Get our weekly guide to the best local family events!
The standard toilet training literature preaches traditional wisdom: Your child will tell you when they are ready, read a few books, expose your child to the bathroom, and just like that, they'll be toilet trained! Children with many special needs, however, have greater success with a more structured and systematic approach to toilet training.
There are some signs to look out for which signal that your child may be ready for toilet training, including:
In typically developing children, these signs may appear between 18-30 months of age, but children with developmental delays may show these signs at a much later stage, or may not show them at all. This should not discourage you from toilet training your child; if by 3 years old your child is not showing these signs, go ahead and begin the process anyway. Beforehand, consult your child's physician to rule out any medical issues that may hinder the process.
Be sure to choose the right time to begin the toilet training process—weekends or stay-at—home vacations when you can be fully committed with no other distractions are some possibilities. A time when your child is sick or being weaned off the pacifier or naptime may not be the best times to introduce a new skill. Organize a meeting with your spouse and all of your child's caregivers, teachers, and therapists to brief them so everyone can follow the same protocol. The key to successful toilet training for your child is consistency. Most important, make sure you are relaxed and confident in your abilities to train your child to use the bathroom independently. If your child senses that you are anxious, chances are he/she will be more resistant and non-compliant. Also, be prepared for changes in your child's behavior or mood when the toilet training process begins. Be extra patient and focus on fun activities during down time.
These are all skills your child will need to be familiar with during the actual toilet training process so give them a head start by preparing them early:
NOTE: if your child uses pictures or sign language to communicate, expose them to the potty symbol/picture (printable images on Google or Do2Learn) or hand sign for "bathroom."
Get thorough instructions on potty training your child with special needsSamantha from the mom blog Have Sippy, Will Travel lets us in on her own secrets to surviving toilet training trauma
Rewarding your child for successful eliminations in the toilet is an essential part of the process, helping him or her learn the correct steps and build confidence. The key is choosing a reinforcing item that your child can have ONLY when they successfully eliminate in the toilet.
Try to choose perishable items (snacks, drinks) and give your child a very small piece or sip so that they are highly motivated to get more. Repetition over time will teach your child the toilet training contingency: If you eliminate in the toilet, you get special treats! Make sure to give the reinforcing item directly after elimination to quickly teach this connection. You can do this by keeping the item in a clear bag in the bathroom cabinet or very close to the bathroom out of the child's reach.
It is also important to pair these treats with social praise ("Great job making pee-pee on the potty!!") because you will eventually be able to fade out the reinforcing item and provide more natural, social praise when your child eliminates on the toilet. Calling your child's favorite family member to boast of the good news may serve as a highly effective reinforcer as well.
How to Cope with Bedwetting
17 E. 89th St., Suite 1D
New York, NY 10030
6214 24th Ave.
Brooklyn, NY 11204
FIND LOCAL EVENTS:
Sep 22, 2017
May 18, 2015
Jun 26, 2017
Sep 14, 2017
Sep 06, 2017
Aug 30, 2017
Aug 24, 2017
NYMetroParents directories list the best businesses, professionals, and resources in your area. Click your region and get started!
Get NY MetroParents via Email