Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Potty Talk

Right around Emma's third birthday we started using the potty with her.  She seemed to get the hang of it pretty quickly and was really proud of herself when she went.  We tried to carry over the potty training at school but they weren't really good at putting her on the potty.  They didn't seem to want to do it and only after I asked them every....single....day about the potty did they put her on a couple of times.  Emma never did go on the potty at the school for them and I think it was mostly because the infrequency of it and the lack of a supportive potty and ample amount of time allotted to potty.  Needless to say, that made it pretty hard to potty train our little one.  Plus, it was really hard on my back and so we put the potty training on the back seat for a while.

This summer we took a long trip to Ireland and moved, putting potty training to the very bottom of my list of priorities.  Truthfully, it's much easier to just change Emma's diaper than figuring out all the intricacies of  potty training a non-verbal, non-mobile little girl.  Once we settled down in the house we figured it was time to start potty training again and started up again with our little wooden potty.  We also talked with her OT about ordering an adaptive one for our house.  Potty training was ON!

Emma at fountain in Love park.  Fountain is purple in support of ending domestic abuse.  She looks so grown up!
We set a schedule to sit Emma on the potty and decided to stick to it for a few weeks so Emma could get the rhythm of going on the potty and could start to anticipate the times she would get on the potty.  My idea is that if she knows there are certain times she will get to go, then she will start to hold it in anticipation of her next opportunity.  Right now she doesn't tell us when she has to go, but she does make sounds when she is all done and ready to come off the potty so that's at least a start.

Key to all of this potty training is carryover at school.  Emma really is becoming a big girl and she really wants to do big girl things and going on the potty really makes Emma proud.  I didn't want our second attempt to fail like the first and I was so happy that her school was completely on board.  The day Emma started school they set her up in a potty that gives her amazing support.  It was fitted and cleaned and available for her exclusive use on her second day at school.  The first time she used it, she went on the potty!  Horray for going at school!

We've been working on potty training for a couple of weeks now.  It's going ok.  Some days are better than others, but the last two days have been amazing with lots of dry diapers!  The biggest challenge I have is what to do when we are out in public?  Public restrooms are so not set up for us.  And from what I can tell there aren't any portable potties for kids like Emma.  I've asked around and no one has any great solutions.  Maybe there just isn't any good solution, but if anyone reading this has any ideas please let me know.  In the meantime I'll dig out our traveling fold-up potty seat we used for Julia and hold Emma on the potty.  I can already feel my back hurting thinking about it ;-) but Emma is so worth it.

Here is our current schedule of when we place Emma on the potty:

  • After waking up
  • When she arrives at school she has her hearing/CIs checked first thing, then off to the potty.  That is about 8:45am.  On days when she doesn't have school, we do ~30 minutes after her morning drink
  • Snack is at 10:30am so her next potty time is 11am.  
  • School ends at 11:15 and she arrives home around noon and I put her on the potty again once she gets home.  
  • After lunch but before nap - she doesn't usually go at this time so I might end up taking it out.  
  • After nap - she has been waking up dry and so this is a key time to put her on the potty!
  • Before dinner
  • Before Bath
  • Before Bed
Emma is using the Rifton Blue Wave Small at school and we are ordering the same one for our house.  She looks great in it, has show that she has no problem using it successfully, and it's nice to be consistent.  Plus, it has a couple of features that are nice like going directly over the toilet or using a pan, a tray to set her arms to keep herself upright (might not need to use all the straps), and wheels to move it around easily.  I have no idea how long it will take before we get it approved so we are using our wooden potty seat in the meantime.
My big girl getting on the school bus!
Her school also set-up a checklist that they include in her communication book everyday.  It has four columns on top:  Sat on Potty, Urinated on Potty, Urinated in Pull-up, Notes.  It has two columns on the side:  8:45am, 11am.  Her aid puts a check in the appropriate spots.  This morning she had a check at 8:45am sat on potty, 8:45am urinated on potty, and 11am sat on potty.  I love that I know what is happening with potty training at school.  I love that they are so responsive to my requests - I only asked once if they could let me know if she is "successful" on the potty and the very next day they started to include this checklist.  They also made a checklist for her equipment and time in each so I know what equipment is used during the day and can make decisions for what to use at home.

All smiles when she arrives home from school!
I'm hopeful that this time Emma will be fully potty trained.  I'm even hopeful that she'll have to add princess underwear to her Christmas list.  I know pull-ups will continue in our future - especially when an accessible bathroom isn't viable and for bedtime - but I am so very proud of how Emma is doing and will follow her lead to when the timing is right to take the leap forward to underwear!

4 Comments from readers:

Laura said...

Hooray for Emma!! We have the Flamingo potty chair by Snug Seat for Cody and LOVE it! We are having the public potty issue right now too. There have been many times that Cody has indicated that he needs to go but I have no way of following thru for him. I found this tonight and am going give it a try. The price is right too http://www.walmart.com/ip/Mommys-Helper-Cushie-Travel-Potty-Seat/10088173
Of course it doesn't give any trunk or head support but I can hold him up. Next problem is getting him to bear weight long enough to pull his pants up and down. Always something to work on huh, but so, so worth it!
Good luck guys..

Kristina said...

Thanks for the comment, Laura! So glad to hear Cody is doing well with the potty. Could you tell me more about how he tells you when he has to go potty and his PODD that you talk about on your blog? I'd love to know more because maybe some of it would work with Emma. You can email me if you want.

We do have a fold-up potty seat like the one you linked to - it's not padded but other than that it's similar. I'm going to start with that and also break out our portable potty that we can use in the car we bought for Julia. It's from One Step Ahead and might be easier for the short term - until Emma gets too big. Name is Cool Gear Folding Travel Potty. Might be nicer to have her potty in the car if the handicapped stall is yucky. Oh how I'd love a travel version of the Child Rite seat for on the go potty training! Might suggest it to them ;-)

Laura said...

Have you seen this bumbo potty chair?
I've been meaning to capture some good PODD video for you but haven't gotten it done yet, sorry! I'll email you some info about it tomorrow while the kiddos are at school :)

The Bynums said...

Exciting stuff for Miss Emma! Such good insight for us for the future too! Thanks so much for writing Kristina! Hey, what kind of chair is Emma in, in the pictures where she is loading and unloading the school bus? Thank you for your comment about maybe going ahead with getting a wheelchair instead of an adapted stroller. Tessa just turned 18 months and we are so ready to see her sitting prettier and better supported!