Month: September 2019

What is Potty Training? | And a Brief History

What is Potty Training? | And a Brief History

Mom and son

What is Potty Training?


Potty training, also know as toilet training, is basically the process of teaching someone, presumably a small child, how to properly use a toilet.

Nobody knows how long ago parents began potty training their children, but children’s potties are known from are far back as the 6th century A.D, and chamber pots, which could be used as training potties, are known from even more ancient times. We also do not know what methods the ancients used to potty train their children.

Is There a Best Method?


There is no scientific study as to what is the best toilet training technique, and methods of toilet training can vary from one culture to another. The methods that have been passed down to us, that are most commonly used today, are those that parents through trial and error have generally found to be effective.

This is good news for the parent trying to potty train their child. There is no one set of rules that you have to follow. The methods suggested are flexible, and can be adapted to meet the specific needs or circumstances of any child or parent. The point is, there is no one right approach to potty training.

The best approaches to potty training are probably those that take into account both the child’s psychological and physical readiness. Although a child may begin to physically sense their need to go as early as one year of age, they probably will not be able to consciously control their bowel or bladder movements until they are at least 18 months old. In the case of special needs children, physical or mental developmental delays or disabilities may not only delay a child’s readiness for potty training, but also extend the time needed to potty train the child. However the fundamental principles of potty training will in many cases, with some modification, remain the same.

There Are Many Resources Available to You


There are today a wide variety of products available to assist the parent in toilet training their child. These range from a wide array of training potties and seat reducers, some coming with special features for special needs children, to specialized clothing for the potty trainee to wear, to various educational and incentive products designed to motivate and educate the child during the potty training process.

On the Lighter Side


Toilet training can become stressful for both parent and child, so, let’s have a little bit of fun with it. Since no one knows when or how potty training began, we can let our imagination tell us the story. So, in our imagination let’s go back, back, way back to the beginning of all potty training. Maybe you can have a bit of fun with your own child and invent your own story of how it all began. Let your child’s imagination run wild, and post their stories in the comment section below.

Grandpa

Gogg-inventor-of-training-poty

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now I would like you to meet your expert guide, Gogg, the genius inventor of the training potty, who is attempting to explain to Grandpa, what toilet training is all about.


“What’s all this fuss about potty training,” asks Grandpa. “And, what the heck is potty training?”

“I am glad you asked,” said Gogg, genius inventor of the training potty, “Potty training is how you teach a small child, how to properly use the toilet when they need to go.”

“How to use a what?”

“A toilet, Grandpa. You know, the place you go when you need to go.”

“Go where? Where am I going to go? Nobody told me I was going somewhere. Are we moving?”

“No Grandpa, we are not moving. A toilet is where you go when you go.”

“So a toilet is a place where we go when we need to go only we are not really going anywhere?”

“Sigh. No Grandpa. What I mean is a toilet is where you go when you need to pee or poop.”

“Why didn’t you just say so? So potty training is teaching children they have to go somewhere special just to poop and pee? Why, back in my day we did not have any of this fancy dancy potty training stuff. Why back then when we needed to go we just …“

“Yes, I know grandpa.”

“Well I don’t know what this new generation is coming to, and what is that round thingy your working on?

“I am glad you asked. This is my new and improved potty for training. Unlike the old version this one has a hole in the middle.”

“What are you going to do with all of your old hole-less ones?“

Why, I am going to call them stools. It’s a new revolutionary invention of mine.”

“He-he. Stool. That’s a good name for them. Have you ever seen one after it has been used?”

“No, not that kind of stool. I mean something you can step up on to help you reach higher.”

“Then why don’t’ you just call them stepper upper thingies? Say, you know, if you take your new fangled dangled training potty and stand it on its side it would make a neat round rolling thingy.”

“That is why I am the genius and you are not. Who would ever want a round rolling thingy?  That’s just plain silly. What could anybody ever do with a round rolling thingy? What could it ever use it for?”

“Well, I guess you are right. A round rolling thingy would be quite useless.”

“But now, let’s get back to the topic of toilet training. With my new and improved training potty with a hole in the middle, toilet training will be a lot less messy than it used to be. Modern inventions like this have revolutionized the entire toilet training process.”

Next…When Should You Start Potty Training?

How to Potty Train a Deaf Child | Visual Communication is the Key

How to Potty Train a Deaf Child | Visual Communication is the Key

happy child

Potty Training a Deaf Child


The challenge in toilet training a deaf child lies primarily in the realm of communication.

Since verbal communication is not an option, it is important that the child be able to understand nonverbal cues. Ideally your child should have a good grasp of sign language by the time they are ready for potty training.

When will your child be ready for potty training?


The signs that a deaf child is ready for potty training are much the same of most other children. There are just a few basic indicators that you need to watch for,

Is the child uncomfortable with being wet or dirty? Do they clearly prefer to be dry and clean? If they have reached this level of awareness, then it may be about time to consider beginning potty training. This desire to stay dry and clean can be a great motivator to learn how to use the potty.

Also, is the child able to stay dry or clean for at least two hours or so. This indicates that the child has reached sufficient physical maturity to control their bladder and bowel functions. This is a necessity for potty training. If the child cannot control these bodily functions, then you may need to wait a little longer until they do have this control. And, is the child able to sense when he or she needs to go.

Thirdly, are you able to readily communicate with your child, and can your child communicate their needs to you? Communication is a big key to successful potty training.

If these three signs are present in your child, then you are well on your way to successfully potty training your child.

How should your child dress for potty training?


At this point, as you begin potty training, you might want to consider a wardrobe change for your child. Get them something quick and easy to pull down and back up again. Avoid clothing with zippers, button, ties, etc., that might slow the process. Often when a child needs to go, they need to go like right now. So, speed is of the essence. Pull-up is a good choice here.

As the toilet training progresses, at some point you will want to graduate your child from pull-ups to underwear. When you do, let them know that they are big boys or girls now.

What do you need to begin potty training?


The most basic necessity that you will need for toilet training is either a seat reducer for use on regular toilets or a training potty.

Second to that is one or two step-stools. The step-stools are for two purposes. If you are using a seat reducer on a regular toilet, the step-stool enables the child to reach the seat in order to go potty. Second, a step-stool may be necessary to enable the child to reach the bathroom sink for hand washing.

Thirdly, a lot of patience is recommended, both for your and for your child. You will both need it.

Have some kind of reward system ready


Rewards, especially if it is something the child desires, can help greatly to motivate your child to succeed in potty training. This can take many forms, from special sticker on a progress chart, to special treats for successfully going potty. But be sure the reward, whatever it is, is used exclusively for success at potty training. You do not want to teach your child that they can get that reward some other way.

Heap on the praise


Yes, every child wants to know they did good. Let them know, even when they fail, that you are proud of them. Proud if they succeed, and proud for trying if they fail. Be cool, be calm, no matter what. Never scold or berate them for failure. Never scold or berate them for having an accident. That will only create resentment and resistance, prolonging the training process.

Give them something to do while they are sitting on the potty


Children do not naturally sit still or prolonged periods of time. Give them something to occupy them while on the potty, a coloring book if they like to color, or read to them, or a toy they like. Do not let potty time be dull boring time.

Communicate with your child


Using sign language and other visual cues, explain to your child what you are expecting of them. Show them how the toilet works. Let them flush the toilet or pull some toilet-paper off the roll.

Also listen to your child. Is there something they do not understand? Answer all of their questions.

Also, watch and listen for signs that your child is telling you they need to go potty. Eventually they will become more independent, but initially you will have to take them to the potty when you sense they need to go. Start out with a regular schedule, say, once ever hour or so, 30 to 40 minutes after a meal. And as they grow more independent, become more aware of their own needs, allow the child to decide when they need to go to the potty.

Teach basic hygiene


This is very important and must not be neglected. Teach your child how to properly wipe themselves. With girls this means teaching them to wipe from front to back. This helps to prevent the spread of germs that may cause urinary tract infections.

Also, teach your child how to properly wash their hands. This is also very important and can prevent the spread of disease.

These are important habits that you want to impress on your child early on.

Finally, keep it simple and be consistent


Do not over complicate the potty training process and be consistent from day to day in your training. Your objective is to instill life long habits in the child. If you do this, you will do well.

How to Potty Train a Blind Child | Your Guide to Success

How to Potty Train a Blind Child | Your Guide to Success

sunglasses and hat

How to Potty Train a Blind Child


Potty training a blind child brings with it special challenges. Fortunately, they can all be overcome with a little patience and persistence. As with all children the first step in potty training blind children is to determine when they are ready for potty training.

How do you know when your child is ready for potty training?


There are certain signs that you as a parent can look for to determine the readiness of your child to start the potty training process.

  • First of all, has your child become aware of and developed a dislike to being either wet or dirty. If this is the case, then they may well be motivated to learn to use the potty.
  • Second, has your child developed enough bladder and bowel control to remain dry and clean for at least two hour or more. If so, then they may have matured physically enough to begin the toilet training process.
  • Third, is your child able to sense when they need to go.

If you see these three signs in your child, then yes, the time has come to begin toilet training.

What do you need to begin potty training?


Now that your child is ready for toilet training, there are a few things you need to get to begin the process.

The first and most obvious, is a child size potty or seat reducer. For a blind child it has been suggested that a musical potty, one that is activated when urine hits the bowl works best, a potty that provides an audio feedback since the child cannot receive visual feedback. In other words, something that makes a noise when the child goes.

Something else that you will need is a step stool. This stool is to help the child reach the bathroom sink so they can wash their hands after going potty. If instead of a potty you are using a seat reducer on a regular toilet, a second step stool may be needed to help the child reach the toilet.

How should you dress your child for potty training?


As with any child being potty trained, it is important that you dress them in clothing that can be quickly and easily removed. This means avoiding anything with buttons, zippers, ties, etc. It is generally recommended that clothing with elastic bands, clothing that can be quickly pulled down and back up is best. You may start by using pull-ups and graduating to underwear as the potty training progresses.

Be prepared to reward your child for success


One great motivator in the toilet training process is some kind for reward, a special treat perhaps, that the child receives for successfully going potty. You should be consistent with this reward, and it should be used exclusively for a successful potty, and nothing else.

But do not punish or scold your child for failure


It is inevitable that accidents will happen. Your child will not always succeed in going to the potty in time. When this happens, do not make a bid deal over it. Stay cool and calm and let the child know that you have confidence in them that they will succeed next time. If you scold or fret or punish you will only build up resentment about and resistance to potty training and may prolong the process.

Special considerations for blind children


A blind or visually disabled child is at a disadvantage because they cannot observe other family members using the toilet. They cannot see how it works, or how it is used, and as a result they cannot mimic behavior.

Consequently, the visual communication that normally takes place during potty training does not happen with the blind child. You and your child are therefore more dependent on language skills which must take the place of visual communications.

However, the lack of sight can delay the development of language skills in a blind child and so you may want to wait until the child is a little older to begin the toilet training process.

When you do begin potty training, let the child become familiar with the bathroom. Let him or her explore the bathroom, discover where and what things are. If you are using a seat reducer your child will need to know where the toilet is and how to get up on it, and how to sit on it.

Show the child how to flush the toilet, and let them do it a few times. Explain to them why the toilet is flushed and what is happening when the toilet is flushed.

If you will be using a training potty, show them where that potty is, explain to them what it is for and how they use it. Let them sit on it and explore it. Make sure that the potty is always in the same place throughout the entire potty training process. Do not move it around from one place to another.

Show them where the toilet paper is and let them pull some of it off the roll. Explain to them what it is used for.

Show them where the sink is and how they can get up to it and use it to wash their hands. All this will need to be done verbally and by touch.

Let your child become accustomed to the layout of the entire bathroom.

As the child becomes more independent, make sure the bathroom itself as well as the way to it is clear of obstacles. Make it as easy as possible for the child to navigate to and from the bathroom.

Teach your child the basics of proper hygiene


This includes teaching your child how to properly wipe themselves. With girls this means teaching the to wipe from front to back, which helps prevent the spread of germs that can cause urinary tract infections.

It also includes teaching your child how to properly wash their hands. You want to instill these habits early. If you do they will stay with your child their whole life and safeguard them from many illnesses’.

Praise your child, they are a big kid now


Encourage a sense of accomplishment, a sense of pride in your child. Let them know that they are a big kid now. Little things like this can go a long way to making the potty training process a lot more pleasant for you and your child.

And be patient


Potty training any child will be an exercise in patience, and especially so for a special needs’ child. And it is not just you the parent but also the child who will need patience, for the child can easily become frustrated and discouraged. Always remember, this is a team effort.

How to Potty Train a Child with Spina Bifida | Your Guide to Success

How to Potty Train a Child with Spina Bifida | Your Guide to Success

father and baby

Potty Training a Child with Spina Bifida

Toilet training a child with Spina Bifida can present unique challenges for both the parent and the child. The potty training techniques presented here are designed to make the process easier for all.

Spina Bifida is a condition in which the backbone does not close all the way around the neural tube enclosing the spinal cord.

In its mildest form (Spina Bifida Occulta) there may be a small opening, a small gap, in the spine but the spinal cord and associated nerves are all normal. People with this condition are generally unaware of it, and it is found only incidentally as the result of examination for other conditions.

In the intermediate form (Meningocele) there is a sac of spinal fluid that protrudes through the spine and through an opening in the child’s back. In this case the spinal cord and associated nerves are generally not affected or only mildly affected.

In its most severe form (myelomeningocele) the sac of spinal fluid not only protrudes through the spine and baby’s back, but the spinal cord and associated nerves come through the opening too. The damaged caused to the spinal cord and nerves in this sac cause moderate to severe disabilities.

It is this more severe form that most people are referring to when they speak of Spina Bifida.

The severity of the disabilities is also influenced by the location of the spinal opening, whether it occurs high or low in the spine.

The degree of disability will vary from person to person. You will need to consult your child’s doctor for treatment options.

Is your child ready for potty training?


Because of nerve damage, it may take a child with Spina Bifida longer than normal to be ready for potty training. To know when your child is ready for potty training keep a record of their bowel movements for two or three weeks. Is there pattern? Are they able to go for an hour or so without wetting or soiling themselves?

Are they beginning to develop a dislike of being wet or dirty? If so then they may now be motivated to learn how to keep clean and dry.

Because of nerve damage a child with Spina Bifida may not have complete control of their bladder or bowel movements. Some medical intervention such as drugs or catherization may be necessary to obtain full bladder and bowel control. Also, because of nerve damage the child may also be subject to constipation.

If your child has developed an awareness of being wet or dry and are capable of some bladder and bowel control, (and this may take longer for children with Spina Bifida than for normal children) it may be time to give potty training a try.

Keep a record and communicate with your child


If you have been keeping a record of their bladder and bowel movements, you can begin by setting a regular schedule using any pattern you have found. You may for instance, depending on what pattern you have found, take them to the potty once every hour and perhaps 30 to 40 minutes after a meal.

Communicate with your child. Let them know what you are expecting of them. Make it as interesting as possible. When you have them sitting on the potty, read to them, let them play a game, or color or draw a picture.

As the potty training progresses, they should not only develop an awareness of their need to go but also the ability to let you know that they need to go, and do so in a timely manner.

Some children may never develop bladder and bowel control


Because of the nerve damage developing bladder and bowel control may not be possible for some children. The chances of having bladder and bowel control are best in children who have a good urine stream, and who also can stay dry and clean between for a time. The odds of bladder control are lower in those children who continually dribble urine.

In such cases medical intervention may be necessary, and you may need to seek alternative methods. If this is the case with your child, consult your pediatrician.

How should you dress your child for potty training?


As with all children being potty trained, avoid clothing that cannot be removed quickly and easily. Avoid buttons, ties, zippers, etc. It is generally recommended that you use clothing with elastic bands. You want to dress your child in things that are quick and easy for them to pull on and take off.

Will you need special potties for your child?


The need for special potties will depend largely on the degree of your child’s physical disability. If needed there are potties designed with adjustable straps to help hold the child on the potty seat, potties with safety rails, and potties with adjustable heights.

Patience is key in potty training a child with disabilities


Both you and the child can become frustrated with the way potty training is going. This is normal. It is important that you as a parent stay calm and cool and to continually give your child encouragement. Remember, it is not easy for them.

To the extent your child either can or wants to do something by themselves, let them do it. This will help build their self-confidence. Whether they succeed or fail let them know that you are proud of them for trying.

If things do not go as planned and your child has an accident, again stay calm and cool. Never fret or scold the child because of an accident. Doing so will only build up resentment and resistance in the child, making the whole process all that much harder.

In addition to being patient, be consistent


Being consistent, having a regular routing that you and the child follows is a big part in potty training. You are trying to develop habits that will last. You are trying to new patterns of behavior in your child’s life.

If you are rewarding your child for successfully going potty, be consistent. Special rewards can motivate your child to try harder and to succeed more often. Also, the reward should be exclusive for a successful potty and nothing else.

And always teach your child basic sanitary principles


Teaching your child basic hygiene is a fundamental part of potty training. It should by no means be skipped.

There are two aspects of hygiene you need to focus on. The first is teaching your child how to properly wipe themselves, and with girls this means teaching them to wipe from front to back. This prevents the spread of germs that can cause urinary tract infections.

Second, teach your child how to properly wash their hands. You may need to get your child a step stool to stand on so they can reach the bathroom sink. Depending on the level of disability your child has, as step stool with support railings may be necessary.

Do not go it alone, work with your pediatrician


Children with Spina Bifida are confronted with many difficulties as they try to learn the ins and out of going potty. If need be, get advice and help from a medical professional. As already mentioned, in some cases medical intervention may be necessary for successful potty training of your

How to Potty Train a Child with Cerebral Palsy | Your Guide to Toilet Training Success

How to Potty Train a Child with Cerebral Palsy | Your Guide to Toilet Training Success

mother and baby

Potty Training a Child with Cerebral Palsy


Potty training a child with cerebral palsy is going to present unique challenges.

Cerebral palsy is a disorder that affects a person’s ability to control muscle movements. It is generally caused either by an abnormal brain development or by a brain injury to a developing brain. This injury may occur before, during or after birth.

Depending on the nature of the injury or developmental disorder the symptoms may range from mild (The person afflicted may walk somewhat awkwardly, but otherwise need little to no assistance) to severe (The affliction affects the whole body and the person cannot walk, may be subject to seizures, have impairments in speech, sight, hearing as well as intellectual impediments).

When should you start potty training a child with cerebral palsy?


Because cerebral palsy affects a child’s ability to control their muscles, they tend to be slower in developing control of their bladder and bowel movements. This will generally delay the beginning of potty training for these children.

For children with the milder form of cerebral palsy potty training can begin by age 3. For those with more severe forms of cerebral palsy they may not be ready for potty training till much later. For children with the more severe forms standard potty training may not be possible.

Signs your child is ready for potty training?


First, have they developed an awareness and dislike of being wet or dirty, even though they may not yet have developed the awareness of their need to go.

Second, have they developed enough control of their bladder and bowel movements to go for an hour or so without either wetting or soiling themselves?

If your child seems to be unable to develop control over their bladder or bowel consult your pediatrician. He may be able to recommend an exercise program, medication or possibly even surgery to address the issue. Medical intervention is often necessary for children with cerebral palsy.

if the child has developed these two abilities it may be time to give potty training a try.

In the beginning you may have to set a regular schedule, and take them to the potty once every hour and 30 to 40 minutes after a meal.

In time, they should developed an awareness of their need to go. A child with cerebral palsy may be slow in developing this awareness, and the child may need your assistance in developing this awareness. Watch for signs of fidgeting, of clutching genitals, etc. Help him or her to recognize these as indications that they need to go.

The next step is for you to teach them how to let you know when they sense need to go potty? In other words, they need to be able to communicate to you their need and do so in a timely manner.

What if your child never develops bladder or bowel control?


In severe cases, a child with cerebral palsy may never developed sufficient muscle control to achieve continence. Generally, if by the age of 8 they have not developed the ability to recognize their need to go or to control their bladder or bowel movements they may never do so. In such cases alternative methods may need to be used.

If this is the case, you will want to consult your pediatrician. There are alternatives. This might include such things as external collection devices such as urinary catheters, diapers, etc.

What should a child with cerebral palsy wear when potty training?


As with all children in the process of potty training, their clothing should be something that is easily and quickly removed. For children with cerebral palsy this is particularly important as their lack of muscle control makes the process of removing clothing all the harder.

So, avoid anything with buttons, or ties or zippers, etc. Look for clothing with elastic bands, easy on easy off.

Yes, you will need special potties to potty train your child


Because of the difficulty they have in controlling their mussel movements, you will most probably need specialty potties to train your child. The good news is that there are specially made potties and toilet seats designed for children with cerebral palsy.

These potty/seats may come with adjustable straps to help hold the child, so they do not fall off the potty or toilet, head and neck supports, and safety rails. The heights of the potty may also be adjustable to accommodate a growing child.

Another type of potty chair you might consider are those designed to fit in a corner. With these potties the right angel of the wall provides good support, holding the child in the proper position.

Be patient and be consistent


Toilet training a child with cerebral palsy is going to be an exercise in patience, both for you and for the child. You will need to be patient and encouraging to your child.

It can be easy for the child to become frustrated with the process. Help your child to develop a sense of self-worth and independence. Whatever your child can do by them-self, let them do by them-self and praise them for it.

If your child has an accident, and there will be accidents, just stay cool. Do not fret or scold the child. That may just build up resentment and resistance to the whole potty training process.

Have some kind of special reward to give to your child for successfully going potty and be consistent with giving that reward. This will encourage our child to try harder to succeed more often.

Teach your child basic sanitary principles


Part of potty training is teaching your child how to properly clean themselves. With girls this means teaching them to wipe themselves from front to back, which helps prevent the spread of germs that may cause urinary tract infections.

With all children this also means teaching them how to properly wash their hands after every potty break. Generally, it is suggested that a step stool be provided to help the child reach the bathroom sink. For children with cerebral palsy this may not be a good option because of the risk of falling off the stool. Extra support, railings, may be necessary here.

Work with your pediatrician


Children with cerebral palsy face many obstacles when it comes to toilet training. Do not try to go it along. Get help and advice from your pediatrician.

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