Monday, November 14, 2011

Down and dirty, potty trained stool samples

The following blog post is not for the faint of heart. While I will try and limit the grossness as much as I can I’d like to give as many details that may help others. I’ve written before, click here to read that blog, about my son potty training early and that I thought TEDDY stool collection would become more difficult. As of writing this we are 5 months in collecting samples with what we fondly call the “TEDDY poop bucket.” So far collection is going much better than I imagined, it is definitely more difficult than diapers and has required some thinking outside the box.

A potty trained TEDDY stool sample kit includes a round plastic tub with a lid and triangle frame that the tub is supposed to sit in. The whole contraption goes under the toilet seat. The child sits on the toilet and poops directly into this “hat.” Then the parent collects the stool from the tub. In my experience collecting the stool from the tub isn’t that much different than collecting from the diaper. The problem is getting the stool into the tub. We have been successful on each attempt but used a couple different methods. My son has yet to let us collect his stool in the traditional way by pooping in the “hat” under the toilet seat. Instead we’ve floated three times and scooped twice.

I simply float the tub in the toilet water and hope it is in the correct position to catch something. This worked flawlessly for us on our first and second month. I then discovered the tub needs to be put in the toilet discreetly and with no fuss on our third attempt. We were a week past the due date and on my first attempt that evening to collect stool my son missed the tub. Later that night my husband forgot to put the tub in as he got the potty seat ready for my son. I tried to have him stand up and sneak it in but he wasn’t having any of that and refused to poop. We quickly removed the tub and I put a layer of toilet paper in the water to catch the stool. The toilet paper worked well and after my son left I easily scooped the stool out with the tub and collected the sample. I always put the tub directly into a grocery bag to avoid dripping any toilet water.

The next month, as soon as he said he needed to go, I sprinted down the hallway ahead of him with the tub in hand. I got it into the toilet without him seeing but he knew something was up. When I left, he was seated on his potty seat but about 10 seconds after I shut the door I heard the sound of the plastic tub hitting the floor. I tried the toilet paper and scooping again that time and that’s how I collected that month.

The following month I collected only a few days after his TEDDY visit so TEDDY was fresh in his mind. I tried a new approach when my son told me he had to go and said, “Do you want to poop in the TEDDY bucket?” with lots of enthusiasm, like it would be a lot of fun. He was excited and said yes and waited for me to get it out of his closet and float it in the toilet. Success!

Well, we definitely haven’t found a rhythm yet but I think we’re heading in the right direction.