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Toilet Training a child with SN's or a non SN child but is struggling anyway - support / advice thread

(24 Posts)
thomcat Wed 22-Aug-07 12:13:53

First off I work so have to rope in her summer holiday club, my mum and my dad who all help with childcare while I work.

Secondly she has always suffered from constipation which is helped by using Movicol. However this means that if she wears knickers there can be days where she has constant staining but no real bowel movement. If we take the knickers off she is very interested in what's going on and naturally her hands wander to that area and it's not great for anyone really!

Lastly she only started walking in the New Year and is still really unsteady on her feet. She can't pull her own knickers down, not only because that pincer grip still needs work but as soon as she is to try with both hands getting knickers down it unsteadies her and she feels unsafe and gets scared she'll fall so now won't try.

Lastly her 20 month old sister likes to get in the way and really likes to wear potty’s as hats!

So - we have had lots of success. When naked on her bottom half she'll do a wee or a poo unprompted and is very happy with herself. Walks potty into the adult to show them saying 'clever girl, sticker please'.

However when we put knickers on we have to remind her every half hour or so. She’ll happily wet her knickers. I like to use them though to stop straying messy fingers and her sister getting in the way in some form. When I ask her does she need the potty she always says no. So I remind her of a reward and she'll squeeze out a dribble.

Also she would never think to ask for a potty or loo when we are out and so I have to use a nappy every time we leave the house.

So not sure how to proceed from the no knicker successes to the wearing knickers and bottoms and still having success.

Any ideas?

And over to you for your problems.

thomcat Wed 22-Aug-07 14:30:40


FioFio Wed 22-Aug-07 14:33:24

Message withdrawn

eidsvold Wed 22-Aug-07 14:38:49

tc have a whole thing to work on with OT for dd1 with regards to toileting but it is 11.37pm here and I am knackered and heading to bed - so will post in the morning OR if you email me your email to eidsvoldsn at yahoo dot com dot au. I can email it back to you.

thomcat Wed 22-Aug-07 14:48:36

Thanks Edisvold.

Fio - I don't think knickers are too tight no. I mean , they are knickers, so they aren't baggy as such but ....
Maybe I'll try a loose pair of knickers and see what happens.

aloha Wed 22-Aug-07 14:55:35

What about not relying on her to tell you at all, but ditching the nappies and toileting her at boringly frequent intervals? ie before you leave the house, on arrival at the park, at the cafe, again at the cafe, at your friends house, before you get in the car and the minute you get back in again. Do it every 15-20mins to start with, and always take a spare dress and pants with you (keep a selection of pant/dress combos in the hall & car). The school would have to support you, with her support worker taking her all the time as well.
I know, it's a huge, huge pain when you are pg and have a toddler as well, but it worked for dd (who is two and NT) when waiting for her to ask just didn't. She still has the odd accident if she gets involved in an activity or fave programme and I forget to remind her. My ds took a long time and I got so depressed by it so I totally sympathise. He got through a lot of dirty clothes. I just chucked the pants in the end as I found the idea of washing them so depressing.

aloha Wed 22-Aug-07 14:57:11

Also, maybe work with your OT/physio on ways she can get her own knickers down? can she sit on the loo/potty and wriggle them down?

I have to say, my ds is still rubbish coordinating his pants/shorts when on the loo.

thomcat Wed 22-Aug-07 15:09:25

Thanks for your posts

Well, hmmm, have to say the thought of never using a nappy with her and coping with not just the wee but the little poo stains etc while out and about, and the possibly messy fingers (ewwwww) really doesn't appeal!

And we're going to someone's house on sunday, with other kids. What then? Does she wear trousers and no knickers. Or do I take every skirt / dress she owns and keep her with no knickers or nappy on? Hope she doesn't wee or poo on friends furniture and the other kids aren't freaked out?

[worn out!]

aloha Wed 22-Aug-07 15:52:00

Have you tried at home first, toileting her every twenty minutes and seeing if you still get accidents? I know it's hard when they get older. I wonder if she is getting confused because sometimes it's OK to wee/poo (when she has nappies) and sometimes it isn't. I could of course, be totally wrong. It has been known

And the thing is, it is always nerve-racking the first time you take out a potty-training child with no nappy on, SN or NT.

thomcat Wed 22-Aug-07 16:37:13

Yep, at home we do the every 20 minute thing, doing that now.

However, (boring!) in teh mornings when we are getting ready to leave it's just not possible and we take her to childminder / holiday cub in a nappy and start then. on days we are at home we start straight away. weekends we're allove rthe place so again it's a bit tricky.

Ohhhhhhhhhh, I need to go away with her on my own for 6 months and then we'll crack it.

aloha Wed 22-Aug-07 16:40:23

Look on the bright side - in about six months you'll be starting it all with dd2!


thomcat Wed 22-Aug-07 21:13:09

Evil witch you!

Actually DD2 is sort of ready now, she tells me she's been telling me she's doing a wee in her nappy for a little while now.

Charlee Wed 22-Aug-07 21:17:05

thomcat i am very interested in this thread my son is going to be 3 next month and he is exactly the same!

onlyjoking9329 Wed 22-Aug-07 22:47:27

sending you positive dry pants vibes if that will help at all.
DD (13) wet herself today and did a poo in her knickers the other day.

TotalChaos Wed 22-Aug-07 22:53:54

brilliant idea for a thread TC!

I asked something vaguely similar on SN a while back (about child who is OK in house, but prob wouldn't ask for potty/toilet), and the general advice was to just bite the bullet and take lots of spare clothes etc out...

eidsvold - we spoke about this previously, and forgot to e-mail you - will do so shortly!!!

eidsvold Wed 22-Aug-07 22:57:17

have emailed you.

As to friends places etc - I use an old moses basket mattress protector for dd2 to sit on when we are out and about - she even asks for it.

Piddle pads I am about to buy for the car.


can also be used in the stroller etc.

So we are still in pullups for dd1 trying to crack the toilet timing and will try for undies in the next school holidays.

coppertop Wed 22-Aug-07 23:11:06

With ds1 letting him have nappies in the daytime sometimes would have been a nightmare. With ds2 it was an absolute necessity.

I'm with you on the younger sister thing too. Dd (17mths) tries to use ds2's potty as an indoor paddling pool <shudder> if she sees that it has anything in it. I have to empty it the second I see that ds2's used it but being ds2 he of course doesn't tell me it's been used.

Ds2 is finally okay with wearing shorts or jeans over his pants but wants them to be changed every time he uses the potty. When we go out I feel like a walking laundry basket carrying umpteen spare pairs of pants and trousers.

And have I mentioned ds1 who wets himself pretty much everyday because he forgets to go to the toilet? Gaaaaaah!

I have no answers but wish you all the luck in the world.

Jenkeylovesdazzy Wed 22-Aug-07 23:22:07

Sorry, haven't got time to read all the posts but my dd was pants-free for the first 6 months of potty training and got to the point where she got every wee and poo on the toilet but as soon as she was in pants it all went wrong. I'd try every few weeks or so and always end up going back to no pants. Crunch time came when she had to do settling in days at pre-school last month and I knew she couldn't go commando! weirdly she took to it really well, we do have accidents and she does still prefer to go pant free - I am always finding little piles of pants around the house and have to get her to put them back on! it's been a long slow process and I think that until recently she just wasn't ready for pants. Potty training seems to have taken us about 10 times as long as anyone else I know but I have a younger dd with cerebral palsy and i sometimes feel I just haven't had the time or energy to dedicate the time I needed to it all. My dd also has to only wear skirts or dresses, trousers and shorts are instant accidents - god forbid if I ever have to potty train a boy! Good luck with it all and like my dd it might just be that you have to put up with a naked botty for some time!

gess Wed 22-Aug-07 23:35:51


The only thing that worked for us was just to repeatedly sit ds1 on the toilet and keep him there until he'd done something. We didn't really bother with pants (would have been going for years wiith wet ones). Sudenly it clicked overnight and he went straight into pants with no problems.

Have I told you about the toilet training autistic children book before - it's on my resources page along with a new one for other developmental disorders as well I found it really helpful. It gives a variety of methods to try and goes through step by step. The autism only one would be fine for learning difficulties, and I'm sure the new one will be as well.

thomcat Thu 23-Aug-07 10:58:40

Gosh it's bloody hard though isn't it. God know's how we'll keepo this up when she goes back to school in 2 weeks. She'll end up as the smelly wee wee girl alone int eh corner or something

When my mum has her on her own, no other siblings, she finds it a lot easier than I'm finding it. And it's so bloody cold that I feel bad putting her in some silly short skirt. Plus had to go and buy them especially as as a bum shuffler all her life skirts were always a big no no.

Also it's this squeezing out a tiny drop all the time, thast can't be good, she needs to be learning to hold and control her blader, or am I jumping too far ahead?

gess Thu 23-Aug-07 11:04:55

I htink ds1 did a squeezing out drops repeatedly phase.

TBH TC forget the school, they need to wise up and start helping out with this. In ds1's class (8/9 year old children with severe learning difficulties) very few are toilet trained. I was talking to his teacher about it when I was doing some work in the classroom and she said that she finds that children with learning difficulties tend to 'get it' suddenly but there's no point pushing, they'll do it when they're ready.

thomcat Thu 23-Aug-07 12:51:56


eidsvold Thu 23-Aug-07 23:05:38

tc i tries last year with dd1 and there was no way she was ready in terms of development - could not pull trousers up and down etc for a start and the brain ahd not clicked in. Now a year later she is taking herself to the toilet sometimes and producing something. She also takes herself off at school and kindy at times.

I think with dd1 it will be as gess says - one day it will all just click.

However - my OT told me that neurological pathways are not fully developed for bladder and bowel messages until children are 3 ( consider developmental age in our cases) AND throw in the low muscle tone - it is going to be a lifelong process.

But chin up - before you know it - you will have a dd2 like me who decides no undies BUT no poos in potty and you will be scraping crap for days okay not a nice thought but I just wonder somedays how all that education I did has taken me to scraping poo out of someone's undies!!and I laugh otherwise I would get really hacked off.

eidsvold Thu 23-Aug-07 23:06:30

i also have the potty where they are - so itis not such a big production to go to the loo iyswim. ANd it really is timing for us.

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