This post is the first in one of what I can only assume will be multi-part series I have dubbed “The Potty Training Diaries”, and is for all of you potty training veterans; especially those who have potty-trained multiples before. I am at my wits end with my 2 and 3/4-year-old twin girls.
Here is some background info: we made our first attempt at potty training in December and we quickly realized the girls were just not ready. So, we stopped and tried again in the spring when they seemed a bit more interested. Still not ready.
We finally started back up in May because they were showing most of the classic signs that it was time to train. They told us they wanted their diaper changed (sometimes, haha), let us know when they had gone to the bathroom, woke up with dry diapers on occasion, were able to put their clothes on and take them off, and just really began showing interest in the toilet and bathroom in general.
We spend most of our days naked or in underwear. We have two little portable potties we keep in the family room and two toddler potty seats for the two main bathrooms. They do great with peeing on the potty (especially when naked). We have utilized a sticker chart and M&M rewards for going on the potty and they absolutely love getting their stickers and treats (more about this system in a future installment of the Potty Diaries). Heck we probably filled up a half a dozen potty charts each!
However, when we put on their pull-up or diaper for naptime (not ready to let them go to bed without those on yet) THEY FREAKING POOP IN THEM. It is like they save their number twos for those exact times, on purpose. I will say, Rowe does a decent job of pooping on the potty if she hast to go when it is naked or underwear; but if she hast to go during pull-up time she goes in those rather than on the potty.
Lennon is a completely different story. She will dance around the house squeezing her little cheeks together and refuse to poop on the potty. She prefers to drop a trail of poop on the floor rather than in the potty! Sometimes she will hold it for HOURS (we know because she does her poop dance here and there) until naptime so that she can go in her pull-up!! WHY?!?!
A lot of people have suggested that we quite diapers and pull-ups cold turkey an only wear underwear. That once they’ve had a few accidents in their pants they’ll realize they don’t like it and will start using the potty. Well newsflash people; my girls march to the beat of their own drum. They don’t seem very bothered by wet pants They just strip down and continue about naked. And Nick and I are left with a gazillion loads of laundry and daily carpet cleaning. We don’t have time for that with a teething baby!
In fact, there have been four times in the past six months that they have pooped during nap or bedtime and taken off their pajamas and rubbed their poop all over their bedroom, each other, their toys, you name it. I HAVE RAISED ANIMALS.
Here is a video in case you don’t believe me!
*For use of this video, please email email@example.com
For my girls, poop might as well be play doh. They don’t seem to comprehend, or believe, that it’s yucky/stinky and that poop is meant for the potty and should not be played with. Here is what we have done about this issue so far:
- Putting them on the potty before naptime and before bedtime religiously. They don’t go. But we continue to try this…
- Putting them to bed in onesies. They can pull they diapers out from the bottom.
- Putting them to bed in footless pajamas put on backward – they escape. They are toddler Houdini‘s. And they “help” each other.
- Keep a little potty in their bedroom and allow them to wear two-piece pajamas in hopes that they would take off their pants and poop in the potty (we told them to yell to us through the monitor to come get it). This lead to poopsplosion number 3.
- Watch them like hawks on the monitor for any signs of a striptease. Easier said than done when you have things to do around the house and an infant with needs also. In the three minutes it took Nick to make his lunch the other day the girls had stripped down and had a poop party.
- Footless pajamas on backward with a onesie on OVER them. For the times we tried this, they did not escape. However, think about how often your potty training toddler asks to sit on the potty. Especially when it’s time for bed. They ask repeatedly. Add in another child asking to do the same and you’re likely to go insane. And you’re pretty much taking pajamas on and off and setting them on the potty for a good hour before they give it up. Having to take off and put back on a onesie AND backward pajamas is extremely tedious.
- We have removed virtually everything from their bedroom (so much for that super cute nursery I put together). They basically have their bed, a dresser with a monitor, sound machine and humidifier on top, and they each have two stuffed animals and one book each. We thought maybe this would keep them from getting hyped up and promote “quiet” time. Nope.
- We are currently using “no-escape” pajamas from Little Sleeper Keeper. They are the most expensive pajamas I have ever purchased for a toddler (times two) who will probably grow out of them tomorrow. So far so good with those, however; I can’t shake the feeling that no-escape PJs are counterproductive. I mean, we are trying to encourage our children to take off their underwear or pull-ups when they have to use the restroom. This makes it physically impossible…
Several people have suggested that we put them in separate bedrooms. We have one spare bedroom but we use it as more than just a bedroom; it is a catchall. In addition, the bed is on a high bedframe and there are several things in that room that are not kid-friendly. Turning that room into a safe space for one of the twins just sounds like a nightmare. I also know that they love sharing a room and I hate to take that away from them and use these potty training issues as almost a punishment. Thus, at this time that is not an option and would serve as a last stitch effort.
So please, potty training experts, tell me what to do! Has anyone else out their had a similar experience? Does anyone have any recommendations on how to instill the idea that poop is meant for the potty and is not for playing with? I am pretty sure they think that their number twos are funny, and once they touch it they know they will get a bath (and they love baths). We are at a loss with this and are just not sure how to move forward with potty training.
Someone please save us from our poop Picassos; there are only so many more poopy rooms we can bear to clean up!!