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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Potty Training!

Oh the joy! When you have traveled the distance and see the road ahead that is diaper free... Whether you are a first time parent, or a seasoned pro, the end of the diaper era is a wonderful accomplishment! 

Getting to that point when your child is in a leg brace can have it's challenges though. There have been numerous posts in the  BHB Network asking for tips on potty training. So here we go!

First and foremost .... BREATHE! Don't be so hard on yourself and feel pressure for your little one to be a potty genius. We all have those friends or family members who tell us things like, "She should really be toilet trained by this age." Or, "He's still in diapers?" You know your child better than anyone else. If you feel good about the potty, so will your child. 

When Ben came to the age where potty training was in sight, I left it completely up to him. It was a huge relief for me to give up this control. I had the added bonus that Ben was my third child. So I was pretty confident at my parenting skills at that point. When Ben turned two, I put the training potty in the bathroom, and prepared for potty training to start.

Here are a few tips that you might find helpful:

~ When you are at home with your little one, take their pants off so that the diaper or pull-up is easily accessible. I know some parents with little girls put leggings on under the KAFO's. This makes it hard to get to the potty in time if you have to completely remove the brace. So I would suggest cutting the legs off of the leggings, or switching to another thin sock like Baby Legs. 

Here is a perfect example, courtesy of one of the members in the Network

~ If your child is in a lock-kneed brace, you might try designating an hour or two during the day for the brace to be unlocked so that your little one can more easily sit on the potty until they get the hang of things. 

~ Buy loose fitting underwear when the time comes. I actually ended up cutting the sides of Ben's underwear so that it was easier to pull down over the brace. Pull-ups with the Velcro on the side work well also.  Some parents have even cut their children's underwear and attached their own Velcro for easy removal. 

Another photo courtesy of a Network member. This is very similar to what I did with Ben

Most important thing...

~ Don't rush it! If your child isn't interested in going potty, don't force them to go. It only adds to your frustration and theirs. I promise you that when your kid is ready, it will happen! 

 When Ben would use the potty I sang every potty song and danced around like a crazy person. We read potty books at bedtime, and we would ask him if he needed to go potty. I never forced him to go, or pressured him in any way. I only made sure that it was available if he felt the inclination to use it.

Super Cute Picture of Ben When he First Started Going Potty!

Stay positive! As with most every obstacle in parenting, the more positive you are, the more positive your kids will be. The end of diapers is in sight! Pave your way to the promised land with lots of encouragement and tons of patience. It will all be worth it in the end!

I would love to hear from you! Please feel free to email me with your potty training stories and concerns, or with anything else regarding Blounts Disease at BenHasBlounts@gmail.com. For extra support find the BHB Facebook Page or join the Ben Has Blounts Network. It is a wonderful resource for parents and others who are affected by Blounts Disease. 

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

BHB Families...

Even though I am not great at keeping up with new blog posts, BHB is still in full swing! Most of the interaction I have with parents, now comes from the members in the Ben Has Blounts Network on Facebook. Nearly every week, we are adding new members and hearing about different experiences with this disease. It is so rewarding to see these posts; and know that we are all able to help one another. I encourage anyone who is affected by Blounts Disease to join our group!

One of our group members, Angela, has recently started her own blog in hopes of reaching out to more families and keeping her own family up to date on her daughter's progress. I'd like to share the links with you here. I am also posting the links to her GoFundMe page. As most of you know, treatment for childhood disease is quite expensive! I promise to blog with a Ben update soon!

Angela has also started a Facebook Page! Check it out here.