Potty Training Triplets – Update

Potty training triplets is not for the faint hearted. It seems that my mantra during these days is, “You can wash your hands with soap.” I say this to myself constantly as I encounter all types of undesirable outcomes and my hands often come into contact with all sorts of elements and germs. Oh my, the germs. Best not to think about them for too long. Although it is very necessary to think about them because the triplets certainly do not think about the wealth of virus, germs and diseases that can be associated with toilets and all areas within its vicinity. I am not a germaphobic my heart is so often quivering as I see them enthusiastically embrace the toilet bowl and put their hands in regions that hands should not be.

When I started potty training I thought I would follow the triplets progress here on the blog. Then my blog got broken and I lost the momentum. So, I will give you an update of what has been happening in the month or two since.

Firstly. My success story. The girl.

I’m so proud of Imogen. She was pretty well potty trained during the day within the first month. A lot of people had said that she would be easier to potty train. I made no assumptions. My sister has three daughters and two sons, and her sons have been far easier to potty train then the daughters. I’m very happy for her that she fulfilled the stereotypical prophecy and is confident going to the potty, and in fact now she favours the big toilet. Go girl power!

It was obvious right from the start that she had excellent bladder control. Initially Immy found the whole concept of the toilet abhorrent. Therefore, she was holding on for hours at a time until she had a nappy put on her or until she just couldn’t hold on anymore and then the currents would gush. I had stopped her sleeping in nappies during the day so she wouldn’t be waiting for them, but she was still holding on.

The first time we had a waterfall in the potty she looked at me, completely disgusted as it happened and then gave me the cold shoulder for about an hour afterwards. I had been sitting watching a TV show with her while she sat on the pot, stroking her back because she desperately needed to go, but didn’t want to do it and didn’t want to sit still enough for it to happen. When it did happen her looks and actions communicated very clearly, “That was so disgusting. I can’t believe you made me do that. Peeing into a nappy is so much more civilised.”

potty training triplets
During the ‘Make Imogen Relax So She Does a Wee’ period. Big brother Trent was very caring. He’s stroking her back for her while she grudgingly watched TV.

The breakthrough moment came when I started dishing up bribes. We now have potty lollies situated in our pantry. They are housed in this particularly stunning one of it’s kind art on a jar. Made by eldest when he was in Kindy. Despite it’s looks, it isn’t anything sinister. It’s a self portrait, and at the time, he was keen on including bones in all drawings of people. The poor love also worked out at a later stage of his development that his arms don’t grow out the sides of his head.

Rewards for Potty Training Triplets/Multiples

It turns out that children will do amazing things for an M&M, not the least of which includes peeing in a potty. After the first day of potty lollies, Imogen was up bright and early, parked her potty at my feet while I worked on the computer and sat there for almost an hour until a wee was produced!

Girl on potty
OK, so it was first thing in the morning, she still had bed hair and breakfast on her face.

Within a day or so, she had worked out what the feeling was and knew when to head to the potty. By the end of the week she was taking herself to the toilet to wee and poo. Champion child. She still does love her nappies which she wears at nights. She is known to immediately do a wee in them when she gets it on after bath time, which is a little disappointing, but hey, I haven’t had to clean up any dirty pants for over a month now of hers, so I can easily forgive her transgressions.

Potty Training Toddler Girl
Proud big brother again.

The boys on the other hand. Well, it is discouraging work to say the least. They also love receiving potty lollies. They will go to the toilet most of the time when asked, and are very good at peeing on demand in order to receive chocolate. However they hardly ever take themselves to the toilet and will happily wee all over their clothes and remain that way until discovered sopping wet and smelly. Never, ever have they done a poo in the potty. Which means that I have cleaned countless dirty pants. And my boys are great at dirtying said pants many times a day. And to gross you out further, they mostly don’t produce the lumps that you just drop into the toilet. There pants are more likely the take into the backyard, put in a garden bed and hose down with a high power hose. Come springtime, our garden is going to be positively blooming with all the organic fertiliser I am dosing it with.

On Saturday I declared that I was giving up and putting them back in nappies. They have worn nappies the previous two days, but really it didn’t have anything to do with my declaration, we were just out of the house both days, and I only take the boys out of the house in pants for short trips. For obvious reasons. Imogen always leaves the house in pants now, because when she needs to go she asks. The boys don’t and while I clean them up, there needs to be someone else around to watch the other two. Also, ever since they were newborns, the identical boys mostly toilet in sync. So while I’m cleaning one up, the other is normally waiting dirty or wet, so it’s a very time consuming process while out and leaves me spending far too much in public bathrooms, which are one of the least desirable places to hang out in.

The reason why I am hesitating, is the can go to the toilet for wees. They just need the prompting. It seems a shame to go back on all our hard work. Also, my in home carer, Miss Stacey, has been doing a great job with toi

let training, and it feels like I would be giving up on her work too. (Sidenote: I’m grateful that she has also cleaned up her fair share of dirty pants also. One of the yuckiest jobs in the world.) To be truthful she’s a lot better and reminding them to go to the toilet. Normally I am so busy doing other things I will forget. Either that, they will be really focussed on an activity, so I give them a bit longer before insisting on them doing the trip to the bathroom and the inevitable happens during that time.

Another reason for persisting with the pants and just putting up with cleaning dirty and wet pants is that triplets are all about equality. This is one of the reasons we have been potty training together. They are very good at looking at each other and demanding the same treatment. I’m afraid that if I start putting nappies on the others Immy could regress, because like I’ve said, she still loves her nappies. She may have meltdowns and stop going to the toilet in defiance to being the only kid in pants.

I have a feeling that come the warm weather the boys will go a lot better having no pants on. I think it will give them a better awareness of when they were going. That’s the way it was with my 2nd son anyway. He would go to the toilet (he never used the potty, which was fine with me) if he had no pants on, but if he had pants on then he would always wet them.

And so, here I am today. They are still in the jammies and I’m trying to decide which way to go pants – nappies. Let me know what you think!

Toddler Triplets Eating
I thought I should include a photo of the triplets fully clothed. It does illustrate the triplets are all for equality though. Look at Immy checking out she had the same lunch as Jayden!

Linking up today with Essentially Jess for I Blog On Tuesday. (IBOT)

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17 Comments

  1. Potty training triplets? You’re a hero! I can see you dilemma about nappies or no nappies… For all it’s worth from my experience, it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. You could do pants at home and nappies outside (or when it gets too much). But then I’ve never had to toilet train triplets…

  2. Thanks Tat. We are doing a bit of both, normally when in public they wear nappies and after baths. I would like to leave nappies on a bit longer until after the number 2’s are finished, but there’s no set time for them, and as I said, it’s often more than once, so there’s no sure thing there.

  3. Toilet training is the worst part of parenting for me. I have 3 boys and I keep procrastinating about Mr 2 because I am not sure I can face it again. I could not imagine TT 3 kids at once. My hero!!

  4. Oh Caitlin!!! I don’t envy you. Training three at a time is hard going. I would say go pants and keep it consistent. Good luck xx

  5. Toilet training is no fun I have 3 singletons and have not enjoyed doing it singly the 2 times I have let alone if I had to do it all at once xx Kudos to you!

  6. Caitlin they are just gorgeous! So so cute – but potty training triplets – there really needs to some sort of award for that – or at least a night off for mummy to put her feet up! Good luck and I hope this part of the parenting ride passes soon xx Josefa #teamIBOT

  7. I am right there with you! I’m sure if I had just ONE child to potty train that Ellie would be done, but since there are 3, and only one of the boys is really interested in it, It’s chaos; but they’re all interested in playing in the bathroom!

    This was actually the one thing I’ve dreaded since finding out I was pregnant with triplets…potty training.

  8. I’m no real help Caitlin. I just did a few days of telling them what it was about then never worried about it again. Eventually they all just started going on their own. I would normally suggest that, but it’s harder in this case because of Immy. Maybe she can have a bigger reward to keep her interested? Or will that cause dramas?

  9. Wow what a task! 3 at once is seriously hard going. I agree with the other comments, all or nothing otherwise the children get confused. I made the mistake of pussy-footing about with my daughter going back and forth with nappies/pants and it took forever to properly train her in the end. Always best to coincide potty training with the warmer months for obvious reasons and I will try that again with my youngest once he’s old enough to potty train. Best of luck, they’ll get there!

  10. Ah it takes me back. I ended up doing my twins quite a few months apart as one was just not interested. I did go back to pull up nappies for a while with both of them as it just wasn’t working for us, and the next time I tried again it was much easier. With three I bet it’s really tricky, especially if they’re competitive and all expect the same treatment (my boys never really cared about what each other was doing which made it a little easier to do them at different times). Good luck! I’m exhausted just thinking about all of your washing! Loving that jar though. xx

  11. Thanks. We are persisting at this stage. I would have loved to do it in the warmer months, I guess I just wanted to do it before they were three, and they certainly weren’t ready in the summer at the beginning of the year. I’m sure they’ll get there soon. (Please God!)

  12. This week I introduced ‘potty bananas’ as a step up from potty lollies. They were all very excited about the prospect. As yet, no one has earned it. Even Immy who was doing poos on the toilet has decided to wait until she gets her night nappy on now and then let it rip. Sigh.

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