Sunday, February 23, 2014

Potty Training Fun

I've been wanting to potty train Kiddo for a while now, but he had a fear of sitting on the toilet and sitting on a potty seat.  So until that resolved, potty training was a no go.

But recently he has started telling us when he needed to "go poo poo" and so we would take him to his potty chair and he would do his business, we'd clap and cheer and give him candy and he'd do his proud potty dance.  (Which really is a march with clapping or with arms flailing about).

So, I decided to bite the bullet and do the bare bottomed three day potty training thing.  Starting Wednesday after he got home from preschool we started.  I figured that'd give us 3 1/2 days before church on Sunday and we could see what results we'd have in that time of just focusing on potty training.

He thought it "silly" (his word) he had no pants or diaper on, and within a minute or two of bare bottomedness promptly peed.  I quickly picked him up, set him on the potty chair and told him to pee pee there.  He complied, I clapped and cheered, gave him some candy, had him help me empty the contents into the toilet and flush, and then help me clean up his accident.

Twenty minutes later, the same thing.  Then again.  And again.  A total of seven times in two hours.  Fun times.

I was beginning to question not only the size of his bladder and the frequency of the urination, but also my sanity.  What had I seriously gotten myself into?  The only thing he seemed to have learned during our two hours of potty torture training is the word freckle, as he discovered one on his thigh.  The next several times he sat on the potty he'd point at it and proudly say "Kekkel!"

And then, when I least expected it, Kiddo ran over to his potty chair, sat down, and within seconds grinned at me.  "Did you go pee pee?" I asked him.

"Pee pee" he agreed, pointing to the tiniest yellow puddle in the potty chair with pride.

And we've had success ever since!

Well, not exactly.  There was that time he pooped on the floor.  But then he got the hang of that too, and it hasn't happened again.  We've been accident free since day two.

Oh sure, it hasn't been fun.  In fact, he had a morning of diarrhea (sorry, that was probably too much information, huh?) on day three that made me seriously wonder if I should just put a diaper on the kid, rather than having him keep sitting down, doing his thing, wiping again, flushing (since that's the fun part, right?) and then starting all over again.  Besides, I was seriously feeling nauseous from all the poop fun and ready for a break and feeling guilty that I had left Little Brother in front of the TV for way too long.

And then we had a fun little emergency that required us to go to the doctor's office on a Saturday morning.  No details on the blog, sorry, I'll leave it up to your imagination.  Thankfully Kiddo is fine and not at all scared of potty training after that.

Little Brother added to the potty training fun by stealing the potty chair chamber pot multiple times.  He thought it was hilarious as Kiddo chased him around the house to get it back.  We did not enjoy the chase as much as he did.

Kiddo has learned how to pull up and down his own underwear which is also a major accomplishment in this process as dressing and undressing is hard for him.  Pants are an issue, and since he's still scared to sit on a toilet we're wearing pull ups when we go out, as well as at bed time.  But at home, he's in his underwear and a shirt and running off to the bathroom whenever he needs to go.

Next steps, learning to pull up/down his own pants, and communicate that he has to go to the bathroom.  After he does that, I think he can wear underwear rather than pull ups when we go out and be completely potty trained.  For now, we'll just say he's successfully house trained. :)

When I told Kiddo he was never going to wear diapers again, only big boy underwear or pull-ups, he promptly put a diaper on his head.  Take that, Diaper!

I'm amazed at the progress, how quickly he caught on and has mastered new things.  I have to admit I'm tired.  So very tired.

But seeing his grin every time he pees (which seriously is every 20-30 minutes) is so worth it.  I am so proud of him.

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My advice to other potty training apraxia parents out there: Potty training can be hard enough, add in motor coordination difficulties and the lack of complete communication and it makes for lots of fun.  I've heard of some apraxic children being trained at age 2, others not until age 6 or 7, most being around age 4.  It was my goal to have him trained before he turned 4 (yay, we did it!), but only if he was ready for it.  Wait until they're ready and there's a lot less battles to fight.  Then, once they're ready, dedicate a few days to potty training alone.  I was against the idea of going bare bottomed for several days but heard it was very successful so decided to try it and it's true.  It works.  Don't worry about the speech during that time, just about using the potty.  And if they're ready, they'll get it. :)


  1. Jenn! This is so awesome. First, I have tried a few times with Cooper and he just isn't ready. I want him to be so badly. But he is getting closer. Thankfully! I have to laugh at the peeing 7 times and questioning his bladder size!! I did the exact same thing. I remember thinking 'wow, that is a LOT of pee!!' Love this post. Great job!

    1. Thanks Kate! Just wait until Cooper's ready, it makes things sooo much easier! He'll get there, don't worry. :)

  2. Hi, I just found your blog through the apraxia Facebook page. So glad to find more apraxia blogs to connect with. My son turned 3, two weeks ago. He is ready to be potty trained, but I have been so lazy about it. I know the only way to do it is to be bare bottom for 3 days. But, I take him places everyday, so I'm not sure how to do it. He will pee on the potty if I ask, but not poo. When he does poo in his diaper, he tells me he did. So communication isn't a problem, it's a mommy problem :-(

    1. Hi Calie, I'm glad you found the blog! Yeah, I can totally relate. We have places to be pretty much every day of the week except Saturday. So when we had an appointment free Thursday, I told his teachers he wasn't coming in on Friday and I just made it work. It wasn't fun, but it was totally worth it. Best of luck!!