There aren’t many aspects of parenting triplets that isn’t mind-boggling.

I learned early on (though I struggled for a while before learning) that thinking ahead will only send me into a panic. I probably sound blasé, but my approach on most future endeavors is “I’ll figure it out when I need to.”

Not only is parenting triplets different from parenting a singleton, twins, quadruplets or more, but parenting any single kid is different from parenting any single kid. Then you multiply the unique characteristics by three, factor in how each different kid builds from or feeds off two other different kids … you can see where I’m going. It’s the mother of all math problems. It can’t be figured out until it’s staring you in the face.

Toilet training. Holy mother of God, how does one toilet train triplets? SPOILER ALERT! You don’t. You toilet train three separate kids kinda sorta not really but maybe kinda sorta at the same time.

One was self-motivated to succeed. One was self-motivated to wear underwear but had no clue how to not keep them clean. One wanted nothing to do with underwear but was completely, independently successful at the toilet if left naked.

To sum up our 15-week journey to ditch wakeful-time diapers (one is out of naptime diapers, but all three are still in diapers overnight), we waited on them. That’s right, I basically let my triplets toilet train themselves. Is that a parenting win, or a parenting cop-out? Since they’re still months away from age 3, I’m calling it a total win.

The first jumped the gun and started asking for a dry diaper each time it was wet.

They say kids in cloth diapers toilet train sooner and with less difficulty, but we blew past that legendary (mythological?) average age of 18 months a long time ago. Despite attempting to bring down the length-in-cloth-diapers average, my kiddos stayed true to the claim that cloth-diapered children don’t like feeling wet and learn from that preference that wetness has no business in diapers, underwear or clothing.

I’ll admit. I tried all three at once when the first was ready. It was super duper extra special clear that the other two weren’t, so I amped up the energy and prayed peer pressure and jealousy would take effect.

Again, I’m either a parenting winner or loser, depending on how you look at it.

Once the first mastered the art of underwear time, we moved to diapered outings with the promise of using the bathroom on request, then to no-diaper outings. When waking from naps happened with a dry diaper, we ditched diapers then, too. We’ve had a few successful dry overnights, but I’m not that ambitious. Yet. Especially if that means setting an alarm to wake in the middle of the night for trips to the bathroom. Soon. Eventually. Not yet.

Twelve weeks after the first started her training attempts, the second started demanding underwear. No diapers would do, but no amount of encouragement or attempts could squeak out a success. Then the stars aligned, the angels sang, and a random attempt WORKED. Suddenly, lines got connected in that little brain. Point A goes to Point B goes to SKITTLES!

And then jealousy hit Triplet Number 3, who made us all say, “I TOLD YOU SO,” when the disdain for underwear took a back seat to 100 percent success and a steady flow of treats.

It took each kiddo about a week to go from diapers to full-time/day-time underwear. We had one solo adventure and one duo adventure. The accidents were few, considering the amount of liquid three bladders can hold, and HALLELUJAH, my wash load of diapers is dwindling.

We aren’t totally done with this adventure, but we’ve pretty much conquered the worst of it. MULTIPLIED BY THREE!

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10 Responses to L M N O Pee

  1. Kelli G says:

    Thank you!! This was so refreshing to read. I’m struggling with my almost-2-year-old twin boys. One doesn’t like to be in a wet diaper, but has no concept of how to actually accomplish active, voluntary peeing on the potty. The other couldn’t care less about being in a wet diaper, but loves to pee “on command” … his own command, wherever he feels like going. Gah! I keep telling myself that it’s just like anything else – they’re different eaters, sleepers, etc, so why would they potty train similarly? For now, I’m just letting them lead.

    One thing I’ll say about night time training with my oldest son, is that we never really pushed the issue with him. He just started waking up with a dry diaper and saying he had to go potty right away when he woke up. So we knew it was time to ditch the night time dipes. Now, I realize that this was probably a complete stroke of luck, but it’s another good reminder that letting our kids tell us what they’re ready for, when they’re ready for it can be really good for everyone (when appropriate, of course!).

  2. With my girls I did the same, let them each “decide” when they were ready to potty train. Well, at least after day one of me thinking I could potty train them at the same time. Lexie was all for it & potty trained in a week the first time we tried but Lilah was all, “whoa, back this potty train up!”. She potty trained in a week, too, but about six months later! Like you said, they are still each an individual kid so trying to make them fit not one mold just because they are twins doesn’t always work. GO, CTE, GO!

    • Jenny says:

      Yes, yes, yes! It’s so hard to break from the group mentality when a lot of daily life is all-for-one-and-one-for-all, but there are just some things that are made for individuals. Using the bathroom is one!

  3. Heather says:

    Bless you for posting this! I think one of mine is close but not there quite yet. The other? Yeah, she’s still clueless & could care less. Thank you for validating my feelings of not trying to train both at the same time.

    • Jenny says:

      You’re welcome! Good luck with the adventure. It’s interesting though totally not the nightmare I envisioned.

  4. Gail says:

    As someone who started following you when I was TTCing and you were newly pregnant with the triplets, (I’ve since stopped and am living child-free) I only drop by your blog every once in a while. I like your writing style and how up-beat you are about everything, so even though we are worlds apart, I just wanted you to know that I enjoy visiting your world for a few minutes every once in a while and I’m always guaranteed a smile.

    I also have to thank you for not giving us a blow-by-blow description of potty training over the last 15 weeks. I’ve read and followed many bloggers who have children and can’t tell you how many have lost me as a reader when all they choose to write about is the successes/defeats of potty training for weeks on end. I get it, it’s tough, but I really don’t want to hear about poop and pee for weeks on end. Thankfully, you seem to get this. Seeing it all in one short blog entry that sums up 15 weeks was perfect. I get that it was frustrating and that there were lots of messes, but I appreciate not seeing photos or getting the gross details of EVERY.SINGLE.TIME the kids went to the bathroom. You are awesome! Keep writing and I’ll keep visiting!

  5. The Mommy says:

    I can’t imagine. I’ve only got singletons (4), but I agree that each child is definitely unique! I made the mistake with my first of trying too soon and it took us for-ev-ah to do. My second trained himself (literally, woke up one day and said, “I’m going to use the potty now” and never looked back) and my girls both had their issues but we’re thankfully past this stage.

    I just wanted to mention that you can’t “train” night-time dryness. If you have a bed-wetter, you have a bed-wetter. It’s often hereditary (as in our case) but not always. It’s truly a developmental thing and not something you can make happen. Just a heads-up to not be disappointed or put too much stock into any “plan” for making it happen. It just will…eventually. And it might not be until they’re 8, 10, or even older.

  6. I can’t imagine. I’ve only got singletons (4), but I agree that each child is definitely unique! I made the mistake with my first of trying too soon and it took us for-ev-ah to do. My second trained himself (literally, woke up one day and said, “I’m going to use the potty now” and never looked back) and my girls both had their issues but we’re thankfully past this stage.

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