Potty Training your toddler can be a daunting task for any parent, much less one who has a disability. When I started training my son during the day, I’d lead him to the bathroom every twenty to thirty minutes so there wouldn’t be the inevitable accident most parents dread. This went on until he got into a routine and no longer needed supervision. I was so proud that not only did he gain a bit more independence from me but, that was less time I had to worry about changing diapers. Step one was complete. The next phase was night time training. This was something I wasn’t looking forward to in the least. I’d been told stories about how I’d be changing sheets at 3 o’clock in the morning and having extra loads of laundry to look forward to. Needless to say this wasn’t appealing to me at all. At the same time, I knew I’d have to take the bull by the horns sooner or later and pretty much conquer the unknown.
We started the journey of night time training by implementing the idea of using the bathroom before nap time. My idea was not to inundate him with the full transition all at once. I also took an extra step and bought a plastic mattress cover that I placed underneath the sheets. Then, we made a trip to the store and I bought extra underwear along with a few extra sets of pajamas. Surely, I thought to myself, this was going to equal so many more loads of laundry than is normally the case. While going through the aisles, I stumbled upon Goodnites Disposable Bed Mats. I decided to give them a try and put them on top of my son’s sheets to see what would happen. I figured at the very least, they might save me from doing some extra laundry. I was pleasantly surprised to find the few times I needed to change them (yes, and it was at 3 in the morning), they were absorbent and did not even wet down to the sheets in the slightest. It’s not generally been my habit in the past to use my posts to review products, or endorse one thing or another either way, however, I feel I’d be doing readers a disservice if I didn’t attempt to give tips to parents who are both disabled and not disabled on ideas that might help getting through these milestones a bit easier.
Because of the limited use of my hand, I found changing the pad, instead of changing his sheets to be fast and easy. One pointer I can think of is to be careful when you are initially putting a pad on the sheets. The adhesive side of the pads are super sticky so be prepared to immediately put it down on the mattress. If not, it’s possible that it will stick together. This could be an unnecessary headache, especially at 3 in the morning. The only extra suggestion I have as far as using this product would be to buy a few packs at a time, at least in the beginning. In the end, this product has made the experience an even easier task to tackle then I originally thought it would be. It’s also made the transition for my son to be fully toilet trained faster than expected. As a result, he has become even more independent than before, and wakes up dry every morning. This makes both of us proud that we’ve conquered yet another goal together with shining success.
This blog originally appeared at Mamas Munchkin.
Serene Howe says
As a mom who has undiagnosed disabilities its very hard to find ways to potty train my soon-to-be three year old twin girls. They love involving themselves in bathroom trips, flushing for me, and get excited about trying to sit on the toilet. However because of joint pains, new hand issues in my left hand, as well as chronic back pains I find it very hard to help them and we need to get on this because my younger twin is already in size 7 diapers and does not tell us when she needs changes despite all of the other progress. Due to her lack of communication her sister has regressed and also no longer tells my fiance and I despite having used to let us know as soon as she made any type of movement or pee. I’m also a stay at home mom due to my undiagnosed disabilities and due to it being cheaper in childcare to just stay home, so my fiance works 10-12h shifts 5-6 days a week. I cant do this alone and its very discouraging to me but your story here helped give me hope of some solution. I hope I can find other ways as well to get the first step of potty training taken care of because for me that is currently the biggest hurdle.