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Potty training at nursery: no underwear until 'fully independent'

(40 Posts)
Tortoiseonthehalfshell Mon 18-Jul-11 02:09:08

A friend tells me that at her child's nursery, they have to be in nappies until they are fully independent - going to the toilet unprompted, undressing and redressing on their own, and wiping themselves. Her child didn't train until 3.5 so it wasn't an issue for them since by then the motor skills were present.

But DD trained, substantively (by which I mean occasional accidents and she needs reminding sometimes), at just after 2. No way on earth she could wipe herself at 2 - anecdotally, most of my friends say they assist until at least 3, sometimes 4, yes? And she'd struggle with trickier clothes, as well, although I suppose one could just dress children in easy-access stuff for a while. My friend concurs - says that no child in the 2yo room wears underwear, and only half of the 3yo room do. So it's not until the 4s that they all wear underwear.

So the nursery says it's all about fostering independence, teaching children to take responsiblility for the entire process, etc. They just basically provide the child-sized toilet/sink, and leave them to it. This is what my friend approves of, that it's teaching responsibility and independence.

In contrast, I think it's actually cruel to make a child wear a nappy for longer than they have to. Of course they're necessary evils for most of us who haven't the time and inclination to hold out babies over potties or whatever the EC crowd do, but they're cumbersome, get in the way of playing freely, they're hot and sweaty and don't let the skin breathe, and they're just generally no fun at all to wear.

And it wouldn't actually make the carers' lives any easier, since it means they're changing nappies (involving far more wiping!) for longer than they'd have to otherwise. So it's clearly actually a philosophy thing, not a laziness thing. Is there a long term benefit I'm missing, here?


FuzzpigFourFiveSix Mon 18-Jul-11 03:53:23

YANBU I think it'd be really confusing, they might be dry at home but then get infantilised at nursery... where's the incentive for the child to learn if they can just stay in nappies?

DD wasn't remotely interested in ditching nappies until just over 3, and then got virtually 100% dry in one morning. The next day she was at nursery and they were so supportive, agreeing to remind her etc. She only ever had a couple of accidents there and they just dealt with it like I would, got her changed, no big deal.

FuzzpigFourFiveSix Mon 18-Jul-11 03:55:12

I do think it's a laziness/convenience thing though actually - it takes a lot less effort to quickly change a nappy than to be constantly keeping an eye out for wet pants, and watching the DCs for signs that they need to go, and then persuading them to actually go.

vigglewiggle Mon 18-Jul-11 04:00:11

It sounds like the nursery is doing what is convenient for them rather than what is best for the child. They would clearly rather change the occasional nappy rather than constantly remind children to go to the toilet and deal with accident.

Any talk of child development philosophy is a load of bollocks.

Tortoiseonthehalfshell Mon 18-Jul-11 04:18:00

Well, it's the wiping thing that really gets me. Now that DD has been out of nappies for 6 months she's far better at telling me when she needs to go - or she'll do a little bit of wee by accident, stop it and come and tell me.

But she can't wipe herself, and I wouldn't have thought she would be able to for a long time yet. As evidenced by the fact that NO child under 3 is in underwear in this nursery. That's the bit that really bothers me.

Morloth Mon 18-Jul-11 05:02:54

That is a bit weird.

I don't mind the use of pullups, used them with DS1 and he didn't train until after 3 and wasn't night dry until 5, using pullups probably made this later than it needed to be, but it doesn't matter. However, if a kid is almost there I would think it makes more sense to encourage them rather than hold them back, but a lot less stressful for all concerned to change a pullup if there is an accident as opposed to a whole change because there is wee all over everything.

Really though I wouldn't let it bother you, it won't make that much difference in the long term, I assume they tell you the policy when you talk with them about sending your kid there and if you don't like it you could just send them somewhere else.

Path of least resistance and all that...

mnistooaddictive Mon 18-Jul-11 06:43:08

It would be a deal breaker for me. My dc gave been to nursery and preschool and both are very supportive of toilet training.

Tortoiseonthehalfshell Mon 18-Jul-11 07:07:24

I get the impression that they think they're supportive of toilet training, is the thing. And as I said, since my friend's child trained later anyway it just wasn't an issue for them.

But I think it's actually cruel to put an otherwise-toilet trained child into nappies that late, so I wondered if I was alone in my opinion.

lovesicecream Mon 18-Jul-11 07:33:25

They are paid to do a job, they should go along with whatever you think best as far as I'm concerned! My first was toilet trained at 22 months with hardly any wee mishaps but pooing was a dif matter, don't think any child at 3 can wipe it's bum properly

Chica31 Mon 18-Jul-11 07:52:02

My child would not be going to this nursery, a deal breaker for me too.

DD's nursery have been fantastic. Trained at 21 months, with a few accidents along the way. She even had a huge poo accident at nursery once. It wasn't a problem for them. Showered her down and changed her clothes.

Now DD is using the loo, I understand many of the other children in her room now want to do the same. So nursery are letting them sit on the loo to have a try, then putting their nappies back on.

It has resulted that the majority of her nursery class have been toilet trained by 2. Mainly thanks to their hard work!

VelveteenRabbit Mon 18-Jul-11 08:11:03

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Nagini Mon 18-Jul-11 08:18:18

another one who wouldn't send my child to this nursery. Mine was dry at 2 but still can't be trusted to wipe his bum properly at 4.

They need practice before they go to school. If they are not being taken out of nappies until 3.5 then that is not much time is it?

The nursery sounds lazy TBH.

bonkers20 Mon 18-Jul-11 08:23:43

Bizarre! It's like leaving them with a toothbrush and paste and telling them they can't brush their teeth until they can open the tube, squeeze the paste out etc etc, or showing them a table of raw ingredients and saying they can't eat until they can cook it themselves. Do they leave the children to do everything else by themselves? Do they help them get their coats on to go outside? Boots? Cut their food up?

Mine does what Chica31's does. They've been great. Lots of advice suggest to wait until you have a window of 4 or 5 days to bite the bullet to train but that can be hard for working parents - unless you toilet train on holiday or during the Xmas break or something!

You'd think the carers would take pride in helping their charges along the way to toilet training.

QueenOfAllBiscuitsandMuffins Mon 18-Jul-11 08:24:00

They are being lazy. DS is 3, dry and never had an accident at nursery but can't wipe his bum by himself, I would not send him to a nursery that had this policy.

HoneyPablo Mon 18-Jul-11 08:28:50

I am just the opposite, I still have children in nappies in my care (nursery nurse) that should be in knickers/pants but the parents insist on keeping them in nappies.
I am more than happy to deal with any accidents. It is better for the child to be out of nappies as early as possible., if the child is to be fully independent when they go to school.
The nursery is being very lazy, and is putting their needs before those of the children. Which is the biggest no-no amongst nursery workers.

EricNorthmansMistressOfPotions Mon 18-Jul-11 09:38:38

That's fucking stupid. Potty training is a matter of trial and error and learning and children can't learn if they are in nappies! My nursery says send them in pants with plenty of changes of clothes and we'll deal with any accidents! They remind them often and help as much as possible, just as we do at home. I would not be having this. Your friend must have left her DC in nappies until he was old enough to literally say 'mummy I need a wee now please may I go in the potty' which suggests that she was a bit lazy herself <disclaimer, I know not all DCs are ready before 3 and esp those with SN and I'm not judging those whose DCs PTed after 3!>

messymammy Mon 18-Jul-11 09:52:01

What?That's madness!why would you put a dry child into a nappy because they cant wipe properly?dd is 6 and sometimes comes home from school with some poo on her pants, very occasional, but still, by their logic she should still be in nappies!!
It actually sounds like something my mil would have come up with.dd has never had an accident in her house but she put her in a nappy when she was 3.5 and trained for a year "just in case" when she had her overnight.

Notanexcitingname Mon 18-Jul-11 10:12:06

Agree with all thos who'd nnot send their child to this nursery. Also to add, what message is it sending; if you can't do something perfectly, don't do it at all? I like my children to have a go at something new, even if they think they can't do it

lovesicecream Mon 18-Jul-11 11:21:25

It just seems lazy to me, I wouldn't send my child to a nursery that had those views, my 2 nd child was pretty much potty trained by the nursery, the nursery felt he was ready I said ok, they did most of the hard work that week!

girlywhirly Mon 18-Jul-11 12:25:55

An utterly ridiculous policy, and wrong imo. They aren't fostering independence by leaving DC 'to it' they are being lazy and not doing their jobs properly. I'd be talking to the body responsible for the policies, is it ofsted? and voicing my doubts about this nursery, and I'd be wondering what else they were not actively encouraging and facilitating.

It's no wonder we have so many DC going to school unable to dress/undress, wash hands, attend to their own toileting needs, use cutlery properly etc. because they haven't been shown how and assisted. Obviously, we teach our DC these things at home, but if DC are spending a significant amount of time in nurseries, their staff should do this too.

MrsBethel Mon 18-Jul-11 12:32:57

Would be a dealbreaker for me too.

Forcing a toddler back into nappies because they sometime stuggle to get their clothes back on is insane.

pigletmania Mon 18-Jul-11 12:38:30

That would be a dealbreaker. They sound a tad lazy tbh, potty training should be a partnership between the nursery and home, how confusing for the child

pigletmania Mon 18-Jul-11 12:41:59

What about those with SN, my dd 4.5 is able to use the loo on her own but forgets to wipe and struggles with pulling her trousers up especially if tight. She still needs help dressing. Btw she has poss ASD, dev delay. So they would put the poor girl in nappies for their cinvenience

GothAnneGeddes Mon 18-Jul-11 13:37:11

No way. Our nursery was brilliant. Fully prepared that there would be accidents along the way. Dd is 2 1/2, she can pull her pants on and off but still needs to be reminded to wipe and help washing her hands.

She does have the very occasional accident, but nothing worth putting her back in nappies for.

pozzled Mon 18-Jul-11 13:54:09

Madness IMO. The way to encourage responsibility and independence is a little bit at a time, letting the children do as much as they can. If a child can ask for the toilet, get trousers and pants down and use the toilet, but not quite wipe or pull their trousers up- then expecting them to wear a nappy is forcing them to be a lot more dependent than they need to be.

Another parent here who wouldn't send their child to that nursery.

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