The Trouble with Potty Training Twins

Timing Is Everything

Most important, you don't want to miss your daughters' potty training "window of opportunity." That window refers to the time when a child is eager, interested, and willing to use the toilet. This is the time when the child's body is ready to hold in the urine and stool, and the child's brain receives a message that indicates the need to go. The child holds in the pee or poop until reaching the toilet and then releases it.

Some families get so busy with other activities that they miss this window. When this occurs the child becomes accommodated to living in diapers or disposable training pants and then potty training becomes much more difficult. You want to avoid this situation.

Potty training is only the first of many "turn taking" challenges you'll face with your twins. There will be others: taking turns on the computer, practicing the piano, and later driving the car. You can't have two of everything. So along with the benefits of your girls learning to use the toilet will come the added advantage of them knowing how to take turns.

Jan Faull, MEd, is a veteran parent educator and the author of four parenting books, including Darn Good Advice -- Baby and Darn Good Advice -- Parenting. She writes a biweekly parenting advice column for this site and a weekly parenting advice column in the Seattle Times. Jan Faull is the mother of three grown children and lives in the Seattle area.

Originally published on, February 2006.

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