Start your engines!

Or rather, stop your engines, sit down, and empty those gas tanks. At Casa Case, we have entered a new phase – potty training readiness. And as with anything else with twins, this milestone seems to bring with it more stuff!

We are now the proud owners of:

* 4 Bjorn potty chairs - 2 for upstairs and 2 for downstairs. We chose the same color throughout the house so there would be no fighting over which potty to use.
* 24 pairs of Thomas underwear – again, all the same.
* 2 potty books we read together every night.
* 2 Bjorn potty seats – for when they want to sit on the big seat.
* 1/2 bag of M&Ms – not sure where half the bag went so we’ve only had a few successful potty trips. Need to check with my husband Jon about that one.
* Stickers, sticker charts, other rewards.
* Lots of cleaning supplies, including carpet cleaner. Lots and lots.

After research and reading, Jon and I decided to get conversations started about potties going shortly after our boys turned 2. When the boys transitioned to the 2s room at day care, they started sitting on potties every day so it was a natural transition to start talking about potties at home. For now, our plan is to get the boys desensitized to potties by having them sit on them on a regular basis.

Since both Jon and I work outside the home, our next long weekend is Thanksgiving. And we’ll both be home an entire week at Christmas. We might be slightly insane but our plan is to have THE BIG EVENT happen over Thanksgiving, with a backup plan to train over Christmas week. Happy holidays to us!

Here’s how you can help… give us advice on potty training twins!  Should we train them together? Separate? Plan to train together and if it doesn’t go well, change direction? Are we missing any necessary items? What method worked for you? Things to avoid?

If all goes well, I hope to post a “What We Learned Potty Training Twins” follow-up post before the end of the year!

12 thoughts on “Start your engines!

  1. My advice is…put it off as long as possible! I had the best luck waiting until the kids turned three. When I did that, they trained in about a day and a half. With my oldest, who is now 13, I started it right after she turned two, and it took months and months for her to figure it out. I wasn’t looking forward to spending all my time sitting on the bathroom floor and shampooing my carpet, so I put it off this time around. And gosh, it was so much easier!! I’d much rather change a few diapers than go through the hell of potty training kids who just aren’t GETTING IT!

    That said, some kids train really easily, so…go figure! Hopefully yours will pick right up on it! Good luck!!

  2. I’m in the midst of potty training my twins now (they just turned three). It’s going really well with one of them, and the other is not ready *at all*, so he’s back in diapers.

    While I try to always be cognizant of the fact that my boys are individuals, I kind of forgot about it in this case and just figured they’d potty train at the same time. Imagine my surprise when one was super excited to use the potty and the other shrieked and cried at the thought of not wearing diapers.

    Good luck to you!

  3. I also waited until my twins were almost 3 and think they trained so fast because they were a bit older, so be prepared to try again later if they aren’t quite ready this fall. My boy/girl twins trained together as it was easier for me to go through the process one time and their competitive nature really helped things along! When one peed and got a congratulatory jellybean, you better bet the other one ran over and squeezed out a drop or two just so they could get one right away too. They kept each other company while sitting on their potties as well. I am so glad I did them together and got it all done at once!

  4. I am just beginning to train my almost-2-year-old girl twins. Other moms of twins told me that sibling competitiveness did not help then in potty training (one twin didn’t care if the other one was using the potty), so they wound up training them separately. In my case, one was showing interest, while the other one refused to sit on the potty, which was fine with me. But then one day after a bath “accident”, they both sat down on the potties while I was cleaning out the tub, and they both went, so I made a big deal out of it, and we have been potty training both since. So if they both seem interested, I would say do both at a time. Mine like to be where the action (Mommy) is, so if I’m in the bathroom with one, you can be sure the other will be right there, too.

    We made the biggest progress while on vacation and I had time to dedicate to it. We seem to be in a lull now, mostly because I find it exhausting to tackle this on my own. In another week, daycare will begin inviting them to use the small toilets there, so I will ramp up again at home.

    I haven’t used treats yet; I’m not sure if I will. I do, however, use flushing the toilet as a “treat” (only if they produced something to flush). Ditto for toilet paper (no touching unless you need to use it). We have several potty books (both for upstairs and downstairs), and sometimes I bring magazines or sales papers in for them to look at.

    I am also trying to keep in mind that although they are showing interest now, they may lose interest. In that case, I’ll lay off and try again later.

    Good luck! And smart move on getting 4 identical potties. I only bought two white ones, and I now realize I need sets for downstairs and upstairs. I ordered two pink ones (cheaper than the white ones), and I am concerned that they will favor the pink ones over the white ones. We’ll see!

  5. I started potty training my twin girls at 2 years 2 months. They go to day care and are in the potty training room so we get reinforcement at school and home. The oldest (by 1 minute) has been interested in the potty for months and took to it quickly. I bought Big Girl Underpants, M&Ms (rewards), potty, and she got it in a long weekend. We still have accidents and she’s good at the pee but not always the poop. She now wears underpants during the day, diaper at night. She is very proud of her underpants. The younger sister is not interested in really peeing in the potty. She will humor me for the count of 10 or one song of ABC, but she just wants the M&M. That’s ok. I am seeing that one twin was ready and one was not. We have not had carpet accidents (yet). Going to the potty at parks, the mall, anywhere outside our home is more challenging but not impossible. Good luck!

  6. I wish I had something nice to say:) I found potty training to be my least favorite thing about parenting twins. But, I did do them at the same time. Once caught on a little faster than the other but the competition did help after that…and the desire for treats. I bought a glass jar and poured the candy in so they could see it. One thing I tried once we spent the requisite one week completely at home, was I would put panties on under a pull-up. That way, if they wet themselve while they were out, they knew it (and I think being uncomfortable actually helps) but they didn’t make a huge mess in their clothes. My girls were 2 years 9 months and that seemed about right. I think doing it in the fall is good because you aren’t going out (pool, beach, etc) as much as the summer. Another thing that helped me was just running around bare bottomed. They didn’t seem to want to pee/poop right into the air (but I did — gross— have to catch a poop in my hand once) and would tell me when they needed to go. Hope this helps. The good thing is that although I hated the process, the end result is nice (no more diapers) and like I always say “this too shall pass.”

  7. I am in the middle of training my 2 year, 8 month boys. Things have been progressing slowly but surely. I just wanted to second the idea of letting the kids go bare-bottomed through the house. My kids do much better when they don’t have underwear or anything on. When we went gung-ho on training, we put the boys in underwear for any time they are up, and it has worked out fine. I know there are some clothes to clean up, but we are not cleaning up diapers. We just use Pull-Ups at nap and nighttime, but once we see a streak going there, we will transition to underwear. Also, I would invest in flushable wipes. They are great when cleaning up dirty underwear in the bathroom. Just wipe, toss in the toilet, and flush. The Target brand works great for us and is about 1/2 as much as other brands.

  8. I don’t have time to read the other comments, so I hope I’m not repeating!! We trained our b/g twins at the same time and it went SO smoothly. We did let them sit on the potty before bathtime every night for a while before we really started training. Sometimes they’d go, and sometimes they didn’t. When we decided to really move forward with it, training took a weekend, and they pretty much had it. I gave them a sticker chart and they got stickers (and big cheers) for ANYTHING they did that helped. One for peeing, one for telling me they needed to go, 5 for pooping and an extra special sticker at the end of accident-free-days…there was something else too, can’t remember what it was. Maybe one for washing their hands??? We did the sticker thing for a few weeks just to keep reinforcing their success. It worked like a charm with our younger singleton, too. A great resource for me was: Mommy I Have to Go Potty! It goes through a couple different plans of attack, so you can choose what you think will be successful based on your child’s temperament and readiness. Good Luck!!

  9. We started with one. She is the only one with any signs of readiness and she still has only had 2 hits in a week. Today she even asked for a diaper. I’ve only been using stickers, though, because I don’t want to do anything to set up food issues later in life.

  10. I have girl identical twins. I was not ready when my first daughter was. She took the lead and let me know she had to go. She really wanted to wear the pretty panties and didnt want to wear cloth diapers anymore. Which seemed to help since she would tell me when she needed a new diaper. Boys typically train alot later than girls, more around the age of 3. Everytime you go to the restroom take them with you and talk about what you are doing. It helps get them excited and use to the process of using the toilet. I would avoid using the M and M’s at first if possible. It is better to use verbal praise, and the self satisfaction of using the toilet, and of course getting to wear big boy underwear. I liked the earlier comment of using pullups over underwear when leaving the house. We using plastic diaper pants to cover underwear in case of accidents. We trained them one at a time when they each showed they were ready. A must have is piddle pads that go in the carseat to keep accidents from being really messy. They are a must have for many years!!!! good luck!

  11. Twin boys, at 2 years, 9 months old:
    -I also let them be bare-bummed
    -potty trained in the fall (August)
    -We only had 1 potty chair in each bathroom and the other twin was fine with sitting on the big toilet
    -We brought a potty chair outside with us
    -M&Ms for rewards (one for #1, two for #2) and as much enthusiasm for successes as we could muster
    -Took them to the potty every 30 minutes initially and then gradually decreased the time between as well as the reminders to let it be more their initiation.
    -Voila! :)

    Ok, I’m just kidding. It was hard, and long, and I wish someone had told me how much time it took. We were forever cleaning up after some accident and doing laundry, it seemed just when I needed to be cooking dinner. The bare-bummed technique didn’t really work with one of ours, as he saw no clothes as an excuse to go mark his territory, be it indoors or out (save $$ for the carpet cleaning bill and you’ll be fine!) We just kept at it.

    Advice: No matter what, stay calm and don’t let them know if accidents bug you or if you are inconvenienced by the cleaning. And…involve them in the cleaning up when they get older.

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