Friday, May 11, 2012

Potty Training...Poop Talk

Well it's a known fact that potty training kiddos with Down Syndrome can be a little trickier than those without. For the most part, we had it fairly *easy* with Zoya going pee on the potty. She has been in big girl underwear all day for just over a year (she's turning 4 in 3 weeks). We took it slow and steady and made progress over time. She very rarely has accidents.  The average age for potty training for kiddos with DS is 4 (according to the Dr. at the DS clinic). So we were thrilled that Zoya seemed to be catching on so quickly!

Pooping on the potty, if you remember from my other posts, has not gone as smoothly! She was terrified, as many kids are. So we didn't push it (until recently). The thing about Zoya is that she started ONLY pooping while she was in her bed wearing a pull up (either first thing early in the morning or right at the end of her nap). Now, this is GOOD because it means she never had poop issues at school or accidents out in public. But this is bad because that means if we were out of town she'd hold it, Miralax and all, for days, which would in turn cause her to have pressure on her bladder and cause accidents. It's also bad because it's so hard to catch her because she is in her bed when she does it! She's too smart! Anyways, we tried EVERYTHING. Rewards, bribes, consequences, open-door bathroom policy, having a party on those rare occasions she DID poop on the potty, praise, having her sit on the potty when we knew she had to go, letting her watch Elmo while she sat onthe potty, and more bribes.  Finally my last straw was putting the little potty in her crib while I stood there to see if she would go (it didn't work if you're wondering). All my efforts only earned me weird looks from Zoya and embarrassing role-playing by Zoya at school with the dollhouse (Zoya placing the mama on the potty and saying "POOP"). Hmmph.

I was at my wit's end. I knew Zoya was cognitively able to understand that she had to go in the potty. I knew she was purposely waiting to go in her diaper in her bed. I knew the fear side of pooping in the potty has dissipated. I knew it was just becoming a control issue and a habit at this point. So we decided to start getting Zoya up about an hour earlier in the morning and what do you know? She is now pooping on the potty about 4 out of 7 mornings a week! (The other 3 days she either doesn't go, or goes in her diaper before we get to her). I'll take it! I've been role playing with her and teaching her to yell from her bed "Mama POOP". She is starting to get the idea and will stand up in her bed and just yell...nothing in particular, but it certainly gets my attention! The only downside is that she is now still getting up an hour earlier than she used to...I guess I can't have it all! I'll take pooping on the potty and a new earlier wake up time over poop in her diaper!

So, the reason I'm sharing this is so when Zoya is fully potty trained one day we can look back and laugh....AND because maybe what we did will work for someone else....I know you're thinking "If ONLY it could be so easy".....believe me, it certainly wasn't....but just keep on trying everything and maybe you'll find something that works for your child!


  1. oh poop , i dream of the day that my girl goes to make poop in the right place (toilet, of course)

    we got our daughter on september 2, she was 4 yrs old, and the special ed school she attended (at the orphanage) told us she was so smart and so ready to be potty trained, so we accepted the challenge right away. we were full of pee and poo accidents. the first times i almost puked (because of the bad smell)

    and to add some stress to this mama, the girl had diarreah for almost 2-3 months (thanks to bad alimentation, bacterias, bad habits etc) so imagine how fun was cleaning the mess (ohh and she clearly wasnt grossed out about being all dirty, and i mean ALL because she would make a complete mess with diarreah everywhere, sight)

    she goes to preschool and she had have accidents there of pee almost everyday until 2 months ago, and poop accidents mm maybe 5 times (in 7 months)

    now 8 months later since gotcha day, pee is almost controlled, she sometimes tells she has to go, but must of the times i remind her and she politly agree to go and pee. but poop is totally different stoy. she doesnt bother if she pooped on the pullup or panty, but at least when i tell her if she pooped she said ... yes, ewww! so she knows now is gross. dont know why she wont go to the toilet if she is not afraid, and we dont have a schedule of when she poops, it could be at any time. doble sigh

    it seems like she knows when she has to go because most of the times she goes to a lonely place to poop.

    potty training is hard

    1. Oh's so frustrating, isn't it :( It sounds like you've made a lot of progress in potty training...keep working at it and I bet she'll get it soon! That's a good sign that she goes to a lonely place to poop! It means she knows she shouldn't be doing it in her pants!!! You're on the right track I think!

  2. This is all very similar to our experience. :-) I can't remember when she started exclusively pooping on the potty only, but I think it was probably when she was a little over 4. But she was still wet at night, which suddenly stopped 2 weeks before she turned 5. We didn't push her or pressure her at all, other than to constantly prompt her to use the potty. It was all on her terms, and when she was ready, she was ready. Our kids sure are funny that way! Stubborn, stubborn, stubborn. Cracking up at Zoya's role-playing with the dollhouse at school! Because of constipation issues, we're always monitoring when she poops and how much (she takes Miralax daily, too), and tell her to let us know when she does a poop, and then we do the big congratulatory song and dance (figuratively). On more than one occasion she's done it in a public place, and come out of the bathroom yelling, "Daddy, I did a poop!" Sucks when that public place is a restaurant... Oy.

    Good luck, and congratulations to Zoya on all the amazing progress she's been making!!!

    1. Nice to hear we're not alone :) I'm glad you mentioned that the night wetting stopped right before she turned 5! She is starting to wake up from naps dry at times, but definitely not in the morning. I'm not worried about that YET :) I was thinking more around 5-6 I would start to worry if it didn't work itself out....thanks for sharing! Too funny about announcing poop in a restaurant!!!!

  3. I love reading about other's poop struggles! lol. I believe we have somehow gotten super lucky with Ivy(ds, 2 yrs 5 months, home 7 months) because she really has been easy to potty train. She doesn't poop her pants anymore but hates to go on the potty so will hold it for up to a week at a time. I KNOW she has to go but she refuses. It isn't a fear of going on the potty, I think its more of she wants a quick pee and off to play and doesn't like to take time to sit and poop. Girl doesn't like to do too much that takes effort, ha! Nice to know we aren't alone :o)

  4. Had to smile at Zoya's role playing! She'll catch on--wishing you patience and "small messes" until then lol!