Potty Training, x2

Last week, Maddie (age 2.25) got up from her nap and announced that she was going to “make wee-wee on the big girl potty.” Which she did. And with the exception of naps and nightttime, she’s been wearing underwear and using the potty ever since. One accident. That’s it. Part of me is waiting for the other shoe to drop. It can’t be that easy, can it?

No, it can’t. The joy of having twins is that Maddie is only the first (and clearly the easiest) part of the potty training battle. Riley awaits. Throughout their whole short lives, Maddie and Riley have been extremely close on developmental milestones. They sat up, crawled, and walked within days of each other. Their verbal ability is nearly identical. If Riley climbs something new at the park, Maddie is right behind him. Even physically, they’ve always been within a pound of each other in weight and 1/4 in. of each other in height. What one does, the other does, too.

Potty training seems to be the end of their like-minded behavior. I have never seen Riley less interested in something in his whole life. The Baby Bjorn potty has taken up permanent residence in our playroom; Riley has yet to sit on it. There is a stepstool next to the toilet so that Maddie can climb up and sit on the potty ring if she chooses; Riley hasn’t tried that, either. My mom was visiting over the weekend and she brought underwear for both of them; “I wear PANTIES like MAMA!” crowed Maddie.* Riley took one look and walked the other way.

To be honest, I don’t care. One potty trained is better than none, and I don’t want to push Riley if he’s not ready. At least not yet. He’s barely two! So I don’t mean to sound like I’m complaining. It’s more that I’m fascinated by this first instance of Riley’s total lack of interest in Maddie doing something that he is not. It’s like he hasn’t even noticed! Normally she can’t even walk into the other room without him scampering off after her.

So I’m curious: for other readers with multiples, have your twins hit developmental milestones at the same time? Do you feel like they push each other to learn and try new things, or do they seem to follow separate paths?

*Maddie has become fascinated by undergarments of all kinds recently. I was getting dressed the other morning and she said as I put on my bra, “This mama’s boobie thingie. I want a boobie thingie!” I told her that there was no rush on that.

14 thoughts on “Potty Training, x2

  1. My understanding is boys take longer.
    My thoughts on potty training boys is it absolutely sucks!
    You almost have to potty train them 2 times.
    Once – to do it sitting….and then when they just get the hang of doing it like that you have to teach them standing and it’s almost as if they never learned how to PT at all!
    At least…..that was my experience.
    I don’t know why you can’t just train them standing from the beginning…….would save you so much more agita! But I think it has something to do w/the height factor.
    Good luck.

  2. My guys have hit most milestones at different times. Rolling & sitting they did within a week of each other, but Danny crawled at 8 months and Abigail at 10.5. Danny took his first steps in May, Abigail in August (she did move more quickly to just walking than he did). And, while he has been getting EI services for speech since his first birthday, she seems to be slowing down on her verbal abilities to wait for him. Um, sweet of her? Or, just guarenteed to drive me batty. Would it be too much to have one child who speaks?

    As for the potty training, congrats!!! And, have you thought about a nice sticker chart for Riley? My SIL did that for her daughter and it was fantastically successful, at almost the same age that your twins are. Maybe a month or two older. Boys do tend to do this stuff later than girls though, so it might take him a while.

  3. William tends to hit the physical milestones first and Nick hits the social ones first. With potty training I was sure William was ready and would go first. We’ve taken a very laid back approach and Nick is actually starting to get it and William is refusing. Nick actually asked to go the other day and actually went. I was shocked.

  4. Oooooh to have girls. I have twin 2.5 year old boys and a 4 year old boy. My twins were two months premature. Considering that factor, their gender, and the fact that I have a fourth boy due in the next two months, the pediatrician has recommended that I wait until three to potty train.

    Based on the arrival of the twins, I did the same for my four year old. He was 3 years and 1 month old when he trained, and honestly I do not remember one accident (granted I was a whole lotta sleep deprived at the time). I do not remember my oldest expressing much interest up until we decided he was going to get interested either.

    Soooooo, boys are boys. If my three are any indication, I wouldn’t plan on giving up diapers for Riley anytime soon. But the bright side is that trying to force it too soon could lead to lots of ick to clean. Not my cup of tea.

    Good luck!

  5. I have twin girls, and we waited until they showed interest at 3. Hailie decided she was ready first, and she was accident-free very quickly. Willow wasn’t ready until she realized that Hailie got to wear underwear all day. That was enough to get her going on the potty training, and a few weeks later she was trained as well.

    It seemed to work out like everything else with twins… they always want what the other has!

  6. My oldest son who is now 5 was potty trained at 2-1/2 years and just happened to be easy as pie! No accidents, totally interested and out of diapers at night within days! So Im crossing my fingers for the twins to be that easy! At least one!!! haha
    But my b/g twins couldnt be more different as far as milestones! They were about 6 weeks earlier and Carson is doing a lot of things before our oldest son Chad was at his age! He surprises us all!! He’s always done things before Abigail by at least a month or more! Abby just finished up PT for rolling, sitting up, and now crawling. She seems to be doing things more at her adjusted age. I have to admit it is a little hard to see her so far behind him. I just have this feeling of her being ‘left out’. They’ll be 1 on the 15th and she still hasnt mastered crawling! BUT socially, she’s my little talker and mimics like crazy! I personally think she knows how to do these things like crawl and is just a lot more stubborn and wants to do it on her own time! : )

  7. My boys have hit all milestones together, crawling withing 5 minutes of each other and walking at the same time. They are 3 and not potty trained. They aren’t interested so I am not sure what to do, icky messes sound like less fun than diapers.

    My daughter will be 18 months in December, maybe I will just train them all together! HA HA!

  8. My dear, sweet Godchildren, S. & Z… (boy/girl twins) reached all early milestones within days of each other with the exception, like Maddie & Riley, of potty learning. S. (girl) just took things in her stride at about 26 months, instigated using the potty and never missed a beat. Z. (boy), behaved similarly to Riley, just wasn’t interested one scrap and couldn’t care that his sister was doing something he wasn’t. Their Mum wasn’t at all perturbed, didn’t mind a bit, didn’t make a big deal of it at all. Their older brother had been around 3 when he began and “got it” straight away so that was what she was ready for.

    I believe that in general, boys are a bit slower. I have worked in childcare and paediatric nursing for many years and mostly it’s the case. One of the reasons put forward for that is that their urethra is much longer and therefore harder to get the signals to their brain and gain control over. If there is no pressure then Riley will get it, if he feels he is in control he will probably just move seamlessly into underwear. You seem pretty relaxed about the whole deal and Riley will pick up on that from you. My friend found the greatest “problem” with S. using the potty and Z. not using it were the comments from people in the playground or the shops. She soon gave them what for.

    From then on though their milestones were quite different. Their Mum’s biggest dilemma came when it was time to make a decision about school. S. was very much ready to start school, she really needed to be there. Z. wasn’t nearly as ready as her. They turned 5 in January and the school year here starts at the end of that month. Children in Australia are required by law to start school by the time they turn 6, so she had a year up her sleeve if needed.

    In the end they both went to school and Z. struggled for the first couple of years…more socially than academically, and still struggles occasionally even now and they start high school next year. Had they been singleton babies then S. would have gone when she was 5 and Z. would have begun when he was 6 but my friend felt that she could not do that to them, could not give her son the idea that some how he was “behind” his sister.

    Oops, I digressed…am good at that. Interestingly S. & Z. look nothing alike. Their Dad is Mauritian and has very dark eyes, black hair and olive skin (his mother was French, fair & blue eyed). Z. is the image of his Dad where S. is white blonde, has pale, almost translucent skin and pale blue eyes…(like both of her grandmothers). They don’t really look like siblings at all but I guess being fraternal are no more closely alike genetically than brother & sister.

    More digressing…

    Twin stuff is fascinating…a geneticists dream, lots of fun.

  9. My twin boys (nearly 3 years old) were early for their walking, very late for talking, and still good for their height and weights.
    (My older son was trained just before turning 3 and I don’t remember it being that hard…)
    I’m struggling to start potty training with the twins because the task seems soooo overwhelming to me. I’m a sahm and I still don’t want to attempt this. The mess! The accidents! ugg. Maybe it’s my subconscious telling me that they aren’t ready… maybe I’m just a big chicken.
    -Matthew seems ready, will hop on potty whenever asked. But does not mind diapers.
    -Eric wants nothing to do with the potty. Nothing.
    Hubby wants me to start with Matthew to get him trained and hopefully Eric will want to do it too. I just can’t get myself to start….

  10. Lucky! Self-potty training!

    My boys have always hit milestones at different times. Alex is more physical and Nate is more verbal. Alex was crawling at 6 months, walking to 10 months while Nate was crawling at 9 months, walking at 13 months.

    I expect potty training will be the same. Alex shows great interest in the potty and wants to wear underwear while Nate cries if he has no diaper on and realizes he needs to pee.

  11. I have boy/girl twins who just turned 3 last week. They are as different as could be right down to how they eat, sleep and play, but they hit all the milestones together. . I was actually hoping that with my daughter so excited that my son would at least want to see what she was doing. He didn’t care at all. She practically trained herself. He didn’t care until a few months later his sister kept asking him why he liked diapers. She took him and showed him how it all worked ( I stayed back) and from then he just sort of did it. He did have accidents (oh boy he had accidents) but eventually he caught on and (I’m searching for wood now) hasn’t had an accident in months. They were both trained by 2 1/2. I was so happy it worked out cause this and switching to big beds were the 2 things I had been dreading from day 1!
    My older son was really hard to train too, I think it just has to be a boy thing. I think too that generally girls like to be cleaner and that just helps out with potty training. good luck with your little ones. It will all happen in time!

  12. My twin girls have hit milestones differently, but not dramatically differently until just after 2 years old. “M”, who hit milestones earlier in the first year (turning over, crawling, walking) now seems to be the one who is further behind at many things, verbal, cognitive skills and potty training. “A” wanted to wear big girl underpants and use the potty and has been pretty fully trained (in the daytime) for about 6 months (they are about 3 years, 3 months). “M” absolutely refuses. She does not want big girl underpants and insists we put on a diaper. Our son who is 1 and a half shows more interest!

  13. My boys were very different. They were both peeing on the potty a lot by age 2, but O was totally reliable by 2.5. On the other hand, he JUST started pooping on the potty regularly a couple of months ago. N has been pooping on the potty exclusively since early 2′s, but still has a urine accident at least once a week. He poops at about 9 AM like clockwork, whereas his bro does it whenever. One approach is to read to them when they’re on the potty – my boys were so book-obsesses that always worked. That at least saves on diapers, and gets them in the habit. I think 2.5 is a touch age to start -0 so oppositional. Maybe it’s better before or after that period?

  14. I have boy/girl 33 month old twins and we are “pee deep” in potty training! My daughter pretty much started it herself and has done great with only a few accidents. My son on the other hand….hmmmm…..that’s another story. He needs to be coaxed and reminded and has accidents (two today!) unless there is a lot of “d oyou have to use the potty?” going on. I think he can physiologically handle it because he can go all night with a dry diaper but, it is just too much for him to stop playing to go use the potty. We originally started around 21 months when there was some interest but, they both quickly lost interest until a few months ago. We started then with the musical potty and the novelty quickly wore off, where they are hard pressed to use it today. It is now an “I’m first…No, I’m first” battle for the “big” potty. We do have two bathrooms, but they of course want to use the same one at the same time so the logistics, especially first thing in the morning, do get tricky. Good luck!

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