Monday, February 18, 2013

pouting, pregnancy, and potty training, OH MY

I forgot I was going to do another caption contest over the weekend. Chalk it up to pregnancy brain.

 Here it is...

Leave a caption in the comment section to be entered to win...winner gets their child and/or blog featured on A Perfect Lily.

Here was a winner from last week who was able to send me a photo a little later than the others. That's okay, because I think this little lovely deserves a spotlight all by herself....

...this is Nora. Isn't she adorable ?? I met her mama, Kelly, on Instagram. Some day we ARE going to get our girls together :)

Next order of business, Baby Number Eleven. I've had a request to display my baby bump here, so I pieced together a little collage of the growing Ricelet for your viewing pleasure. On one condition : no fat jokes. I'm fully aware that I'm expanding in all areas, and anyone who tells me I'm "all baby" is a great liar and also a wonderful friend. (hint hint).

Behold, the bump.

And finally, a request for help on two issues.

The first is potty training.

I've done this nine times successfully, and some kids took longer than others...One of mine, (who incidentally also delivered himself when he was born...just popped out under the covers with no help from me) also potty trained himself. Just took off his diaper when he was 22 months old, got himself up on the toilet, and has been peeing and pooping like a champ every since. Others had to be bribed, coerced, etc. to get the process down by age three.

The one lesson I learned over the course of 24 years of potty training is this: don't do it until they're ready. I don't care what they do in China, or how many books tell you it can be done in two days, if your child ain't ready, they ain't ready. You can talk to your doctor about this if you don't believe me. I talked to mine about one of my children, because they had a bed-wetting problem for years. I mean years.

Here is a piece of what I'm talking about...

A hormone called vasopressin, which is produced by the pituitary gland, reduces urine production by the kidneys. An increased amount of this hormone is normally secreted during the night, cutting the rate of urine production in half. 

So in some kids, this gland decides it doesn't want to mature right away, like with other kids. It takes it's sweet time releasing that magical hormone, and no amount of limiting drinks at bedtime or bribing a child to stay dry so they can get stickers on a chart is going to speed things up if this is the problem.

Soooo...I am asking mamas of children with Down syndrome to tell me their thoughts on potty training. Specifically the ones who have older children...when did you do it? How successful were you? And most importantly - am I wasting my time trying this with Lily at age three?

Lately Lily has been showing extreme interest in the potty process. She takes her diaper off regularly, she puts on her siblings' underwear (as demonstrated above), she wants me to put her on the potty and pretend to wipe and flush, etc. And she yells POOOOOOOP when she is about so. The other day she was turning red and screaming that awesome word at the top of her lungs, so I rushed her over to the toilet. It took five minutes of hugging me, while she groaned, sweat, yelled OWWWIE POOOOPOOO (sorry TMI), but eventually the cow pie sized bomb was dropped, and a potty party was thrown in Lily's honor. She promptly ran down the hall to tell her brothers, and led them back to the golden throne, where she proudly pointed to its contents and clapped her hands in glee.

Today she's been in chonies all day, and aside from soaking through them at nap time (she fell asleep before I could switch to a diaper) she has stayed dry.

So Ds mamas ... your advice? I am not, NOT, NOT a fan of being mommy-trained. I refuse to run my child to the potty every twenty minutes for the next 6 months, or stop the car on road trips every half an hour to tell my child to go. That is not potty training, in my humble opinion, that is mommy training. When my other nine were ready to be potty trained it took about a week of on and off accidents, but THEY told ME when they had to go by the end of the week. And that is potty trained. Your child is aware that they have to go potty, they are aware they went potty, and they are able to tell you they have to go.

Since Lily is still just learning to talk, is this an effort in futility ?? She can sign potty, and she tells me ALL the time when she has pooped- comes up to me and signs "change me".

And really, with Down syndrome, I don't know how much she understands. I don't know if she is even able to make the connection that she is peeing, you know?

So maybe trial and error is (unfortunately) the only way to find this out with her?

I would love to hear from you about your experience with potty training your child with special needs. I don't want to frustrate Lily, and I don't want to set my expectations too high, but I also don't want to underestimate her.

One more area of help needed....we're taking our family to Disneyland in two weeks. Seven of us have birthdays next month, so in lieu of gifts, we're going to the happiest place on earth. (Thank you, Sammy, for earning a huge bonus in the month of January by working your butt off so that we can do this. You're my hero.)

Since this trip was planned last minute, I am frantically scouring Craigslist and Ebay for Disney princess costumes for Lily...she is a size 18 month - 24 month. I'm having a hard time finding costumes that small...if any of my readers have one you would like to SELL me (not looking for gifts!!!) I would more than happy to buy your used costume and pay for shipping as well.

Those are the ones I'm looking for, but if you had Snow White or Mary Poppins or Sleeping Beauty, those would be great as well.

Okay, lots I covered here...don't forget the caption contest, and if you have any potty training advice related to Down syndrome, please leave a comment or email me.

Peace out !!


Anonymous said...

We're in the same spot with Abby although she is a little younger. I'm not forcing it AT ALL but she is very interested in the potty because many of her friends are getting potty trained at school. She can talk well enough to communicate her needs but I'm not sure she understands what needing to go feels like. And I'm worried about the low muscle tone - even if she can tell, can she hold it? Dunno.

Our local DS group is hosting a potty training workshop after work on Thursday night... I will report back what I learn!

JC said...

Ha...Funny you should post this, we just bought Russell a little potty today!! But...I am not sure when I am going to start...I am wondering if he will grasp the whole concept just yet. Honestly though, from what you are saying about Lily, I think she sounds ready to at least give it a shot!
Hope you get some helpful comments on this post as I have many of the same questions.

teal915 said...

One of the moms from our DS group said she sent her daughter to her grandmas for a week when she turned 3, and she cam back potty trained, I'll take that method! Im the worst at potty training. My others were past 3 before they got it, and it seemed like we worked in it for months until they got it. We went to Disney World and asked Belle to tell Madison that princesses have to pee in the potty. When we got home, she was potty trained lol. Kamdyn is showing interest, so we talk about it some, but we're not pushing it yet. She's going to do a couple days of preschool this year, so I'm hoping that will motivate her. I have a 24 month Tinker Bell costume that Kamdyn got for her birthday last year. She wore it to a princess party but thats it. theres a picture of her wearing it in one of my posts. It has the wings and everything. If you want it, shoot me an email, and we can work it out.

cara said...

This is so strange because Jon and I were just talking about potty training and Benji tonight right before coming up to our room. We have no clue when to work with Benji on this. I am exactly like you with potty training. In fact, I do not do it. I just wait until my kiddos do it themselves, which pretty much has been at age three. I will really look forward to the advice on here!!!

Wish I had some Disney costumes. We only have older sizes here. I bet it is hard to find at 18-24 months!

You look beautiful pregnant!!! And you are definitely NOT expanding all over! It is hard to believe you have TEN kiddos and stay in such good shape! xoxo

Jed and Kimber said...

We're going to Disneyland in two weeks too! YAY!!!

lovemy3 said...

I have no potty training advice because Hailey is younger. I totally agree with you about mommy training and only when they are ready. Thanks for sharing the baby look fantastic!!!

Leah said...

Mom, Im Sassy & you know it! You look amazing pregnant. Rats too bad my sister is moving away from LA area otherwise I would love to go down that way just to meet you. we will meet someday I hope

Kelly Cach said... sweet to see my girl on here!! Thank you :)

Nora won't be 3 until July, but even then, I don't think I'm going to worry about the potty training. This may sound weird, but I actually have a peace about it. I let my boys tell me when they were ready, so I'll do the same for Nora. My 9 year old still wears a pull up at night (he would DIE if he knew I said anything!), and he is a "normally developing child." Our pediatrician isn't worried about him, so I'm not either. Maybe that's partially the reason I have a peace about Nora. Lily sounds like she's moving in the right direction...she is SO smart (from what I see:).

We went to Disneyland last February, but no princess dresses...only the Minnie Mouse ears and a Minnie Silhouette I made for her t-shirt :). I wish now I had gotten her one, although it would be teeny tiny now. Can't wait to hear about your trip! Our boys still talk about it, and we have video of Nora in It's a Small World...favorite memory by far, burned in my memory forever...with or without video :)

Sandryte said...

You look fantastic!

Potty training is an important topic for us either. My son is 3 and he understands the concept of it, pulls down the trousers, shows how he "cleans" the empty potty and "washes" his hands (he has a good example at school). But.. he is not there yet with the whole thing. And I AM WORRIED, it is hard to ignore it for me.

But what I believe is the right thing to do, is once you decide to stop using diapers, you stop everywhere. No diapers going outside, napping, during the night. Otherwise you just confuse the child - why is it ok to pee in bed, but not ok when plaing? I know it is very messy, we covered everything with plastics, and there is a lot of laundry, but I see an improvement so far.. Looking forward for other readers' comments!

Anna Theurer said...

Mama Bear, you are looking good!

Potty training. Remember that our kiddos have low muscle tone which is really important in potty training. This includes the urinary sphincter that releases the urine. It is harder for some of our kids to feel that they have to go or that they are even going. Lily knowing to poop is good. She actually feels it and knows the routine which is why she is able to go on the toilet. Anyway, you know Lily better than any of us. . . I would continue to put her on the potty when she asks. Do expect accidents. Like I said, there is a physiological component to this that make it even more difficult for our kiddos with Ds to master. Some kids with Ds are 3 when trained, others much older so that the average is actually 5 years-old.

Ellie is somewhere in the middle. She signs potty, puts her little seat on our toilet, pulls down her pants, sits there, and then flushes and washes hands. All by her self. The problem. . .she doesn't pee. Urine can be running down her leg and she doesn't even feel it. I point out that she is peeing and I get a blank stare. Right now, I am not forcing the issue. When she wants to sit on the potty, we do it. She sits on it at school because she sees the other kids. . .but she doesn't actually go. She is routine trained and not potty trained :-)

shantjoy2 said...

My DS daughter is 11 yrs.
It took until she was 7 yrs old to be solidly trained.

My DS son is 7 yrs & can pee on demand, but doesn't anticipate it. So I consider him schedule trained, not potty trained.

Callie said...

First of all, you look fabulous! If I could look like you when I was pregnant I might have 11 kids too! Seriously you are so tiny, you look great. Wouldn't bother to say it if I didn't mean it.

Secondly, I potty trained Kate at 32 months. Yep, I trained her just like I did the boys and frankly she was easier, especially in the poop department. I have to admit I couldn't believe it went so smoothly. Basically I make sure I have nothing to do and no where to go for 2-3 days. I just took her to the potty every 15-20 minutes the first day. They key is setting a timer!!! 15 minutes goes by fast! Trust me we blew through 5 pairs of underwear before noon but by day two she had figured out what it was to hold it. She would hold for like 3 hours but I still took her every 30 minutes, lots of praise, praise, praise. I think one of the keys to our success was just taking her to the potty not asking her if she had to go. I just said "we are going to the potty". I also traveled with her little potty chair in the car after day 3 or so and I would have her sit and go before we left the car or when we got back in the car. I know it sounds kind of gross but it worked.

The poop just came naturally for her and I am just so thankful for that! A couple of my boys were so awful about going poop on the potty, the would hold and hold, ugh. After about 3 weeks she began to tell me when she needed to poop and pee. We have been going strong for about 7 or 8 months now. I put a pull up on her at night. About 50/50 she is dry in the morning but I know she can hold it that long because she did on a 12 hour car trip:) They actually used her as an example to her typical peers in a toddler preschool class I had her in!!!

Good luck,
Callie & Kate

Kimberly said...

Just wanted to throw in my two cents worth.
I grately dislike potty training (don't like to use the word hate). That being said I know it has to be done. I think you're right in waiting until they are ready. With my oldest (who has Ds) I tried starting when he was 3ish but he really wasn't getting it. I didn't want to go backwards, though, so we kept trying. And it took years. Finally the summer between kindergarten and first grade I decided we just needed to be done with it. It took us a couple of weeks of just staying home with nothing else to do. To be honest at first it was the 'mommy training' but he finally did it. It wasn't long after that that he was sleeping through the night completely dry. To be honest the thing that helped me the most was prayer. I came to realize that their bodies had to change and make adjustments to get out of the habbit of going in their diaper/pull-up.
Now his sister (also Ds) is 4 and will sign "potty" and asked to go when i take her diaper off but hasn't shown a lot of interest. And isn't telling me when she's gone in her diaper. But she does go for periods of time completely dry. So I know we're getting close. I just don't want to drag it out for years like I did with her brother.
The thing to remember is they CAN do it. Just be patient.
Good luck!

Unknown said...

My Grace is 9 and has been trained since she was 3. She initiated it by signing potty, pulling at her pants, and lifting the toilet lid up while I would be in the bathroom getting ready in the mornings. I would sit her on while I finished getting ready and then throughout the day I would ask her if she needed to go, or when I needed to go I would take her with me. This did take around a year. I can't remember exactly how long it took for the her to be night time trained, maybe 1-2 months. She has continued having random accidents, basically she would hold it till the point of no return! However, we did find out this past fall that she had a Tethered Spinal Cord. That is where the end of the spinal cord is stuck on something and needs to be surgically cut loose. This was causing incontinence with both her bowel and bladder. I guess this can be found in anyone, but Ds people are more prevelant. Our surgeon said they are going to start checking on this during well baby checks. Just something else for our kids to go through. :(

Lindsey Corbin said...

You are totally coming to my neck of the woods!!!! AWESOME :) Have fun!

Regina said...

Someone told us when our daughter was very young to start putting her on the potty earlier rather than later. I think we started around age 2 which I probably would not have even attempted if this person had not recommended it. We are using a little potty because she’s so short. She has always had a hard time pooping and we can usually tell when she is trying to go. So we just started sitting her on there and she started pooping in the potty! She is 2 ½ now and she would poop in the potty every time if we could get her there. I think she holds it until she comes home at night because she’s been going right when we get home lately. And she totally gets it. We sit her down, she does her business and we’re done.

Over the course of doing this she started peeing in the potty also. Now sometimes she will ONLY pee in the potty when we take her. This leads me to believe she may be holding her pee also. She has some very dry diapers sometimes so I know she has more control. I don’t know if she could tell us when she actually needs to pee though. Our daycare provider has started taking her to the potty also which is nice. We will continue to do this since she is all about it but I’m not sure when we will have her officially trained. My daughter isn’t walking yet (although close) so she can’t get to the potty by herself. I am also 5 months pregnant and it’s so hard for me to get down there and work with her right now!

Clearly I am in the “mommy trained” group but it just sort of happened. I don’t have as much experience with this as you do

If Lily is showing interest I think you should definitely take advantage of the window. I think you may have to be ready for this to take longer w/ Lily than your other kids though. Maybe it won’t, but it could.

Have fun on your vacation!!

EN said...

When you get this figured out, Patti, please blog about it and enlighten the rest of us! It probably will take longer because the devleopmental delays that accompany DS mean that most things take longer for our kids. Josie "gets it" but just doesn't have the gross motor skills to get herself to the bathroom, balance and pull down her pants, or get herself up on the toilet. She will yell "I gotta poooooop! Don't poop your pants!" (with a Southern accept, oddly enough) and I'll run her in there and she will actually poop on the potty. But I acknowledge that this is "Mommy training". Lily seems much better off in the gross motor department. I wouldn't underestimate her. She may surprise you!

Mama Hop says Leanne was potty trained by 3 but at 63 years old, I think Mama Hop's memory for milestones is a bit hazy ;-) She'd have you believe I was reading the encyclopedia at 1 year old because obviously I'm a genius. Duh! LOL!

eliz said...

Our son now 17 still has "accidents". Sometimes I think on purpose- he's quite moody! LOL! He hates undies, he only wears depends. When he was 7 I complained to a mamma I loved dearly, the mom of my gal/client with Ds, Susie then 44. I told her-"The books say that potty training can be learned (kids with Ds) by ages 7-10. Well, Samson is 7, and he's still not potty trained." (But he was "scheduled" poop trained.) Sue's mamma said "Well then you've got 3 more years!" HA!!! I was waiting for words of wisdom! LOL!!
And he was trained by age 10! With an accident (pee) here and there.

However, that said, I work with many adults with Ds in our group home. The 2 gals I worked the longest with- MA and Susie both lost bladder control by age 40. Considering they age faster than we do, I think it's pretty normal.I'm 56 and I'm leaking!(TMI) But it made me re-think the importance of potty training. So with my little boys- I won't push it at all unless they want to, because life is too short to stress out over it. Right now Pauly 5 is "holding" his urine- with dry diapers, but we can't make him put it in the potty! LOL! He isn't interested!
Your Lily is amazing! I think you are doing everything right!! Lily you go girl!!

Catherine Graybosch said...

I LOVE this face on Lily! I can't believe you're taking on all of this craziness at once :) You are such a great mom!

Here's a caption for Lily's picture...
"Really, Mom, you want me to wear my own underwear?"

Diane said...

Caption Contest 'See Mom, I don't need any 'pouty' training' :)

Diane said...

Caption Contest 'See Mom, I don't need any 'pouty' training' :)

Diane said...

Caption Contest 'See Mom, I don't need any 'pouty' training' :)

Diane said...

Caption Contest 'See Mom, I don't need any 'pouty' training' :)

Elisabeth said...

Two captions for Lily's flirtatious pout:
- MUST. KEEP. POUTING. It's all over if they see my smile.
- Can I be your valentine?

patsy said...

Caption of what I think miss lily is thinking... "Baby, what new baby? What are you talkin' about....I'M the baby !" Love her so and LOVE this new face :)

the family of mannchester estate said...

i didn't read through all the comments, and i haven't done pottying with my little with Ds since she's only 15 months. however, my big, who is also low tone, and i was told to expect it to happen very late, was completely trained (even at night) by 20 months. thankfully her p.t. encouraged me when she showed interest not to listen to the 'she won't be able to do it because of low tone.'
when we started we put her in a shirt and baby legs to run around. the first few times she peed (on the floor) i very excitedly exclaimed, 'you're peeing. that's pee.' so that she would understand the concept, and then we cleaned it and put it in the potty where it goes. once she realized what she was doing, it went really well, and she was a rockstar with very few accidents.
all that was really to say, if she is showing interest, she is likely ready, even with all the other things factored in. :)


Unknown said...

caption comment:
hmm.. let me think about kisses for you... just kidding I love you!

Merideth said...

I don't have any advice to offer, I just wanted to say you look AMAZING! You are SO beautiful! If I can look HALF as good as that when I get pregnant I will be happy! Love it!


Tuff Family said...

You look great! Love seeing the progress of your pregnancy..

Blessings, Heidi

RK said...

Braska is 6 and we're still no where near being pull-up/diaper free. She has been able to tell us "I need to go potty" since before she was 3 and I thought we were well on our way. But it's not always true. And in the last few months, she's done better if we take her regularly, sometime most of the day if we are at home, but she will NOT tell us before she needs to go. We can often catch her right after meals, but it is THE biggest frustration at this stage. (And my kid doesn't chew, remember... this totally trumps that!)

So what we learned is that the verbal is not a true indicator. The gross motor is big, but I think we're dealing with sensory elements too. I am not convinced she senses when she needs to go potty. We're debating a urology appt. But don't worry, she can argue and debate WHY she doesn't need to go to the bathroom, a talker is she!

I've said a million times, if I could farm out this task, I would SO do it!