Potty Training



Potty Training is the worst nightmare of parenting… that’s what I have heard anyways. I fortunately did not have to deal with that. It sure was hard since Kyra has special needs and we had to add in few things than what people traditionally don’t do but it was doable.

Now I am in no way an expert, I just read a lot and wanted to share my personal experience.

Make sure the child knows the difference between wet and dry before you begin potty training.

Some Kids will tell you that the diaper is bothering when its wet/ dirty. This is the signal that the child is ready for Potty training. Specifically a child with special needs has to know what a wet feeling on the bum feels like. If the child doesn’t know what we are talking about it will be difficult to relate.

I used to touch Kyra’s Bum with a wet washcloth and dry one on both butt cheeks and ask her which one was wet and which one was dry. Once I was sure she understands what wet and dry feels like I knew it was time to move forward with potty training.

Show the child how YOU use the bathroom for pee and poop.

Yeah it may sound awkward, but children learn through observing and then imitating, for a week or two I would tell Kyra each time I went to the bathroom, I would use the phase “Pee is coming” easy for a child to comprehend and use. Then after I would wash hands and tell her “all clean.”

Buy few different kinds of portable pottys

Trust me on this one. I had portable potty in every room when we began, and each one was different kind. One was animal kind, one had cushion seat, one had fake flush, and one was a regular plain ol’ potty. They were easy access when I needed them and she was excited to use different kinds. It kept her motivation up.

Keep them lightly dressed

Butt naked is what I preferred for Kyra:  No underwear and added stress of taking them off when rushing for pee. In my opinion children learning to potty train do not understand how to hold pee.

But I get it that sometimes its winter or cold, or you are outside at a pool party. Keep clothes that are easy to take off. This is fairly easy for the boys but with the girls its bit of challenge. For summers, I found this amazing Swimwear called Snap me and Fasten which has snaps at the bottom even for older kids. Makes Potty training so much easy.

NO yelling/punishment/timeouts

Yup! None. Just use the phase “we will try again”

Keep timers

If you have a Fitbit or apple watch set timers for every hourr. Your Phone works good too. The timer will make sure that you take your child to potty every hour and avoid accidents. I would tell Kyra it’s time to sit on potty and take her there, she would sit till I sang her a rhyme of her choice, usually by this time she would pee if she has to and if not I will ask her to try again next hour.

After a while the child will get used to this timer and also the sensation and will start telling you that he/she needs to pee.

Poop is a whole another game.

Kyra was pee trained 6 months before she was poop trained. I did not force it. She wore diaper for poop and would ask to change, so she knew the sensation and felt dirty afterward but was scared that she will fall if she poops in the toilet.

We revisited this issue after 6 months and she was still scared but not as difficult as before. I sat with her and held her hands and she did it.

Once she did it, I knew it’s time for her to learn. So the next morning I asked her to throw all her diapers in the trash (I loaded a fresh trash bag for her to dump her diapers, which I took out later.) This set a tone that diapers are gone. There were days when she would hold it in and be constipated but in a week she got the idea that diapers are gone. Eventually she did it. Took 15 minutes for potty but it got better with time.


For pee my reward for 2 mini M&Ms, there’s only so much a mom can bear and a toddler hopped on sugar during potty training isn’t one of them so I chose mini M&Ms, perfect size and kept her asking for more. You can choose anything you like but make sure the big guns are reserved for potty training. I give Kyra 15 minutes of Tablet time after she poops. Those 15 minutes are set on my phone timer, if she won’t return the tablet after the alarm rings she loses rights to her tablet next time she poops.

Solid plan and works each time.

Don’t be confined in the house.

First few days sure, but try going out a bit. See how the child does when distractions are around. I keep a portable potty in my car with essentials before we leave.

Before we go in  a store I make her use potty in the car. Sometime the loud noises of the public restroom can scare a child so I would advise to slowly ease them into it before asking them to use a public restroom.

Keeping a potty in the car comes very handy and has helped me a lot. I have one I keep in my purse. It’s a perfect travel seat and a travel toilet with removal pads.


It will happen eventually, don’t stress out, and most importantly don’t compare. Be open to idea of revisiting potty training in a month or two if the child is not ready. It’s okay to give them time before forcing them and making this traumatic for them.



Swati Mittal is mom to as sassy 4 yr old girl with Cerebral Palsy. A dentist by profession, she now spends days doing therapies and incorporating fun ways of learning for Kyra. Her passion is to break the preconceived notions about disability and help other families give support and encouragement through her website, Facebook and Instagram pages.

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