A few weeks ago I announced that the time had come to tackle potty training. Eeek. Follow the link to read how I prepared, and to see all of the things I bought ready for the epic journey. (This isn’t a sponsored post by the way and I didn’t receive anything for writing about any of these products).
We started off very slowly, using the Pourty potty at every nappy change and spending a bit of time each day without nappies. In hindsight, I wish I’d been doing this since they could sit up as then it wouldn’t have been such a culture shock for them and the potty would have been part of their lives rather than it being an exciting new toy to throw at each other.
I decided to wait until our holiday was out of the way and pre school was over for the summer before starting properly. Having spent a few weeks watching my boys tackling the potty, I decided to start with T2 first instead of attempting them both together (which had been my original plan). T1 wasn’t as interested and he didn’t show the same signs of understanding when he needed to go. It ended up being sensible potty training one at a time as it turned out to be bloomin hard work for someone who is heavily pregnant.
First of all, T2 spent three days at home wearing no nappy and no pants. He was absolutely amazing and every time he wanted to go he went straight to his potty and shouted “mummy the wee wee/poo poo is coming out” with excitement. He seemed to go on the potty every 20 minutes, so I was constantly up and down stairs emptying it which wasn’t much fun (oh how I dream about having a downstairs loo), but I was so impressed I didn’t have any accidents on the floor to clean up.
The following week we hit a few stumbling blocks; my childminder had them two days while I worked, and my in-laws took them for a day when I had a long hospital appointment. Both wanted to take the boys on big outings. So for three days in one week they put T2 back in pull ups.
Now I know that pull ups have their place in potty training – I used them while introducing the boys to the potty, and they wear them at nights – but putting T2 back in them during the day for outings confused him. When I got him back and we tried to progress to wearing pants he just wet them. A few days later I realised he was calling them his “wee wee pants” because he thought it was fine to still wee when he had something on. I moved back to no pants for a while, which thankfully he picked up again, but it was a challenge to get him used to wearing pants and remembering he needed to use the potty.
I admit I used the bribes of a jelly baby for every wee in the potty initially, and a chocolate button, some popcorn or a little lollipop for a poo. I think he needed high quality bribes in the early days to get him to take an interest and as he used the potty more he forgot about asking for his treat every time (or I distracted him with something to stop him from asking for one).
I explained to everyone that T2 would not be wearing pull ups during the day – instead he would sit on a puppy training mat in his car seat or buggy (thankfully left over from our puppy toilet trained days earlier this year) and he would need extra pants and trousers taking out as he was bound to have accidents while getting used to things. I also made sure that everyone around me knew how to use the Potette Plus* toilet seat and travel potty and that they were willing to use it when out and about (this took Husband a bit of persuading).
Our lowest point was at bbq at my friend’s house when we took him up to the toilet every half an hour and watched him have a wee – only for him to also have four accidents in the space of four hours (including two poos!) I came so close to giving up with it that day and leaving it until after the baby, but I’m so pleased I didn’t.
Actually, did I say that was my lowest point? My real low point was playing in the garden with the boys and T2 using the potty for – as he puts it – a “giant poo”, and while I was wiping him and helping him with his pants the dog decided he was hungry. Nuff said on that one.
The only thing that kept me going was that I knew he understood and wanted to do it. He’d gone too far along the journey to turn back, so I decided to stick with it. A could of weeks after the bbq, we went along to the Mega Multiples Meet Up for the day. He used the Potette through the day and was completely dry the entire time we were out, even after having a couple of sleeps in the car on the way there and back. It felt like a turning point.
He now only goes to the toilet every hour or two, and we haven’t had a poo-in-the-pants accident for about two weeks *touches wood hastily*. We still have wet pants incidents but he knows what he has done and it is usually because he has been too busy playing and hasn’t listened to my constant reminders of “do you want to use the potty?” – a chant that is starting to slowly drive me a bit mad.
And although T1 started a bit shaky (by alternating between using the potty and weeing on the floor) he’s also starting to get the hang of it. He complains that he has had wee in his nappy, he hates the feeling of poo in his nappy and usually whips it off if I’m not quick off the mark. And when he sees his brother on the potty he pulls his own nappy down and sits on his own potty next to him trying to copy.
If I wasn’t so heavily pregnant now and if the baby wasn’t imminent I’d start him off in pants too. But it’s too close to the arrival of their sister now so we’ll have to attempt it afterwards when things have settled down again.
I know people who have potty trained their twins together and people who have done it separately. I think all that matters is that you make sure they do it at their own pace and you don’t put too much pressure on them. I thought it was going to be an awful experience but it really hasn’t been that bad. Now that T2 can use the toilet I think life is going to get that bit easier – and cheaper – well until the baby arrives at least.
*If you are potty training then you MUST buy a Potette Plus. It was recommended to me by so many people and it’s worth it’s weight in gold. You can use it as a travel toilet seat when you’re out, or use it as a potty with a disposable liner when you aren’t near a toilet. If you are a TAMBA member you can pick them up for about £11 on JoJoMamanBebe which is what I did.