Ah toilet training! I think every parent you speak to will have some kind of toilet training story! It is such a hot topic amongst parents and strangely can come with so much pressure. If you have a toddler (or two or three!) you will no doubt have heard the question ‘are they toilet trained yet?’ Often from a well meaning friend or family member, but it can be really frustrating and often triggering when these kinds of questions or comments come your way. So, how do you know if your child/ren is ready for toilet training? What will you even need? And how do you manage toilet training with twins? Below are my top tips and checklists I have compiled over the years of working with twins as a nanny and also with my own three children.
Is my child/children ready?
Before you begin the journey ot triplets or twins and toilet training, there are a few questions you need to ask yourself. Below is a checklist you can go through. If you answered ‘yes’ to most of these questions then there is a good chance your child/ren are ready to start toilet training!
- Is your child/children between 18 months-3 years
- Are they showing interest in you going to the toilet?
- Are they having longer periods of time without wetting their nappy?
- Do they hide when they are doing their business?
- Are they showing signs of being uncomfortable with a soiled nappy?
- Are they showing interest in big kids undies?
- Can they pull their own pants up and down?
Triplets, Twins and Toilet Training: What if 1 twin/triplet is ready but not the other?
From my experience working with twins, it’s not uncommon for one twin to be ahead of the other when reaching developmental milestones. If this is also the case for toilet training, I would recommend taking the lead with the child that is ready and start the process with them. What often happens is the other twin sees what they are doing and becomes interested and motivated to also join in the fun. However if the other twin in showing no interest at all, then it is absolutely fine to continue the training with the other child.
What will I need when toilet training twins or triplets?
This is a suggested list of supplies that have been super helpful in my journey as a parent.
- 1 potty per child $5 Big W – see HERE.
- Toilet training books- ‘No More Nappies: A Potty-Training Book’ $10 Amazon
- Bed Mates to put under the potty. Available HERE. Get 15% off your first order using the code TWINFO
- Multi pack of undies, minimum 6 pairs
- Nappy pants (reusable options are available) I prefer the Huggies brand but there are many options. (Shop discounted Huggies and other nappies HERE.)
Triplets, Twins and Toilet Training: What to do before you start.
Before you dive into the fun that is toilet training, here is a list of my top tips to make the journey as smooth and seamless as possible:
Check your calendar ahead of time and find a block of time with minimum events. Holidays can be a great time for this. Avoid big events or changes i.e. moving house, birth of a new sibling
Start talking with your child/ren about using the potty and start reading books about toilet training together
Let your child/ren watch you when you go to the toilet and talk to them about the process
Decide what words you will use for consistency with family/day care etc i.e. wee, wee-wee etc
Decide on rewards. To use or not to use? Kids love stickers and fun little rewards but I don’t recommend a star/sticker chart if you have twins as it can encourage comparison. Perhaps instead you could reward your child with a sticker that they can stick on a book or even on their potty!
Take your child/ren shopping for their potty and let them decorate it. Give them textas, stickers, paint or whatever you’re comfortable with and let them decorate it. This gives kids a real sense of pride and ownership. Plain white potties are great for this, see above link
Plan a special trip to the shops where they can choose their new undies. This is such an exciting time for kids are there are lots of licensed character undies that will be sure to excite your little ones!
Have some waterproof couch and floor coverings ready, The Midnight Gang Bed Mates are fabulous for this as they are PVC free, super soft and crinkle free, and they look pretty too. Get 15% off your first order using the code TWINFO.
Be flexible and accept that accidents, and regressions, often happen.
Avoid timelines. Having a fixed amount of time can add unnecessary pressure to both you and your child
Once you have decided that your child/ren is ready, you have all your supplies and you have prepared for the big day, it’s time to begin. Below are my top tips for how to toilet train your child/ren successfully.
- Keep the potty in the main living area and put it on top of a waterproof surface like a Bed Mate
- Keep your child/ren naked from the bottom down
- Cover your couch with waterproof protectors (Get 15% off your first order using the code TWINFO)
- Take your child/ren to the potty every 20 mins. Praise them even if they just sit on it
- Praise and encourage every effort
- Keep accidents positive
- When they eventually wee in the potty, get very excited!
- Take your child/ren with you to empty the potty, flush the toilet, wash hands
Toilet training is such an individual experience and it’s important to remember that all kids develop and toilet train at different ages. Your experience with triplets or twins and toilet training can be very different from another family’s, and that is totally normal and OK. It can be hard not to compare yourself to other parents especially if your child is taking longer than what you expected, however it is in the best interests of your child and your family’s to follow your child’s lead and do what is best for your family.
Keep it positive. Ensure you are providing lots of praise for success but also lots of reassuring words when accidents happen (and they will!) And most importantly, be flexible and relaxed and be prepared to stop if your child begins to resist i.e. tantrums, not wanting to use the potty. We want to keep it fun and stress-free so it’s OK to stop and try again in a few weeks/months.
And be assured that they WILL get it, eventually. As a primary school teacher I have never experienced a child coming to school not able to use the toilet.
And for more toilet training tips or advice, you can head to www.themidnightgang.com
Angelique Woodburn is the owner and founder of The Midnight Gang
We make waterproof sheet protectors that are absorbent, stylish, comfortable and completely free from nasties. And best of all, they go on top of the fitted sheet so parents don’t ever need to worry about stripping the bed in the middle of the night again!
Get 15% off your first order using the code TWINFO