Potty Training Multiples

Two twins babies boys wearing glasses.

When we first started the AskThePottyFairy.blog, we wondered how many potty training topics there would be to write about and share on our blog.  We are amazed at the number of topics associated with potty training and look forward to another year of providing blog posts as there is always more to learn.  The questions and topics keep rolling in! Consider following the AskThePottyFairy.blog so that you are alerted when new blogs are posted!

Coming up in November, The Potty Fairy has been asked to provide a potty training session for a group of parents in Toronto, Canada (TROMBA)   The Potty Fairy will be offering a webinar conference for the Toronto Parents of Multiple Births Association. Registrations are coming in and we are expecting a large group who will login in to participate in this session! In preparation for this specific webinar training, we are offering a blog post this month focusing on “Potty Training Multiples”. 

Note: If you are interested in offering a webinar training on potty training for your association, please send us an email and we would be happy to accommodate your specific interests and ideas.

Potty Training Multiples

So the big questions for parents of multiples are how do I potty train twins, triplets or more?  How do I differentiate typical training for one child to accommodate more than one child?  What if one of the children I am training is succeeding and the other is not? How do I keep both on track and feeling positive?  How do I organize for potty training and accommodate for more than one?

Parents of twins, triplets or more typically feel very overwhelmed when it comes to potty training their children. I would say that parents of one are also overwhelmed, but potentially double that for parents of twins and triplets.  Parents of multiple children are capable of this task as everything they do requires more organization and the ability to handle more chaos. So with a bit more preparation, support, and solid understanding, parents of multiples will conquer potty training! ( Kinda superhuman parents)

Parents of multiple children, please read on…

First, as with all parents potty training your children, you will want to make sure you are ready for the task and schedule potty training at a time with the least amount of distraction and stress. You will want to schedule potty training when you get another adult to commit to the training session alongside of you. Two people are needed when training multiple children. Prepare for success.

Secondly, you will want to be sure your children are developmentally ready for potty training. Typically, 2 1/2 to 3 years old. As with everything, this is an average, and some children potty train earlier and some later. With multiples, I would consider observing when both or all children demonstrate readiness for better odds for success and streamlining the process for you and your family.

Third, review the Methods of Potty Training on the AskThePottyFairy.blog site.  There are a variety of methods and approaches. You may want to look elsewhere for a review of methods as well. Read, reflect, consider and decide which method makes the best sense for you to use.  Just make a decision about your “game plan” and go from there.  You will add some unique differentiation for your children but have a base plan.

Next, prepare your environment and when getting your equipment purchase more than one potty chair.  Some people suggest letting your children have their own special potty chair, and some say no. You will have to make a decision on that one! (Personally, I would let them have their own and let them make it uniquely theirs.) Have multiple potty chairs and perhaps in more than one location.  Don’t forget to make accommodations for your home such as covering furniture, removing rugs and such.

Download a free Top Twelve Potty Training Tips sheet on the website and hang on the refrigerator for a reminder and reference. Add these “Potty Training Multiples Tips”:

DON’T compare

DON’T pressure

DO be patient

Do individualize for differences

Unique for training multiples, you will want to individualize your method for learning styles, motivational rewards and gender differences of your twins, or triplets. Think about how you would like to differentiate for these differences for your multiple children.  Learning styles and motivational rewards can be different for boys and girls along with anatomy differences.  Accommodate for these differences.  The method you proceed with will have unique differences for each of your children.

There is always the notion that the twins could be a positive influence on each other and be using the potty chair.  Keep it fun, positive and individualized you will be sure to be successful.  It has been said that twins can motivate each other in the process.

Unique “Potty Training Multiples” Issues:

What to do if one twin is making progress and the other is not?  To hold one back because the other is not making progress does not make sense.  I would move forward with the twin that is making progress and let them potty in the potty chair.  I would diaper up the uninterested child and not make a big deal of it.  Typically, the second or third child will catch-up pretty quickly.

DON’T feel you have to potty train your twins at the same time. Some twins, especially boy/girl sets, learn to use the toilet as much as a year apart — and that’s okay. All kids are different (even if yours look a lot alike). Still, lots of parents decide to tandem toilet train as soon as one seems ready so as not to prolong the process. And if things go well, the less eager twin will show more interest when she sees her sib using a potty.

How to manage Reward and praise as to not compare? Try to manage each of the children individually and not comparatively. Look for positives in both. Minimize accidents and setbacks.

DON’T use charts when you potty train twins. Charts show an obvious comparison between your children. One or two stickers are a great reward — with any luck, both kids will be getting their share — but putting them on a chart can be a constant visual reminder to one twin that she’s “behind” the other. Let them use their stickers in a different way so comparisons are lessened or eliminated.

DON’T use one twin’s potty success to encourage the other. The twin who’s taking his time with potty training will be able to figure out the progress of his sibling without you pointing it out. Instead of being motivating, comparisons might intensify feelings of jealousy or competition. Learning quickly doesn’t have to be the “better” way to learn to use the potty chair.  Praising your children for different attributes can make both of them feel successful and good about themselves.

I share this post with all due respect for parents of twins and triplets or more.  I look forward to the conversation we will have at the end of the webinar and realize there is always more to consider and learn.  I am hoping to learn together with you that evening. After the webinar and our discussion, I am visualizing adding more to this particular post as I learn from you. Please feel free to leave comments on the blog too and we can start the conversation early!

And “The Potty Fairy” Enhances All Methods of Potty Training, Even for Multiples!!!

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Copyright October 2017

 

Potty Training Around the World

Kids around EarthAround the world, 50% of children are potty trained by 12 months.  This is not typical in the United States where we wait for the child to get much older before potty training. Typical ages in the United States are 2 and 1/2 for girls and 3 years for boys. So is potty training a child development issue or is it more of a cultural issue?  Let’s take a look.

Parents the world over share the challenge of potty training and look forward to having a clean and dry baby who goes to the potty in an appropriate manner. Different cultures, as well as different families, have diverse expectations of what an infant or a toddler should be doing at any given stage of development, and potty training is no exception.

In the United States, since the late 1950s, when the washing machine was found in most homes,  and the disposable diapers became available, potty training children were most often started later in a child’s early childhood years.  The convenience of the washing machine and disposable diapers and child psychologist, Dr. Brazelton, who changed the age of a child potty training from 12 months to 3 years, modified potty training in the United States. Since the 1950s potty training, a child later and later in childhood has grown.  Companies that make disposable diapers produce larger and larger diapers to support the idea of potty training a child later in childhood.  We are getting more and more comfortable waiting a long time before potty training U.S. children.

However, the United States also has a diverse population, who embraces several different approaches to potty training. Different methods are available and the parent decides what works best for their child and family. Although the majority of U.S. parents watch for signs of readiness and then let their toddler set the pace. Parents often use special children’s books, games, and potty chairs to encourage their child’s cooperation and progress with potty training. They may also use positive reinforcement techniques such as rewards to get results. Most children are completely potty-trained between the ages of 2 to 3 years old.

Some unique ideas from around the world regarding potty training:

Kids in China wear a onesie-style outfit with a split crotch. If a kid indicates that they need to go to the bathroom, the parents open up the slit and hold the child away from themselves and the kids go on the ground. It doesn’t seem to matter where they are or what they were doing.

In Germany, kids are potty trained by age 3 because it is a requirement for starting school. Germans emphasize cleanliness in the potty training process and boys and girls are taught to sit down on the potty as it is considered cleaner.

In the Netherlands children are potty trained between 2-3 years old in groups at daycare. There are little toilets and pots that all the kids use together, then they fill out sticker charts. Parents and daycare providers work together when the kids are ready and the process goes smoothly. Kids must be trained by age four before they start school full time.

In rural Indonesia, potty training isn’t even a word. Diapers are expensive and babies are free to urinate wherever they are standing or placed. Mothers and grandmothers just do a swift clean-up after.

In Pakistan, kids are free to run around and pee wherever they want. Moms give them a bath at night to clean them up, the children wear diapers at night when they sleep and in the morning, the diapers are taken off and the children are ready for the day. Eventually, they learn to recognize the urge and use the toilet.

In Sudan, potty training is done early. It helps that these mothers carry their babies on their backs often, so they either must figure out how to read their baby’s signals. By age 2, most kids are potty trained, except those who can afford diapers.

In Kenya and Tanzania, parents start potty training infants when they are a few weeks old. Since there is nearly always someone tending babies, they are able to immediately respond to the signs of discomfort. Babies who need to eliminate are taken outside and held over the ground in an appropriate place. By the time children in Kenya and Tanzania are 5 or 6 months old, they stay dry throughout the day and night.

In India, potty training starts when a child is about 6 months old. At frequent intervals, caregivers hold babies above the latrine and toddlers are left to walk around diaperless and only wearing a shirt.  The children are praised for remaining clean and dry. The children are usually completely potty trained by the time they are 14 months old.

In Finland and many other Northern European countries, kids are routinely held over the potty after every meal from infancy onward.  Many European countries tend to leave potty training completion until about 2 years old. The older European generation believes children should be potty trained by 6 months.

Overall, it appears that culture certainly has an impact on the potty training process around the world.  In the United States, there is more diversity in the approach and method for potty training.  There also appears to be more products available for potty training.  Multiple methods provide for differentiated approaches for parents to choose from according to the family lifestyle and a child’s personality and temperament.   Ideas from around the globe are incorporated into many of the potty training methods used by United States parents.

The Potty Fairy enhances and enriches all methods of potty training.  Including the Potty Fairy in your potty training program adds a fun and imaginative approach to any method you to choose to use. The Potty Fairy 

The Potty Fairy Book is available in French, Spanish and English.  The book can be purchased on our website. You can also find it on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and other online stores.

 

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