Potty Train Twins: A Series Of Stops and Starts

potty training twins

Are you struggling to potty train twins? See what one twin mom says about her potty training experience with her twins here.

Prior to the potty training stage, you would have heard me rhapsodizing at length about how amazing it was that my twins were two completely different, individual little people. While trying to potty train twins, all I wanted was for them to do the same thing at the same time, the same way.

My three-year-old twins could not be more different in looks, interests, and temperaments. Despite all of that I still thought that potty training would be fairly smooth sailing, with them both happily sitting on the potties while we sang songs.

Be on the lookout for these signs of readiness from the Mayo Clinic before you begin to potty train twins. If you start too soon it may take a long time to potty train twins.

Our Journey to Potty Train Twins Begins

The first day I was excited and overly optimistic. It had been really easy to potty train their older brother. With him there to cheer them on, I thought things would progress pretty quickly. I thought, how hard could it be to potty train twins? This is what actually happened.

The whole first week R happily sat on the potty (with no result) if I offered an M&M. D wouldn’t even cross the bathroom threshold. When we tried to coax him in he went completely limp and hung like a rag doll. So I focused on R instead; still to no result.

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potty train twins

After that first week R started refusing to go into the bathroom as well. So I moved on and decided to not press it.

Three weeks after that, D randomly came out of the bathroom with no bottoms on and loudly proclaimed that he had peed. I ran to the bathroom expecting there to be an epic mess to be cleaned up. But he had done it. I was elated. We danced around and applauded him for his good deed. Maybe it would be easier than I thought to potty train twins.

Attempting to Potty Train Twins is Fraught With Ups and Downs

Things seemed to be going really well until school started. D suddenly proclaimed that you only use the potty at home, never at school. Paradoxically, R started (only) using the potty at school. I was baffled but decided to just roll with it.

Then, of course, D stopped using the potty at all, anywhere, and no coaxing, treats, bribes or promises could change his mind. I asked for advice in one of my mom groups. Advice started coming out of the woodwork; each person swearing that such and such method had worked for them. I figured that I had nothing to lose so I decided to try the least time consuming one first.

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potty train twins

The Cold Turkey Method to Potty Train Twins

A mom told me that this method was so easy that it should be the gold standard. She claimed that she was able to potty train her daughter in 48 hours. I figured it couldn’t be too hard to potty train twins this way, right?

I let my twins pick out an egg timer (so they were excited about using it) and set it for every 30 minutes. When it went off, I raced my twins to the bathroom to sit on the potty. The theory behind this is that with sitting on the potty so often they are bound to go on it, rather than in their pants. The thought being that it would somehow flip a switch in their heads and BAM they would be potty trained.

By the second day, I was literally dragging D and R into the bathroom. No one was going (they were holding it and going in their diapers in-between the timer going off) and I was so tired of singing, clapping and cheering them on that I was losing my voice.

This method to potty train twins is absolutely great if you have 5 days where you are able to spend 24/7 with your kids. Also if you won’t lose your mind spending the majority of that time in the bathroom singing, dancing, and cheering your twins on. Or your bathroom has a wine fridge.

The Naked Method to Potty Train Twins

I tried this one next. For this method to potty train twins, parents just let their kids run around without clothes the entire day and have a potty chair handy at all times. I was told that it usually takes 3+ days and is relatively easy.  That is not at all what transpired.

I realized early on that you can’t let your kids out of your peripheral vision. It was just the cold turkey method without clothes; except that with no clothes there was no safeguard in place. The moment I turned my back I ended up having to clean up piles of poo behind the couch.

I definitely wouldn’t recommend this method to potty train twins unless you are a glutton for punishment, have wood floors covering every inch of your house, plastic covers on your furniture, a housekeeper and/or you happen to be going on vacation; leaving your partner behind to hold the line.

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potty train twins
Bribe to potty train twins

The Bribery Method to Potty Train Twins

Before having children I used to down my nose at people who used bribery to keep their kids in line or get them to do what they wanted them to do. Then I had kids…enough said.

This method was my last resort and appealed to me because I could implement it anywhere. It also didn’t require a carpet shampoo or any choreographed dance routines.

I needed to find what my kids were obsessed with and dangle that in order to get them to use the potty. It took me a while to figure out that R is obsessed with sour candy and that was the one thing that he would do anything for. For D, I created a tricked out rewards chart in which he was able to earn Thomas the Train items.

R went for only one day and then went back to proclaiming that you only use the potty at school, but D was doing really well. I was ready to break out the Thomas the Train underwear and then D started refusing to go anywhere near the bathroom again. I took a deep breath and threw up my hands.

Here is what I learned in the potty train twins stage: they will go when they want, where they want, and how they want. All of that stage-management on my part was just an over-orchestrated, gimmick-riddled production that never reached its target audience. My advice is to keep it simple and roll with the punches.

destiny effertz

Destiny Effertz is a stay at home mom to 3 boys under 5. Prior to having children, she worked as a paralegal in a large civil litigation firm. Now she uses those research and organizational skills formulating new pie recipes and planning family vacations. For more articles by Destiny on Twiniversity, click here.

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