Potty Training & Down Syndrome...any suggestions??

[deleted account] ( 26 moms have responded )

My daughter was diagnosed with Down Syndrome when she was 6 weeks old. Since then there has been a roller coaster of ups and downs. But I thank God every day that we were blessed with my little Caitlyn.



My question for any mom's out there with a child with Down Syndrome, how the heck did you potty train your child??? Caitlyn is 4 now, and still doesn't use the potty. We tried putting her on a toddler potty and the big potty but nothing works. I've tried pull-ups, so she can feel the wet sensation, I've tried having her go every 10 minutes, I've tried putting her in the bathroom with her potty trained cousin, to show her that it's a good thing to use the potty, I've used a reward system, marshmallows, I've even tried just putting panties on her and letting her wet herself to encourage her to use the potty and she won't be wet. So far nothing works, she requests her pull-ups and doesn't want anything to do with her panties. She will tell us after she went that she wants to potty, or a new pullup.



So I am at a loss, and need all the help I can get. Any suggestions would be wonderful, as I will try just about anything at this point!



Thanks so much,

~Jess

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Dawn - posted on 10/21/2009

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My son is now 27 and also downsyndrome I hate to tell you this lol but no matter what you do it takes what seems like a lifetime to potty train these kids. My son was finally trained at 12 years old. Some of these kids never get pottytrained. I have worked with disabled kids for many many years and everyone is different but pottytraining is pretty much universal they just dont want to do it. I know it is tough but it is part of who they are. I love my son but even now he still has accidents and has to be cleaned up. If you get it done sooner then I will be so happy for you just keep trying and good luck.

Lori - posted on 10/14/2009

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Read the book how to potty train your child in less then a day it worked with all 6 of my children.

The main points... Have a potty chair in the kitchen, no tv, music, other people NOTHING. Have a doll that wets. (That wears underpants) Have SALTY snacks all different kinds that he likes, and offer him anything and everything to drink while you guys are just hanging out! ;) Make sure your son has big boy underwear on (not pull ups) Have the doll go potty over and over, you guys just chit chat and munch on the pretzles and chips and pop corn, and every time the doll goes potty you say wow that's awesome he/she went potty on the potty she gets a treat... Offer it to the doll who of course won't take it so you give that treat to your son, do this a a half a dozen times. Whenever the doll goes potty, have your son take the "bowl" out from the potty chair and go dump it in the big potty, when he isn't looking have the doll have an "accident" well when the doll has an accident it means that they need to put fresh undies on,and go to all the bathrooms in the house from every other room. So together you go to bedroom, to bathroom, then living room to bathroom. Then kitchen to bathroom etc. Then you sit down and doll goes potty on the potty AGAIN! YAY!!! Woohoo And here is the salty treat (which is causing him to become VERY Thirsty and drinking non stop) Well pretty soon (this is AMAZING) He will stand up and go run to the potty and use it!! If he has an accident in his undies, oh well! Get new ones on! Who cares! BUT then HE also goes from the bedroom to the bathroom, Kitchen to the bathroom, Living room to the bathroom. etc. And you do NOT go back to diapers, pull ups... NOTHING except underwear except for bed time if needed. And you will have a child that doesn't constantly tell you he has to go potty... He just gets up and goes to use it!!!

The book was written for mentally handicapped children, it usually takes them 3 days to a week. For perfectly normal healthy children, it's a day.

Jodi - posted on 10/25/2009

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I have an 11 yr old son with down syndrome.. now..he's goes p.. just great.. but #2.. we still have probs with.. he has weak muscle tone and can't hold it as well as I wish he did.. we have to clean him up etc.. because he can't do it for himself.. we've tried everything to try to help with while going. one thing that helped us with Brendan was..letting him go with his dad into the bathroom when he would go to p...and he could see how he does it etc..and he felp like a big boy because he was doing what dad and his older brother were doing... but still no luck with # 2.. and ends up a mess alot of the time..lol.. if you come across and good hints.. please let me know..have a wonder night/day! sincerly,

Jodi

Cyndee - posted on 09/18/2009

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Hi Jessica:

Mishayla got potty trained at about 7 years old. I understand what you are going through, we tried all the things you did. Frankly, I don't think she was ready until then. And I know it's hard, because you're sick of messing with pull-ups and you put them in underwear and they poop their pants. You are doing all that you can. One day at the sitter, she just went in the bathroom and did it and never had another accident. It's hard too because if you have other kids (I have a son without a disability) you can't help but compare. But Down syndrome children are like on their own clock. Hang in there, it will happen!!

Kelley - posted on 10/19/2009

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Patience is the key. My son was in pull ups for a long time. Finally I decided that I was the one that would have to put the effort in. Put her in big girl pants and no matter what, do not put a pull up on her for the rest of the day. Take her to the toilet every 30 mins. Ask constantly if she has to pee pee. Even if she says no put her on the toilet. if she does go clap, cheer, call down her older siblings or daddy to let them see and also give her one sweet. If she poos pretend to call someone that she cares for and make a big song and dance on phone as if you are talking to them about how big a girl she is. Stock up on plenty of underwear. I think I had 40 pairs. Dont get angry with mistakes, just let her know that big girls dont pee their pants. Even when I took my son in car or put him down for a nap I kept underwear on. Just put a towel under them. I thought I was not gonna get there but after about 2 weeks of perserverance it paid off. He started to tell me. He continued to poo in his pants for a further few weeks but now he is telling me everytime he needs to go and do both. He still wears a pullup to bed and I will soon be trying to get him out of that. Good luck and remember stick with it no matter what. It will happen

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Iridescent - posted on 02/12/2011

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I am going to lock this due to age, but you are welcome to start a new thread if you wish.
Amy

Coley - posted on 02/12/2011

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it is nice to hear other moms in here having the same issues as I am with our 4yr old daughter with DS. It gets super frustrating at times. With our daughter most everything she learns she does great at but then regresses for a bit, same thing with the potty. I was doing the training with no luck then one day she goes into the bathroom gets her potty seat puts it on the big potty, gets her stool puts it in front of the potty, takes her pants and pull up off and gets up there and tells me to listen lol. So I listened and to my surprise she went pee. I couldn't believe it. I made such a big deal about it (like we did with most of the things she does because she responds very well to praise) and got her daddy and told him and he did the same. She did great after that going on her own even, hardly having a wet pull up but then the wet pull ups came back and now she doesn't want to go potty at all so I still have to ask her and she usually says no and then i take her in and she goes. So I started using the panties which i should have done sooner but i didn't want to overwhelm her all at once. So here we are semi restarting to use the potty but now we are trying to get her to tell us she has to go. Its not easy but I prepared myself a long time ago that it wouldn't be. I love when she learns new things because she gets so excited and so do we... She will get it one day I am sure and when she does I will look back and say "Now that was easy" lol

Mary - posted on 05/27/2010

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My DS son will be five next month, and he also does not respond to bribes, rewards or praise. We have been making him sit on the potty/toilet (his choice) since he was 18months old every night before bathtime. For a long time that was the only pee he would do in th toilet. He has tactile issues, and doesn't like a dry nappy, so as soon as we put a nappy on he does a pee. In December, summer here so long scool holidays, I decided enough was enough and we would tough it up. i believed he was ready, but he is tremendously subborn, so decided to go hard on the potty training. If no change after two weeks I would stop. I put him into pullups for night time or trips out, but for the rest we just went with it. The first week he would pee about every 10-20 minutes, but it got better. Now he has maybe an accident a day (usually if he is absorbed in a movie or outside playing), although he still only lets us know that 'poo/pee coming' when he has about 10 seconds holiding time left LOL! When we started this David was unable to pull up his own undies and trouser/shorts, and unable to say the words wee/pee/potty/coming or anything like that. Don't give up, just be patient. A good friend told me to expect it to take 2 years to get it 99% right. When you think like that it helps to keep it going. We will deal with night time and nap time dryness later. Good luck.

[deleted account]

Hey Jess:

I have 2 boys with DS, one bio and one I adopted. They were both potty trained young... around 2-3 years. I did that with help from a wonderful behavioral psych at the local children's hospital. He always has super helpful advice for me when it comes to parenting the boys. Anyway, this is how you do it.
1. Check continually and log the time that she is naturally going every day for a week.
2. Once you have a good idea of the "routine," place her on the toilet everyday at that time for a while. I've had people suggest to me that it is abusive to leave the kid on a potty chair for 20 minutes. LOL. But, we always stayed with the boys and entertained them during this time... read, sang, talked, etc.
3. When she finally goes in the potty, praise her repeatedly and offer a reward so that she knows what she is supposed to do there.

I think if you want her to feel "wet," you are going to need cloth underwear. Just off the top of my head it sounds like she is going too often and not long enough each time. You want her to go, but not be sick of being in there.

I just blogged about it on my DS blog before seeing the question in this forum: http://parentingachildwithdownsyndrome.b...

Good luck!
Heather

Kristen - posted on 11/06/2009

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Jess,
Hi my name is Kristen my son Brandon has down syndrome and he is 4 years old. I have the same problem he will not potty train. Our biggest problem is that he is not talking either so he can not even tell us if he has to go. I pray ALOT about potty training!!! Keep up the great work, don't get down on yourself and remember Caitlyn is worth it all.

Kristen

Kay - posted on 10/19/2009

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Four years is still young according to my daughter. Remember that your child is delayed. I know to say have patience is not enough however That is all we that have developmentally delayed children have to use is patience. My daughter was about 7 or 8 before complet potty training. Down's children are a roller coaster of ups and downs and sometimes they plateau. Pray for the plateau. If this is any help after my daughter was finally potty trained, she had her period at 9. Enjoy the sweet sincere love Down's have to give. My Candace is 36 and has started aging ,no period at 35, and she us still just as sweet. She has a job with Goodwill and lives with 5 other ladies in a group home. She is human she hurts when she has no work and is elated when she gets a payday. God Bless You and give Caitlyn a great big hug.

kay Jones

Brenda - posted on 10/18/2009

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My daughter was trained by age 5, but she still has accidents, especially when she gets hurt. It took a LONG time. We started at age 3, in her preschool, with her daycare mom, and we just kept at it. Sometimes we gave it up for a month or so, then she would decide to go on the potty herself, and we would start over again. We just praised her at first for choosing the potty when she did. Then, the summer before she turned 5, I got serious, with regular potty times. And we got a puppy. I think it was me who needed to be trained! The top of the hour was potty time for girl and puppy. Every hour all day long. The puppy caught on first. But the girl followed. The best thing I did was get rid of the pull ups and put her into panties. Then I really had to be on top of it. I would put her in pull ups to go shopping because I didn't want to deal with dirty public bathrooms. And my daughter is fascinated with public bathrooms. UGH! Once I got myself trained---panties and top of the hr potty time, training when alot better. She is not perfect at almost 6. She doesn't like to use the potty in a timely fashion, so accidents happen. She was "trip trained" so everyone has to remember to take her potty if she doesn't take herself.

Lots of positives, lots of patience. And just keep trying until you find what works for you. We had alot of messes because Desi doesn't have a normal aversion to poop. She smeared it every where. I made good use of our carpet cleaner many times. And in our group, there were 4 children with DS, age 5, and Desi was the only one potty trained. So....it takes time. Like with every thing else our kids do, it takes them longer to catch on. But they do, eventually.

Jennifer - posted on 10/15/2009

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my son is 10 years old and he was potty trained at 4 years old.... it work so perfect because when he would go to school they would help out too he would never put up a fight because he never like to be wet

[deleted account]

Hello, my daughter is three and we are potty training her.We use an Elmo potty seat (the one that goes over the toilet seat) and the pull ups, she has been doing well..But actually it all started when she was about a 18 months..she pooped in the bath tub and ever since then i would sit her on the toilet and most of the time she would go.But we are constantly asking her if she wants to go potty. It is a challenge..Good luck!

Gail - posted on 10/14/2009

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Hi Jess,

My daughter Laken just turned 5 Oct 9th and we are still in pull ups!! She goes most of the time b/c you have to keep reminding her. I know exactly where you are coming from :-) I think I will be buying pull ups forever! Keep in mind though, everybody that I have talked to, says when they are ready they will start. Dont push because they forget alot.

Gail

Kimberly - posted on 09/28/2009

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Ok,now I feel better....Michael is 6 and has DS and I have JUST gotten him to point to where his pee-pees are.....He knows what to do when I put him on the potty, but its making him tell me that he has to go....that's the major problem....if I could just get him to tell me in some way so I could bring him, I think we would have the problem solved....Now making him have a bowel movement on the toilet involves lots of tickling and songs....He's got almost chronic constipation and is scared of BMs.....

Chrissie - posted on 09/18/2009

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My son is almost 16 now, I guess everybody is different and it will come in time. My son loved little GI Joe men and I told him that if he went on the potty he could get one everytime he went. It only took about a week and he was four. But everyone is different and like I said it will come when shes ready.

Chrissie

Bobbie - posted on 09/18/2009

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Hi Jessica, I have a 5yr old daughter with ds and potty training is a real challenge. I have potty books with music and also trying stickers. She also has hirshsprungs disease which makes it even harder to predict bowel movements. We also have a doll that goes potty.(comes with tiny diapers, food and potty) I will be trying that next. I think I remember Dr. Phil suggesting the potty doll so it's definitely worth a shot. Sounds like you are trying all the right things. Maybe your daughter will be more receptive if she sees the doll going potty. I'm hoping mine will.

Debora - posted on 09/17/2009

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my counsin was broke for that finally at 10 for night time her adopted brother was easier ,i should know since i was the babysitter so their mom could go to cse meetings .i just kept taking her to bathroom every 30 mins then finally she went so i said to her good big girl you are just like me since she looked up to me .she is not downs she is angelmens systrome.

Sue - posted on 09/17/2009

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My DS son is now 10 and he wasn't fully potty trained until he was almost 6. All I can really say is be patient...it will happen.

Pam - posted on 09/16/2009

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Quoting Amy:





 Just keep it up. and girls I think are harder to train any way.






Funny, I found my disabled daughter easier to potty train than my "normal" boys!



Patience is key! Trips to the bathroom every 30-40 minutes for however many days it takes, and making a big-fat-hairy-deal out of it when she is successful, even if only a few drops.  I made up a silly song to sing in celebration. My daughter loves music, so she wanted to sing!  We had special books that could only be read when she was on the potty. She was in big girl panties, day and night, by the time she was 3.5 yo.



I would clear your schedule for a weekend, and give it a try.



Used the same technique on my boys, but it took longer with them.  : )



 



 



 

Amy - posted on 09/12/2009

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Quoting jessica:

Potty Training & Down Syndrome...any suggestions??

My daughter was diagnosed with Down Syndrome when she was 6 weeks old. Since then there has been a roller coaster of ups and downs. But I thank God every day that we were blessed with my little Caitlyn.

My question for any mom's out there with a child with Down Syndrome, how the heck did you potty train your child??? Caitlyn is 4 now, and still doesn't use the potty. We tried putting her on a toddler potty and the big potty but nothing works. I've tried pull-ups, so she can feel the wet sensation, I've tried having her go every 10 minutes, I've tried putting her in the bathroom with her potty trained cousin, to show her that it's a good thing to use the potty, I've used a reward system, marshmallows, I've even tried just putting panties on her and letting her wet herself to encourage her to use the potty and she won't be wet. So far nothing works, she requests her pull-ups and doesn't want anything to do with her panties. She will tell us after she went that she wants to potty, or a new pullup.

So I am at a loss, and need all the help I can get. Any suggestions would be wonderful, as I will try just about anything at this point!

Thanks so much,
~Jess



My Isaac who is now 9 was I believe completely at 7 it just takes patience and time. I was buying pullups and decided after working with him I went out  and bought" big boy cars" underwear and told him he could not wet on the cars. He actually was wearing all 4 pairs at once one day. You just have to be patient cause I have learned with him he will eventually do anything I can do. Just keep it up. and girls I think are harder to train any way.

Jen - posted on 09/12/2009

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They will catch on when THEY are ready. My son is 9 yrs old and wasn't potty trained till a year ago. He just wasn't ready. We tried and tried but in the end it was all up to him and when he caught on....

Joyce - posted on 09/07/2009

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Annette: My daughter has Celby Palsy, and I also was wondering about what would happen when she started her period. She used to come in the bathroom with me, to chit chat, when she was younger, and one day, she saw that I was bleeding. She asked if I hurt myself, and I told her that no, it was my period, and that some day, she would have it also, when she became a big girl.

One day, after she came home, she told me that at she was bleeding, (I wondered at the time, why she didn't ask for a bandage. But she then said that she was going to put some pads in her little purse, so she had them for school.

They understand more than what we think, at times. She is now 36 and I never had to worry about her (in that department), anyway. Just be honest with them, and they wil let you know, whats going on with them.

[deleted account]

Thanks so much Annette, I'll try that. Your daughter is beautiful! Caitlyn has trisonomy 21 also.

Annette - posted on 09/07/2009

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Quoting jessica:

Potty Training & Down Syndrome...any suggestions??

My daughter was diagnosed with Down Syndrome when she was 6 weeks old. Since then there has been a roller coaster of ups and downs. But I thank God every day that we were blessed with my little Caitlyn.

My question for any mom's out there with a child with Down Syndrome, how the heck did you potty train your child??? Caitlyn is 4 now, and still doesn't use the potty. We tried putting her on a toddler potty and the big potty but nothing works. I've tried pull-ups, so she can feel the wet sensation, I've tried having her go every 10 minutes, I've tried putting her in the bathroom with her potty trained cousin, to show her that it's a good thing to use the potty, I've used a reward system, marshmallows, I've even tried just putting panties on her and letting her wet herself to encourage her to use the potty and she won't be wet. So far nothing works, she requests her pull-ups and doesn't want anything to do with her panties. She will tell us after she went that she wants to potty, or a new pullup.

So I am at a loss, and need all the help I can get. Any suggestions would be wonderful, as I will try just about anything at this point!

Thanks so much,
~Jess



Hi my name is Annette and I have a nine year old daughter so I know what you are going through.  My daughter Jordyn finally was potty trained at the age of five, actually her dad did most of the potty training which is hard to believe but it is just the persistance of going in to the bathroom and sitting on the potty about every half an hour. Put big girl panties on her and tell her she is a big girl and not a baby anymore. My daughter doesn't like to be a baby anymore so I still to this day tell her she is a big girl so you don't due certain things that are naughty. I am so glad I found this site I have been looking for some kind of site for special needs children because my daughter could start her period any time and that freaks me out. My daughter is trisonomy 21 what about your daughter.  If you need anymore help my email is netter67@live.com or i wil be on her more often



 



Annette





 

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