Remember this post? Just one year and 3 months later here we are…dare I say, potty trained?
I cannot tell you the sense of liberation that I feel. To quote myself, “Let me begin by saying I LOATH potty training.”
Ella will be four in June and while some of you might think 3 years 10 months is a little old to be wearing diapers, children with Down Syndrome have some serious obstacles to overcome in the toileting department. First of all, muscle tone, and consequently, control. Second, sensory issues – they just don’t feel that they are wet or don’t care. And the third one is for everyone out there that think that children with DS are never ill-tempered: down. right. stubbornness. It is not uncommon for children to be 6, 7, or even 10 before they are potty trained. They do it when they want to. Botton line.
So how did we do it? Well, as mentioned in the first edition of the potty diaries, I don’t do the 3 day thing. I don’t like cleaning up pee or other excrement off my floor so we did the gradual method. As our OT says, we did nothing normal nor conventional so she had nothing to offer when she joined us half way through the journey.
I started by buying a small potty, encouraged Ella to have her dolls use the potty, sat her on the potty and eventually she learned that when you sat on the potty, you went. The problem was that she would never empty her bladder and obviously didn’t use it every time. The next stage was that she would go every time she was on, and would sign potty if she was naked, but the moment cloth hit her butt, it was game off. Panties, pants, the couch, your lap. Game over and frustration mounted.
The thing that seemed to help was novelty. New bathrooms, store bathrooms, or new potties.
The one and only item that I will plug here, is the stool we are borrowing from our OT. Unlike other stools it has handles on the sides and Ella can easily and safely take herself to the toilet.
There were many time I thought we were stuck for good and would be dishing out money on diapers FOREVER until last week when I said, “I’m done buying diapers. Enough is enough.”
And put her in panties.
The thing about all human nature is that we are lazy, so if mommy is going to put Ella in a diaper, then why would Ella use the potty. Silly mommy.
We had a few accidents the first day, but then she would start to go and realize that she didn’t have a pull up on and run to the bathroom. The other day at ballet, she even went to the bathroom before class and went #2. I took this a huge victory….yes, I am devoting a whole post to talking about excrement.
So here we are, day 5. Daddy was being Mr. Mom and missed the go-potty-before-a-car-ride memo but aside from that, we are doing great. Ella has given up signing potty and just heads to the bathroom which can be problematic but at least she knows and it was just a matter of this mommy having a little confidence. And of course, we are still in pull-ups at night but that my friends is our Potty Training story. Can we have a little happy dance please?
Have a great weekend!