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The Non-Expert's Lazy Guide To Potty Training Twins

'When you have multiples, potty training is an even more daunting experience'

Published on: April 13, 2015

potty training child on big toilet

Potty training a child is a weird experience. 

I remember getting to that stage and wondering how exactly one convinces another human being that using a toilet is preferable to just going whenever and wherever. I ended up feeling like the worst kind of drug-dealer, saying things like “Everybody does it, Megan. Just give it a try. I think you'll find that you like it.”

When you have multiples, potty training is an even more daunting experience. In terms of scheduling and coordination alone, it's extremely stressful. The temptation, of course, is to get it all done at once. Everybody gets potty trained at the same time, everyone is out of diapers at the same time, Mama is a potty-training Jedi, and life moves on with significantly fewer bags of trash.

Unfortunately, as ideal as two-at-once potty training sounds, when I tried it I found it to be way more trouble than it was worth. My children were at very different stages of potty-training readiness when we got started — one couldn't wait to sit on a potty, the other could not have cared less. I would congratulate one child for letting me know when they needed to go so we could get to the potty chair in time, while the other one would be like, “Huh? Oh yeah, I went like two minutes ago. YOLO, mama.”

Trying to complete potty training with one twin while trying desperately to convince the other about the virtues of the porcelain throne was a disaster. I was shifting back and forth between ecstatic mom and pleading, aggravated mom so often that I feared for my mental health. So, after about a week or so, I decided that I would finish potty training the twin who was ready and stop trying with the kid who clearly just wasn't there yet.

I had faith that my children would not go to high school in diapers. I knew we were going to figure it out at some point, so I decided not to push it.

And you know what? It worked like gangbusters. I got the first kid potty trained in less than two weeks. A year later, the other kid was finally ready and potty trained in about a week. 

Boom. And then boom again.

I have many friends who are the parents of twins, and I would listen to some of them complain about how they were spending all of their time in the bathroom with one or both kids, begging them to go potty. Others would spend the weekend with their children bare-assed, a method that is supposed to get your child potty trained in a matter of days, but instead had parents spending their time watching their children urinate all over the house and panicking every time a child squatted. 

That was not how I wanted to spend my time. Part of that is because I am super lazy. Another part of that is because I had faith that my children would not go to high school in diapers. I knew we were going to figure it out at some point, so I decided not to push it. Luckily for me, one of my kids was ready at the age of 2, and the other one was ready at 3. Neither one of them required spending hours in the bathroom because they were both ready to embrace the diaper-free life.

Now, obviously potty-training isn't an exact science. Children are different, families are different, and needs are different. But for my part, I highly recommend bringing pottys into the house, introducing the idea, and then waiting till kids show some interest. It can make life a heck of a lot easier.

Or you can use M&Ms, which I hear work really well.

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