Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Using the toilet

One of the first things I learned about Rett Syndrome was how Caroline would need assistance with every aspect of her daily life, including toileting. I remember thinking "ok, so we'll have to feed her, bathe her, dress her, and change her for the rest of her life. No problem." As a mom, it's easy to be unfazed by these needs. In fact, I was almost too quick to accept that we would always need to change her diapers. I didn't consider that maybe Caroline would eventually prefer to use the toilet.

About a month ago, one of my Rett mom friends asked me if I had started "potty training" Caroline. I didn't realize that potty training was a possibility at this point...or at any point in the future. My friend told me that a lot of Rett girls use the toilet for their bowel movements. I was surprised. When Caroline turned two in January, we had (inconsistently) tried using a potty training chair. The chair offered little support and Caroline struggled to hold her balance. We quickly gave up using it.

We started following my friend's advice that very same day. We got some neat toilet seat covers (pictured below) and got rid of the potty training chair. We put Caroline on the toilet after every snack and every meal. To our amazement, Caroline "got it" on the first try. She knew exactly what she needed to do. Her nurse at school started following the same routine with great results as well.

At this point, Caroline has about a 90% success rate.  I never imagined that despite Rett Syndrome, Caroline would learn to use the toilet so quickly.

On a cute and funny note, Caroline rubs her nose right before she "needs to go" which gives us enough warning!