Lifestyle

OPINION: It's all enough to drive you potty

NO MORE NAPPIES: Does waiting until children are ready to use the potty really pay off?
NO MORE NAPPIES: Does waiting until children are ready to use the potty really pay off? Ryan Mcvay

WHEN you have children, it comes with a sense of freedom to talk about poo and wee.

If you are not a parent, are eating your breakfast or can't really stomach conversations about littlies' bodily functions, best stop reading now because I am going there.

From the moment they are born, you become obsessed with it - from whether they are doing enough to whether it's the right colour.

As they get older, it's about constant nappy changing, and then as toddlers it becomes about the toilet training.

In the volumes of information out there about parenting and how to do it, I am sure half is about getting them out of nappies.

There are hundreds of ideas about what to do, not to do, training methods and systems, reward charts, special potties and steps and chairs - it is a minefield.

With baby number two arriving when our eldest was 21 months old, we had read that it can be a good idea to start toilet training before the new baby is born so you don't have two children in nappies for too long.

Thinking this was a good idea we armed ourselves with jocks and a potty and introduced Master H to the world of toilet training.

After a few months of encouragement, we were getting nowhere and with Master T's impending arrival we decided to just see how things went - the answer was nowhere.

Despite being aware of what happens on the toilet and when he was using weeing and pooing in his nappy, Master H showed no signs he was interested in doing anything without one.

Of all the things I read, not pushing and waiting until they are ready seemed to be the best idea.

But as he turned two, then two and a half, and then three, it was starting to get a little tiresome.

Even just the suggestion of wearing jocks would send him into a meltdown.

He didn't even like being in a nappy without any pants and the idea of wearing pants without a nappy or jocks seemed downright absurd to him.

He wouldn't entertain the thought of taking his nappy off to try to use the potty or the toilet.

We joked he might finally get the idea when it was time for his brother to come out of nappies.

When the warmer months hit, we decided we had to try to at least get him used to not having a nappy on - maybe he would like it?

So the sprinkler and paddle pool came out.

Master T loves embracing his nudist side, but Master H took much convincing (and a lot of watching his younger brother having fun in the nud) to be finally convinced that it was okay to play without a nappy on.

He still rejected jocks and the toilet, but at least he was spending a good hour without a nappy.

Then the incredible, most magical thing happened that is the stuff you hear about but are sure that other parents are making it up - he toilet trained almost overnight.

One day he just said he wanted to go to the toilet.

The next day he didn't wear a nappy all day, except wanting one on to do a poo.

He was waking in the mornings and at nap time completely dry.

After three days he did his first poo in the toilet. And he has barely had an accident since.

It was a bit of a shock at first, and we were a little gun shy about taking him anywhere because we didn't know what to do.

The first car trip we made it about one minute before he said he had to go, although I think that was more a novelty of being able to get mum to stop the car so he could get out, because he hasn't done that since.

We have had to abandon shopping trolleys for toilet stops, but he really has been so good.

If I had known it would end up happening so easily, I would have worried a lot less about him being so hesitant.

Now I am only buying one lot, changing one lot and having to dispose of one lot of nappies - and it feels wonderful.

I can see this really small, faint light at the end of a long and dark tunnel that reminds me that I won't be changing nappies for the rest of my life.

Topics:  columns, editors picks, family, opinion



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