POTTY TRAINING 101: well, about 3.5 weeks in, our boys are potty trained! I have to say, it was pretty painless. I think thinking about it and waiting for the right time was harder than the training itself. I think I can chalk it up to one thing: WE WERE ALL READY. WE meaning the boys and tim and myself. the boys had just turned three and tim and I were sick of diapers. we did not push the potty training on the boys any earlier because we just didn’t think they were ready, interested, or motivated. we very gently started introducing the idea, with little potties, talking about, offering treats and rewards, buying underwear, but we never fully started until a week after their third birthday. I do think that some kids are ready before, but it can be a LOT of work because you really have to read the potty cues of your child. this is what worked for us. It may not work for you. also, I have to say: we didn’t read any books or do research before. A few of our friends had talked about it but we sort of just dove into it and went with the flow (literally) until we figured out what would work for us. I’d say the first 2 days were more challenging, and after that it was pretty breezy. So, if you’re thinking about potty training or you’re having a tough time with it, here are our tips! This is in no way a MANUAL OR HOW-TO but just some things that we did and how we survived potty training twin boys! I’ve broken them up into general potty training tips, potty training twins, and potty training boys (because that’s all I know so far 😂)
LET’S DIVE IN!
GENERAL POTTY TRAINING TIPS/GETTING STARTED:
-PURCHASE: Beyond Measure “It’s Potty Time!” Board. We have two: one for each boy. these boards have been a great visual for my boys. the three lines can we separated into “tries, pees, and poops”. It was hard to get our boys to even want to try, but with a visual and reward for every 5 tries, it helped them immensely. We explained to the boys how it worked, and came up with rewards for each and we let the boys have input! So for tries, they got a piece of gum when they reached the star. For pees, they got to pick out a small toy when they reached the star. And for poops, the boys decided they wanted to go to the movies once they pooped 5 times. You could of course, set it up to what works for you, but this has really helped the boys understand and remember the goal they were working towards! After a couple weeks we stopped using the board, but I will definitely keep it around for any possible regressions and Harlowe to use of course! ♥️ Right now the “It’s Potty Time!” Boards are on sale for $21.99, regular $25.00! Go get one! They’re super cute to boot and Tamara, who owns the Beyond Measure Boards (@beyondmeasureboards) is so friendly and adorable!
TREAT EACH TIME: no matter if they peed, pooped, or just tried they got a jelly bean or skittle. Instant gratification really worked for the boys AS they were working towards the bigger reward. Naturally, they stopped asking for a candy after each potty use because just going to the potty was reward enough for them and they felt like “big kids”
DIFFERENT POTTY OPTIONS: we have a portable potty, paw patrol potty seat for the adult toilet (with spray cover), and then we’ve also been practicing peeing standing up in nature! The first few days we mostly used the portable potty because we took it everywhere.
GET USED TO PEEING AND POOPING ANYWHERE. I have to admit, I prefer to poop in my own house only. But we didn’t want the boys to pick up on that habit and refuse to pee/poop in a public washroom. So we have been using public washrooms, toilets and our family’s houses, portable potty in different places, tree pees, etc
GET RID OF DIAPERS (FOR AWAKE TIME): so during awake times, we told the boys their only option was big kid underwear (fun designs from Thomas the train + paw patrol) or to go commando. At first they only wanted diapers because that’s comforting to them. but we just didn’t give them the choice.
DON’T WORRY ABOUT NAPS + OVERNIGHT. Okay, so the boys know diapers are only for naps and bedtime. We don’t worry about sleeping times. Their bladders are not mature enough to control themselves while they’re asleep. most of the time, Jude wakes up dry or wakes up to pee. Duke pees in his diaper and I’m ok with that. I don’t make a deal of it because he’s sleeping and can’t control it! I am hoping duke follows suit with his bro and it’ll happen naturally. But, right now, I’m not worried about it.
USE A TIMER: for the first few days we used a timer. Every 10-15 we went to the bathroom just to try. After that the boys got good at saying “the pee’s coming!”
DISTRACTIONS: Have a few books or special toys in the bathroom for those times they are just “trying” or pooping. Distractions help!
BE PREPARED: pees are easier than poos + be prepared for accidents! we had a few accidents with poos until they got the hang of it. so with that being said, carry extra underwear and bottoms for awhile!
OVER THE TOP PRAISE AND EXCITEMENT: I mean, this is a huge deal for your child(ren) and you! be excited and happy when they poop or pee and compliment them just for trying! tell them how proud of them you are. You have to be positive and encouraging for your child’s sake! And it’s sort of fun! I find myself being so so proud and excited when they go and we’re almost a month in! your kids are excited too! This is a big deal for their little bodies, so make it a big deal!!!!
STAY POSITIVE AND ENCOURAGING: Lastly, don’t get down about the accidents. They are learning a new skill and it takes time. don’t ever put down your child or be negative for an accident. if the boys had an accident, I would ask how it felt, and they’d say “yucky! I don’t like being wet”, and then we’d change them and MOVE ON. They know they don’t like having accidents, and they will learn!
STRIP DOWN: sometimes it helps to totally strip down (underwear and bottoms) before peeing to avoid a mess everywhere
YOU DON’T HAVE TO STAY HOME ALL DAY: Don’t be afraid to leave the house. I was worried we would be cooped up at home for a week during training. So for the first while I just brought the portable potty with us everywhere and we also used public restrooms when we got to a location and before we left. This worked for us but you might also be more comfortable staying home! We were going to try just going naked for a few days in the yard but I just don’t have patience to stay home all day. So, we kept with our regular schedule and went to strong start, tumble time, the park, the mall...
POTTY TRAINING TIPS FOR TWINS:
REMEMBER DUE DATE NOT DATE BORN: many twins are born prematurely and so sometimes it might be a good idea to wait a bit longer to potty train. As I said above, we waited until the boys were 3 years and 1 week. even though they were only 4 weeks early, it does set them back a bit, and I really do think them being premature was a factor to them being potty trained later. And that’s OK! We know plenty of kids who potty trained (singletons and full term), and there was a definite trend of them being trained earlier than our boys. At first, I was anxious about the fact that my boys weren’t into it. But we waited, and it was worth the wait!
HAVE A POTTY FOR EACH MULTIPLE! you can’t expect a child who is learning use the toilet to WAIT to go to the bathroom. When they gotta go, they gotta go!
MOTIVATION: Twins can help motivate one another! Cheering each other on and if one starts going to the bathroom on the toilet, it might be a bit of healthy competition for the other.
TWIN ADVICE FROM ONE TWIN TO ANOTHER: Jude caught onto knowing when he needed to poop really quickly. Duke had quite a few accidents of poop. So finally one day, I asked Jude (while duke was there), “how do you know when you need to poop?” And Jude said, “well my tummy sort of hurts” and literally the next day, duke started pooping on the potty. He now understood! And “advice” from his twin brother really helped. Having a kid describe the feeling was easier to understand for duke than if tim or I described it. I’m glad Jude was able to communicate how it felt!
SCHEDULED POTTY VISITS: Just like sleep, we sort of wanted to keep them on the same bathroom schedule. So, in the first week, if one twin went, we usually put the other one on the toilet just to try. now, they’re on a pretty similar schedule and if one goes, it’s not long after that the second one is yelling “the pee is coming!!!” Now that we’re almost 4 weeks in, they’ve learned to hold the pee until they’re on the potty, so it’s not as much of a dash to the washroom 🤣
POTTY TRAINING TIPS FOR BOYS (and their moms 😂):
BIG REWARDS so that they’re motivated. I’ve heard that boys are slower to train than girls. Some moms had said when training their girls that they needed only a little reward or sometimes nothing at all! My boys just weren’t interested. I literally offered them anything they wanted and they still didn’t want to sit on the potty. The beyond measure board helped and also talking to my kids about what THEY wanted for a treat. Ya, I spent a bit of money the first week on treats and toys, but whatever... it worked, so it was worth it to me.
MAKE IT FUN AND MEANINGFUL: I asked the boys what they wanted for a reward so that it was meaningful to them. I gave them a lot of choice, and it was fun coming up with their prizes because I knew they really wanted them! they’ve worked really hard for their big movies reward so we will be going soon!
MALE ANATOMY: obviously being a female, I have no experience with having a penis to go to the bathroom, so I’ve heavily relied on my husband for this one. don’t forget to get them to untuck their penis before going, otherwise pee will be everywhere!!!!
While peeing on the toilet, we have to remind them to push their penis down sometimes because it may spray everywhere!
If they’re having a nature pee, they’ve learned to hold their penis up and aim for something! Give them something on the ground to aim for and it much less messy!
WITH ALL THIS BEING SAID … take all the advice you receive with a grain of salt. I cannot stress enough that YOU DO YOU. What worked for us, may not necessarily work for you. Every child is ready when they’re ready, and there’s no set time that you must potty train your kid. Make sure to figure out what works for your child too. If they’re not into it, rethink your method or your timing.
YOU GOT THIS, MAMA! ♥️
Thanks for stopping by. If you have any great potty training tips, please leave them in the comments because I will be potty training Harlowe next year!
MRS. + MAMA