Potty Training

As you are aware most mainstream preschools won’t accept a child who isn’t potty trained. This can be extremely difficult if you have a child with additional needs.

Let me talk about physical first, it may be normal for most boys to stand up when using the bathroom, however, it may not always work that way in particular if your child has mobility or balancing issues. It may work best to start training your child to sit on the toilet or potty. Safety is the key here and you may need to have advice from your occupational/physical therapist because if your child is not feeling secure than a bad experience may leave him/her frightened.

At the beginning when I was training David, it was quite difficult. I first tried to find the best potty to suit him and let him have fun with it, this only worked a short time as it was very awkward for David to sit in this position. I then found an insert for the toilet (made with foam and plastic) to place in the bowl for him along with a little step for his legs and grab rails.

Not everywhere you go will have grab rails so I would always explain to David that “I was his grab rails” so he could put his hands on my shoulder if I knelt beside him or hold him on the toilet so he felt secure.

I tried my best to make it fun and praised him even if he only made an attempt to go. Eventually, he loved the praise so much he wanted to do it again and again. To actually have a bowel movement was more difficult (if you want my advice on this phone me as some advice is best not written in print!).

Night Time

To have your child night trained can take a lot longer and there is numerous reason why, so do get advice. One item I found extremely helpful was the mattress protector bed absorbers. The mattress protectors allowed me the transition from keeping a nappy on David each night to taking more of a chance when I felt he was ready.

Nappy Scheme

The cost of nappies can really add up and if you have a child with additional needs then from age 3 or over, you can have access to the Free Nappy Scheme. This allows you to get a set number of nappies per month and is administrated by your local Health Nurse. You should contact your local Health Centre and be persistent as the scheme does exist however few know about it.

When speaking to parents the main issue they have with the nappies, is the quality of nappies supplied can be of poor quality. This is just not acceptable and you may have to speak with your health nurse to see if she can offer a better solution.  If you do need extra resources keep receipts because you will be able to claim 20% off the nappies on your MED 1 form each year after your child turns three.

Every parent’s journey on potty training is different and all you can do is your best and just have as much patience as possible, not every child can be potty trained. For those parents who have gotten out the other end then we must be so thankful and share our knowledge with other parents to help ease their journey.

Until next time

Dolores.