Having twins, triplets or more can make toilet training challenging on a couple of fronts. Keep in mind that toddlers will not train if their muscles are not ready and mature enough. Boys usually take a little longer than girls to train. For girls training may begin around 2 years old, and for boys anywhere between 2 and 4 years old. Additionally the multiples may take their cue from each other and if one won’t train, the other or all will not train. OR, there may be no competition factor at all and each will train when they are physically and mentally ready to do so. Training can be somewhat more challenging when the multiples are mixed gender. Training can be easier if one or more of the children really dislike their messy or wet diaper. If this is the case, that child is already half way to wanting to train.
Here are some ideas to help move things along when you feel the children are ready to consider training:
- Both parents need to keep positive, no raised voices, make the children and yourselves part of the solution and not part of the problem. An adventure, if you will.
- Get a potty per child, either different colours or tape their name on the appropriate potty. Taking them along on the buying expedition can help them be positively involved. Some parents like the seats that fit on the toilet and they do work well, but with multiples you may have at least two children at a time wishing to go so having potties as an alternative can be beneficial.
- Leave the potties in a prominent place, in the bathroom, their bedroom or anywhere else you feel they can be seen.
- Have the discussion about why they are there and what they are used for.
- If anyone uses one, even a little bit, “high five” and praise. The other(s) may or may not express interest.
- Don’t compare the children to each other. Doing so only creates negative comparison and competition.
- If you have figured out the time of day they are most likely to have a bowl movement, you can coax them on the potty slightly ahead of time and read books until there is success. Some parents offer their children a treat for any success. If there is no success, just call it a day and make little fuss. You can try again tomorrow.
- If you find that you are meeting with any resistance for potty training, back off for a couple of days and then begin again. Depending upon the child, as each multiple is different, you may need to give her space and time to get on board.