Monday, February 22, 2010

Bridget, Potty Trainer Extraordinaire

This is from an update I wrote on December 9:
We ditched the official potty training way back in the summer. Right after we started, it was clear to me that while Bridget was showing many readiness signs, she was not 100% ready to potty train (mainly because she was not able to give me any notice before she needed to even though she was mostly going in the potty, I never felt safe taking her anywhere in underwear). Being able to go when I asked her to was great, but in my mind, that did not constitute being "potty trained". Sometimes, we'd sit in the bathroom for a half-an-hour before she would go. A few days of that was more than enough for both of us, so I decided she was getting ready to train, but was not quite there. And there was really no hurry, other than some arbitrary timeline I'd set to potty train her by the age of three. I decided I'd assess as we go, and begin again when she was able to tell us consistently when she needed to go (and after she'd adjusted to preschool). She has made strides in all areas this past few months. Now it is a matter of me getting serious about it again. When I am able to be consistent and focus on potty training for at least a week, we'll begin again. I am not in a rush, though. It will happen sometime soon :).

...Bridget is now completely "schedule" trained! She goes whenever we put her on the potty and often (but not always) tells us before she needs to go. (This is a modified system from what we have done with our older children, but it is working for us!)

She is extremely proud of herself, too. She shouts, Yea, PEE! Yea, POOP! Job!! (Good Job!)

I can't use the restroom myself without flushing and thinking, Yea, PEE :)!

I got a much needed push from a wonderful, wise woman (a developmental specialist) who sees Bridget each week on Fridays. Her name is Joanne, but Bridget calls her "JoJo"....and JoJo told mommy that Bridget should be wearing underwear :). She thought Bridget was fully capable and ready, which I also knew.

In her vast experience (she has been working with children with Down syndrome for over 30 years), she says most kids with Ds "schedule" train for 6 months to a year before they begin telling caregivers consistently when they need to go. She said not to let that be a deterrent in expecting Bridget to use the potty and that we could miss a window of opportunity. So we went for it!

With our older children, I firmly believed that pull-ups were only for bed once they started training (I didn't want to confuse them). But all parents know that the start of potty training can be deadly--particularly when you need to go somewhere. Accidents don't benefit anyone, I've always thought. I try to ensure best-odds potty training, always.

With Bridget, it just so happens that she stays completely dry if I put her on the potty first thing in the morning, when she gets home from morning preschool, before her nap, after her nap and once in the evening, before bed. I have been puting her in a pull-up for school, but the classroom aides have agreed to put her on the potty at school and she is coming home dry each day :). Such a big girl!

I had hedged on doing things differently than what we've always done with potty training. Now I am wondering why I didn't just go with the flow and do things how it was best for Bridget right from the start. My youngest daughter continues to teach me how to let go and embrace whatever is, beyond my own notion of the way things should be.

Today, I put Bridget down for her nap in a pull-up with underwear over it. I turned around to see her take them both off, shake the pull-up out of the underwear and put just the underwear back on. Seems she has some ideas of her own...


  1. We go to Joanne, too! She's amazing! Way to go with the potty training. Aidan was done shortly after the age of three, and I'm sure if we waited until he was in his "no" phase of life we would have missed the opportunity.

  2. Go B Go!!!! She's amazing! I love her spunk!

  3. That's awesome :).

    "My youngest daughter continues to teach me how to let go and embrace whatever is, beyond my own notion of the way things should be".

    ...and same here. Don't you love that they make us sweep away the notion of what 'should be' and allow us to enjoy the 'what could be'.

    This whole post put a smile on my face. Bridget is not only cute but clever little cookie too. Thanks for sharing x

  4. We're not even thinking about potty training yet but I'm filing this post away in my memory bank. Oh, who am I kidding? My three kids have robbed my memory bank. I'll probably forget. Can you remind me in a couple of years? j/k Go Bridget!

  5. Bridget's light "WILL" lead the way! Way to go Bridget!!

  6. Woo hoo, go Bridget. I love how she tossed the pull-up.

  7. This is so right on time! Thank you!

    M loves the potty and now you've given me a name for what she is: schedule trained. I had never heard of that before. She's not as far along as B, but she asks to go every night after dinner and then produces. She's done that since last May and now we're moving into giving her more opportunities to excel. Gotta love that.

    This post was perfect. Go, B!

  8. Yay Bridget! I just giggled and giggled at the end when you explained how she took off the pull-up. I guess she showed you that she was a big girl. So cute and what a great accomplishment for all of you!

  9. I would love to hear about schedule training. I know you're busy but shoot me an email sometime if you get a chance. Of course, I'll google it too!