Potty Training Twins at 20 months

I think the best way to begin this epic tale of pee and poo is at cloth diapers. We were using toddler sized prefolds and Flip covers at 16mo, and that was when Squish started informing me of his “PEE!”.  I’d already planned on using the Three Day Potty Training for my twins. Cloth diapers don’t pull the moisture away from baby like a disposable does so baby feels the wet. Cloth diapered babies are said to potty train earlier because of this.

 I bought these potties at 18mo because they were the shortest I could find for such tiny babies. They loved to sit on them before bath, and loved to be removed from the tub every five minutes to sit again. Both Squish and Stretch peed in the potties multiple times before we did the Three Day Poopathon. We made it through Christmas, and the Super Bowl and then planned our weekend.

 We followed all the steps lined out in her downloadable book. I made my helpers read the book, I read it no less that 5 times. We used raisins as treats, to help encourage pooping. We had 1 helper, but two would have made it a lot easier. One person should be designated Clean Up Crew, and nothing else. The amount of pee and poo, on the floor is incredible.  You get distracted or attempt to make lunch and you’ve got a huge mess on your hands. Don’t do anything but follow the rules for those three days. Want the rules? You can purchase the Ebook here

It’s very common for the first two days, and even the beginning of the third day to be awful. They aren’t getting it, and it feels like they will never get it. Never. Ever. Then the planets align, a unicorn poops magical sparkly poop over your house, heaven opens, angels sing, and suddenly they have got it! Is that how it was with my twins? Nope! They started getting it on day two, but I’ve seen lots of twin moms post their Three Day Potty Training twins experiences thanks to Bay Area Moms of Multiples. 

There is something magical about 18-22 months, or so I hear. It took me A YEAR to potty train my singleton, and she was almost 4 before that horrible year was completed. I’ve read that only 20% of babies that age can physically hold it overnight. My boys are now part of the 20%, but I don’t mind doing diapers just at night. We will revisit night training when they are a little older.

So my twins were potty trained by 20 months, oh joy…right? Turns out, that is where the work started. A newly potty trained kiddo needs to pee before you leave the house, when you arrive at the store, before you leave a store and when you arrive home. Times two. Seriously. 

And you can’t just hold them so they can sit on the “big seat” because their twin is now crawling under stalls, touching (and licking) everything. So you need a handy, portable, baby-butt-sized potty seat. We tried this one, I loved the size but it was too flimsy for them to feel safe. This one is our favorite. Not only does it fold out to sit on a big potty, it’s also it’s own portable potty. Fold the legs down, MAKE SURE THEY ARE LOCKED IN PLACE, insert the bag with the absorbant liner and it’s good to go. I’ve used it in the back of our minivan on more than one occasion. At the park, I leave it in the red wagon and we don’t have to keep running for a disgusting portapotty.  

three day potty train twins 20 months Now how do you carry it around? Excellent question! If you cloth diapered, you already own a wet bag. Never heard of a wet bag? It’s just a waterproof/washable bag to put dirty diapers in. I own one of these and our portable potty fits perfectly in the larger zippered area. I put 2 pairs of clean undies and knit Garanimal shorts in the small pocket. Any dirty things go in the larger pocket, with the potty. Oh, and did I mention it probably won’t fit in your purse? I went to Marshalls and found a cute $30 bag that it fit in. I’ve never owned a diaper bag, and don’t even believe in them – but that is another blog post!

So your twins are potty trained before two years old and you’ve worked out the whole potty situation, so all should be right with the world. Did ya know that most kids can’t pull their own pants up or down at that age? So you have to go in there with them. EVERY SINGLE TIME. FOR FOREVER.

TIMES TWO.

Ok, not forever, but it feels that way. My twins are 25 months and I still let them run around in just t-shirts and undies around the house. Squish can pretty much pull his down now, without help. He can’t get them back on, so there is still a fair amount nudity. He is showing some interest in learning to put them back on, so I have hope. Stretch is such a bump on a log and wants me to do it most of the time. I think it’s mostly because he enjoys the company in the bathroom, he’s always been like Velcro with me.

The top three hardest things about my twins:

  1. C-section recovery (thanks to severe nerve damage) combined with learning to tandem nurse, combined with the exhaustion of the first 10wks
  2. Pregnancy
  3. Potty training.

See? If you have already survived pregnancy and the first 10wks, potty training will seem easy. 
Post Script- Now for my truth. Just two weeks after successfully day time potty training my boys, they caught a stomach bug. Stretch did fine, but Squish regressed. It took 2 months to get him back on track with pee and 3 months to get him *mostly* on track with poo. Am I glad we potty trained so young? I’m happy to not be washing all those cloth diapers every 2 days, and that is all I will admit to! 
As with all of my posts, my experience is based on full term twins. Babies that come early tend to be on a different timeline for adjusted age. Join your local Moms of Multiples group to meet MoMs who have experience with preterm babies!

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A twin pregnancy is lonely

Tonight I went to a La Leche League (find them on FB under Greater Bay Area LLL Group) meeting in Pearland to help some BAMOMs (Bay Area Moms of Multiples). One Momma with 7wk old twins and one who is 30wks pregnant. The topic turned to natural birth for twins and the AMAZING FB group Birthing Multiples Naturally. It was wonderful to hear about the natural birth from one Momma (birth story coming soon) while the other is still planning hers. 

I returned home and sank into nostalgia and then I remembered it. The overwhelming sense of loneliness during my twin pregnancy. If you are doing everything your OB says, and planning your scheduled c-section, you can find a ton of local moms who are doing the same. But if you are being “difficult” and attempting to avoid unnecessary, major surgery…things get very lonely. Your new best friend may be someone who has a similar due date but may live across the world. 

Nobody in your every day life understands that you spend every spare moment googling things like “percent of twins that are both transverse?”. I’m pretty sure I was the most annoying pregnant woman ever. I wasn’t talking about the adorable nursery, or how I couldn’t wait to hold them. I was more worried about intermittent monitoring, delayed cord cutting, and even tandem breastfeeding. 

I felt so isolated. Alone. 

But I was on a damn mission. I made do with my Australian friends. I found a Birth Sister in San Antonio, but I really wished there was a local group. Take heart! Now there is, you can find us on FB under Houston Natural Twin Birth. We keep a running list of doctors, midwives and even doulas who will support your choice. We post local birth stories. Let us be your Birth Sister. 

You can do this. You are a strong woman, we have your back. ūüíó

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Tandem Babywearing Toddler Twins

In previous posts about tandem babywearing twins, you’ve seen my size 7 wrap my boring camel colored Ergos, and my Catbird Pikkolo and linen ring sling. When the boys were 11 months old, I went to the Houston Natural Parenting Expo and visited the Woodland Babies table. I spotted the Toddler Tula in Spa Scallop and was in love. So I sold my boring camel Ergos, bought a gray and black Ergo Performance that way there was something manly for the hubby to wear, and it would coordinate with the gray trim on my Tula. Is that silly? Yes, but I was strangely obsessed with carriers. Almost every part of my life with twins has been me being obsessed about something. I became such an overachiever. I had to know the best of everything. The best way to naturally birth twins, the best way to nurse them, the best way to sleep train them, the best way to feed them solids, I could go on but I’d bore you. Let’s just say I’ve become (more than) a little nuts since the moment I knew that there were two little ones growing inside me.

Almost 21 months old. They walk, they talk, they are potty trained (details coming soon) and they still have tandem meltdowns. Today was a rough day. I don’t know if it was teething, or the weather or the position of the moon. Regardless, it was nuts. I busted out the carriers. So you’ll get a peek at what it looks like to tandem wear 21 month old twins! There was even enough room for “Ubbie” and “Binkie”. Do I love these children.¬† I do, so much it feels like my heart will burst, but not at that moment. I’m all about the truth.

tandem wearing 21 month old twins  tandem wearing toddler twins

tandem wearing 21 month old twins
tandem wearing toddler twins

 

 

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Tandem Wearing Twins with Ring Sling and SSC

So we tried out a new tandem carry a while back. It made for a great photo but it confirmed just how much a hate ring slings. It made me feel like a t-rex “I have little arms” (see video if you aren’t familiar with this phrase https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=93B072j-E3I ).
If you have it over your shoulder and down a little on your arm, you can’t lift your arm and then you have t-rex arm.¬† If it is all on your shoulder, it will dig in after just a few minutes.

If you are wondering what carrier is on my back, it’s a Catbird Pikkolo in Georgia print. I LOVED this carrier. It was one of the prettiest gender neutral prints I’ve ever seen. The sling is a linen ring sling.

The only plus? It made an adorable photo!

Squish on the front and Stretch on the back

tandem wearing twins ring sling ssc soft structured carrier

tandem wearing twins ring sling ssc soft structured carrier

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Toddler Busy Box Feed the Animals

Ok, so they aren’t actually bags, but that is the most common name for these sensory, Reggio Emilia, Montessori, open ended play, educational, and creative inspired toys.

Feed the Animals busy box toddler

Feed the Animals busy box – Life Plus Twins

A friend of mine was given one of these from her Mother-in-Law and I immedialy recognized the snack cups! Head over to the Dollar Tree and pick up a package of these snack containers. Two for a dollar, so don’t buy them from Amazon! Screen Shot 2014-12-21 at 8.44.37 PM

You will need to drill a hole for the mouth. Start with a 1/16 drill bit and work your way up to 1/2. My twins are 19 months and despite their many attempts, they could not manage to get their fingers stuck in the hole. It was just a smidge too big.

The correct size of pom-poms is paramount to this working. I had two sizes that worked but I’m not sure size they are. I’m thinking either the 1/2″ or the 10mm for the larger one and either the 3mm or 5mm for the smaller one. The smaller one fit through easily but the larger one took a little more concentration to squish in.

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Toddler Twins Bath Time and Potty Training

Squish and Stretch are almost 19mo now. Squish started announcing his pee/poo diaper at 17m. We bought two of these Bjorn “shortie potties”.¬†BABYBJORN Smart Potty Review

I wish I’d bought these Bjorn potties instead because of the higher back and I think they are a little taller. I think it would make it a little easier to sit on. The “shortie potty” is VERY SHORT. My two are very¬† young to be potty training and these are kinda too short for them!BABYBJORN Potty Chair Review

I’m buying one of these to keep in the car. Oh yeah. That’s right, my kids will be pottying in the back of my super cool minivan. Think about it, if you are on your own, driving any decent distance and you here “PEE Momma” from the backseat- you gotta do what you gotta do. NO WAY am I taking all 3 kiddos into a gas station or fast food bathroom without an assistant!61XHxDLrrAL._SL1000_

Three Day Potty Training starts after the holidays, in early January. This is the highly recommended way to potty train multiples. It isn’t written for multiples but all my MoM (Moms of Multiples) friends love it.

Thanks to their new love of the potty, and since bath time provides lots of naked time (aka easy access to the potties)- this is what bath time looks like these days.

6:20 boys sit on their potties as tub fills
6:21 catch them as they attempt to escape the bathroom
6:22 place them in tub
6:25 Stretch is told to keep the water in the bathtub
6:28 Squish says PEE and he is pulled and placed on his potty
6:29 Stretch says PEE and he is pulled and placed on his potty
6:30 they both stand up and are replaced back in the tub
6:36 Stretch is told to keep the water in the bathtub
6:38 Squish is told not to hit his brother with the rubber shark
6:39 Squish says PEE and he is pulled and placed on his potty
6:40 Stretch says PEE and he is pulled and placed on his potty
6:41 they both stand up and are replaced back in the tub
6:46 Stretch is told to keep the water in the bathtub
6:48¬†Stretch styles Squish’s hair
6:51¬†Stretch is told not to pull Squish’s hair
6:52 Squish says PEE and he is pulled and placed on his potty
6:53 Stretch says PEE and he is pulled and placed on his potty
6:54 they both stand up and are replaced back in the tub
6:59 Stretch is told to keep the water in the bathtub
7:05¬†Squish washes Stretch’s face
7:06¬†Squish is told to quit holding Stretch’s face under water
7:08 Stretch is told to keep the water in the bathtub
7:09 Mommy starts singing the clean up song
7:12 Mommy cleans up all the bath toys
7:13 Boys are removed from the bath tub and *poncho towels placed on
7:14 Squish says PEE, his towel is removed and he sits on his potty
7:15 Stretch says PEE, his towel is removed and he sits on his potty
7:16 Stretch pees on the potty and gets a treat
7:17 Squish won’t quit screaming TREAT! despite the logical argument from his Mother about the direct correlation of pee/poo to treats

Repeat 7 nights a week

*Poncho towels are pretty much the coolest thing for your toddler. It’s better than a regular wrap around, hooded towel because you slip in on over the the head. There is a hold in the middle and is requires an adult to remove it. Really handy when they run in opposite directions before you can get a diaper on them. You can find them on Amazon or if you are feeling crafty – here is a Poncho Towel Tutorial

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The Birth Story of Rory and Patrick

Meet Angela, one amazing momma. I have been wanting to share her Houston twin birth story for a while, finally getting around to it. So enjoy!

http://theparishfamily.blogspot.com/2014/03/the-birth-story-of-rory-and-patrick.html

 

Her boys are over 9mo now and she’s still nursing, keep up the good work momma!

 

 

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