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Potty Training Twins: Prep Tips and Tricks for Twin Parents

Real talk - we had 4 toilets or inserts to get through potty training and it was completely worth it. If you are a twin mom, you know that convenience is everything! So stock up on the extras for your sanity.

If I could do it again, I would tell twin parents to take off a full week from work (just for your mental sanity). Be sure to check out my other articles with some helpful hacks.

The Back Story:

Jayna and Kinsley were 26 months old. I actually had been getting a ton of comments on social media stating they were ready to potty train because they would often remove their diapers when they woke up from nap or tell us right after they had pooped. They were bathroom curious, i.e., they followed me in every time I went to see it all live. I had sat them on the adult toilet (while being held) a few times, but nothing ever happened.

Prep Work: We never had any kids toilets in the house prior to the weekend that we jumped in, but we did do five things that helped set us up for success:

  1. Push Your Pants Down - Nothing is more frustrating than knowing you need to use the bathroom, but you can't get your pants down in time. We spent about one month teaching our twins how to get dressed....but the biggest hack was reframing the removal of pants from "pull them down" to "push them down" because if you think about it - that is what you are asking them to do.

  2. Down Dog - Yes, I am talking about the yoga pose, and yes, you can thank me later when you are able to seamlessly wipe your child's butt because they know how to do this effortlessly.

  3. We Talked About It A Lot - Leading up to the big weekend, we talked a lot about 'going potty' and all the 'big girl things' Jayna and Kinsley were already doing and how one day soon, they would be going on the potty too. FWIW, Potty was our favorite.

  4. Pick Your Undies Together - Two days before we started, we went to Target to pick out their underwear together. I wanted to make sure they were invested in the process and excited about what they were working towards.

  5. Read the Books, But Make Your Own Plan - I read only two books prior to potty training (1) Potty Training in 3 Days (which I thought was great. It's about 100 pages and easy to pass to your spouse to get up to speed quickly) and (2) Oh Crap! Potty Training (a super trendy book that I found complementary, but I skimmed through most of it, especially the challenges, since I figured I would circle back if I needed to). None of them covered twins and we ultimately morphed the feedback into our approach.

Our Plan: We were committed to lose the diapers and only put them on for nap and bedtime. We were also aware that it may not work for both girls at the same time - and that it was OK if we needed to diaper one and try again later. They would be rewarded for pee and poop (which we had to change mid-way through). We would remove diapers for sleep after they had been consistently dry upon wake up for 7ish days.

Results: Like most things with twins, it was a bit of the chicken or the girl was super solid off the bat, while her sister struggled, only to surpass her sister a few weeks later. We dealt with a poop strike and a handful of accidents, but at 4 months in, I can confidently say it was one of the best decisions we have made as twin parents. The timing was right and while it was a rough 2ish weeks, it was totally worth it.

Must Have Items:

I did a ton of research before purchasing items and here :

  • Toilet Adapter Seat - I did a TON of research on this! I really wanted to go Baby Bjorn Seat

Things you need to know before you begin:

1 . You need two toilets on the primary floor

I wanted to use the adult toilet inserts, because the thought of cleaning poop out of a small one and dumping in the big one seemed worse than changing their diapers. Plus, I didn't want to have to deal with the transition of the little potty to the big potty. This also made it way easier to set things up. I laugh that the night before we started potty training I had the epiphany that we may actually need the portable toilet inside...and I was correct.

There were many occasions in the first two weeks where they would both need to pee at the same time, or we were sitting reading books waiting for poop and I am grateful that we had the second one.

Twin mom bonus: they also got used to the portable potty so it was less of a "thing" when we need to use it on the go.

We just have the adult toilet insert in our upstairs bathroom and never experienced any issues. If two adults were home and they both wanted to use the "big potty" one could always go upstairs.

2. No reward charts

When doing my research for potty training, I had seen reward charts as a great way to build them up....but this is not the case with twins. Despite their competitive nature (which WILL come into help with this), a reward chart is not a good idea to really pit them against each other.

We did offer rewards (in the form of Gerber's melts) [see item 3] and we did implement "team poop rewards" where if they both pooped on the toilet the same day, they got to do something fun together.

We also found we needed to tweak rewards slightly for each girl. One loved a silly poop dance and the other always wanted to call Gramma or eat ice cream. My tip: do whatever works and motivates them!

3. Prepare for meltdowns when one gets a reward and when one sister has an accident

If you go the reward route, prepare for meltdowns when one is successful and the other is not. This was an issue at several points during our potty training. In the beginning, it was an issue when one girl peed and the other didn't...meaning she didn't get a melt. As things progressed, when one pooped on the toilet, the other would sit and try to force it out because she wanted the reward.

We also had an issue when there was an accident, which meant one girl needed to change clothes. Most days of the week, Jayna and Kinsley match. Somedays by choice by them or me, and sometimes they wear coordinating or unrelated clothes. Regardless of the situation...when one needed to change clothes - so did her sister.

If I could do it again, I would get them used to not always matching or changing just one shirt/pants if they were dirty rather than both, it would have saved a lot of laundry and meltdowns.

4. Fan for white noise

Our downstairs bathroom is close to everything - kitchen, family room, etc - meaning without the fan on, you can hear all of the other (fun) things going on. We started turning the fan on for white noise every time they went to the bathroom to help them drown out background noise and keep them focused.

5. You need a LOT of underwear

We bought 4 packages of underwear, each with 10 or 12 pairs (that's 40-48 pairs!!). Every package was the same (since they quickly developed favorites). We had a few poop accidents early on and just put those undies in the garbage.

We also have sets ready to go (see item 6) so we aren't strapped by laundry.

6. Have clothes ready to go

When we went into potty training mode, we also went to prep mode to leave the house. Since the girls were born, we always have a diaper bag ready to go. With potty training, rather than re-stocking diapers and wipes, we had a basket of Ziplock bags (with a full change of clothes, including socks and undies), that we could easily grab and put in the diaper bag. I recommend 3 sets. That's one accident per kid + an extra so you are never stuck.

7. Don't let them sit

There is a ton of different advice on how to get toddler's to poop. As a twin mom, my days are already busy and I don't have 40 minutes to sit with each of them while we try to poop. We encouraged the "get in, get out" method very early on, and I am grateful for it. We rarely sat and read books at length when it was time to poop.

8. Give Yourself Grace - I remember calling my mom the morning after we were on day 9 or 10 crying because I thought I had failed. One had mastered the toilet and the other was having accidents left and right....but she reminded me to stay the course, and I am so glad I did. The days are going to be long and exhausting. Make sure you are able to spend some time unwinding before they go to bed. Order the takeout, have the wine or beer, and make sure you take a long hot shower before bed (because you have been wiping butts all day).

Our potty training schedule:

7:30/8am Wake - Remove diaper & sit on toilet. Pick undies.

8:15am Breakfast & Play

9am - Potty Break and leave the house (if we were going to)

11:45am Potty Break + Lunch

Note, we shifted their lunch earlier because we were trying to catch a poop on the potty before nap

1:15-2pm Potty Break + Nap

Pre-potty training, nap time was always 1pm. Sit on potty upstairs, quick diaper "so you can stay dry to sleep" and out.

4pm Wake Up + Potty Break

Remove diaper and sit to pee

4:15pm Snack - ideally a quick walk outside

6pm Potty Break + Dinner

By 7pm, they almost always had to pee and nights when we lingered downstairs we missed it.

7:15pm Potty Break + Bath

As we moved into our flow beyond the initial training month, we always sit them to potty before we leave the house, as soon as we return from being out, and before meals. They don't always go, but it gives the best opportunity for us to not have to think about it for a bit.


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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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