Although we have felt like our boys have been ready to potty train for awhile now, we’ve put it off because WE were scared. Is that even okay? Probably not. That should probably go down as a “parent fail” considering we held our children back from reaching their full potty training potential at an earlier age. BUT, nonetheless we planned it out and executed our potty training boot camp two days after their 2 year birthday.
I had researched and read some articles about potty training twin boys, and they all had one thing in common: they all had a nanny. What? Boy, that sure would make it easy. I, however, am a mostly stay at home mom that does not have the help of a nanny. So, I went to Nathan. We decided that it would be best to take on this endeavor with a one adult to one kid ratio, so he would take some time off work to help.
We decided on a week and put it on our schedules. Nathan took off Wednesday-Friday of this past week and we planned out what we called “Potty Training Bootcamp”. I’m not gonna lie we were scared. Like “almost couldn’t sleep Tuesday night” scared. That sounds so ridiculous, I know. We had decided that we were going to totally accomplish potty training both boys by the end of the week. We had no idea what we were doing considering we had never potty trained a kid before. We had our potties, undies, and rewards all laid out and ready to go.
Day 1: Wednesday Morning
The boys woke up and we explained to them what was going to happen. They needed to pee pee in their potties from now on and we were going to set a timer to remind them. We stripped them down to their t-shirts and socks so that they would be ready to go at any given time. Every 20 minutes the timer went off we enthusiastically said, “Potty time!!” and then we would make our way to the bathroom and sit them on their potties. And we would sit, and sit and eventually they would want to get up so we would set our timer to 20 minutes again. Repeat this scenario for three hours. We had not had a single drop of urine come close to a potty. We had plenty off pee peeing going on. On the bedroom door, in the living room, in the bedroom, but none in the potty. We had decided to forget about the stupid timer because it was only causing us stress.
We moved our tactics into the bathroom where we closed the doors and sat. We sat in the bathroom for the rest of the day, only emerging to find a morsel of food in the kitchen and bring it back to the bathroom. But around noon on day 1, as we were about to sink into a pit of defeated despair, Maverick’s potty started singing. At first I wondered why. But then I realized that he had peed! (Their potties sing a song when there is success) Nathan and I jumped up and started doing a dance. We were singing, clapping and celebrating! I had never been so genuinely excited to see urine as I was right then. Maverick was rewarded with two m&m’s. He was so excited that mere minutes later he peed two more times in his potty! We were ecstatic.
Maxton wanted to partake of the “treats” as they called them, but we had to remind him that Bubba only got his treat because he peed in his potty. That was hard. I didn’t want Maxton to not understand why Maverick got an m&m and he didn’t. But, we stuck to our guns. Maxton finally had a success. Well, it was more of a halfway success. He started peeing on the bathroom vanity and Nathan saw it happening so he grabbed him and aimed it at his potty. Nathan helped him get enough into the potty that it began to sing to him. This meant that he got his two m&m’s now too.
We continued sitting in the bathroom for the rest of the day. Our rewards began to morph as we discovered what interested the boys. They were giddy with excitement about flushing the potty, so whoever pee peed got to flush the potty. This was a huge reward to them.
Day 2: Thursday
We were still feeling a little anxious about our plan to have potty training near completed by the weekend, but we were too invested to quit at this point. The boys requested that we use the timer on this morning, so we did, but for just a little while. We went back to our “everybody’s locked in the bathroom” tactic. This method ensured that they could not get out of our sights, which in turn ensured that we would not miss an opportunity to have a success in the potty.
We started a new reward system on this day. Stickers! We would let them choose a sticker after each success, and then they would get to choose where on our poster they wanted to put their sticker. They loved this. We kept our chart displayed in the bathroom for them to see and remind them of their successes.
We emerged from the house this day, but only because we had to take the boys to their doctor’s appointment for their 2 year well visit. We had them wear their underwear. While at the doctor’s office they each requested to go pee pee. So, we took them. We didn’t have success. Maverick peed as soon as we got back to the exam room, but of course we just changed him and assured him it was okay. But then, as soon as we got home Maxton went straight to his potty and peed. We were amazed! He had held it all that time!
Later in the day they started saying “pee pee potty” and when we would take them, they would go. Maxton even started standing up while peeing, and he seemed to have much more success. I guess he just wasn’t comfortable sitting. Of course it didn’t take Maverick long to catch on to this standing up method. Unfortunately for us, Maverick’s aim isn’t quite as good as Maxton’s. haha
Day 3: Friday
Everyone woke up with dry diapers and when we took them to their potties they both went. It was amazing! All day long, they would tell us when they needed to go, and hold it until we got to the potty. We left the house on Friday to visit my grandparents and we brought one potty with us. The boys used their potty at my grandparents house and had NO accidents while away from home!
Day 4: Saturday
Maverick and Maxton both peed in their potties after waking up. They did not have any accidents all morning. We decided to go out for more than just an hour or so and see how it went. They boys wore their undies again. We ran several errands and went out to eat. After each stop we would put the potty in the front seat of the truck and ask if they needed to use it. If they said “No” we didn’t make them try, but if they said nothing, we had them try. And you know what. It worked! They peed into their potty with it sitting in the front seat of the truck about 5 or 6 times while we were out. Of course then I would try to nonchalantly find a random bush in the parking lot to dump it onto. Oh my. So embarrassing.
I would say that “Potty Training Bootcamp” is definitely the way to go! Forcing them to focus on nothing other than pee peeing in the potty for several days seemed to work for us. Of course today as I was dressing them for church one of them peed all over their clothes laying on the floor. But, he was laughing, so I’m not totally convinced that this was an accident. Typical boy, I guess.
I’m sure we have more accidents in the future, and they haven’t fully mastered going poo in their potties yet,but overall I am positive that it was a well spent 4 days of bootcamp.