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Thread: potty training with brace

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2004

    potty training with brace

    I need some advice for people who have gone through potty training. My three year old is FINALLY ready to potty train, but with his brace we cant get his pull up down, you have to take it off and then he does not want to put it back on. It is a real fight. When you are potty training as you all know you must take them like every twenty minutes or so, over and over again all day.
    It is such a pain. I get tired of fighting with him about the brace and just finally give up.... I don't want him to be 4 and not potty trained... UGH
    Any advice????

    Michele mom to 3yr Nathan(Pierre Robin Syndrome, repaired hernia, repaired club feet, shorter right leg, repaired cleft palate, and tethered cord repair)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2004

    what about

    putting the pullup on the outside of the brace instead of inside?

    There are worse things than being 4 and not potty trained if it comes down to it. My 7 1/2 yr old is finally able to recognize when he has to go (he lost large portions of intestine at 3 1/2 months of age and as a result has had nothing but watery diarrhea anywhere from 15-20+ times a day until recently). Kids learn when they are ready, and for some its 2 or 3, others its 4 or even 5. In my experience with 3 boys, none were ready at the same age, but when they were it only took a few days for them to get it and were ready for big boy pants.

    Good luck.......

    Heidi (mom to 3 boys, Sean is 9 and has LCDH, SBS, is TPN, O2, and Bipap dependent, has SVC stenosis/stent x4, severe malignant scoliosis fused twice from T1-L2, halo traction for 2 months, severe restrictive lung disease, a CVL and GT, Fundo x2, and is one of my heroes.)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2004

    I understand your frustration. I went through the same battles with my daughter. We primarily used pull ups on the outside of her brace. This worked at times. Though she often cried that she could not go to the bathroom with her brace on. She is now 6 and still insists that she needs her brace off to go to the bathroom. Fortunately, it is not as often, but she still fights me to keep it off. Everybody has always said to me that since she has had her brace for so long it must be second nature to her. it isn't she still tries every manipulative act in the book to get it off and keep it off. Good luck with your potty training and the brace.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Perth, Western Australia, Australia
    Hi Nathan's Mum

    When I asked my Mum how she potty-trained me (Infantile Idiopathic scoliosis, braced at 18 months of age, I'm now 18, fused from T2-T11), it brought back many memories for me and mum as well, here are her words of Advice (and it was the days before Huggie Pull-ups :-)

    :The biggest Golden rule is that the brace does not come off (even if he complains and cries), kids are very smart and he'll quickly learn that if he goes to the toilet the brace comes off, and he will make the association, and it will be very hard to get him to break the association, the brace needs to stay on for the time it needs to be on each day.

    :This might sound strange, but go to the Orthotic department (the place where the brace is made) and explain that you are having problems with toilet training, and they'll probably be able to come up with a way to make it more comfortable to sit; ie modify the potty

    :Mum did this (she said i spent a long time going backwards with potty training and she and Dad were both just stumped and out of ideas), and what they came up with is; Imagine a small potty with a back to it (sort of looked like a throne :-), however the back of it sloped, and I remember that this was uncomfortable to sit in, because my hips weren't at right angles and it meant that the brace digged in to me. Well they cut the legs of two of the legs off, so that it was at right angles, which made it a lot more comfortable to sit on, (and mum says, that this was like magic, I was comfortable, so I wanted to go and I moved forwards) but being more comfy I did eventually go forwards), it was a potty that was a bit bigger than normal, after the legs were cut off, the back was at right angles to the seat, and the potty was a little higher off the floor than some that are around

    :Potty training in a "normal" toddler is difficult enough, but in a child in a brace, it takes longer, but you will get there (even though it probably doesn't seem like it now)

    :Because I was a little bit older as well by the time I was able to not use the potty and use the toilet, mum put me on the toilet as soon as I was nearly trained. They found a little set of steps, which I rested my legs on when I was on the toilet so my legs were at right angles and I was comfortable. When I got more confident, the steps were taken away. Mum says it takes a little more supervision to use the steps, but she found that they worked wonders.

    : Mum said don't forget lots of praise and encouragement, her suggestion for one way is to start a sticker chart, and for every time he uses the potty with the brace on without a complaint he gets a sticker, then after a certain amount he can have a small reward ie a new action figure, a trip to the icecream shop

    :I roughly know what pull-ups look like, could you perhaps get them a little bigger so that they can be easily accomadated over the brace

    Hi Ann
    :You need to try and break her association with that she can't go to the toilet unless the brace is off , I don't mean to sound horrible but it is important that the brace stays on all the time it has to stay on, but i do know that manipulative acts are challenging to break. Could you perhaps use bribery and bargaining with her. That for each day that she wears the brace all day and doesn't take it off to go to the toilet she gets a sticker on a chart and then a small reward after x many (Mum says that yep it's bribery and corruption but it often does work)

    I hope that some of mums and my ideas are helpful, and that I explained them Ok (if I sounded harsh at all I don't mean to), just keep remembering that you will get there and it will be such a relief for you and your son when it does

    Last edited by Alison; 07-22-2004 at 07:58 AM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Vancouver, Canada
    Hi Michelle,

    Malcolm was potty trained by keeping the pull up outside the brace. We pull the undershirt that is under the brace up over the edge just in case. If there is a mess, which happened only a couple of times by the grace of God, we just alcoholed the brace and changed the shirt.

    Potty training boys seems to take a loooooooong time. I still just put Malcolm on the potty every two or three hours. He saves it till then. He still does not initiate it very often, and then it is hard for him to pull down his underpants.

    Good luck, and keep the faith. It IS possible!

    Mum to two boys with scoliosis

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Thanks everyone for all your suggestions. I realy appreciate your help!
    Michele mom to Nathan!

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