Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Potty Technique

Potty training with Emma is coming along really well.  She understands potty and when I ask her Yes/No if she has to go she is pretty quick to respond.  However, she does not initiate requests to go to the potty so that makes it a bit tricky.  For now we have her on a schedule and she mostly has dry diapers but some days her schedule doesn't mesh with our planned activities so there are days when I let the schedule "slip" a bit.  Not often, but it does happen.  Also, when we are out and about she is getting a bit better about sitting on public toilets about 50% of the time, but the other 50% she still tries to arch her back and not sit on the seat so it's a hit or miss in public.  The only exception is the little potties that are in the restrooms of the Children's Hospitals we visit.  She loves to sit on the little potties and I can't blame here - they are much cuter than the huge ones in the public handicapped restrooms.

We've had various methods and techniques for Operations Potty Train Emma and what I've been doing lately is working well.  Since Emma is very long and getting longer by the day in addition to getting heavier as she ages I want to get her used to being changed without a changing table.  I'm still very friendly with her OT from Early Intervention and she suggested I try having Emma stand for diaper changes and I loved that idea.  Now, instead of moving her to bathroom and back to living room to put on her diaper then back to the bathroom to wash her hands, my current method is all done in the bathroom and it also works for when we are in public.  Plus it saves my back a bit and decreases the time needed for potty breaks.

This is our current method:

  1. Place Emma on potty at appropriate time
  2. When she is done have her do a word approximating for All Done.  She would love to just cry or fuss but that doesn't get her off and so she is getting pretty good at the word approximation of All Done.
  3. Set up our kitchen stool so that it is leaning against the door jamb so it can't move. 
  4. Take Emma off potty and lean her over the stool.  If her legs are crossed move them apart a little. Put on diaper while she is in standing position.  It took a few tries to get the hang of putting on the diaper while she is standing up but now it's a piece of cake.  I also stand right behind her so she can't fall backwards since she does hang on the stool and it could fall backwards even though it can't move forwards.  Note:  When we are in public restrooms, I make sure her chair wheels are locked and lean her over the side of her wheelchair so her hands are on the seat and her belly is against the armrest and it works fine.  
  5. Turn stool around and stand Emma on the bottom step so we can wash her hands.  She is now trying to get her arms up to turn on the water and she is making progress towards that each day.  Washing hands could be Emma's FAVORITE part of going to the potty.  
And here are some photos showing our method.  If anyone reading this blog has questions or suggestions please leave me a comment.

3 Comments from readers:

Holly said...

I love this! We, too, have been a bit off when schedules don't mesh. Mostly though Caleigh is doing well. I find pull-ups to be the easiest, but not the most absorbent when we are out and an accident happens. Also, we use a Potete potty (bought at babies r us) in our van before we go in anywhere and when we return to the van. That way I don't have to deal with yucky restrooms just yet. It also unfolds to sit directly on a public potty.

Sometimes I feel like I should be winning an Olympic Medal for the work involved, but I know I have to get this right because she is only getting bigger.

Good Luck!

Kristina said...

Thanks for reminding me about the portable potty. We have a collapsible one that we used for Julia in our car and I think I'll have to dig it out now.

And, I SOOOO relate tot he Olympic Medal for the work involved. It's definitely not less work to have her potty trained!

Mel said...

This is very helpful for I too am in the process of toileting my child with cerebral palsy.