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Potty Training Twins: Days 5-11

If you've been following along, you know my thoughts on potty training....3 days seemed too good to be true...and it was, but we had been making progress. I just wasn't expecting the rollercoaster of emotions that each day brought.

If I could do it again - I would have taken the entire first week off. It was too much to juggle between work + potty training.

Day 5: Undies

Today sucked! I wanted to be so excited that we got to put the girls and undies end it just was so messy. Both of the girls were definitely touch sick, they did not have a great night of sleep, and were still out at 9:30 AM (after 14+ hours of sleep).

They woke with no dirty diapers overnight and I was really excited for them to pick out their underwear and they were too....until they realized they had to actually wear them.

The first problem was that they didn’t want the underwear. They wanted to be naked. At let me tell you here, I am not raising nudists, so that was not going to fly. But I quickly assured them underwear was the way to go and we weren’t gonna be wearing any pants - just a shirt + undies.

Enter problem two, the underwear was too big! I had read in books that it was good for undies to be loose because formfitting can feel like a diaper and muscle memory will cause for accidents to happen. I didn’t even size up and let me tell you they were too big! Despite them wearing 2T-3T pants, I bought them 2T underwear. [update: 1 Month in and the underwear is fitting much better. I am glad this was the size that I purchased...and it becomes a smaller issue when you have pants over them]

We went downstairs for breakfast and we just had tons of meltdowns which resulted in our first accident of the morning. The first accident was mid-meltdown, and thankfully her underwear was on the floor, so we caught it midstream and got her to the toilet to finish.

Her sister (Kinsley) was great about telling us when she needed to pee, and she was correct (which still shocks me....we really never had "false alarms").

By 1pm, we had only one pee out of both of them the entire morning.

It was a super crazy day for me at work and I was juggling being downstairs with the girls because our nanny wasn’t super comfortable juggling this by herself and managing very executive level meetings upstairs all while hearing my kids crying in the background so I spent most of the day running up and down the stairs in between meetings and by 2 PM I was exhausted....which is leads me to the tip: moms of multiples, take a full week off from work for potty training.

I stepped away during lunch to attend another executive meeting that I had for work and came down to find out that Kinsley had a poop accident in her underwear which resulted in tears from both girls we quickly cleaned everything up, but the bigger issue was that as we got Kinsley new underwear (which I did not let her pick). Her sister quickly had a meltdown that she needed new underwear as well (even though she didn't need new underwear because hers were completely clean).

Note to twin parents get your kids used to not always matching and switching clothes at different times! This has been an increasing issue for us over the last month or so and it really came to a head with potty training. Jayna proceeded to scream for the duration of their wake window because she needed different underwear because her sister had different underwear on....and their underwear wasn't matching. The issue was that one sister changed her clothes and the other did not.

They took a really long nap and my husband came home early from work so I could escape to the gym for a brief mental break from the craziness of work and potty training before heading back for the evening.

But the light at the end of the tunnel - the both peed on demand before bed.

Day 6: Undies

Another accident-free day and our first walk outside in almost a week! We put pants on for just a moment when we left the house for a walk. I captured this moment which warmed my heart with how excited they were to get out of the house!

Just more of what the previous days had been, with some fresh air mixed in....and the entry of a stomach bug, which had Jayna throwing up overnight.

As if potty training one child isn't hard enough, let's add a twin sister, and a stomach bug on top of it. But rest assured, twin parents are amazing and we can do anything!

Day 7: Undies

We were up most the night with vomit from both of them. Why can't things be simple? Despite the puke, we attempted to resume normalcy. We were itching to get back to normal...and so were they. We continued to prompt them during the day, and sit them to pee before meals.

We even escaped for a quick walk around the block in the morning and evening.

By dinner time, we were ready to try our luck with high chairs....after spending the last 7 days eating all meals standing, this seamed like a reasonable approach. Wrong.

Both girls completely peed themselves....and didn't even realize it! Truthfully, even if they had, by the time we removed the food, trays, unbuckled them, removed pants, and sat on the toilet - it probably would have been too late.

More laundry for Mom!

Day 8: Leaving the House

Mom and Dad were feeling brave...but also craving some normalcy, so we ventured out on Saturday morning to the gym + Kids Club. We (Mom + Dad) needed a breather and we wanted to get the girls back to playing with other kids.

We sat on the potty before we left....and we took them to the bathroom when we arrived at Kids Club. Now let me tell you, Kids Club had a bathroom made for toddlers! But my girls wanted nothing to do with it. The power flushers sent them both into tears. After a brief 90 minute stint...Kinsley was fine, and Jayna had one accident (pee), but everything was taken care of by the time we picked them up.

We continued the ventures that afternoon...with a quick trip to the beach after nap (the weather was gorgeous and we couldn't resist) and even got poop on the toilet back home while effortlessly reading a book.

Day 9: Undies and accidents. Did we make a mistake?

Today was not a good day. Maybe it was an over zealous desire for “back to normal” or the fact we had friends over in the afternoon and multi-tasked (hosting, moming, and making dinner)… but. Major regression. We tried to be normal and just failed. Kids club. Accidents. Backyard. Accidents. Kitchen. Accidents. All met with screaming when you sat them on the toilet.

I was defeated. And one twin was doing leaps and bounds better than the other. How was that possible? We had parented them the same, followed all the same queues?

My husband told me as we went to bed he wanted to put Jayna back in a diaper and I was devastated. What had I done wrong?

After 40 minutes of Googling while laying in bed. I felt like it was all my fault. I had been tough when they had an accident (that’s what I thought I was supposed to do).

Instead I should have acknowledged. You had an accident can you help me clean it up?

I went to bed feel depressed, defeated, and on the verge of tears.

Day 10: Undies

I woke up feeling so defeated like I was on an island alone. How could my husband and I be on such a different page? How had we worked so hard for the last 9+ days and think about turning back now? I wasn't. There was no way. I was determined to make it work. We had come too far to turn back (to diapers) now.

When I went to wake the girls, they both peed so much overnight, they woke up soaking wet.

Queue all the fears that they aren't releasing all of their pee when they sit to go and they are now harboring a UTI [WHY do female brains pivot to things like this?!]

I decided that we needed to pivot our approach...and let me tell you, K went from 0 poops on the potty to being the first one to poop TWO TIMES on the toilet in the same day!

What we did:

1. We changed the rewards. Melts weren't working. Despite being a fan favorite for both girls, melts weren't enough of a motivator. It happened casually over lunch one day when I was eating Doritos and Jayna asked for one. I told her if she pooped on the potty she could have two. Kinsley grabbed my hand, walked me to the bathroom, and pooped. Yup. So clearly Doritos (or anything else I was eating in the moment) + Cocomelon are. So every time you pooped - you got to watch two Cocomelon songs on Mom's phone alone.

2. Get others involved in the celebration. After that lunchtime poop, we called Gramma to tell her the good news (and yes, I totally cried). But phone calls to Gramma became the norm when we had a successful potty trip....and better yet, get people to record videos that you can play on your phone (as if you are calling them) when they are successful.

3. Have fun with it. We were spending most waking hours talking about poop and pee, so why not have fun with it? We developed silly "poop dances" and bathroom songs that we did only on the toilet or when someone went potty. The sillier the better.

4. We introduced "Potty Breaks" with a countdown timer of what was going on, so they were never startled or surprised that the break was coming. We always did them before we left the house, after we returned home, and before meals.

More on my hacks here.

Day 11: We turned a corner

This picture says it all. By 9AM, each girl had 2 melts in their hand and we had survived the hump of daytime potty training!


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Hi, thanks for stopping by!

I'm Kristen, a first-time Mom of identical twin girls who are 3. I work full-time, teach group fitness classes, and am on the wild ride of motherhood.

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