Toilet Training Question from A Mum
Hello LumiPotti Blog Followers,
At the recent Baby Show, the LumiPotti team chatted to lots of parents on the subject of toilet training. In the midst of all these conversations, one mother (you know who you are) asked me a question that rocked me off my feet and I would like to pose it to you…
We were discussing the ‘right’ age to toilet train children. She had been advised by friends to wait for the signs of readiness and then proceed from there. Her mother however, was telling her to get her DD out of nappies. (Her daughter is 3 years and 2 months old.)
Her question was:
Who was right? Granny, who said had she (the mum) was out of nappies on her 2nd birthday or her friends?
Now I am rarely struck silent, but this question really got me thinking…
Has toilet training changed in the last 20 years? The biology of children can’t have changed so then… Why has the attitude to toilet training?
So let me throw out some thoughts and see what sticks:
1) Are parents too busy?
We know healthy child development is related to how well they ‘master’ physical and mental challenges. And being master of your own bladder is one of the last milestones of childhood. But everyone is busier now. Many mums and dads simply aren’t with their children all the time. Their thoughts focus more on the essential care and anything left is for fun time.
2) Has the focus become child ‘readiness’?
As parents we are told to watch and wait, but has this meant we are now to worried about directing our children? Putting the onus on the ‘signs’ means we can fall foul of becoming reliant on the child to take the lead. It could be this reliance on getting the timing exactly right that means we miss those very same signs we were waiting for.
3) Are disposable nappies involved?
I would love to do a survey to see if there is an age difference in toilet training age between toddlers in cloth nappies and ones in disposable nappies… (maybe I will!) I suspect that non-cloth nappy parents would be slower to introduce alternatives because of the ease of disposable nappies. However does the mass sale of nappies for 5-8year olds and 8-15 year olds mean we have taken our reliance on them too far?
4) Do we expect too much?
As modern parents we do have higher expectations of the world around us. When it comes to our children, the wealth of website and book advice on child behaviour means we are all feeling the pressure to get it right. My personal view is, when it comes to toilet training, we are more likely to start, stop, then start again. Yet we know from those same books and websites that consistency is a parents greatest strength.
So what did I say to the lovely mum? I told her lots of parents share the worry. It is stressful toilet training your child. But like anything, all you can do is give your child the tools, guide them as best you can and then stand back and let them have a go themselves.