Early Potty Teaching Twins

A twin mom's approach to early potty teaching

Corbin and Lynley are undergoing so many changes these days that I can barely keep up. They've both hit major growth spurts, and along with that growth are some major developments, like: clearer speech, picky eating, using eating utensils, tantrums, wanting to be in my lap 24/7 and showing interest in bathroom business. We have many teaching areas that we need to tackle, but it can't all be done at once! One that we'd like to begin now is potty teaching.

I know that many parents, probably most parents, wait until after age two or even age three before they begin potty teaching. (C and L were 19 months when we started.) But I believe that starting earlier will work better for our family. Lynley has shown a few signs of readiness for a couple of months now. She likes to help wipe herself at diaper changes, grabs her diaper when she is peeing and sometimes "asks" to be changed when she does number two. Corbin also grabs his diaper when he pees and sometimes wants out of the poo diaper immediately. I know in my heart that it's the right time for Lynley. I'm not so sure about Corbin, but he follows everything she does, so I'm giving it a shot with him too.

My approach is simple. Wean them from diapers just like I did with bottles and sippy cups. It's not going to be a quick process. This will probably take months, and I'm okay with that. I believe that using a toilet is a skill, just like everything else our babies learn, so we won't be rewarding with stickers or candy. We'll certainly give praise, just like we have with everything else, but our goal is to teach them that using the potty is just what we do as humans. It's what is expected and acceptable.

To begin with, I'll bring the babies to their potty chairs and try to keep them sitting for a few minutes first thing after waking in the morning, before and after breakfast, before and after nap time, after snack, before and after dinner and maybe a few more times throughout the day. Whether they actually go in the potty is not important right now. It's about them learning what the potty is and becoming comfortable with it. I'm hoping that new books only meant to be read on the potty will encourage them to sit for more than 30 seconds, but we may have to work up to longer amounts of time. T

hey will still wear their diapers, but when we go to the bathroom, we'll slip them off. Once they begin actually sitting on the potty and keeping drier diapers, I'll switch to training pants during the day, except for naps and bedtime. If they use the bathroom in their diaper or underwear, we go directly to the potty chair and sit for a few minutes. The goal is to associate using the bathroom in the potty instead of the diaper. Eventually, they will get it, and I hope this happens by the end of this year- their birthday in October would be nice, but we'll see what obstacles set us back. 


Products we purchased to get started:
Summer Infant Lil Poo Potty Chairs
Gerber Training Pants
Potty by Leslie Patricelli
Big Girl Panties by Fran Manushkin


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