2013
Sep 20

Potty Training Twins (the Lazy Way)

by Hannah Holt »

14 comments


It’s not that I’m getting more lazy as a parent (cough, cough). No, surely that isn’t it. However, this time around I didn’t feel overly motivated to start potty training.

For one thing, there are two of them:

potty training twins

Also our summer schedule was crazy. But my biggest reason for the delay was this: I follow the golden rule of potty training…

Positive Reinforcement Only

This rule is about me, not them. Forget potty training in three days. Forget potty training before a certain age or stage; I simply want to be a happy and supportive mother during the process. And up until recently, I was a post-moving apocalyptic mess.

So yes, the babes needed to be ready for potty training. But even more importantly I needed to be ready. ‘Cause I have to be able to smile and say, “Ooooh that was so close!” when they step in their own poop and run around the living room.

Here’s how I approached potty training with my multiples:

1) I didn’t even think about potty training until BOTH twins were giving readiness signs (vocalizing and recognizing body functions, plus an interest in the toilet). Hey, I only wanted to do it once. Perhaps this was unfair to the twin who was ready first, but she never seemed upset about staying in diapers. So we just rolled with it.

2) Even after that I waited until all major family stresses were over: until after we moved and settled into our new house, my older boys started school, and we were in a stable daily routine. I’m a firm believer that you shouldn’t work on too much while potty training… So if a child needs speech or behavior therapy, it might be good to hold off a little longer on potty training.

3) Keep them in diapers or pullups until they consistently poop in the potty. Cleaning urine spills isn’t so bad. The other one… Phew! Giving my twins a safety net, eased the stress for both of us. Some people think keeping children in diapers during potty training just delays their ability to recognize body signals. It does. But I wasn’t concerned about potty training within a certain time frame. Just maintaining sanity.

4) I purchased multiple potty seats for my little multiples because often little bladders need to GO RIGHT NOW MOMMY at the same time.

5) Congratulate attempts as well as successes. One of my twins mastered potty training first, but I encouraged both girls equally. As long as they sat on the potty, they received congratulations, hugs, and high-fives. Yes, there were a lot of false trips. Yes, there were times we all hung out in the bathroom for thirty minutes or more. It’s all part of the process.

6) Remember your multiples will be potty trained before their sixteenth birthday… probably. Who cares if your three-year-old is still in diapers? So what if they can’t start preschool next year? It will happen. Stay positive. Less stress equals more success. If you start and they need to go back in diapers, embrace it. It’ll all be okay in the end.

We are now a (mostly) diaper free home. Wahooooo!


  1. Stacy S. Jensen

    I knew if I waited until I had three free days … well he would be in college. He still doesn’t recognize when to go, so I feel more trained than him. But, we are making progress. Good luck.

    • Hannah Holt

      Good luck with E. I had the same thought… I’m never going to have three days we can just stay at home… unless you count Christmas or something (and I’m NOT potty training over Christmas!).

  2. Tina Cho

    Potty training x 2! I feel for you. I like your stress-free approach!

    • Hannah Holt

      Thanks for the moral support Tina!

  3. Susanna Leonard Hill

    I like your attitude, Hannah! Congrats on being (mostly) diaper free! I had a somewhat laissez-faire attitude because diapers are so much easier when you have to leave the house… But I’m happy to report that all three of my teenagers have been out of diapers for some time :)

    • Hannah Holt

      I’m glad to hear your teenagers are potty trained. It gives me hope. :)

  4. Erik - This Kid Reviews Books

    Good luck! (and good job Ms. Hill, on the teens 😉 )

    • Hannah Holt

      Thanks, Erik!

  5. Catherine Johnson

    I love how relaxed you are. My two were very late and youngest youngest is only just weaning off night time ones. Good job!

    • Hannah Holt

      I still have to wake up my oldest for a trip to the potty every night. Every kids has his own timeline. :)

  6. Cathy Ballou Mealey

    I recall the days of travelling with a potty seat in the car trunk…and stuffing groceries into the front seat because the back seat had two car seats belted in! I just couldn’t bear to put my groceries next to the potty seat, and couldn’t imagine leaving home without it!
    Good luck!

    • Hannah Holt

      Yes! I have a potty in the trunk of my car. Good times, good times! I comes in handy at times like soccer practice and etc.

  7. Carrie F

    Good luck with the training! I took the lazy way out with both of mine and waited until they were 3. Then the training took less than a week, was pretty much accident-free, and was very low-key. (Both had been using the toilet sporadically since about 18 months, though.) The most important thing is finding a way that works for you and your family, and it sounds like you have that.

    BTW, I was once sitting on an airplane with a family, and I overheard the mom asking the kid to tell another passenger they were talking with why they were going to Disneyworld. The child smiled and said proudly, “Because I pooped on the potty.” (!!!!!)

    • Hannah Holt

      (!!!!!!) wow.