Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Toilet Learning is Fun!

Tommy has shown physical readiness for toilet learning since the beginning of the year. By that time, I was excited with the idea of toilet learning and I assisted to a toilet learning class sponsored by Parents as teachers last March. The class was very instructive and it made me realize we should hold off on toilet learning because Tommy wasn't walking yet, even although he had some physical readiness to start. About two months ago, our OT suggested to start potty training and I decided to give it a try because I knew Tommy has the physical readiness necessary to initiate the toilet learning process.

We took Tommy with us to purchase the potty chair. In our search for a potty chair, We found Elmo Potty Chair —3-in-1 chair, seat and stool. This potty chair offers ten encouraging phrases in English, Spanish and Frensh and it comes with A Sesame Street Mini-Book and 20 colorful stickers. I use those features to encourage language development and fine motor skills. I mimic Elmo's voice and repeat the phrases, which it is funny for Tommy, so he can see the motion of my lips and tongue and he put the stickers all by himself on the book practicing pincer grasp and wrist rotation. We also got some potty learning books because Tommy is a book lover. These activities make potty learning fun! Learning to use the potty should be a positive experience for kids and parents.

I was insecure of my parenting skills about how to initiate toilet learning with Tommy. So, I talked to our DT and she suggested do it as a routine in the morning and evening. So far, so good! He is enjoying potty time in the morning and the evening because he likes his chair. He keeps giving Elmo a high five every time he is on the chair, and after he is done, I allow him to down the flush handle. Because He is becoming verbal, I am also encouraging him to say pee and poop when he goes, he repeats them after me and smile. He also takes the toilet paper, I guess because daddy is his role model. I let him to try to roll the paper, but I will take this step without any hurry.

Toilet learning is different from toilet training because toilet training is a process that the adult direct to a child; toilet learning is when the child is involve in their own learning while having fun. Toilet learning starts with readiness signs that tell if the child is ready to use the toilet. Learning will happen when parents teach in a way that does not punish. The child should learn to listen to their bodies, to take their own clothes off with a little help, and to feel good about learning "go potty." The toilet learning goal is that the child feels proud of what he or she has done, which plays an important role in the child’s self esteem, so genuine and enthusiastic verbal praises are important. During toilet learning, there are only lessons and not accidents, the child learns from it.

Getting ready
• Begin to introduce the concepts wet, dry, clean, duty before starting potty training.
• Encourage your child get familiar with the potty chair before. We let Tommy to seat on chair a few times before he actually used it. I am also planing to pretend play "go potty" with his stuffed animals and his boy-doll that has a little potty chair.
• Teach the child to wash his hands before the toilet learning process.
• Read potty training books 6 weeks or so before starting the toilet learning process.

Signs of readiness
According to the book "The Wonder Years":

Between 18 month to two years, children often start to show signs of readiness, but some children may not be ready until two and half years or older.

Is my child ready?
There are a number of signs that will alert you to when your child may be ready to start using the potty. Some your will notice, others will be brought to your attention!

What you will notice:
• Your child's bowel movements occur on a fairly regular and predictable schedule.
• His diaper is not always wet. Young toddlers urinate often. If diapers remain dry for a couple of hours at a time it suggests that the frequency of urination is slowing.
• Your child is able to follow simple instructions, walk to the bathroom (or potty), and can help undress himself.

What your child may do:
• Get upset when he has dirty diaper.
• Show signs that he knows that he is about to go in his diaper, such as hiding behind the couch or squatting in a corner.
• Come to tell you or give a sign when he has passed urine or a bowel movement.
• Go and get the potty.
• Sit on the potty —possible with his diaper on.
• Follow your into the toilet to see what happens.

When you have a child with Trisomy 21 is really hard to know when the child is ready. In our son's case it has been the physical readiness the main indicator that he is ready. But I also think he is emotionally ready because he is having fun and patient while he seats on the potty. We are not sure if it has been good luck or if Tommy is actually understanding this concept, but he has used the potty chair since we started on Saturday night (October 2nd.) He has done both, #1 and #2, actually on Sunday was his #1 in the potty chair for the first time. He may be ready for learning "go potty" on his own, but we don't know how long it will take; however, we are so excited he has initiated toilet learning as a big boy.


Anonymous said...


I am so excited to hear that Tommy is having “fun” learning about potty time.

It sounds like you did a great job researching information to make this transition a great interactive learning experience for him.

Please keep me updated about his success.

Way to go Tommy!!!

Have a great day Rosa.


Rosa Maria said...

As usual, you never cease to amaze me. And you have such cute pictures to share, too. I love them! You and Adam are wonderful parents and have such a beautiful faith in God and his holy mother.
Keep it up!
Hugs, love and prayers,

Anonymous said...

Expectations should be set high, encouragement higher.

Keep up the good work

George said...

you are sooooooo cute!