currently six months, second child was 28 months when we started training).


1 mom found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

If the kids are showing interest then let them sit on the potty seat. It's important to recognize their interest rather than making them do something they may not be ready for yet. It can be a 'scary' thing for some kids.

While I've known some parents over the years that have potty trained their kids at an early age, my experience was that my kids weren't ready until they were at least 2 yrs old. My 3 girls were completely potty trained (even in the bed) at the age of 2 1/2. However, my son was a little over 3 yrs old when he got it tackled.

Take them in the bathroom with you periodically and talk about what you're doing. Most of us never get privacy anyway so I'm sure you're use to that anyway! :)




answers from Portland on

Hi M.,

Well I have 8 year old twins and remember the potty training stage. It was hard with two. Get pott seats, one toilet with a training ring doesn't work real well with twins. What one does the wants to do and with one toielt it did not work very well. I set the potty seats in a convienent location and just started doing what your already doing. I would encourage them to poop/pee in the potty seats, have them sit on them and it was hit and miss for a while. They started out at about the same time as your at now, however after a few months they regressed and wouldn't use the toielts. My pediatrician said this was normal in children who started training young. Just don't force them and they will eventually start back in on it.
I found it was easier to train both at the same time and actually I don't think I could have done them seperately, they just always had to do what the other was doing.
Good luck



answers from Portland on

Hi M., I have 13 month boy/girl twins and have been diong elimination communication since they were 6 months old. They were doing really well when I stopped diong it. What I have recently started doing since they are showing interest again,i.e. watching Daddy and Mommy when we are going and sitting on their own potties. I keep the potties in convenient easy places. In the morning when we get up they sit on the potty, sometimes they go sometimes they don't. Then at nap time and bedtime. If they are grunting or making other indicators of pooping I take off the dipes and put them on the potty and that seems to help.

Sometimes we make it other times we don't. I try not to make it sound like a bad thing if we miss. I don't want to have them associate shame with going potty.

Feel free to email if you want another twin Mom to talk to! I am always looking for more twins to compare and ask. I have a lot of singleton friends but they don't always understand.

Good luck




answers from Seattle on

If they are able to "go on command," then I think they may be ready to begin this process. Children have the muscle control to begin the process of toilet learning at 17 months old, but not every child is developmentally ready yet. One thing that I have found to be a great help is to put a little step stool under the toilet. This allows the child to feel something solid under their feet, which is a big deal for a lot of little ones. Some children need to have handles or something, and some need to start out on a little potty chair, if they have issues with heights. Most of the children I work with, (I am a licensed childcare provider who has worked with toddlers for years,) do just fine with a little potty seat that fits on the toilet and a step stool. Of course, this same step stool can be scooted over to the sink to wash their hands afterwards. Blessings to you and yours! :)



answers from Portland on

Hi M.. I have twin boys (will be 3 in January) and it sounds like your kids are ready to potty train. We had our boys at a Montessori pre-school that took younger kids (1-3 year olds) and they started putting them in cotton training pants while they were at school to build awareness. My boys were 19 months at that time. It wasn't really until they were about 2.5 that we really "went for it" with the potty training. My kids weren't showing nearly as many signs as yours are now, so I think you may have an easier time. We spent a few months really encouraging them to use the toilet and one child was more interested than the other. Thant was fine. Once we felt like they could tell us when they needed to use the toilet, we switched to cotton training pants and just went for it. We had a couple of rough incidents, but they learned quickly. They were doing great with peeing in the toilet but were still waiting until they had a diaper/training pants on at nap or bedtime in order to poop. We didn't feel like we could eliminate the training pants at nap and bedtime at first. After a week or so of holding in the poop until they had training pants on, we started sticker charts. sticker charts were our best friends! We make a chart for each boy and designated different stickers for different functions. smiley face stickers were for putting urine in the toilet, dinosaur stickers were for pooping in the toilet and dancing frog stickers were for waking up from nap or bedtime with a dry diaper. Once they figured out that they could get a dinosaur sticker for pooping in the toilet, they started trying to poop EVERY time they sat on the toilet. It took a couple of weeks to convince them that they didn't need to poop every time they sat down. Also, we started giving them 1 dinosaur sticker for each day that they pooped in the toilet (this cut down on the number of times that they tried to poop each day). As they got the hang of the stickers and the toilet routine, we still gave them stickers but it was just before nap and before bed. they just liked putting stickers on their chart and it didn't really "mean" anything about the toilet anymore. I know people do a lot of different reward systems but this one really worked for us. we had to adapt it a few times but it was good for us. As far as using potty chairs, etc. we got one of those flipdown seats so that the toilet could still be used by adults, but it didn't end up working very well for our boys. My boys also didn't really want to sit on the baby bjorn potty chairs that we got either. They just hopped right up on the big toilet seat and hung their legs over the sides and managed not to fall in somehow. I have to admit, this made things really easy when we were in public because we didn't need to have a "potty seat." Now when they need to just urinate, they stand on a stool and put the seat up and go "like daddy" standing up. this is also helpful for those times when there are urinals in public and they can go standing up (for your son at least).
We still put them in training pants at night because one boy almost always has a wet one in the morning and I just can't handle all the laundry at this point. at nap, I got these great training pants from Imse Vimse that have a hidden waterproof layer in the middle of a cute pattern so that they look and feel like underpants but still provide a small layer of protection for small accidents. You can google Imse Vimse training pants to see the ones I got. they weren't cheap, but I've saved a ton on disposable training pants already so I think they have paid for themselves. If you are interested in using the baby bjorn potty chairs (sit on the floor), they are great and I have 2 in really good condition if you are interested in buying them from me. We put one in the downstairs bathroom and one in the upstairs so that they could both use the toilet at the same time depending on if they were upstairs or downstairs. Hopefully that makes sense.



answers from Portland on


As a mom of twins I can honestly say that the potty training will have to be directed by each child's ability to communicate the need to potty and such. My boys are almost 2.5 now, and we are just seriously starting the training due to their interest and communication on the subject...much easier now. We started introducing the potty to make sure they would not be afraid...waving pee bye-bye and such. Now, they can say that they need to go, or will go when put on the potty (they only use the regular toilet--hated the baby ones).

Good luck,


answers from Los Angeles on

I have 19 month boy/girl twins also! And also have a 21 yr daughter and 17 yr son. My 21 yr old trained at 2yrs and my 17 yr son at almost 3. Your twins are very ready for potty training! If they know to poop on command, most definitely! My 19 month old twin boy pats his butt and says 'popo' and if he sees me sitting on the toilet for a quick pee, he'll say 'popo'? So he knows what the toilet is for. So I'm getting ready to buy two potties to get them started. I'm sure my daughter will follow. Good luck on your twins :)



answers from Portland on

Hi M.,

Toilet learning is a big step in a child's development. While we adults think it's easy, for children, learning to follow the body's signals and make it to the toilet in a timely manner can be real work. Not too long ago, parents would decide their children were "at the right age" and relied on bribes like m&m's and sticker charts to get their children to use the toilet. We call that potty training, and it's much like training a puppy to do what we ask by giving them treats. While effective in the short term, for children who aren't developmentally ready, we see lots of regression and frustration for both the parent and the child. This may lead to higher stakes in the shape of bigger treats or punishment for wet/messy pants. While our parents were very familiar with potty training, it isn't the most effective way of helping our children.

Thankfully, times have changed and early childhood educators have developed a better way to help our children learn to use the toilet. This is "toilet learning", and is light year leap in thinking on the "how's and why's" of helping our children become comfortable using the toilet.

While doing research for the toilet learning chapter of a book I'm working on, I came across this link. I found it to be very informative, easy to read, sound advice. It is geared for students and caregivers, but parents can use this information as well. The guide to assessing readiness is wonderful.

Here's the link:


For what it's worth, this isn't something you need to sweat. It is very rare for children to show readiness at a year and a half, and many children aren't completely proficient until they are a bit beyond three. THIS IS PERFECTLY NORMAL! I say this having worked with young children for the last 17 years, so I've helped a lot of kids with this. :) If you are able to be low-key about it, it will go faster, you will be able to avoid power struggles and you will both feel better about it than if you become very invested in this process. Remember, it's their process, we just support it.

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