Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Twelve days of toilet training two year old twin boys

This isn't a story about how to toilet train in three days. This isn't a story about waiting until the right time and then it being super easy. This isn't a story of it being disastrous. This is just a story about what we did and how it worked for us.

With the boys having a few developmental delays, I had assumed that we wouldn't toilet train for a while. However, since things started coming together for them they just haven't stopped. The latest thing was Master S constantly wanting to sit on the toilet. It was driving me crazy. In the end, I decided if I was going to spend half my day reading to him on the toilet then we may as well give toilet training a go. I looked at the calendar and picked a week in May when we didn't have much on. We went to the shops and bought 15 pairs of undies (huh! as if that was enough) and fortunately around the same time received a box of hand me downs which included another 12 sets of undies. 

We did three things to prepare. One - I started to talk to the boys about how they would wear undies soon and not need nappies. Two - We switched to using cloth nappies overnight as well as during the day just because I think they can feel the dampness more in cloth. Surely that has to help with awareness. Three - I started putting them on the toilet whenever they showed interest and we actually did get a few poos in.

Then one Thursday afternoon I decided we couldn't wait another month. I texted Ed to make sure he was ok with us giving it a go. He responded with a yes at 4.30pm. We'll call this Day 0.

Day 0. 4.30pm. I rolled up all the rugs in the house, put the toddler seats on both toilets, announced that children weren't allowed on the sofa for the time being (which Miss Nearly 4 was strangely compliant with), put the undies on, took this cute photo and sent it to Ed. By the time I'd hit send, I had to change the undies. By bedtime there had been seven accidents. 

Day 1. I wasn't expecting any success so it didn't matter that I was on my own. The boys have a terrible habit of pooing in bed just as they wake up so I lept in and got them out of their cots as soon as I heard sounds. I was there in time. Success I thought! 

That wasn't the only success we had for the day. We also got most of a poo in the toilet but by nap time we had been through 24 pair of undies. It was constant. It was comical. I wasn't worried. I remembered that my daughter had been similar on her first day but she got there eventually.

Day 2. Ed was home and things were a lot easier. We had a few successes and only 16 sets of undies to wash at nap time. We'd also been to swimming lessons so they undoubtedly weed in the pool but they didn't wee in the car so I was happy with that. 

Day 3. Only one accident each all day! I was amazed. Ed and I were high-fiving each other. I was beginning to think those stories about toilet training in three days weren't mythical.

Day 4. Massive regression. Worst day by far. Ed was back at work so I was on my own. It was really hard. Most of the accidents happened during the morning rush when I was busy cleaning up breakfast, hanging out the washing and putting the groceries that had been delivered away. It took me 1.5 hours to put the groceries away and we still had multiple accidents during this time. 

Master S had a few successes but on two occasions while I was helping him, Master L had accidents. This is when back-up would have been good. I considered buying a potty to put next to one of the toilets so I could be with both of them at the same time but that would mean leaving the house and we certainly weren't up to that. 

By bed time that day, I was feeling like a failure. How could they regress so much? It didn't help that Miss Nearly 4 decided to turn into a monster on this day as well. Clearly she was sick of being stuck at home. So was I. We weren't a happy household. 

Day 5. My friend took Miss Nearly 4 out for the morning. She deserved a break. So did I but that wasn't going to happen. There were still quite a few accidents (more than Day 4) but also quite a few successes. I felt like we were back on track. 

Day 6. I was babysitting another 4 year old which I know sounds crazy but it actually worked nicely. He and Miss Nearly 4 played pretty independently so I was free to keep an eye on the boys. I also had a friend come over in the afternoon. Slightly fewer accidents but still nowhere near the success of Day 3.

Day 7. We had to leave the house to go to the toy library. Apparently the message was received that they weren't to wee in the car. We got there. I told them each how wonderful they were. We walked inside and they both immediately weed on the floor. It was a little bit funny. There were only two more accidents that day though so we were nearly back to Day 3 standard. I was happy. 

Day 8. Ed had the day off work and I wanted to get out of the house. We went to the zoo. The first time I took them to the public toilets they screamed and ran away. Not sure if this was because they didn't need to go or because they didn't like the adult-sized toilets. The second time there was a toddler seat and they both did a wee. Hooray. 

We got home all dry and it was looking like being an accident free day. That was until we went to a friend's house for dinner. It was noisy. It was new. The toilet was upstairs. We were downstairs. They both had accidents.

Day 9. Unremarkable day. A few accidents each.

Day 10. When I decided to kick-off the toilet training, I knew we had the Playschool concert to go to on this day and had decided that if we had to we would just put nappies on them. We decided to risk it. No problems at all! We got there and back and didn't even visit a toilet. Winning! S still had a couple of accidents later in the day but L had his first accident free day and we were feeling great again! 

Day 11. Another unremarkable day. A few accidents each. 

Day 12. Ed was back at work. I was braced for regression but I was rewarded with success. Accident free all round! Hip hip hooray! We did it! 

It was a tough 12 days but it was worth it. We spent a lot of quality time at home. We read a lot of books and we did a lot of puzzles.

I'm under no illusions that it's all done and dusted. I know there will be accidents and frustrations and they'll be hanging out in their undies for a while longer. It's not over yet but it's the afternoon of Day 13 now and so far so good. I'm very pleased.

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