Wednesday, May 16, 2012


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I've been thinking of taking down the printed up email from our potty training guru this last month. It's posted in the bathroom above the toilet to remind me of what to say and do for SensiGirl while we were potty training. SensiGirl has been successful in toileting for the last month. I mean really no accidents at all. I thought I was going to have to buy a pack of underwear for her every week for the rest of our lives there for a while.
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 We started potty training in earnest right before she turned 5. We had tried the methods we used for Random Guy for almost a year before that and were having no luck with her. It was a half-hearted attempt I admit it, but really, if SensiGirl couldn't tell me she had to go, how was I going to help her get there in time?
The potty sticker chart meant nothing to her. She didn't care. Sticking to a routine didn't work either. I tried rewards: candy, stickers, toys, etc. No luck, she just didn't seem to care if she pooped her pants. The potty videos from the library were a huge step back. Terrifying Potty Power jesters were not the path to toileting success.
Add in that SensiGirl has been constipated for years, and there is a recipe for frustration. I would give her something because she wouldn't go for days, (since she didn't recognize the need) then she would have to go too much because of the Miralax or apricot juice I gave her. We went round and round with that for quite a few months. I got it to where we were only using the Miralax every other day and the apricot juice on the off days and that was working well. Since she is always growing, the amounts she needs to help her go are a moving target. We are now using a different brand of apricot juice, and also pear juice (in the baby aisle.)
I was loaned the book below from SensiGirl's preschool teacher and it was very helpful. Another bit of knowledge to use in our process.
This book was helpful too:
I tried Oh Crap! Potty Training , it is an e-book, blog and forum, and I got email access to the trainer. The ability to personally discuss our process and progress with an expert was a great help in getting away from no pull ups during the day. It helped me be really committed to getting through the process and not back tracking as we had done before.
We also started occupational therapy when SensiGirl was almost five and a half. We started listening therapy and listening to Mozart for Modulation helped some, but just as we would get into the groove, the disc rental would be over and we would move on to another disk to follow her listening therapy guidelines.  I discussed this with her therapist and we decided she should listen to that disc for a month. I purchased that disc for our own home use too and tried it again for a whole month to establish the habit before we ended our listening therapy at the occupational therapists' for now.
What has been the final step in it all is recognizing that SensiGirl has trouble with interoception. This is known as the awareness of liquids, solids and gases moving through the internal organs.  I then noticed the accidents she was having were while she was deeply involved in things like watching TV or playing with her iPad. So I made a rule that SensiGirl had to poop before she could do those activities. Luckily these activities are highly motivating and usually are requested after a meal, so much the better for getting her to go. She still chooses a pull up at night about 60% of the time but waking up dry about 90% of the time.
There is no magic thing to accomplish potty training with your SensiKid, but a combination of support and information for you and understanding for your child makes it happen eventually.

Jamie Glowacki @


  1. Hi Lori, I hope this is the start of the end (or the start of the beginning?)

    My oldest son took a really long time to make the connections between the urges and what comes next, it only really happened for him once we got him taking stuff to help with the constipation. Once he was going more often it gave him more opportunities to connect the dots. But staying dry at night took a lot longer still.

    My youngest is still not quite there yet at night. And he occasionally still has accidents during the day, which surprise and mortify him ("I didn't even feel it mum!") So I think interoception is still a big issue for him.

  2. This sounds so familiar to me! Tootles seems to hold it. I know his face and moves and usual "time frame" so I prompt him to go. He will lie and say he doesn't have to. Then, as soon as he's there, -well - you know. Like SensiGirl, he gets deeply involved in something and that's when he fails to get there on time. Now, though, he hates the feeling of a "mistake", so he usually yells "TOILET" and gets there on time about 95 percent of the time (plus a prompt or two, or three...) Congrats to SensiGirl! Sounds like she's just about there! :)

  3. Thanks for the comments! I wish we had all been able to talk about it when we were starting the potty training journey. I have the time frame thing going on a bit too. The constipation part was the hard part, and just like Bec's boy, once she went more often she could start to recognize the feeling. "Almost there...."