Two to Kiss, Two to Love: Can You Potty Train Too Early?
When my oldest was about 20 months old, she was EXTREMELY interested in the potty. She would follow me in when I went to use the bathroom, and "talk" about who-knows-what the entire time! Then, when she knew I was done, she would try and wipe ME! There were so many times I had to explain that I didn't need help wiping.
So, I decided I would try and potty train her. My sister swore by this one-day method, and I tried it. You take a doll (one that has the ability to "pee"), and you show your kid how the doll goes potty. Then your kid is supposed to teach the doll how to go potty, and then eventually that same day, your child will know how to go potty. This sounds good in theory, and maybe if she was older this would have worked, but it did NOT work. We went back to diapers.
Fast forward a few months. I had several friends tell me they used this 3-day method by the self-proclaimed "Potty Training Queen." Even my sister-in-law with twins used it for her kids. If a mom with twins used it, and says amazing things about it, then yes, I'm doing it too. The first day, she had two accidents. She wet her bed that night. The second, she maybe had one, and didn't wet the bed, and by the third day, she was completely potty trained. AMAZING.
The next week, she had a few more accidents than I would have liked and I felt super frustrated. However, I realized I wasn't praising her enough anymore. This method is 100% about praising your child like CRAZY, and making it a very positive experience. I went back to being happy EVERY time she went, and being as positive as possible, and she didn't really have an issue again (besides the very rare "didn't get to the potty in time" instances). I was amazed at how easy it had been. I kept thinking, "wow, I should have done this earlier!"
Enter my twins at 20 months old. One is not interested AT ALL. The other asks to sit on the potty, and tells me when she is poopy. But I'm here to tell you, if I'm spending three days stuck inside of my house (as you must do for the method I used for my oldest), I'm potty training both of them at the same time. Right? No way I'm potty training one, and then not the other.
So, I decided to take a stab at it. I had them go to the store and pick out undies. I got all the supplies ready. Then I sat down to read the instructions once again to remind myself how the whole process worked. And staring back at me was this line, "I do recommend waiting until your child is 22 months of age because it can take longer than three days when they are younger than 22 months, but the choice is yours." Well, darn it. I'm two months too early. But I was convinced my one twin was absolutely ready, and I was going to try.
We started. My interested twin was doing EXTREMELY well. By the afternoon, she hadn't had any accidents. My other twin...totally different story. She didn't really care that she kept peeing all over herself. Awesome, huh? Luckily, nobody had pooped in their undies so we were still golden. But like a switch, everything changed. My interested twin stopped telling me she had to go, and kept having accidents. The other one wasn't getting any better. I kept thinking, "maybe they really are too young."
BUT, I know the queen says it takes three days, so we kept going. The next day, my interested twin wouldn't put her undies on after going potty this one particular time. But, I had my other twin to finish helping. I asked my older daughter to put the undies on my interested twin, but she wouldn't let my older daughter help her. She just ran away. So in the middle of helping the other twin, my interested twin had diarrhea all over the FLOOR!!! Oh my goodness. It was disgusting. I would have rather that happened in her underwear ANY DAY. Oh, so, so gross. But, we cleaned it up and moved on.
A little bit later, my interested twin looked at me completely panicked. I started smelling something and realized that yes, she was having more diarrhea IN her underwear. I ran her to the bathroom, cleaned her all up...and threw diapers back on.
Yup, that's right--I called it quits. I refused to clean up any more diarrhea! I failed. And as much as I hate admitting my failure, or feeling like I failed, at least we tried. Because really, how do we succeed if we never fail and learn from our mistakes? So, I sucked it up. I quit. And when they are 22 months or older, I will try again. Because yes, there is a point at which it is TOO early and the queen was right.
If I had stuck it out with my one twin, maybe she would be potty trained now. But, as far as I'm concerned, I'd rather wait a few more months until they are BOTH ready. Ya know, when they end up being as easy as my older daughter was to potty train. :) Because if I have to potty train TWO of them, I want them to get it as fast as my older daughter did. I really don't need to make extra work for myself when we're talking about TWO babies.
And MAYBE, I'll decide to potty train them one at a time...even though it sounds so much better to get it all done at once. Ha. In the meantime, my interested twin still randomly tells me she has to go potty. I help her go when she asks, and we leave it at that.
For now...diapers will be my best friend.
*The “Two to Kiss, Two to Love” series is a helpful series for all you twin mamas out there! If you have a twin related question, comment below, and I’ll answer it for you!*