Yes, the time has finally come. My boys are two years eight months and although there have been many times I’ve considered starting potty training, until now I’ve chickened out. For me it was important to make sure the boys were old enough to follow simple instructions and take down their own trousers. I didn’t want to be one of those mothers who forces her children to use the potty long before they’re really ready, just so they can keep up with everyone else at the toddler group. I felt that by leaving them until they were old enough to understand, we’d crack it much quicker and have fewer accidents.
Why now? This last couple of weeks they’ve helped each other strip off their back-to-front sleepsuits at night (at least that idea worked for about six months!) and running around their bedroom naked, weeing and pooing in various places (on the rug, in the corner of the room and on the top of the chest of drawers – yes, really!) I’ve had enough and feel that if they’re capable of such devious behaviour then they’re capable of doing a wee in a potty. Also, their little sister arrives in September and I’d like to have them potty trained a while before then as I think the arrival of a new baby in the family is going to upset the usual routine. There’s a chance I’ll be having a C-section which will mean I’ll need some recovery time, followed by an operation to remove my gallbladder six weeks after – so if we don’t try it now we may have to wait until December which feels a long way off.
The problem I’ve had is they both HATE the potty. At night T2 will happily have a wee on the toilet, and T1 will happily sit on the toilet seat (although he tends not to do a wee). But during the day neither will agree to use the potty or toilet.
Potty training twins phase one
My first step has been to leave a potty for each of them in the living room. I opted for a pair of blue Pourty potties as I liked the idea of being able to empty the contents out easily. I’d read that twins can get territorial over their potties so I bought two identical ones which seems to work. In an ideal world I’d have liked two upstairs and two down, but due to lack of space and the cost of buying four potties I’m trying it with two for now. Upstairs I also have a toilet trainer seat and a step.
I’ve just invested in what I’m told is the must have item for potty training – a Potette Plus, which is a fold out travel potty that also converts into a travel toilet seat. I’m eagerly awaiting its arrival, as I’ve every parent of twins I know raves about this item. And the best bit is that from Jo Jo Maman Bebe with a 20% TAMBA discount it’s only £11!
Most of the time the potties in the living room get worn as hats or are used to store matchbox cars. But when I change every nappy I’m now encouraging them to sit on the potty. As they were both so reluctant I’ve had to resort to bribes – initially this was a sweet or biscuit. Sometimes I can downgrade the bribes to a sticker or the offer to put the TV on while they sit on their potty, but lots of the time they still refuse to sit on the potty.
I’ve got two weeks to get them used to it before I’m going to go cold turkey and put them in training pants (of which I’ve bought eight pairs from eBay – I hope that’s enough!!) In the meantime I’m going to do everything I possibly can to encourage them to want to use the potty – watching us going to the toilet, talking about how babies wear nappies and big boys wear pants, and reading the big stack of potty books I’ve just picked up from a car boot sale. Fingers crossed in two weeks from now they’ll both be ready.
I had fully intended to train them separately but as time has slipped away (up until now I just didn’t feel they were ready enough) I’m now going to have to bite the bullet and train them together. Hopefully one will encourage the other with a bit of healthy twin competition.
Wish me luck! And please add any tips to the comments section that you think might be useful. I feel like I’m going to need all the help I can get – and being pregnant means I can’t even resort to gin to get me through it!