Potty Training

I recently attended a potty training workshop hosted by the DSAH. I love our DSA and all they do for our community. I wish we lived closer so we could participate more.

They held this course last summer but it was obviously too soon to think about potty training Eli at the time.

Now that he is two and walking, I want to prepare the best we can. We all know how important potty training is, especially for out kiddos with Ds who will be going into PPCD or other early learning programs at 3. Not to mention the social acceptance and independence it provides.
I don’t know anything about actually potty training, though. Add to that he has Ds and is a boy! I feel like the odds are not in our favor lol
BUT he is showing signs of interest and some readiness. Right now he will request a new diaper when he’s wet, but not when he’s poopy.
We used to keep the bathroom door closed but we have started to leave it open to normalize it. The only time he ever went in there before was to bathe, which he loves to do so he always wants to be in there to play.

Anyway, the course was good and gave some great advice. We haven’t started it yet- it’s a big undertaking and while Eli is interested I don’t think he is 100% ready to make the transition.
Plus he doesn’t have the motor skills needed yet.
So I know what you all are asking- what was the method?!
Here are my notes. 🙂

Potty Training in Four Days
The Murphy Method

Program Info:
-developed by a parent of a child with Ds.
-has been taught for 15 years and hundreds of children with Ds have been trained using it.
-record is 3 days
-at times it can take up to 2 weeks but is due to the parent not following the program or the child was not developmentally ready.
-a PhD in child development who works on toilet training has reviewed the program and endorses it.

True potty training happens when your child:
-has the urge to go
-finds the toilet
-pulls down their pants
-uses the toilet

This means your child knows when to go, doesn’t need help, and there is no schedule or having to remind your child to go.

When is a child ready?
-when they can pull down their pants and get on the toilet without assistance.
-typically age 3- don’t wait until the child seems interested.

Some tips to consider:
-don’t augment your toilet in any way.
-training toilets don’t exist in the real world, neither do special seat covers.
-a step stool is appropriate to use if needed.
-be consistent. Not matter what program you choose, stick with it. Do not try to borrow ideas from other programs or try to make up your own. Try a program and commit.

The 5 C’s:
Cool- this is a normal part of life, so don’t make it a big deal
Calm- no drama and no anger
Collected- prepare ahead of time
Confident- be certain of success
Committed- see it through- don’t go back.

To prepare, you need to plan. Make sure you have the time to commit to this training.
With your child present, throw away all their diapers. Don’t keep even just one as backup. Your plan is to never go back, so prepare to change sheets. 😉
When you purchase underwear, buy twenty lairs of identical underwear. Many children with Ds are quite literal (hence the tip to not augment the toilet itself). So if you but Spider-man underwear, they need to all look the same.
Next, prepare the space. Make sure the bathroom is free of distractions and things that would take away from your child going to the bathroom. You want them to get in and get out.

The goal is elimination in the toilet (don’t worry about wiping or handwashing- you can facilitate that).
First thing in the morning, 30 minutes before you know that your child is likely to need to go “number two”, you will go take your child to the rest room. Then you wait. The child will wait on the toilet or in the rest room until they have gone potty.
Once they have done that, you will have them clean up, pull their clothes back on, and go about their business.
Tell the child “Do not wet ot poop in your underwear. Wet or poop in the toilet”.
Wait. If they come out, or don’t go, keep trying. Wait outside the bathroom with them until they have completed.
Back to the toilet: every 45 minutes.

No prompting!
Learn through failure- again, make it the child’s responsibility to prompt using the toilet, or if they have an accident.
Make sure all family members are on board.
Remove all distractions.

Off to a friend’s house.
-No rescue clothing
-Show location of toilet
-No warnings
-No prompting
-Go home if pants are soiled

Off to Grandma’s
Drop the child off with a family member, or babysitter.
-No rescue clothing
-Show location of toilet
-No warnings
-No prompting
-Pick child up if pants are soiled

The program seems great, and I plan to attempt it when it’s Eli’s turn. The thing I liked best about it was the advice that, no matter what program you decide is best for your family, pick one and stick with it. Don’t pull several ideas from different resources and create your own program. Commit and stick with it, even if it doesn’t work the first time.
What I liked about this method was that it’s been so successful for so many people with Ds.

Like I said, I’ve never potty trained before, so this is a new adventure!
What method have you used? What worked for your family?

NOTES: http://www.kcdsg.org/files/content/Potty%20Training%20in%20Four%20Days%202010%20Version%203%20slides%20to%20a%20page.pdf


6 Replies to “Potty Training”

  1. This seems like great advice. I was a little annoyed at the comments about not augmenting het toilet, because, but I understand het reason behind it. It’s great that Eli is already able to indicate when he’s wet his diapers.

    1. It’s hard not to want to alter the toilet but I just saw first hand the reason why you shouldn’t even with typical kids- my niece is potty training and she had an accident recently because the toilet was different than hers at home.

  2. Just a note on the changing sheets thing- nighttime dryness is its own thing entirely and depends completely on the kid. Our oldest wore pullups to bed for over a year after she was completely daytime potty trained. Our second was dry overnight within a week of daytime potty training. We did nothing different (even used the same training method!) It’s just physiological differences in the kids.

    1. Thanks for the tip! A mom who attended the workshop said that her sons urologist doesn’t feel children under the age of 7 (or 9? I can’t remember), are capable of night time dryness.

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