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3-Day Potty Training | Should You Try It?

3-Day Potty Training | Should You Try It?

woman and child

In a world of fast food and instant gratification, the prospect of potty training your child in just three days is appealing to many parents. But is it something you should subject your child to?

Is 3-day potty training abusive?

Although it may be all the rage these days, 3-day potty training, however you do it, is going to be a high pressure, high stress, situation for both parent and child. It is in essence three solid days of non-stop potty training, where you are taking your child to the potty every 15 minutes of their waking day, and several times at night too.

While the process may work for some children, this, personally, from my perspective, borders on abuse. But you be the judge.

The 3-day potty training process.

While there may be slight variations between different 3-day potty training programs, they all follow the same basic procedures.

Step 1. Make sure that your child is ready for potty training.

The signs you look for are the same you would be looking for regardless of what potty training method you decide to use.

First of all, is the child old enough? Parents who try to rush the process and begin too early will only be making extra work for themselves. Trying to potty train a child too early can backfire and prolong the time required to potty train the child. Some children may be ready as early as 18 months, but most will not be ready for potty training until they are 2 to 3 years old.

Advocates of the three-day method suggest that you will have the greatest chance at success if you potty them between the age of 18 to 30 months. It is thought that waiting longer will make it more difficult to use the three-day method on your child. But for some children even 30 months may be too early to begin potty training.

Step 2. Schedule a time when you have three full uninterrupted days to do the potty training.

A long holiday weekend is generally thought to be the ideal time to do the three-day potty training. Remember, this will be an all day, everyday process. You will have no time for anything else. Not for cooking, not for washing, not for running of errands, no time for texting or talking of the phone, no time for visitors, no time for anything that is not potty training. For the next three days you will live, eat, breath potty training.

You will be home and you will stay home with your child for the whole three days. For those three days potty training will be your life, so choose the time you are going to do this carefully.

If it sounds like I am trying to discourage you from using the 3-day method, I am.

Step 3. Get everything you are going to need ready.

For three days potty training is going to be your life, so prepare everything else in advance.

You are not going to have time to cook meals, so prepare your meals beforehand. For some that may mean making sure you have a working can opener and microwave oven. Quick and easy is what you want. Forget about pretty.

You are not going to have time to do laundry. Especially if you do not own a washer/dryer. So, make sure you are caught up on your laundry for the next three days. For your child this may mean having dozens of extra pairs of underwear available. Have way more on hand than you think you would ever need.

Clear your calendar for those 3 days. You will not have time to go anywhere or do anything except potty train your child. No doctors appointments, no ball games, no grocery shopping, nothing. For those three days you will be very strictly a stay at home parent.

Stock up on drinks. Know what they like and get lots of it. Make drinking fun by using colorful and fun shaped straws. You want them to drink a lot so that they will have to pee often. That is part of the 3-day potty training process. Drink, drink, drink, pee, pee, pee all day long and into the night. Just keep in mind that nighttime potty training will take a lot longer than 3 days. There is no such thing as a 3-day nighttime potty training program.

Stock up on potty training rewards. This may take the form of a sticker chart, candy, a special toy, etc. The reward is anything that may motivate your child to successfully use the potty. The reward, whatever it is, should be used strictly for potty training success. The child should not learn that they can receive it any other way.

Often simple praise works just as good if not better than other kinds of rewards. Just letting them know you are proud of them is a reward in itself.

Step 4. Prepare your child for the ordeal they are about to face.

Allow the child to see and play with the potty they will be using. Let them get used to it. Teach them what it is for. Explain to them in simple language what you will be expecting of them.

Do not spring all this on them as a big surprise. Try to make it something desirable in their minds. Tell them that they are a big boy or girl now. Boost their self-esteem. In other words, try to de-stress the 3-day potty training process for your child as much as possible before you begin.

Step 5. Start the 3-day potty training party.

It is all up to you. You will need to get up, dressed and ready in the morning before the child does. Some 3-day advocates say to use underwear, others to dress the child with only a shirt, leaving the bottom bare. Just be aware, whether you use underwear or the bottomless method, accidents will happen, and you will need to be prepared to deal with the mess.

And you will have to be quick. You will have to feed and cloth yourself, feed your family and still get the child to the potty at least once every 15 minutes. Some advocate taking the child to the potty once very 5 minutes initially, and gradually working up to 10 then 15 then 20 minute intervals.

Chances are good that both you and your child’s nerves are going to be frazzled by days end. But you as the parent must stay cool and calm throughout.

Does the 3-day method actually work?

Yes, it does work for some parents, but at a price of high stress and frazzled nerves. And there is no guarantee it will work with your child. It may prove to be all for nothing. The 3-day method is not backed by science. It is not backed by the medical community.

Nighttime Potty Training | Can it be Done?

Nighttime Potty Training | Can it be Done?

sleeping child

OK, so your child is potty trained, at least for the daytime hours. But what about at night as the child sleeps? Chances are that your potty trained child is still wetting their bed at night. But that is normal. Nighttime bladder control is very different from daytime bladder control.

Is nighttime potty training possible?

Now the question is, is nighttime potty training possible, or do you just have to let nature take its course.

The bad news is that there is not much you can do about it. The problem is that while the child has matured enough physically to control their bladder during their waking hours, they may still be too immature to have that control while sleeping.

Simply put, although they may have a full bladder that full bladder sensation, which would send them scurrying to the potty during waking hours, is not enough to wake them up at this stage in their development. Also, they simply cannot hold their pee for the 8 to 10 hours they may be asleep at night. They are just not physically mature enough to do that. And no amount of shaming, scolding or punishing will change that.

Negative responses on your part to your child’s bed-wetting may only make the problem worse and can actually cause the child to have more nighttime accidents. Not to mention the damage it will do to your child’s self-esteem. Remember, this is something they have no control over. They cannot help it.

Another thing you need to remember, if you are inclined to scold, shame or punish your child for bed-wetting is that stress in a child can cause regression of their day time potty training. So, stay calm, stay cool, and just know that this is simple part of raising a child.

A few facts about bed-wetting.

Generally, a child does not mature physically enough to stop bed-wetting until they are somewhere between 3 to 7 years of age. Most, about 80 to 90 percent, will be able to keep dry overnight by the ages of 5 or 6. The rest sometime between the ages of 6 and 7. This is considered to be normal, so do not worry if your 7 year old child is still wetting the bed

It also makes a difference if the child is a boy or a girl. For some reason girls develop nighttime bladder control sooner than boys. Consequently, about 70 percent of bed wetter’s are boys and only 30 percent girls.

Is there anything you can do about bed-wetting?

Although nighttime potty training is not possible, that does not mean that there is nothing you can do make the situation better.

1. There are a number of absorbent, washable mattress pads available to protect the mattress. This is a must have.

2. Instead of the child sleeping in underpants, have them go to bed wearing Pull-Ups instead.

3. Make sure your child goes potty just before going to bed. This may not stop the bed-wetting, but it may cut down on its frequency. Statically most bed-wetting occurs during the first few hours of sleep.

4. Do not try to keep your child from drinking after supper. First of all, your child needs to stay hydrated. Second, withholding liquids in the evening before bedtime does not really work in preventing bed-wetting.

5. Give your child an overnight wake up call or two. You can buy alarms designed just for this purpose. A timely wake up at night could prevent a bed-wetting that night.

6. If your child tends to sleep through alarms, consider waking the child up yourself a couple times each night. Of course, the downside is that you will have to wake up and get up a couple time a night too. Oh well, nothing’s perfect.

7. Use a wetness detecting alarm. These devices are designed to go off when they detect wetness, thus waking the child as they are beginning to pee. The idea behind them is to condition the child to wake up when their body senses the need to pee. Of course, in an imperfect world it does not always work out that way. But it may be worth a try.

8. Chill out. Dealing with a bed-wetting child is just a normal part of being a parent. There is nothing you can do about it, so just go with the flow. Even after a child has matured to the point that they can stay dry overnight, accidents will still happen. So, keep the waterproof/absorbent mattress covers and pads on the bed for a while, and keep a few spare dry pajamas available for the child to change into for when an accident does happen.

Potty Training Regression | What Can You Do About It?

Potty Training Regression | What Can You Do About It?

child face

So, your child has been potty trained, and all is going well until suddenly the child starts having more than the occasional accidents that might be expected of a newly potty trained child.

Do not panic, do not overreact.

First do not panic. Potty regression is not uncommon, it is normal, and this can be fixed.

Even though you may be somewhat disappointed and frustrated try not to show it. Above all, do not scold or yell at the child. Doing so can cause potty anxiety in your child which can actually lead to more problems.

And do not threaten to punish the child for having accidents. Fear of punishment can not only make the problem worse but can prolong the recovery process.

Try to stay calm and stay positive when dealing with your child. Your calm and positive attitude will go a long way in helping your child overcome their potty regression. It will inspire in them confidence and a desire to do better next time.

Why the potty regression is happening?

What is causing your child to regress in their potty training? There are several possible reasons. Your job as a parent is to try to figure out why this is happening.

One common cause is that the child was potty trained too early. They were not really ready for it yet. How can you tell if this is the case?

If you notice that your child in addition to having frequent accident also does not seem to care that they have had the accident for show any desire to go to the potty, then they probably have not really been potty trained.

If this is the case, you may just want to wait until they show signs of being ready to be potty trained. Trying to potty train a child too quick or too early can backfire on you and actually prolong the process.

If on the other hand you notice that your child wants to go to the potty but for one reason or another just isn’t making it in time, then they probably are potty trained. At this point your task is to find some way to get them back on track.

Try to find out what it is that is preventing them from making it to the potty in time. Are they, for example, so engrossed in some activity, having so much fun doing something, that they do not want to take the time to make a run to the potty?

Sometimes all a child needs are a few simple reminders to go potty. Putting them back on a potty schedule again can help reestablish the habit of going potty. Make sure they go potty when they wake up in the morning, after every meal, and before going to bed at night, and at regular intervals between times.

Perhaps there is a medical reason. Simple constipation is a common reason for potty training regression in a child. It is not uncommon for a child to avoid going to the potty if bowel movements are difficult and they have to strain to go. The solution may be as simple as making sure the child drinks plenty of water and has a diet with plenty of fiber.

If the child is still resistant to going on the potty because of their constipation, try to make going potty fun again with games or puzzles or books.

Other possible causes of potty regression in a potty trained child are major changes or stressful situations in a child’s life. Are you traveling? Are you in the process of moving to a new home? Is the child going to a new school? Is there a new sibling in the family? Have you lost a family pet recently?

In other words, is something going on that might cause undue stress or anxiety in the child. These are common reasons for potty regression. If this is the case the child’s potty habits should return to normal once things settle down. In the meantime, until things settle down, try to reassure and encourage your child. Let your child know that they are not in trouble for having an accident.

Give potty rewards a try again.

If you successfully used a reward system when you were potty training your child, you might consider trying that again. Simple incentives such as a sticker chart, a special treat or toy that they enjoy can help reestablish the potty habit. Simple rewards work best, and the best rewards are words of encouragement and praise.

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 reduces, 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

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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

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.

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 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).

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.

How to Potty Train a Child with ADHD | What You Need to Know

How to Potty Train a Child with ADHD | What You Need to Know

child with train

Potty training a child with ADHD can be challenging, but it can be done and there are special tips and tricks that can make the task easier. Even so, it will require some extra patience on the part of the parent.

As the parent of a child with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) you are well aware that children with ADHD have short attention spans, are easily distracted, have trouble organizing thing, are forgetful and tend to lose things. They also tend to be overly active. They can’t sit still, they squirm and squiggle all over the place, talk all the time, etc.

Oddly enough they can also become hyper focused on things that they find very interesting or of things such as video games that give them instant gratification. In other words, they can become focused on one thing to the exclusion of all else.

What you may not have realized is that there are three versions, categories or sub-types of ADHD. With one version inattentiveness predominates, while with another version hyperactivity predominates. The third version is a combination of the worse of both worlds, where the child is both inattentive and hyperactive. Girls with ADAD generally tend to fall more in the first category.

Each of these, both inattentiveness and hyperactivity on one hand, and hyper-focusing on the other, are issues that as parents you will have to deal with when potty training your ADHD child. But take heart, millions of children with ADHD have been successfully potty trained, and yours can be too.

When should you start potty training an ADHD child?

The timing for potty training an ADHD child is slightly different from that of normal children. Normally potty training, depending on the child, can start as early as 18 months to as late as 36 months. With ADHD children the start time is generally a little later on average. The precise timing of course will be determined by the readiness of your child. Prematurely potty training an DAHD child can make the process long and difficult.

If you are paying attention to your child, they will let you know when the time is right. There are several signs that will indicate that they are ready.

  • First, have they matured enough physically to control their bladder and bowel movements for at least a couple of hours at a time?
  • Second, have they developed an interest in staying dry and clean?
  • Third, have they developed an interest in the toilet and have a basic understanding of what it is used for?
  • Forth, are they able to communicate their need to go potty in some way, either verbally or behaviorally. And are you able to communicate your desires to them in a way they can understand. This might require some simple vocabulary lessons for the child. Simple words like poop, pee, potty, etc.

When you start seeing these indicators, it might be time to begin thinking of potty training.

Before potty training, keep a ledger.

One thing you might want to do prior to potty training is keep a ledger of when he or she goes potty. In other words, keep track of when they go potty. How long after eating or drinking before they need to go. How often do they go, and when? Look for a pattern. If you see that your child consistently goes a half hour after meals, or they go at certain intervals, use this knowledge when potty training your child. The objective is to get them to the potty when they actually need to go, and so create a link in their minds between their having to go and going to the potty.

Like any job, potty training requires the right tools.

OK. So now your child is ready for potty training. The tools you will use to potty train your ADHD child is the same you would use to potty train any other child. Namely, a potty chair or seat reducer, a step stool, pull-ups, underwear, etc., along with lots of perseverance and patience.

If you are using a potty chair it needs to be low enough so that your child’s feet reach the floor. If you are using a seat-reducer, which is placed over the adult seat on a regular toilet, the child will need a step stool to allow him or her to get up on it and to serve as a foot-rest once they are seated.

The same step stool or another one will be needed to allow the child to reach the sink for hand washing.

As for clothing, they will need something that can be pulled down quickly. In other words, nothing with draw strings, buttons, zippers, etc. You may begin by using pull-ups and in time as they progress in their training graduating to underwear.

Start by getting the child used to sitting on the potty.

With an ADAD child this might not be as easy as you might wish, as such children tend to be too active to sit for long in one place. They want to wiggle and squirm and get up and go. Your challenge will be to keep the child focused on something they like long enough for them to go potty. So, keep note of what kind of things they like to do that will keep them sitting in one place for a few minutes that they can also do while sitting on the potty.

In the beginning take them to the potty about 15 or 20 minutes after they have eaten, and maybe at 90 minutes to 2 hours intervals through the day. If you have kept a ledger of their potty habits use that to determine how long you should go before taking them to the potty.

Be prepared for accidents. – They are going to happen.

Be sure to communicate to your child what the potty is for and what you are expecting of them. But just be aware that in the beginning going potty is going to be somewhat hit-and-miss. Accidents are going to happen. Be prepared for them.

When an accident happens, do not make a big fuss over it. Instead, express your confidence that they will do better next time. Try to build up their confidence.

When your child is too distracted or too hyper-focused to go potty.

It is not unusual for an ADHD child to become so distracted or so absorbed in some interesting activity that they ignore their need to go. There are two ways you can deal with this situation.

The first is to give the child some kind of reminder. This might take the form of an alarm going off at set interval to remind them to go to the potty.

The second is a form of negative feedback. Let me explain what I mean by that. An ADHD child may become so hyper-focused on some activity they are doing that they do not want to stop long enough to go potty, and so will ignore their need to go.

The negative feedback takes the form of a time-out. The purpose is to teach the child that the fastest way for them to get back to doing whatever they find so interesting is to take the two or three of minutes needed to go potty. Otherwise, with the time-out imposed on them it will take much longer, say five or ten minutes, to get back to that activity. And hopefully they will figure out that it is faster to go potty than to not go potty when they need to.

Reward your child for potty success.

As with all children rewards for successfully going potty can make the potty training more appealing to them and give them additional motivation to make it to the potty in time.

The reward should be something they desire, and which is reserved exclusively for potty success. It should also be something they cannot get any other way.

This reward can be a special snack or something as simple as a sticker on a chart. Whatever the reward is, it should, to have the greatest impact, always be given immediately after potty success.

Be sure to teach proper hygiene.

Teaching proper hygiene from the very beginning of the potty training process is very important.

Teach them how to properly wipe themselves. With girls, they should be taught to wipe from front to back to ward off possible infection by the spread of germs.

Let them pick out a special soft-soap for themselves and teach them how to properly wash their hands after going potty. This is a habit that will ward many a sick day in their future life.

Graduate from diapers, to pull-ups to underwear.

Go ahead, make a big deal with each advance. Celebrate with your child each step forward to potty independence. Let them know with every advanced step how proud you are of them.

How to Potty Train a Child with Autism | Autism Potty Training Basics

How to Potty Train a Child with Autism | Autism Potty Training Basics

child with water gun

How to Potty Train a Autistic Child.

Whether potty training autistic boys or potty training autistic girls, the process of potty training a child with autism may be more lengthy, slower and a bit more of a challenge than normal potty training. Autism is a spectrum disorder and where your child is on that spectrum will influence the potty training timetable. But it can be done, and you can do it. Just be all the more patient with your child.

If you have an autistic child then there are some things that you are already aware of, both medical and behavioral, that will influence the potty training process.  The most common medical condition encountered with autistic children are gastrointestinal problems. If you see or suspect a medical condition that may affect the potty training process I would urge you to consult a medical professional.

On the behavioral side, autistic children are routine driven in extreme cases even to the point of being ritualistic. That is, they do not like change. They have a set way of doing things and that is how they want it to stay. Which means, if your child is accustomed to using a diaper (and he or she probable are) they will resist changing from diapers to underwear. Change can create anxiety issues in your child that need to be patiently dealt with.

Breaking old and well-established routines is part of the challenge of potty training autistic children. But it can be done. The challenge is in creating new routines that both you and your child can live with.

Then there is the problem of general developmental delay. Autistic children generally learn slower than other children. This does not mean that the child is not smart. An autistic child may be very bright, very intelligent, but they may develop this intelligence more slowly. This just means that you will have to be a little more patient, a little more persevering.

Thirdly, in many cases communication can be an issue. You will need to understand how to clearly communicate your desires to your child and also how to understand your child’s verbal and nonverbal cues.

And speaking of nonverbal cues, in the case of autistic children, they often do not show the usual signs of the need to go that you would see in other children. They often go with any apparent warning that an accident is on the way.

  • Keep communication simple by using short phrases and visual aids.

Much of the difference between potty training an autistic child and potty training a normal child lies in the realm of communication. Keep verbal communication very short and to the point. For example, do not say, “Do you need to go potty now?” but rather something short like “Time for potty?” or “Potty now?”

Also, visual communication used in combination with the verbal can be effective. This would consist of clear and simple cartoon pictures that you or the child can point to, such as a picture of a potty, a roll of toilet paper, etc. Pictures that show what you are wanting the child to do, or that the child can point at to show what they are wanting to do.

Follow up your communication with action. Tell your child “time for potty” point to the potty picture and then take your child to his or her potty. In the beginning do this on a regular schedule. Have them sit on the potty for a while and let them know it is OK if they cannot go. Remember part of the process of potty training an autistic child is establishing a new normal, a new routine for them to follow, so regularity and consistency is important.

  • Entertainment and rewards

As the child sits on the potty, keep them engaged by reading to them, telling stories, giving them a coloring book, etc. Generally, children are not interested in sitting still or extended periods of time. So, make potty time as interesting as possible.

If they do go, even if only a tiny dribble, reward them in some way. And do this quickly so they make a connection between successfully going to the potty and receiving the reward. This helps to reinforce in their mind that going potty is something desirable. But take care that the reward you use is used exclusively for potty training, and exclusively for successfully going to the potty. Do not inadvertently teach them that there are other ways they can get that reward.

If the reward is something the child desires and they learn that successfully going potty is the only way they can get it, it will motivate them and speed the learning process. Remember, your autistic child is routine driven, so be sure to make the reward immediate and be sure to be consistent with the reward.

  • Accidents will happen. Just stay calm, stay cool.

Yes, accidents will happen, more often than you would like. When they do happen, stay calm, stay cool, and do not make a big deal over it. Definitely do not fuss or scold or give any kind of negative feedback. In other words, do not reward them with extra attention (positive or negative) when accidents occur. Let them know that accidents are OK but remind them to try to use the potty next time.

  • Diapers, Pull-ups or Underwear?

Normally you would transition your child from diapers to pull-ups to underwear. With autistic children you may want to skip the pull-ups and go straight to underwear. Why? Because diapers and pull-ups have become so good at absorbing moisture may not realize they peed. Not so with underwear. By using underwear early on in potty training your child, the discomfort of wet underwear becomes associated in the child’s mind with accidents and provides additional motivation to go to the potty.

  • Prime the pump.

One tactic that is often used in training a child to use the potty is give the child a glass of water or juice about 10 or 15 minutes before you think they will need to use the toilet. But do not give them an excessive amount of water or juice. This increases the likelihood of a successful potty succession, which subsequently increase the likelihood of the child associating the sensation of the need to go with going to the potty.

  • Wiping themselves and flushing the toilet.

As toilet training progresses you will want to start teaching them how to wipe themselves, and how to wash up afterwards. With girls you will want to emphasize that they wipe from front to back to prevent the spreading of germs from anis to vagina, thus preventing infections.

At some point you will want to start letting your child flush the toilet. First show them how it works. Let them watch you flush it when empty a few times and watch the water as it swirls. Put something in the toilet that is flushable and let them see what happens to it. Try to make flushing something interesting to the child and then let them try it themselves.

Remember, ultimately you want to teach your child to be independent. So, when they start wanting to do things themselves, let them. But do not push them to act independently too quickly. You want to keep the stress level as low as possible.

When teaching a child to flush, make it interesting, but also teach them that they are not to flush it again and again. Yes, it is fun, but the toilet is not a toy for them to play with. Teach them that they get to flush when they are successful in going potty.

  • Teach them to wash their hands.

This is very important, and it is a habit, a routine that you want to instill in them early. It is recommended by some that you let your child pick out for themselves a special soft soap that they get to use whenever they go potty. Again the point is to make the process something special in the mind of the child.

  • Medical issues that may affect toilet training.

As a reminder, on the medical side, it is not unusual for autistic children to have gastrointestinal issues. These may complicate the potty training process. This may manifest itself as constipation, diarrhea, bloating, etc.

As I have already noted, if you suspect that your child has any medical issues, gastrointestinal or otherwise, see your pediatrician. Get professional medical advice.

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