More Potty Training ? - TMI

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Registered: 12-31-1969
More Potty Training ? - TMI
Thu, 03-12-2009 - 11:41pm

Since we are all in the PT world, I thought I'd run a few things by you. We are still in the early stages of exploring the potty with a few successes putting pee in the potty. Today was one of those successful days.

When JB decides he wants to work on potty training, he will go sit on the potty (he gets a reward for sitting on the potty right now), get his reward, then sit on the potty to eat his reward thereby guaranteeing he gets another reward. He is quite the schemer, let me tell you. Before I give him his reward (a tiny cracker), he must drink some water. (Wonder where he got his scheming from? LOL). After about 45 minutes of this game, we finally get a full bladder and can then really potty train. For putting pee in the potty, he gets a bigger/better reward (big cracker). Poop is not even on our playing field right now.

So here's my question (finally)... JB seems to dribble a lot. Don't get me wrong, every drop counts, but it's rarely a steady stream. He will dribble 3 or 4 times (and get rewards), then a steady stream, then back to dribbles. Today we had 12 successful pees in the potty, but only 3 streams. Is that what you are seeing as well? I would think he'd have a huge release, then be done. Could it be a result of taking so many little drinks over such a long period of time that he releases it in a similar pattern to the way he ingested the water?

I'm concerned because kids with sensory issues also have potty training issues. Normally parents are told the child is not ready until the child is around 3.5, then around 4 they figure out it's not a physiological problem, it's a sensory issue. Then the process is quite difficult. So I want to stay on top of this. I'm trying to get a sense of normalcy before bringing yet another thing up at his sessions.

My other question centers around him being physiologically ready to potty train. When he wants to potty train, he goes to sit on the potty until something happens instead of timing it. So he normally sits (on and off) the potty for about 45 minutes before he gets anywhere. Today, he decided he wanted to sit on the potty and would not even get off for breakfast. I fed him while he sat there. He was so determined that today was the day he was going to get his putting-pee-in-the-potty reward. So a potty training session with us appears to be about 2 hours (45 mins to fill the bladder, then an hour or so emptying the bladder). I'd always envisioned it being 5 minute blocks dispersed throughout the day. Am I doing something wrong? After my previous attempts/failures, I'd decided to wait until May to try again. I'm so excited that he's showing any interest that I'm letting him lead the way here.



Edited 3/12/2009 11:46 pm ET by mom_ladybug
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Registered: 02-26-2004
Fri, 03-13-2009 - 1:44am

I'm certainly no expert since my 3.5 year old is *just* potty trained and I was beginning to think she would never do it until I got frustrated and forced the issue (which is something my ped told me not to do). Anyway, we decided to start PT-ing when she was just over 2 and started taking off her diaper and peeing on the floor. I wasn't really ready to PT but I decided it would be better than constantly cleaning the carpet. It didn't take long at all for her to start going on the potty and she was almost completely pee trained quickly. She still wouldn't poop on the potty and we would put her in a diaper overnight. We would give her a mini chips Ahoy when she would pee on the potty. For a while it seemed like she would pee just enough to get the cookie. We never let her sit there for more than 5 minutes or so. Eventually she would go more often with more of a stream.

After about a year of this she decided one day that she wasn't going to do it anymore. We tried everything and she wouldn't go. One day I decided to play hardball and refused to give her a diaper. When it got to be bedtime she said she wanted a diaper and I wouldn't give her one unless she would go potty. She wouldn't so I put her to bed without a diaper. I chickened out and went in later and put a diaper on her. In the morning she was dry, so I took off the diaper and put her back in panties. After 19 hours I started to worry that she would hurt herself, so I let her have a diaper. She peed immediately with no problem. After a few months of this I decided that she was perfectly capable and I "threw away" the diapers that were left and told her they were gone and she could either go on the toilet or in her pants. We eventually had success that day. Each time she fought it less and within a couple of days it wasn't a big deal. She still fought pooping in the toilet, but we stayed tough. She had a couple of accidents and would hold it as long as she could, but eventually she started going. She hasn't had an accident in a few weeks and we're coming up on 2 months since her last diaper.

As for sensory issues... They can definitely affect PT-ing. My older DD is 6 and still not PTed because she has developmental delays and sensory integration dysfunction. She just doesn't seem to recognize the sensation when she has to go and I'm not sure she really knows how to control those muscles. I think if JB had sensory issues, you would have probably noticed them in other area by now. Does he have other sensory issues? If not, PT-ing probably won't be the first place you see them.

From my non-expert experience, it seems like what you're describing is pretty normal. It takes a little time to learn how it works. I think if you keep practicing he'll eventually get it. Our ped insists it's something you can't force and they're ready when they're ready.





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Registered: 04-06-2007
Fri, 03-13-2009 - 4:24am

Caren- First of all, YAY JB for deciding to give it a whirl and YAY to Mom for letting go enough to put it in his hands (I mean that sincerely- it can be a really hard thing to do).

If you've been reading upstairs in the 3MP, you already know all of this, but we finally decided last weekend to give it a week of sincere effort. If we'd made progress by the end of the week, we'd keep going. If not, we'd give up for a couple of months. We did this for a few reasons. 1. We knew that he was physiologically capable. I was skeptical that he was mentally ready, but I was wrong. He had recently started telling us when he was peeing, asking for new diapers, staying dry for longer periods, etc. This was all new for him and was a clear sign to me that he could do it. 2. He has to be PT'd at preschool in the fall. That's a long way off, but I was worried about how much time I'd have to devote to it this summer. 3. It's getting harder for me to pick him up and get him on/off the changing table and darn near impossible to get onto the floor to change him. So. In the days leading up to it, we made a big deal of pottying, big boy undies, etc. Last Saturday morning we got up, let him pick out his undies, put them on and started making him sit on the potty every half hour. He could get up when he wanted to, but he had to come back in a half hour. We didn't tell him about his rewards ahead of time because I didn't want him to get upset if he couldn't pee and then didn't get the reward. So we also started by getting a small reward just for sitting, bigger for peeing. He didn't get the reward until he was off the potty, so we didn't have the issue of wanting to keep sitting there to get the reward. Also, that reward went away after day 1 when we knew he could pee on the potty t get a reward and didn't need to be rewarded just for sitting. The first day, he had 3 accidents. Each time, we didn't make a big deal of it, just told him, "No. Pee pee goes in the potty, not in your big boy underwear." We'd change, and continue. Days 2 and 3, we had 1 accident. None since. He now tells us when he needs to pee and yesterday (day 6), he was in undies all day, even out in public. This is all for pee. When he needs to poop, he asks for a diaper. I tried to press the issue yesterday and he got upset and held it most of the day, so I gave in and put him in a diaper. I have decided to leave that alone for now and just let him work on pee since he accepts that.

I'm not saying this method is "right." I think whatever works is right. I honestly wonder if the difference for us was just readiness on his part OR whether it was my attitude. I really didn't think it would work and didn't care. We had a plan. We'd try again in a few months. I was just humoring DH, pretty much. I am sure Lucas could sense that there was no frustration on my part and there had previously had been. Ok. So your questions. I am surprised by Lucas's ability to start and stop his stream. It almost seems like there are times when he's just unsure that he really wants to go. Or maybe he's just playing with his body, seeing what he can do. He'll dribble a little, stop. Dribble some more, stop. Maybe have a little stream, maybe not. Stop. At first, he did this a lot more, and peed less each session with more sessions (i.e. day 2, he peed almost every 30 minutes when we put him on the potty, a little each time). As the week's gone on, he's gotten better about spacing his pee sessions and going more fully each time. I really think it's just an issue of getting used to suddenly being able to see and hear the process and feel it differently. I knew he COULD hold his pee to build up a fuller bladder because he was dry much more during the day. So what I am saying in a loooooooong way is that I'd give it a few more days to see if JB starts to pee more "normally" as he gets used to the idea of peeing on the potty rather than in a diaper.

As with all things child-rearing, I'd definitely not worry about the way things are going after one day. I'd give him 2 or 3 more successful days to see whether he sits on the potty less and pees more each time as he gets used to the process. It's a huge paradigm shift for them, so it's probably expected that it'll take some time for it to look more like it's "supposed" to look from the perspective of someone who's been at this for 30-something years. Walking, talking, crawling, eating, most everything is clumsy and awkward when first learned. I guess maybe pottying is too.


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Registered: 11-29-2005
Fri, 03-13-2009 - 11:58am

First, I don't know much about anything, including sensory dx. Thats my little disclaimer. I'm not in your house so I can't see what's going on, so consider that before you decide I'm onto something. I agree with Anne that the dribbling is probably part of learning how to use your body. PLUS I believe its a clever kid figuring out how to get extra treats. Robert tried the same thing. He'd go over to the potty, piddle a bit, get an m&m and then go and piddle a little bit more expecting another m&m. Ha ha (claps hands slowly) ummm no, that's cheating and I told him so.

Now that I see he *can* use the potty, he only earns an m&m for dry underpants. He gets a sticker and m&m for pooping on the potty, a feat only accomplished twice. He likes to hold it until naptime diaper, little stinker. He pees his pants everytime. I greet that the same way Anne does; reminder that pee goes in the potty and that we don't pee our pants. Never anger, never impatience, but definitely not giving him an "its ok" message. I believe that when you meet PT accidents with anger or impatience you can prolong the process. Like I've said a thousand times, toddlers are contrarians and if you set up a battle of the wills with their bowels and bladders you WILL LOSE.

I can't get my kid to wear underpants around the house right now. He's sort of addicted to freeballin' and the mere suggestion of underpants starts of a tirade. When at home, he is 100% PT. It all falls apart when we leave the house. We'll figure it out, gotta tweak the protocol.

I know you have notions of early PTing because of your expectations and family history. Sometimes though Caren you gotta roll with it. JB is not a Caren and/or Jeff clone. He is his own person with his own potentials and timelines. His not being PT at 18mo is not a failure or referendum against your parenting skills. HTH

she had no intention of suffering alone

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