Spring Forward, Fall Back (into nappies)
When Spring comes around the UK nursery industry devotes a good two months of sales and marketing promotion to the subject of toilet training. Parents in the UK are apparently just waiting for the sun to come bursting through so they can strip toddlers of their nappies and leave them to run free to learn to toilet.
I must be honest and say I have never believed that toilet training should be seasonal. If parents are waiting to read the readiness signs of children, then why should we all immediately start our toddlers toileting as soon as the sun is out? It seems contradictory to me.
More over, what if the sun doesn’t come out? Last year’s summer was a washout and this year is set to be the same, so what will happen to all the toilet training, nappy free children? Are there scores of toddlers who’s parents braved toilet training only as fine weather friends? Toddlers who are positively encouraged to use the potty when the sun beats down, then popped back into nappy pants as the rain clouds appear?
Actually, I think there are.
When faced with something which we know will require our vigilance and persistence most folks can find at least two good reasons to put it off, (or just 2 weak ones). We are all the same here, effort is taxing. When it comes to toilet training, unless you and your little one are dedicated to the process, it is easy to push it back until the weekend, until the weather improves, until the suns out, until…
All of us can see the issue with this of course, that children who should be actively learning to toilet independently are instead left to the whimsy of the weather.
But am I being fair here? Am I imagining that everyone is really waiting for a bright sunny day? Are we just being suckered into a false toilet training season, as marketed by the major brands or are parents really waiting for warmer weather?
I don’t know the real answer, only my opinion, that maybe this is as good a reason as any to explain why more and more parents are delaying their little ones toilet training and more children are starting pre-school and school still in nappies.