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Dear mothers,

I feel a bit overwhelmed and lost at the moment and I was looking for some advice for one of my twins and maybe some tips for ECing twins... I did a google search "elimination communication twins" and there wasn't even one entry! LOL

My identical twin girls are almost 10 months old now. They were born at 33w pregnancy and weighted 3.2 and 3.5 pounds so they are a bit small for their age but otherwise fine and healthy. They are purely breast fed and practicing baby-led weaning which is going great.

We started EC at around 5-6 months old. We started with the first morning pee and poo and gradually offered more and more over time. They were getting it well I think and were using the bucket quite a lot. About one and a half months ago we started full time, they went nappy free most of the time so I could get in tune into their natural rythms. It was overwhelming at the beginning, but after a couple of weeks I started to learn more and catch more. Until a couple of weeks ago when TW1 started to stop using the bucket randomly, making smaller pees, holding doing nothing and then peeing on the floor... It seems to have worsened over time, there doesn't seem to be a pattern any more. She pees more often than she used to as well. TW2 is doing well and we keep improving. They are both teething on and off, they have been for the last few weeks. TW1 is about to crawl and TW2 started a few days ago. I know these can be reasons for the hole thing to go astray but is it really like this? Could this be a food sensitivity?? Sometimes I wonder. Could it be that she is just playing and experimenting with her new awareness and control over the bladder? I tried to relax and see it as just a fase but she's peeing often and randomly so I spend the day cleaning up after accidents... And I have another one to pay attention to. It was getting very stressful for me and my husband (he helps but its mainly me). Yesterday I put nappies back on TW1 because I just can't cope with 2 babies, one peeing all over the place... I did it to be able to relax a bit, I was going crazy. I keep offering on waking, after nursing, first in the morning... but I stopped for a bit trying to understand and catch. Any insights on this? How would you mums proceed? What do you think? I know teething and developmental stages can have this effect but do you think is the case? The other one is doing so well... I'm worried it can be a food sensitivity, and insights on this? They both are dry at night, even TW1.

ECing twins can be frustrating, as I know one needs to go and I just can't hold her because I'm nursing or holding the other one... Or cleaning after one and then the other one goes... Believe me, is crazy. Especially the mornings when they pee more often. Anyone out there with twin experience?

Thanks in advance!
 

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Mama, you are doing phenomenal, pat yourself on the back, first of all!! :)

I think it is wonderful that you are ECing your girls together and, as interesting/challenging as ECing one child can be, two at the same time is going to be harder. But... does that mean there is anything going on for TW1?

What you are saying doesn't outright concern me at all. I don't read anything in your post that suggests to me that she has a dietary or food issue. Do you see any sign of a urinary infection? That is the only thing I can think of that might cause a change in amount and willingness to freely urinate.

If not, I (humbly, with my very limited twin experience and only ECing a singleton) suggest it might help to look at it this way: Try to view each child on its own. View each girl and her ECing experience as if that were your only baby right now. Would you have concerns or does it seem like normal, developmental kinds of dips/bumps in the ECing road? If it is then perhaps your only "problem" is comparing the two of them to each other.

Each girl may adapt to ECing differently and, more importantly, during a huge developmental stage like learning to crawl, may react differently in her ECing attention (more or less) while learning that new skill. I realise that you have monozygotic twins, but that doesn't make them clones of each other (k/d) :) In fact, the very existence of the other twin doing something specific (like crawling a day or two earlier, or successfully ECing) might impact the other one - with the result that the other one's ECing shift or timing to crawl may be affected by the sister. I hope I am making sense to you. :)

I guess I am saying that, unless you see a specific concern about one of your girls, on her own without comparing what her sister is doing at the same time in ECing, then you and they are doing just fine. You said yourself that you know that teething and developmental stages can impact ECing in the moment. I think that is likely what is happening here. Interestingly, besides them being their own individuals, consider the possibility that, if one of them is getting attention for some particular reason, the EC response from the other girl may be an (inadvertent) attention-getting response, also. :)

All that to say, keep doing what you are doing and if and when you need a break, don't worry about it; they can handle nappies or bare bums.... in fact, I think you are giving them an amazing communication gift that will always benefit them, in that you are communicating with them in a language that they also will be communicating with each other in; EC.

Ideas: if you find that they are entertained by each other, maybe do some (more?) sign language with each of them to engage them at the same time in ECing communication. For example, even while you are ECing one girl and you see that the other girl can't hold it and wets herself, talk them both through that: "Sally is peeing in the potty and mama can't help Jenny right now, but it's okay to pee in your nappy, Jenny. Then your nappy will be wet and we will put a dry one on. Then, next time Jenny will go on the potty first and stay dry." Or variations on that kind of thing.

If you have the support, try spending some special EC time with each girl on her own, just "you-time". That may do the trick, also. I'll bet that, sometimes, they are just as overwhelmed with their existence and people around them as you are...a bit of chill and "mama-time" never hurts. Finally, I don't know if you have general potties for all or not. But, maybe they would benefit from each also having their own, individual-looking potty, something special that just she uses?

Sorry if much of this is repeat or old to you. I tried to think of how I would approach it in your situation, without having any of your current frustrations ;)

Good luck with it and I am sure it will all resolve itself in no time at all. If one girl ends up being totally nappy-free without incidents before her sister eventually, so what? That is more likely than not going to be the case anyway in a lot of things in their lives, right? They will motivate each other to catch up to the other. But, they are still individuals. :) :)

ETA: And sometimes it's just fun to see what it looks like to pee on the floor... or the carpet, or the couch, or on my sister.... haha, maybe that is just going to be your mischievous one!!
 
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