Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Rayyan's Toilet Training

When we first started on his toilet training, it was pretty messy. This was because I took the trainer's advice and put him on briefs immediately. He only wears his diaper pants when he wants to take his afternoon nap and at night before he goes to bed.

So just imagine a boy who was used to peeing and 'pooing' anytime and anywhere, he didn't have a clue why he was put on briefs! Luckily he didn't object to wearing briefs even though he was used to diapers.

To ensure a more successful toilet training, I followed the tips given during the toilet training workshop.
1) Determine your child's current pattern of toileting
2) Establish scheduled fluid, food intake and toileting times during the day

Well, to determine his toileting pattern, we needed to keep a record. We used this record sheet given during the workshop.

And like I said, he was peeing and 'pooing' everywhere at first. We did bring him to the toilet every half an hour but he will not pee and he will usually get angry at us for forcing him to go to the toilet. He will cry or whine everytime we show him the 'toilet' card. And seriously, he didn't have a clue what we wanted him to do!! I remember laughing when I saw his 'What exactly do you want me to do?' look when I brought him to the toilet initially!

So I made Hubby show him exactly what he is supposed to do in the toilet. I also made him watch his cousin pee. And yes, after a few days, he finally urinated in the toilet! I was soooo happy! But let me tell you, it was really messy the first few days. He even enjoyed urinating on the floor and when we didn't realise that he has urinated, he will start playing with his urine by spreading the urine with his legs or hands!!!

After about a week, we managed to have a good record and knew roughly when he will pee. So we will bring him over to the toilet during the estimated time and as time went by, we had more successes! By the way, before we bring him over to the toilet, we will make him pull out the 'toilet card' and pass the card to us.

3) Organise toileting environment
4) Prepare rewards that are meaningful for your child

In the toilet, we have a shelf where we keep his briefs, pants, towels for cleaning him and the floor, toilet seat, books and other rewards.

The books and rewards are placed there to motivate him to go to the toilet. Every time he pees in the toilet, we will give him a reward.

It is definitely not easy to make him sit on the toilet seat. He is afraid of sitting on the seat! To motivate him, we will give him his favourite comic book, Asterix! Don't know why but he is crazy over Asterix!

5) Approach toileting as an entire sequence of related behaviours for the child
6) Use visual supports

Yes, whenever we bring him to the toilet, we make him go through the entire sequence. Take card, go to the toilet, bring down pants, stand over the bowl, pee, flush, wash hands, wipe hands. Even when he didn't pee in the beginning, we made him follow the sequence to get him used to it.

And in terms of visual supports, we only make use of the 'toilet card' as communication tool. During the workshop, we were told that it will be best if we have the full sequence of pictures pasted in the toilet, including pictures of urinating and passing motion but we decided to do away with that because we felt that Rayyan was able to follow simple verbal instructions especially if repeated again and again.

So how did the whole thing go? Thank God it went pretty smoothly! After two weeks of going through the sequence, one Saturday, Rayyan pulled my helper's hand and brought her to the toilet! I was so happy and proud of him I almost cried! By then, we were bringing him to the toilet every one hour as we realised that he pees in one hour intervals.

In a month, he was able to pull our hands and bring us over to the toilet every time he wanted to pee! Now, he pees in the toilet regularly though at times accidents happen. This happens when he is too excited or engrossed in something. I will actually scold him for peeing on the floor now and he will cry a bit and he knows that I am not happy that he does that. I have also stopped giving him rewards but still praise him regularly.

The toilet training is not complete yet because he is still dependent on us to pull down his pants and guide him to wash his hands. He is also not really comfortable 'pooing' in the toilet. At first, he was so petrified when he saw faeces coming out of him!! But now, he is more comfortable though he still prefers to 'poo' in his diaper pants and sometimes will wait till we put on his diaper pants at night! We are hoping that he will get out of this soon. We will teach him all these in due time, step by step. Slowly but surely.

And yes, we think that this is such a big achievement and we are indeed so proud of our little boy!!!! You go Rayyan!