Which brings me to the topic of the day...the girls are finally potty trained! They have been for about 6 weeks now. I think parents always hold their breath when they write that because you know, once you write it down and make it official you're bound to be proven wrong and have some serious relapse. We will see what happens tomorrow now that I've cursed myself =)
Now, to be fair, we do still have some ongoing poop issues with Bri who is refusing to poop at all, not only in the potty. This turns into an awful constipation mess requiring suppositories and enemas (great fun!), but for all intensive purposes we are finally fully trained and go potty in the potty without any real prompting from mommy or daddy. We wear big girl panties from the time we get up to the time we go to sleep or down for naps. But wow...this wasn't at all the journey I expected it would be.
Those of you that have followed my blog for a while may remember that I had such high hopes for my little ladies (don't we all have such high aspirations for our kids?!). We bought the "Potty Time" DVD when the girls were about 17 months old. They loved it. They would run around and sing the songs and sign "potty". They would sit on their potties multiple times a day, but they never went. I wanted to work with them more on it, but then baby Hudson came along, and with a new baby in the house and sleep deprivation I honestly didn't have time to work on potty training. The girls weren't interested anymore anyway, and always woke up wet in the mornings and from naps. We decided to take a break.
Fast forward to this past July. I started to notice that all of our other multiples friends that were the same age were potty trained, and here I was still spending $80 a month on diapers. I started to feel like a big slacker. Peer pressure, it's a powerful motivator! I decided to try again. The girls were very vocal that they were not interested in using their little potties, and didn't want to be big girls, but Si and I pushed the issue. We bought big girl panties and pull ups to help the girls be interested in potty training. We were able to convince Olivia to try to pull ups. Being the people pleaser that she is, as soon as she figured out that she was going to get additional attention and candy if she did what we asked, she was totally on board. Brianna absolutely refused to even try to go potty in the potty or put on pull ups. So, we focused entirely on Olivia and let Brianna do her own thing.
After about 2 weeks, Olivia was about 80% potty trained on her little potty. She was getting an M&M every time she went potty in the potty, and got a sucker every time she pooped in the potty. Bri LOVES candy, and would cry and cry every time Olivia got a sucker and she didn't. Bri refused to wear pull ups or sit on the little potties...they were for babies.
Then the light bulb came on. Why don't we try just putting Bri in underwear and see what happens?
We put Brianna and Olivia in underwear the following Monday morning. Brianna did beautifully! She would ONLY go potty in the big potty, and she insisted on only wearing underwear and nothing else, but otherwise she did great! She had one accident the first day, and one accident two days later. Since then her accidents have been so few and far between, she's maybe had 7 total in 6 weeks. Olivia was already essentially potty trained via pull ups before we switched her over to underwear, and she had very few accidents as well. We even took the girls out to shop at Target in their big girl panties the very first day we potty trained with the big girl panties since they had done so well. Brave!
So, what I took from our experience that can be helpful to other potty training multiples parents is:
- Every kid is different! What works for one child will not necessarily work for both.
- Be flexible. One kid insists on only wearing underwear? One kid will only go on the little potty? No problem! There's no wrong way to potty train.
- Consider not training your multiples at exactly the same time. If you can get one child most of the way trained before bringing another child on board, go for it. This allows you to focus on each child individually and on their own time, instead of the multiples being forced to "share" the potty training attention.
- Buy LOTS of underwear. I think we have about 40 pairs. But it was necessary. If you figure each kid could have up to 10 accidents a day, 40 pairs would only be enough undies to last 2 days for a set of twins! Plus you need some for in the car for accidents if you are out and around, and chances are you will end up throwing out a pair or two because the accidents are just "that bad"...lol....
- Sometimes it's okay to push your kids out of their comfort zone. For Pete's sake...my are going to be 3 next month. In my opinion, the point at which they can passionately oppose potty training means it's time to MAKE them do it. After all, you are the parent. Parenting fail on our part here!
- Be patient. Some kids pick it up faster than others.
- It's okay not to have your kid potty trained early. If you look at Bri, she was obviously ready, she was just refusing....it didn't even take a day to train her. Crazy. I think Livvy was just soaking up the attention, that's the only reason it took her 2 weeks to fully train. But I bought that DVD and had such high hopes that the girls would be trained at 18 months. Don't push yourself!
Until next time -