Twinning: Potty Training Twins Is As Messy As It Sounds

It wasn’t long after my twins turned two that Allie took her diaper off during naptime and decorated the crib with its contents. That was it—ready or not, my twins were getting potty-trained. I figured I’d offer Nick the chance to go diaper-free, and if he didn’t want to, I would just suck it up and train them separately.

For two days before we started, I kept talking about how much fun it was going to be. “You’re going to wear big kid underwear! Tomorrow you’ll be doing pee-pee on the potty!” Luckily 2-years-olds have no idea when you’re faking, because they were so excited you’d think I was promising them a trip to Disneyland.

We started on a Saturday, so I’d have two full days of help from my husband. I was glad it was June—we could do a lot of our potty training outside and only need minimal clothing. When our twins woke up, we told them there was a surprise in the bathroom for them. We all ran into the bathroom and I announced, “your potty chairs!” like I’d just given them a puppy. Being 2-year-olds, they were completely excited and could hardly wait to get their “baby bipers” off. They both sat down on the potties and got up and sat down like they were playing Musical Chairs.

When they were settled down enough to sit still, my daughter tinkled in her potty after only about a minute. She looked as shocked as I was. I had told them their reward would be two M&Ms for pee and four for poo, but I hadn’t bought the M&Ms yet because I didn’t expect anyone to actually go on the potty the first day. That was my biggest potty-training-prep Fail.

So we promised Allie two M&Ms as soon as we bought them. Then Nick surprised us by not only tinkling, but hosing down the entire bathroom floor. I tried not to appear annoyed (because I’d read you should always look happy about whatever comes out wherever it ends up), and gave him the same exuberant praise I gave Allie.

But suddenly the chaos of twin potty training reared its head, and we couldn’t keep things under control. Nick started splashing his feet in the pee, and my husband (who hadn’t read all the articles I had about not appearing concerned over pee on the floor) began complaining and wiping it up with toilet paper. Allie stuck both hands in her potty, pulled out the urine receptacle and spilled pee all over the floor.

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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!