potty party | toilet training twins in 3 days

well, we did it!! we toilet trained our {teeny} twin girls and lived to tell about it.
i was super motivated to get this show on the road with baby miller making his debut in just a few short weeks and i knew time was running out as this belly is g r o w i n g.

bows // shirts // toddler underwear c/o

twins brings a whole new dynamic to toilet training and this is a topic that comes up frequently in our local mother of twins group.  while i have toilet trained quite a few kids as a professional, this is the first time i have done it with my own children… or two at a time in the same house.  zach’s spring break happened to be last week so a couple of months ago, we designated that week for our potty party. god bless this man… he’s amazing.

i brainstormed with a former colleague about some of the details {jess, you’re a LIFESAVER} and logistics with twins… here’s how it all came together!

the supplies

a timer
designated reinforcer {see below}
preferred items + activities
TONS of undies
data sheet/pen + paper
a clean up kit {paper towels, clorox wipes, baby wipes}
a variety of preferred fluids
a cooler with meals {for you and your child!}
training undies

the process

1. identify a reinforcer {think THE MOST HIGHLY preferred item/activity/edible} and designate this reinforcer ONLY for successes on the potty. {ours was a variety of edibles…cookies, m&ms, smarties and chocolate and youtube videos of specific nursery rhymes they love.}

2. restrict access to those reinforcers for at least 2 days prior to the potty party

3.  make the bathroom a FUN place to be!! this is supposed to be a PARTY… the bathroom should be somewhere where the child wants to be.  you will be in there for a LONG time at first, so make sure you have tons of activities.  {puzzles, doll houses, coloring/painting, stickers, books, bubbles, etc.}. the child should have access to anything other than the designated reinforcer at any time.

4.  fluids, fluids, fluids.  especially that first day, you should be pushing fluids as much as possible.  the more they drink, the more opportunity there is for success and reinforcement!! for 3 days, i don’t care how much chocolate milk or juice they have. at one point, we had 5 open juice boxes/milk cups.

5. take data. i’m a data nerd, but really, this is so super important. these days drag on and the data will determine how you proceed, increase time intervals and get out of the bathroom! write down each success and accident and the time.

6.  if your child begins to urinate or have a bowel movement while not on the toilet, immediately put them on the toilet {this is why being in the bathroom is SO important!} to create a success.  even a small amount of urine in the toilet means a success and should be reinforced!!

7.  big kid underwear ONLY! this. is. huge. the only exception to this is nap and bed time.  my two aren’t even close to waking up dry, and developmentally, that’s perfectly fine! any time they are awake, however, they should be in underwear.

8.  the potty party can last anywhere from 1-3 days.  once the data show a significant time between urination and NO accidents, you’re ready to start spending time outside of the bathroom!

9.  i chose to use the regular toilet rather than a ‘toddler toilet’ for a couple of different reasons… 1. i have twin toddlers {and one on the way}.. there is no way i can manage bringing a travel toilet everywhere i go, so i need them to be able to go on a normal sized toilet. 2.  it’s one less thing that needs to be faded, and if these tiny tushy’s can manage, it’s fine. the only exception is that i did get a toilet for the car that i can use for longer trips..or if they have to go and we’re 15 minutes from anywhere.

preparing

this takes some mental preparation and thinking through if you have never toilet trained a child and regardless if you’ve trained 40 kids, there is still some physical things you need to gather.

prepare meals: you will be in the bathroom from the time they wake up until the time they go to bed, so be prepared with meals and snacks.  we did granola bars, lunchables, fruit, yogurt and other snacks…then at nap time, i switched out the food for dinner.  if you have to leave the bathroom for 10 minutes to make lunch, you are probably looking at the perfect opportunity for an accident. don’t risk it. you can see in the picture, my cooler sat in the shower. make it easy… now is not the time to try a fancy or new food. just give them some substance.

gather needed items: think about what your kiddo likes to do and gather as much as you can.  puzzles, books, coloring/painting, baby dolls, doll houses, stickers, bubbles…. i even got a few new little toys like whistles and markers. get your timer…get everything you need and have it all in the bathroom.

data sheets: i modified a super simple little chart that had columns for: time, successful, unsuccessful {sat and accident}, urination, bowel movement and notes. i made special note if it was self-initiated or if they sat on the timer.

 prepare the environment: have everything set up so you can immediately go from bedroom to bathroom when your child wakes up. **as an example, day one, i left my phone out in the kitchen on accident, and took a nakey piper into the kitchen with me to grab it. literally 3 seconds and she peed all over the kitchen floor. learn from my mistake. also, make sure you’re pretty organized in the bathroom.  i had reinforcement on the sink, food in the shower and activities just outside the gate and lining the wall.

‘get your head straight’ {as zach says..}: you need to be mentally prepared and pumped for this.  it’s a huge milestone and you need to be positive. your attitude will be SO important!! accidents will happen. that’s okay. you will mess up, that’s okay. focus on the positive. zach and i kept talking about how excited we were to have 1:1 time with each girl because that NEVER happens! the main thing is you need to be dedicated and all in. don’t be sitting on Facebook…they’ll pee on the floor and it will be because you weren’t paying attention.

day 1

the girls woke up a bit early at 740 and we were ready to walk right in. we took off their diapers and said, ‘it’s time for a potty party!!’ i took piper and zach took lila to our bathrooms {and i may or may not have shed a tear that i officially no longer had babies}.  if you saw above, i actually screwed up immediately and piper peed all over the kitchen floor…so, win for mama..

the girls stayed nakey on the bottom.. with just a t-shirt on and maybe a bow. that first day, you do NOT need to be fussing around with undies.

the first part of the day, we offered drinks and tried to get them to drink AS MUCH as humanly possible.  we set the timer for 15 minutes and when the timer went off, it was time to sit. if they went immediately, it was party time.  cheering, high fives and immediate access to candy/video.  the video was approximately 2 minutes and they got about 5 smarties {or whatever} while they watched.  **i love reinforcement that has it’s own ending….always try to be a giver, not a taker**  when piper said, ‘more smarties please’, i said, ‘sure! you can have more smarties when you tinkle on the potty!’ sometimes she wanted to get right back on and squeezed out the teeniest dribble…and it was party time all over again. other times, it was 15 minutes.

if they didn’t go in the potty, they sat for 2-3 minutes {often times while reading a book, coloring, etc.}. this was NOT a punishment and she didn’t look at it as such. she enjoyed the variety of activities we did. if she didn’t go, then we set the timer and tried again 5 minutes later.  if she did go, we set the timer for 15 minutes.

LOTS of playing and lots of practice.

this was our entire day.

watching videos after going potty.

at nap time, we went into their bedroom, put a pull-up {night-time princess undies} on, kissed them and re-stocked for the afternoon.  we switched babes in the afternoon but it was the exact same thing until bed time. yes. it’s a long day, but by the end of the day, each girl was initiating independently and was SO PROUD of themselves…as were we!!!! proud mama moment!!!

day 2

day 2 started out the exact same.  my goal was to spend some time out of the bathroom as soon as i was confident that we had it down.  i wanted piper to go 20 minutes in between peeing and zero accidents… by 9am she had earned herself big girl undies and by 10 we were out of the bathroom!!

hallelujah!!

..even baby got her own big girl undies..

lila had a little bit more difficulty really grasping the idea and we had to re-evaluate how we were doing some things with her.  while we were working on them pulling their undies up and down, this wasn’t a huge priority, so once that was adjusted, lila made it out just in time for lunch time! she did have an accident when she came out, but we had forgotten to set a timer so it had been about 20-25 minutes {error on our end!}.

nothing changed the rest of the day other than we spent some time outside of the bathroom.  piper started answering appropriately when asked ‘do you need to go potty’ so she made quick progress.  lila on the other hand was not always answering appropriately, so she had to go sit every 15 minutes.  if she didn’t go, the timer was set for 5 minutes and she hung in the bathroom playing until she was able to tinkle.
**this is NOT a pass for going back to your normal routine, emptying the dishwasher or folding laundry. they still need eyes exclusively on them and at the very first sign of needing to use the bathroom, we rushed in to tinkle.

another note…reinforcement should still be just as strong! this can be difficult to remember but make sure you’re still just as excited about them being successful as you were that first time!

nap time was the same….night time princess undies and when they woke up, we went back to our gig!

dinner was a bit different.  i wanted to be able to see if they were showing any signs of using the restroom so i set a blanket out and we had a picnic.  they weren’t super hungry, and i didn’t push it, but everyone had a fun picnic!  we wrapped up the evening on the same kind of schedule and both girls had zero accidents the rest of the night!

day 3

i’ll be honest, chaos hit and days 3-5 were fairly miserable. we were hit h.a.r.d. with strep and man alive did it come with a vengeance.  toilet training was by far the easiest part of it all, but good night, no one slept and the girls were miserable.


the day started the same way, we woke up, took off our princess night time undies and went and sat on the potty.  piper specifically was miserable, coughing and refused to drink or eat anything.  we spent all day outside of the bathroom and in our big girl undies.  piper was answering appropriately and lila was about 50/50 when asked ‘do you need to go to use the potty?’

by nap time, i knew i needed to take piper into the doctor, which was NOT in the plan.  i had scheduled 5 days of not leaving the house and this definitely stressed me out. we’re 25 minutes from the doctors and i was nervous about going that long in a car before we could get to the potty. i sat her right before we left and literally the entire way there, we talked about big girl undies and tinkles go in the potty.

i was also super excited to have the opportunity to try out these toddler training underwear  from coco + kiwi. the perfect blend of quality materials, these training undies provide absorbency and leak protection so the child feels wet without the mess.  and. can we pleeeease talk about the ruffles because i mean, they couldn’t be any cuter.  while we are using regular undies at home, these are the perfect undies to wear while we made not one, but multiple outings to the doctor, urgent care, etc. they’re thicker than the regular undies but most certainly did their job holding both pee and poop {we discovered a couple days later!…remember, accidents happen!}.
** while these are seriously AMAZING and i am so so thankful to have them to travel in, there is limited stock left, so make sure you hop over to grab some before they’re gone!!

we made it to the doctor and home without any accidents and really, she did AMAZING!! it totally helped that she hadn’t been drinking and i would highly recommend limiting fluid intake when you know you have to go anywhere.

we’re now a week in and i’ll be updating with our progress since day 3, but for now… we have two toddlers who are toilet trained!! WOO!

SO, mama’s…what’s your toilet training experiences?! if you could give one tip to a mama who is going to potty train, what would it be?!

**a special thank you to coco + kiwi for providing the toddler training underwear for review.  as always, opinions expressed are 100% my own!

xoxo,

lindsey

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8 thoughts on “potty party | toilet training twins in 3 days

  1. Incredible job! I’m amazed and also so excited for Lila and Piper to be in big girl panties. Your organization and planning for this important stage of growing up worked great and I found it all very interesting. Yay for the Clines! 👨🏻👩🏼👧🏼👧🏼

  2. Potty training is the WORST to me. LOL – I love your suggestions of restricting ahead of time so that it sounds like an award when needed! Good thinking!

  3. I am definitely going to try this method with my younger daughter soon. I had a horrible time with my oldest and we still struggle sometimes, even at 4 years old. I think her problem is apathy, but little sis seems excited to potty so fingers crossed for a more positive experience this time!

  4. yay!! congrats on hitting a huge milestone with your girls! i potty trained my son in a weekend, and it was super easy as well! I waited with my son until he showed signs of interest. i heard potty training too early does more harm than good. i kept marshmallows in a jar and took him to the bathroom every hour. we bought some cool super hero underwear and ate lots of popsicles, watermelons, and drank tons of juice!

  5. I love this and am so proud of the babes!!! And you and Zach of course for working your butts off. Mission accomplished 🙂 xoxox

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