Thursday, April 19, 2012

How my Twins potty trained themselves


I dreaded potty training with twin boys, I did not enjoy potty training my three older kids with traditional potty training methods. I also really did not want to go with traditional potty training methods again, so I didn't. Child led potty training was the answer for us!

At 15 months old , I bought a potty and a snap on potty seat for the toilet. I bought a few pairs of underwear for them, and I talked about it some with them. Then I just pretty much waited. We would talk about potty training here and there, read a book about it here and there, then wait. They would decide on their own when they wanted to use the potty or the snap on toilet seat. Sometimes they did, sometimes they didn't. We would still just talk about it and read books about it here and there, and wait.

 I did not struggle with them, stress over it, or make it mandatory. I let them decide when they were ready. If a child is not ready to potty train, they most likely won't. If you are stressing and forcing potty training, is that really the answer? Not for us. I like my twins to enjoy their days and nights, not spend them in potty boot camp with me as Sargent toilet.

Who really wants to be Sargent toilet?

 So we continued to enjoy our days, and nights. We continued to talk about using the potty and read books about it here and there. Sometimes they asked to wear underwear, sometimes they didn't. I never constantly talked about using the potty or constantly read them books on a daily basis about it.

The talks about potty training and reading potty training books were never constant, very random and sporadic.

I never pushed or enforced potty training. I just let them go at their own relaxed, self decided pace. Fast forward to age 3 and I switched them all day and night to night time pull ups, just to make diapers disappear for good.

The riddance of diapers made them want to step it up a bit on their own. I bought a few more pairs of underwear. I still didn't enforce it. I mentioned it a little more often, but I was not forcing or pressuring them to potty train.

 They will be 4 years old on Saturday and have been fully self potty trained since they were 3 1/2. They did it on their own, at their own pace. No pressure or potty boot camp. They just did it naturally.

 I am happy I let them do it on their own. It helped them and myself to enjoy their toddler years more. It helped get us out of the house to do fun things without stress. It worked out really well for us.

Kids really can potty train at their own pace, they won't be in diapers at age 5..... thats just a dramatic myth that your Grandma wants you to believe. Don't let friends or family pressure you or your kids into forced potty training. It makes potty training miserable.




17 comments:

  1. I did this same thing with my DD. After struggling to potty train my Autistic son I was just not up for the task again. It was stressful and hard on the whole family. So when DD came around I decided NOT to even think about potty training until she was at LEAST 3. Of course she was self potty trained on her own by two and a half or so. I did just as you did. I gave her the tools and let her explore with them on her own.

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  2. i am so pleased I found your post. My husband and I have decided to do pretty much the same with our son, who is currently 2.5 and has asked to use the potty a handful of times for entertainment value but is in no way interested in doing it on a regular basis. So many of my friends are doing enforced potty training that I feel a bit awkward. But reading your post has reaffirmed that there is an alternative way to do these things and I am going to stick with our gentler way. Thanks so much for making me feel supported.

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  3. Thats awesome!! Thanks so much for the comments, and thank you for reading!!

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  4. We did the same thing with our son who is 3 1/2 and just pretty much potty trained himself. Was glad to read your post!

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  5. I love this post! I am featuring it on tonights Kids Co-op Showcase post, over at Triple T Mum. Pop on over and grab your Featured at badge!

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  6. This is great! I love that you went through toilet training in a stress-free way. I tended to do something similar with my own kids, although I wouldn't have made a good Sargent toilet anyway. ;) Deb @ LivingMontessoriNow.com

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  7. Thanks for this. We have been debating when to potty train my 2 year old son. We have a lot of big transitions happening within the next year (new baby, big boy bed, and a cross county move), so I've really wanted to wait until he's showing more signs or readiness and the big stuff is over. This post really does remind me that he will be ready when he's ready. He's not in school, so there's no rush!

    Oh, I'm also featuring this tomorrow on The Sunday Parenting Party. Come by to see it and grab a button! www.dirtandboogers.com

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  8. I think if they are not your 1st they learn from the older ones too. This was certainly the case for mine, though I did encourage them too but they were only just 2 when they made the change day and night. They all get there in the end, just at different times!

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    Replies
    1. now the biggest challenge is cleaning up the pee splashes a million times a day!

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    2. Ah yes, I still get some of that with 5 boys!

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  9. Thanks for reminding me!! I have twin girls who just turned three. Up to this point I have pretty much done the same things as you. But, lately I have been feeling the pressure to get them potty trained... Little comments from my mom or mother-in-law and even my husband. So, I watched a video on how to potty train in a day. Well, needless to say, attempting this with twins is a nightmare! Your post reminded me of what I already believed. I did the same thing you did with our older daughter and at 3 1/2 she naturally learned when she was ready. It was so much easier than drill sergeant training. I know this because with my first child, our son, I tried everything! When nothing worked, I realized it had become a battle of wills. I decided to leave him alone and wait until he was ready. Within a month, he self potty trained, once I decided to let go! He was also 3 1/2 when he did this. So, 3 1/2 seems to be about the right age for them to earn on their own.

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  10. Thanks for this- I've been feeling a lot of pressure with my first to have him potty trained by 3.

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  11. This is a perfectly timed article for me because we are struggling with it and my son goes to the potty when he wants but he will have accidents because I chose not to put him in a pull up when he is home. So, after several accidents and lots of stress on my art, I'm done with it. I am just going to do what you did and I am sure he will be ready when he is ready. Thank you so much for sharing :)

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  12. This sounds so ideal and I wish I could take it so easily with my son but where I live children start kindergarten at the age of 3 and will be expected to be potty trained. I am a student teacher in KG grade 1 at the moment and had a child in class that was not potty trained and it was not a comfortable situation for the child as the rest of the children did not wear diapers anymore. My son is 2 now and I've been thinking about buying a potty and a toilet seat this summer and see what happens. He is already showing interest and also points to his diapers and tells me ''Ko'' sometimes before it's dirty. It's funny how society pressures us parents into pushing our children. I too believe that children should be given their time and grow when they are ready but at the end of the day you don't want to feel that you're keeping your child lagging behind others. I use child initiated approach with my son most of the time so I don't really care what society thinks and I know my son, he is an explorer but he takes his time in doing so and I believe that pressure will only make him lose interest or result in tantrums. I only started weaning him when I saw that he was interested in food, while the pediatrician suggested I should wean him at 4 months and although some people around me showed concern because he is still not speaking clear words I do not constantly pressure him to talk. I talk to him all the time and name objects and read and gradually he is learning easy words here and there so I'm not worried at all. But I have to admit I feel a bit nervous about the potty training.

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    1. We had similar concerns. We were looking at enrolling the girls in Cycle 1 at a Montessori school and one of the conditions was that they had to be potty trained. We actually managed to get them into a childcare/kinder that we'd be wanting to get them into for years so we went with that option. Although I found that interacting with older kids (their kinder room is 3 to 5 year olds) actually helped give them a little bit more confidence in terms of their toilet training.

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  13. I did the same with my twin girls. They were curious about the potty from about 18 months on. It took another two years before they were both fully potty trained. One of my daughters for a while refused to go #2s in the potty and would ask for a nappy if she had to go #2s. We followed pretty much the same strategies. Read books about potty training - they'd come in to see us go potty (I miss having privacy).

    I read books on potty training but I just found them too regimental. So I let them decided when they were good and ready and when they decided to do it - they decided to it with full gusto. I know have two completely toilet trained kids. My partner actually took their potties away and made them go toilet. So the transition from potty to toilet took like a day...

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  14. I’m so glad I came across this post! My twin boys turned 2 in February and we’re starting potty training this week. I definitely feel less pressure now, and it’s good to know there are friendlier options. I’m a teacher, so I’m hoping they’ll be trained by August when they go back to daycare, but I’m not going to get wound up or disappointed if it takes more time.

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