Thursday, December 6, 2012

Potty Training Meeting

Chloe's OT invited me to a meeting last night. The meeting is a regular meeting between the special needs parents, teacher, and various therapists. They cover different topics at each meeting and invite special guest experts. Chloe isn't in the special needs class so we don't normally attend but this week they covered potty training. Knowing my interest in this topic Chloe's OT invited me to join them.

The special guests were the special needs kindergarden teachers who often get kids in diapers and magically potty train them in Kindergarden. I was a little skeptical that they could help and prepared myself against disappointment but was also open-minded.

They gave some great tips:
- Once your child is big enough, change them in the standing up position and at the potty. This will reinforce the idea that elimination and the potty go together and that they're not a baby. My jaw dropped. I always change Chloe laying down.
-The teachers said it was easier for them to change diapers with tabs but I thought pull ups might be easier for me so I made a note to start pull-ups.
-Encourage your child to use their thumbs and pull their pants down themselves. Chloe has weak hands and thumbs and usually opposes using them to remove clothing. I almost always dress/undress her so this is definitely something we can work on.

They also made some comments that I thought would be helpful for the future.
-Once your child is ready to potty train switch them to panties and use pull-ups only at night. Commit and don't ever go back. Avoid the store for a couple of weeks if needed but do NOT put a pull-up on for the store because that creates confusion and will lengthen the process.
-Use a motivator with an if/then statement. "If you peepee in the potty Then you get ___" And make sure it's something they ONLY get when the peepee or poopoo in the potty. If it's a toy make sure it's a very appealing toy and place it near the potty so they can see it. If it's a snack make sure you never give them that snack unless they go on the potty.
-Don't use the thick training panties. Get the thin ones because we want the pee to run down their legs and get into their socks and be incredibly uncomfortable.
-Have the child help with cleanup when they have an accident. It's a natural cause and effect and it's not fun. If the mess magically disappears then it's too easy to just pee in their pants and be done with it.

I happily wrote down these notes and thought they could be helpful but still had a question so I jumped in as soon as the question/answer part seemed to start.
me: Can you give me some advise to help us get past our current stage? We've been stuck for about a year.
teacher: Sure. What's been going on for the past year?
me: Not much. She happily sits on the potty once or twice a day but nothing ever comes out. Chloe is aware of when she pees and poops. I know this because she stops and separates her legs to stand in her "peeing position." Then she asks me to change her diaper.
teacher: [with exaggerated drama] Oooh! She's sooo ready for panties. Put her in panties.
me: [dumbfounded] Umm. But she never ever pees in the potty. Never. Ever. Never.
teacher: But if she is that aware of her pee. She's ready. You just need to do it.
me: [still staring at the teacher with my mouth hanging open and not saying anything]
teacher: Do it.

Just kidding. She didn't say the last line. But they were totally serious about Chloe being ready. They suggested we buy her some fancy princess panties and do it over the holiday break. I want to believe them but I'm terrified. I think I still have PTS from our last potty training attempt. But Chloe's going on 3 1/2 years old and there's no medical reason why she shouldn't be using the potty. She's a smart kid and can totally do this. I can do this. We can do this. Oh my gosh I'm so scared!!!

2 comments: said...

You can totally do it. And I agree, you have to put her in underwear and not look back. Make it fun, make her feel like a big girl. I think I told you I used M&Ms as a bribe and created a monster. Stickers may have been better ;-) Daphne now uses the regular toilet without the insert, and I am always scared she's going to fall in.

The Hillbergs said...

Just make sure you make an extra big shopping trip to the supermarket - so you can stay home until she gets it! But I predict, she will figure it out so fast that you'll be SO pissed that she knew all along and was totally playing you! at least I hope that's what will happen!!!! and if you do go out to the store - bring a towel - if she has an accident - don't change her right away - have her sit on the towel in her carseat - but let her feel uncomfortable and cold. don't chide her for the accident, just say things like ..'don't worry, we'll be home soon so you can change into your new panties' or 'i know it feels so yucky and cold!!! we will get you into fresh panties soon!!' - so basically be super positive about it - but go on and on about how awful it feels to peepee in your pants (not that, i'm sure, you know first hand). So she's really thinking about how gross it is and cold and squishy in her shoes. Then get her home and change her and don't worry about it. But that is sort of a natural cause and effect that will be good i think.