Physical: Jaxon could sit on the floor independently (SATCo score - upper lumbar control) and could reach for toys but was unable to blow his tummy in and out or hold his breath. Cognitive: Jaxon had no verbal communication at that time and had not yet developed an understanding of games involving sequencing or of pee and poo. However, he could imitate some actions such as clapping hands and enjoyed when others made silly faces. Social: Jaxon had some interest in the toilet and was able to focus for a few minutes on a task which he liked. He definitely enjoyed new things and receiving praise for his efforts. Sensory: Jaxon knew when he was thirsty and could indicate his desire for a drink. He seemed to understand when he had done a poo and could recognise wetness e.g. spilling juice. Yet he was wearing disposable nappies and had no understanding of what a wet nappy felt like. Luckily, he had no problems passing poo.
Jaxon’s parents had not considered toilet training before this point and were waiting for other skills, such as language, to develop. However, they thought they’d give it a go. With a GottaGo and suggestions for foundational skills to try at home, they set to work - developing a common toileting language, practising sitting for 3 minutes (a minute/age) and using a schedule of every 90 minutes. After many months things didn’t seem to be progressing. Jaxon was getting frustrated and the family had a new baby on the way, so it was time to pause. When home life settled the training was resumed. This time the schedule was reduced to after mealtimes and then reduced further to just before bath time. This way Jaxon remained engaged. Games were used to encourage sitting on the toilet seat such as blowing bubbles - a favourite activity of Jaxon’s and also great for developing abdominal and pelvic muscle strength). Catching the first poo in the GottaGo was the motivation they all needed to keep going and soon using the GottaGo for a poo before bath-time became a regular routine that really worked. Managing the pees, however, took longer. As Jaxon’s mum Shannon explained, “It didn’t just click, it’s been a lot of work”. The family understood that when we poo the whole pelvic floor relaxes and therefore it’s nearly impossible not to pee at the same time. They used this understanding to make Jaxon aware of the peeing sensation. They also took advantage of times when he was likely to pee, such as 20-30 minute after drinking with breakfast and lunch, while keeping that consistent pre-bath time routine going.
Slowly, Jaxon had more and more success. His nursery school were very supportive. They adopted the same routine and gave the family a helpful nudge to make the final leap and send Jaxon to school without nappies. Together they were determined to crack this. After a few weeks the daytime accidents disappeared followed by night time dryness. For Jaxon the nappy years are now well behind him. For Shannon and the family, the hard work has paid off “It means the world to achieve something this big… it wasn’t an easy road, but it was well, well worth it”.