Twinning: Potty Training Twins Is As Messy As It Sounds

shutterstock_230373Having twins can be the most amazing experience of your life. It can also cause you to wake up in the morning wishing you were someone else. Twinning offers an honest depiction of life with twins from a mom who tries to keep things somewhere in the middle.

Potty training twins is not for the faint of heart. It’s messy business, and it feels like it will never end. But since most preschools require kids to be potty-trained before they enroll, we had no choice but to get through it.

When you’re potty training twins, you can expect twice the mess, twice the chaos and twice the equipment. And when it’s all over, you can stop buying twice the diapers, so there’s that.

One of the hardest parts about potty training twins is that often one child isn’t ready, as was the case with my two. My daughter Allie started showing “readiness signs” at 22 months: demonstrating an interest in the toilet, telling me when she did poo, wanting her diaper changed after peeing, and waking up dry. My son Nick showed no signs. He had many interests, but where he went to the bathroom was not one of them. While my daughter was working on her “life skills” as if she was planning on moving out by age three, my son was busy learning the alphabet and numbers up to 20. What went on in his diaper was for me to worry about as far as he was concerned.

One of the rules of twin parenting is “both at the same time”—and to keep my sanity, I’ve always tried to obey it if possible. While I waited for my son to show the slightest interest in potty training, I began building up our arsenal of potty paraphernalia—two potty chairs, a potty-training DVD called “Go Potty Go,” the book Everyone Poops, some Hanna Andersson thick cotton training underpants, and elastic-waist shorts for easy on-off access.

I’d be ready when they were.

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  • Carinn Jade

    Hysterical! I am looking at potty training my second this summer (it really is better to keep them mostly naked) and I am not looking forward to this fun all over again. It’s not as wonderful a milestone as you wish it would be. At least it all makes for a good story!

  • Mary Barbieri

    Public washrooms are a challenge. The trick is to use the handicap stall. I have a hands on your head rule at all times – they look like convicts but it works :-) ,

  • Erica

    Funny. We are finally done with potty training. They can hold it and go when they need to without reminding from me. We are still working on the ‘big’ public toilets. They are scared of the flush. In public they will only use the miniature kids toilets you can sporadically find in the mall and walmarts.

  • JJBJMom

    LOL, I have boy/girl twins with much the same personalities as yours. At 2 1/2, my daughter is developmentally ahead of my son EXCEPT with numbers. I am just starting the potty training process and our house is a pee/poop carnival exactly like yours was!! They are both resistant to doing “number 2″ in the potty so I am researching some training methods to resolve that issue. I have two older children and, so far, training the twins is far more than twice as hard as training either of the others!!!

  • Jill Jones

    What a lovely story to read!
    Got my twins potty trained with the help of Carol Cline, see a interview with her on

  • Nancy P.

    Jill Jones, that is a spam and you know it!