Sunday, February 6, 2011

Potty Training At Shelly's House

Shelly and The Kiddos!
As I look back on our family's potty training experience, it amazes the wide variety of experiences that we have had. Our children are so different in every way and potty training is no exception.

Our oldest son started to show interest in sitting on the potty when he was about 15 months. We were so excited! We would set him on the potty, take a picture, and do the happy dance. That was a short lived experience. Within about a week, he decided it wasn't fun anymore and it would turn into a full blow melt down to get him to sit on the potty. We kept trying and nearly forcing him to sit there thinking he would get past this. Finally, we gave up. It all started again about 9 months later and when he was about 2.5 years old we tried again. He did show some interest, but not until another child at daycare was interested in potty training. It was still MONTHS before he would go poop on the potty. He would hold it and hide and poop in his pants. NOT my idea of fun to clean up.

By the time my daughter was ready to potty train, I decided to just let her train when she was ready. We weren't going to force it, when she showed interest we would go with it. Little did I know that my daughter would be so much different than my oldest son when it came to potty training. She started showing interest around the same age as my oldest son, about 2.5 years. She would go potty but never seemed to fully empty herself. She started getting frequent urinary tract infections. We had special cloth trainers made that were big enough for her and in fun prints so our now almost 4 year old didn't feel like she was wearing diapers. We took her our doctor who referred us to another doctor and then to another doctor. 

She was admitted to the hospital for a scoping procedure and we were told days later that she "bladder reflux". We were told that she would need to be on daily antibiotics until she outgrew this. As a parent, this did not seem natural to me and there had to be a better answer. Then one day, my sometimes slow light bulb turned on. The Chiropractor! Why had I never taken her before? So, I did some research on the reasoning behind chiropractic adjustments for bladder issues and it made sense to my family. We started her on a routine of consistently getting adjusted and we started to see a difference. After about 6 weeks of consistently going 1-3 times per week, we were not having anymore accidents at night.

We do still have an occasional accident with her, but when we do, we know that a quick trip to the chiropractor will fix it for another 6-8 weeks. In my opinion, this was a better fit for us than using a daily antibiotic.

Our youngest son was a breeze in most people's eyes. Our son is now 2.5 years old and has been potty trained for 4-5 months now. As soon as he started showing interest, right around 2 years old, we consistently let him sit on the potty and would give him a tootsie roll for sitting and trying. We didn't force him, if he said he wanted to go, then we would go. Around this same time, he decided he wanted to be like big brother and didn't want to wear diapers anymore. So we got him some underwear and we purchased a timer (more for my memory than his). Every 15-30 minutes, we would try and he would get a tootsie roll. It only took about 2 weeks of this and we had no more diapers. We did use cloth trainers (like Daisy Doodles and Super Undies) from the time he started showing interest and I do feel like that made a difference for him. He could feel when he was wet and knew that if he did that in the toilet, he would get a tootsie roll. That was good motivation for him. As soon as he got this, he was done. We had no overnight accidents and we had no poop accidents. When it clicked, it clicked.

The one thing that I hope parents can take away from my experiences is that every child is different in every way. When they are ready, they are going to be ready. If you are in tune with your child's cues and are able to help them in a supportive, non-threatening way, they will get it when it clicks for them.

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