Advanced search

Too late potty training!

(36 Posts)
MotherGoose85 Thu 14-Jul-11 19:23:08

Why do so many modern mums struggle with toilet training their children??
Thrity years ago (and yes we did have disposible nappies then) it was quite normal for children to be potty trained by two but these days many four year olds are starting nursery-school wearing nappies!!! Why do health visitors recommend that parents wait until children 'show interest' in the potty before attempting to train?? Are they on commision from the nappy manufacturers?! Potty training is not rocket science and there are many helpful books to guide parents through the process. I believe that the later it is done the harder it is, as by three years old children are more inhibited about their bodily functions and prefer to stick with the comfort of their nappy. Are parents just too busy these days or do they expect childminders or nursery-schools to do the job for them??

Biscuitsandtea Fri 15-Jul-11 11:59:53

MotherGoose85 - To be honest my experience has been that a lot of friends who have waited until their children are 'ready' ie interested have found it so much easier to train them - often in less than a week.

I think you are being a little unfair to assume that parents are either too lazy, or expecting someone else to do it. As with so many aspects of parenting we parents are bombarded with different advice from all sorts of quarters including our own families, friends, books media etc and it is often difficult to pick out what is relevant to you, your child or your own family.

I have no doubt that there were disposable nappies 30 years ago but they were certainly a lot less common and considered a lot more expensive (I think my parents probably bought them for me for 'special' occasions ie things like holidays etc where they might not want. be able to do washing). However, I also have no doubt that disposable nappies nowadays do a MUCH better job of locking the dampness / uncomfortableness away from a child's bottom. And I also believe that this may make it a little harder for a child to 'get the hang of it'. However, as with so many things in life, thingsmove on and life has to adapt to deal with this.

It may be easy for you to say potty training is not rocket science but to a lot of parents (and I absolutely include myself in this) it is an absolute minefield. Books do not 'guide' you through the process as each child is so different I have found throughout my child's life that although books are useful, no author of a book knows my child like I do and no book is consistently right for me. If my son had read the books too then maybe it would be easier! However, I always find that there is some issue where we don't quite 'fit' into the books.

Have you considered that, generally speaking, 30 years ago most women had a bigger support network around them of friends and families with female relatives often at home. And in this way most parents themselves had been more involved in the upbringing of other relative's children so generally had more 'hands on' experience of children. I speak for many of my friends when I say that until I had my son, I had never held a child, changed a nappy or done anything at all to do with children. Thus it can be quite a steep learning curve.

I apologise if this seems like a bit of a rant, but I found the tone of your post a little patronising as someone who is currently trying to work out how to potty train my child in the way that will be easiest for him to get the hang of it.

Amykins Fri 15-Jul-11 15:00:11

Well said Mothergoose. Could not have put it better. Let us all be kind to one another.

Ilythia Fri 15-Jul-11 15:04:50

What mothergoose said.

And what was the point of your OP anyway?

FWIW I waited until mine were ready, DD1 loo trained at 2.11 and after 1 day she was pretty much accident free. DD2 loo trained at 3.4 and again, the day she decided to wear knickers she was dry day and night. No worrying about accidents, no constant reminding, no having to stay in for a week to train etc etc. I only had a potty as we were doing up our bathroom so they couldn't go in, but they trained to use the loo from the start.

So you tell me, am I lazy? Or is it not far better for parent and child for the stress and worry to be taken out of potty training??

Biscuitsandtea Fri 15-Jul-11 15:21:26

Thanks Ilythia (I'm assuming you meant you were agreeing with my post?)

In any event I find it reassuring to read stories like yours while I'm still at the 'waiting' stage!

WishIWasRimaHorton Fri 15-Jul-11 15:27:11

i don't know any 4yr olds who have started school wearing nappies, although there are no doubt some.

i do remember when i was at infant school (30+ years ago), there were children who still wet themselves in reception, as there are no doubt today.

i was, apparently, potty trained by 18 months. i fail to see how. i suspect i was sat on the potty every 30 minutes when i was awake. i don't even know how my mum managed to get me to do that. dd is 2.4 and won't sit on the potty for love nor money. neither will she go anywhere near the toilet. so what am i supposed to do? force her? and how exactly do i do that? what will it achieve? a child who screams when the potty is produced and then wees in her pants a few minutes after she gets off it.

yes - that must be what i should be doing. hmm

plupervert Fri 15-Jul-11 15:33:02

Another one here complaining about your tone. I'd also like to point out that it is simply not kind to distress a child needlessly by jumping the gun. Maybe modern disposables lock away wetness too effectively, and there are a lot of other arguments you could have made about potty training's getting later and later, without the gratuitious attack.

Many of DS's friends were potty-trained six months before him (summertime), but we were moving house, and I simply didn't want to upset him more than he already was. There is a similar no-train recommendation for children who've just had a new sibling. We managed very nicely in winter, and it was lovely to be able to praise him when he started getting through the day in the same clothes.

Biscuitsandtea Fri 15-Jul-11 15:56:51

I'm sorry *Plupervert' are you complaining about the tone of my post. I certainly didn't consider it a 'gratuitous attack' or indeed an attack of any sort. My point about modern nappies was really just that - it was easier for children to 'feel wet' in Terry nappies. I completely agree with what you said about training your child so I am not sure I'd you have misinterpreted my post.

I certainly have at no point intended to offend anyone and fail to see how I can have when all the over posts are saying the same thing confused

Biscuitsandtea Fri 15-Jul-11 15:58:21

Apologies - I meant to write Plupervert but and errant apostrophe got in the way blush

Lancelottie Fri 15-Jul-11 16:05:19

The truly baffling thing to my sister-in-law was that parents had ever waited until children were two. Her son (admittedly trained by his terrifying Russian granny) was allegedly dry at 6 months, and certainly was never in nappies day or night from the time we first met him, then aged just 2.

I boggle at this, but she tells me it's 'what everybody does'. How? How??

Mine trained at 2.5 years; 3.2 years; and 15 months. The young one was a bit of a bummer, actually, as she was very aware and indignant about needing a wee, but had almost zero capacity to wait and inaccurate language to request a loo stop.

Car journeys were a nightmare.

changeforthebetter Fri 15-Jul-11 16:16:07

Yeah, that's me "lazy modern mother" - fancy being so slack as to actually communicate with your children and let them take a lead in discovering the instinct and accompanying skills required hmm

Yes, lots of children used to be "dry" much earlier (not blaming the mothers for trying that as it must have been a bugger before disposables) but those same kids were wetting themselves at school (deeply, deeply humiliating) and being punished for wetting their beds long after reception years. I know many adults who were emotionally scarred by their toileting experiences as children.

I am so glad that there is a more thoughtful (better researched) approach for parents if their kids struggle with potty training.

FWIW my kids were dry within a week thanks to my "lazy" parenting.

Nagini Fri 15-Jul-11 16:22:46

I'm quite sure that every single one of use remembers a kid that wet themselves at school whatever age we are hmm

Nagini Fri 15-Jul-11 16:23:38

mothergoose what age do you suggest children should be trained?

sorbysedge Fri 15-Jul-11 16:27:40

you can come round and train mine anytime you like goosey. I'm not proud.

Amykins Fri 15-Jul-11 17:38:53

I actually meant to say, in my earlier post, that I agreed with "Biscuitsandtea". Silly me.

Snuppeline Fri 15-Jul-11 17:54:50

I tried my dd when she was 18 month's with a month of wet & dirty clothes. She understood that I wanted her to go on the potty and she was happy to sit on it. But she wasn't physically able to feel that she needed to go before she was going. So she'd say "potty" with gusto as her wee was trickling down her legs. In the end I decided she needed to mature her physic a bit more so I waited another 6 months and hey presto she was ready and potty trained in a week. She's not yet dry at night but as she's approaching 3 now I'll deal with that soon.

Advances in nappy technology probably do allow parents to delay nappy training compared to previous generations but I still think these are, for the most part, parenting decisions. So not due to lazyness or work per se but as a decision taken when balancing the childs physical and emotional readiness with time of year and other events occurring in the family.

That said of course it is late for a 4 year old being in nappies still or for a 5 year old not being able to wipe their own bum etc but I can't think other than that they are few and far between and that some of those might even have some medical reasons as to why they can't get to a toilet in time.

plupervert Fri 15-Jul-11 19:11:31

So you don't think the tone of your OP was antagonistic? Not even with the comparison to 30 years ago, and the loaded phrase "Potty training is not rocket science"? I'm afraid the latter does come across as patronising, even if one overlooks the rest, which is not so much "tone" as showing a lack of sympathy for those in the "modern" day.

plupervert Fri 15-Jul-11 19:24:36

Hang on, I think there was a mix up somewhere at the beginning, when some people started referring to the first objector (biscuitsandtea) as MotherGoose, whereas MG is the OP.

Biscuitsandtea, I wasn't having a go at you, but at the original post, which was pretty one-sided, unlike your very measured post, biscuitsandtea.

Biscuitsandtea Fri 15-Jul-11 19:53:56

Ah - I understand Plupervert smile - Glad my views are striking a chord smile

Clarabumps Fri 15-Jul-11 19:58:10

I must be a terribly lazy mother waiting on someone to come round and train my children then. Most of us are scared to bully a child into doing something they are not ready for and cause more harm than good but as long as the child is out of nappies by 10months then thats all that matters then eh??

TheRealMBJ Fri 15-Jul-11 20:04:44

Just a friendly note to those of you struggling to keep the OP and biscuits straight smile if you click 'customise' at the top of the page you can choose to highlight the OP's posts (and your own) to make it easier to keep track.

MissMississippi Fri 15-Jul-11 20:35:41

Oooh - MBJ, where is customise? I can't find it.

To the other posters. The OP is completely antagonistic and I chose not to reply previously, so as not to give the satisfaction of answering the ridiculous post.

TheRealMBJ Fri 15-Jul-11 20:41:04

Just under the big , black, bold Mumsnet Talk is a line

Talk: Customise | Unanswered Messages | etc...

There smile

Meglet Fri 15-Jul-11 20:42:19


Meglet Fri 15-Jul-11 20:44:17

Having done a search the op has been banging on about this all week on MN. <<rolls eyes>>

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: