Many twin moms (myself included) have anxiety about potty training twins.
I was incredibly nervous to start potty training my twin girls. I mean, it’s hard enough with one child! But to potty train twins? Ugh. There are a million things I’d rather do.
It has been a challenge,
We potty trained Theo with the 3-day potty training method and it was AMAZING. They say boys are harder to potty train than girls, but this was not my experience… and I had girl TWINS.
Theo was completely potty trained, including overnight, by day 2. I wanted to potty train the
Let’s just say it was a complete disaster.
Casual Potty Training with Twins
We ended up going with a pretty casual potty training method that one of my good friends, Emily, has done with her kids. We lovingly refer to it as the “pull-up method.”
The potty training method is pretty relaxed.
We put underwear on the girls, but then a pull-up over it to catch any accidents. It’s very difficult when I am by myself at home with the twins, potty training (which is 5 days a week!).
Our house is also not set up well for potty training.
So after our 3-day disaster, we waited a few weeks and did the pull-up method. Super casual. Super low key.
We focus hardcore on rewarding and praising them for staying clean and dry, not just going pee or poop.
This method is from the book Pottywise, which I haven’t actually read, but have heard of from a few friends. I started it because Josie HATES sitting on the potty. When I would finally get her to sit, she would get very upset
We will clap, and praise them for staying clean and dry, and give them a treat. Our treats are nothing extravagant; they’re a raisin, almond, or Annie’s bunny cracker. Something super simple!
A Day in the Life: Potty Training Twins
Potty Training Schedule
The clock in the girls room turns green, and they get out of bed. Since they can’t open their door thanks to child proofing on the door knobs, they play or read books if we don’t get them right away.
I take them to the potty upstairs first thing. We take off their diapers they were sleeping in, put on big girl undies, and cover them up with pull-ups in case of accidents. PJs stay on, and we go downstairs for breakfast.
After breakfast, we have to take Theo to school. His school is very close, and we like to walk if the weather is nice enough. It honestly takes about the same time to walk or drive because I don’t have to deal with getting 3 kids buckled into car seats if we walk!
Before we leave the house, I make the girls sit on the toilet. Even though they never go at this time since they just went at 7:30, I like to enforce the rule that we always try to use the bathroom before we leave the house!
When we get back from dropping Theo off at school, both girls sit on the potty seat, but neither one goes. Again, I’m not expecting them to go, but I want to reinforce that it’s something we do when we get home.
Depending on the day, at this time, we play outside or play something together.
We either color, play board games, read books, or do a craft.
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Potty Training Accident
“MOMMY! OH NO, I PEED!”
Margo had an accident in the playroom playing with trains while I was reading to Josie. Just minutes after she’d sat on the potty.
Seriously. The most frustrating part about potty training is that they will have an accident 3 seconds after sitting on the potty. Thankfully, in this instance, it’s only one twin.
Since she is wearing a pull-up over her underwear, she can feel that she is wet, but our house is safe from pee! I get her a clean pair of undies and a new pull-up and we’re good to go.
I have the girls use the potty and then they go into independent play t
You can read more about it in this post: Starting Independent Playtime
I put their potties into the rooms with them. Eek! I. Know. It’s risky but it’s been working really well for us. I simply put one potty in each room with a towel underneath.
Both girls went pee during independent play time and called for me to
The girls come out of independent play time and I make them try to use the potty so we can go pick Theo up from school! Nobody goes, which isn’t surprising at all!
We don’t actually have to leave until 11:00 ish, but obviously we need to allow plenty of time to use the potty , put shoes on, etc.
When we get back, I let the kids watch some television while I get their lunch ready. I use this as an opportunity to have the girls sit on the potty for an extended period of time to try to poop.
I actually bring both potty chairs and put them in front of the t.v. and they sit on them the entire time they’re watching their show.
Lunch time! Everybody comes into the dining room so we can have lunch together. I don’t make the girl use the potty before lunch because they were literally just sitting on it for 30 minutes haha.
When they’re done eating, I have both girls sit on the potty again. They’re pretty annoyed at this point and don’t want to sit. I don’t blame them!
I make a huuuuuge deal of it at this point. “If you’re clean and dry, you get a treat!! Let’s go check!!!!”
Thankfully, they both come over and sit down on the potty.
They now have free play time for about 30 minutes until nap time.
Since Josie and Margo were just pretty upset about having to use the potty at 12:30, I KNOW they’re going to not want to.
I want potty training to be a good experience.
We went through a period of time where they were extremely unhappy and unwilling to use the potty. I’d ask them to go and they would refuse, and then they would be in trouble for not listening.
It was a bad experience for all of us.
So, I decided to make it a FUN experience. If I sense that they’re not going to want to sit on the potty, I let them watch a short potty training video on my phone while they’re sitting.
They sit down, and both of them go, probably because of the juice they chugged with their lunch. Juice is kind of a treat in our house (I know, I know… I’m pretty extreme!) and so they drink it really fast.
Nap time, so I get a break from potty training! I put a pull-up on them for nap.
I get the girlies up from nap and it’s potty time. They both have dry pull-ups and both pee right away.
Since it’s nice outside, I give the kids a drink and send them outside to play.
They have both just used the potty, but there is a 50% chance that they have an accident when they are playing outside.
Luckily, probably because they just went, they both stay dry.
I have the kids come inside and make the girls use the potty. Neither of them go. Since it’s almost dinner time, I keep them inside and they go off to play.
Ben gets home and it’s dinner time! He typically goes into the office Tuesday-Thursday and doesn’t get home until fairly late since he takes the train into Boston.
I have the girls use the potty before dinner and one of them had gone pee in their pull-up. I say one of them because as I type this, I honestly don’t remember who it was. #twinmomproblems!
After dinner, Ben takes the kids upstairs to spend some time with them while I clean up the kitchen.
At 7:15, I head upstairs to help put the kids to bed. Both girls go pee before bed, woohoo!
Bedtime! Everybody gets snuggles and lights out.
Potty Training Books
But What About Poop?
Did you notice that neither girl pooped all day? It’s not the first day this has happened. All 3 of my children have really struggled with going poop on the potty.
Theo ended up incredibly constipated and it’s a problem that persisted for several years. We ended up having to give him an enema and Ex-lax.
When Josie and Margo started to become constipated, I didn’t mess around.
We eliminated binding foods.
We fed them prunes, applesauce, pears, etc.
We even gave them Miralax.
They still did not poop.
So I talked to their pediatrician and got the go ahead to give them a small portion of Ex-lax. Ex-lax is a laxative, and unfortunately, it is not gentle. I hate giving it to them, but I’m also aware of the health concerns that can come with being constipated for too long.
So. Basically Josie and Margo hadn’t pooped in a week. A week.
I figured I would give them Ex-lax, put them in a pull-up the following day, and all would be good.
Let me tell you. All was NOT GOOD.
The Day of Poop
The day after they had the Ex-lax, they pooped mid-morning, which I took as a good sign.
I stupidly thought we were in the clear. THEY HADN’T POOPED IN A WEEK. It was going to take more than going once to clear them out.
After we picked Theo up from school, it was gorgeous weather, so we took a picnic lunch to the park. I forgot to check my bag for extra pull-ups and wipes.
Literally, as soon as we got to the park, Josie pooped. I had no wipes. I did have plenty of diapers in my bag, so I took her dirty pull-up off, wiped her off with a diaper, and put another diaper on her.
Meh. It wasn’t the best, but it worked. Then, I see Margo running around with a bulge in her pants. And then I notice Josie off in the corner pooping again.
By the time we got home from the park, Margo had poop dripping down to her socks. HER SOCKS.
I cleaned them up and put them down for a nap and breathed a sigh of relief. That was a rough morning, but we got through.
Then they got up from their nap. And. Kept. Pooping. At different times, of course.
They literally pooped all day long. And it was basically liquid, so even though they were wearing pull-ups, as soon as they went, it was all over.
The worst was right after nap. Josie was outside eating a snack and I heard her calling “mommy, there’s poop on my sock!”
I went out to get her, and sure enough, there was poop all over her. It literally got in her hair.
GUYS. It was the worst day ever, and unfortunately, even after being cleared out, they are back to struggling with going poop on the potty.
I know it’s a very common issue, so if you have any potty training tips for poop, send them my way! The things that worked for Theo are not working for us.
Be sure to check back in the following weeks for more potty training posts!