Originally Posted by littleteapot
Majazama - I kind of find that post a little offensive, because regardless of whether or not you intend to be picking on someone, it IS picking on someone: kids who potty train at the normal time.
Actually? Even in this country, 20 years ago nobody would have said that 3.5 was "the normal time" to be working on potty learning with kids who don't have other problems. Night time, maybe, but during the day? That's new. I can remember hearing as recently as 1990 about children who weren't potty trained by their third birthdays, hearing adults wondering what kind of problems the kids (or their parents) had that were preventing it. She could have worded it better (no offense, Jaz!
) but Jaz is correct-- the current thinking on potty training in this country (and it's still fairly unique to the western world) is largely the result of the disposeable diapering indurstry.
|Truly 'late' potty training can be for a number of reasons, including psychological and sensory issues. My younger sister was a very late trainer because she had severe IBS and was terrified to have a bowel movement.
Absolutely; parents have to be able to assess these issues for themselves. My daughter has a kidney problem which causes her to put out much, much, MUCH more urine than an average child of her age/size. Her nephrologist told me to keep in mind that she was very likely to have difficulty controling herself, because her bladder fills more quickly. I did keep it in mind, and I have never pressed the potty issue with her, but today at 26 months she is completely diaper free, and only rarely has accidents; in the past three weeks, she's had two. Why? Because I listen to my daughter. She didn't like the smell of her poop, she saw that her brother never had to smell it on the toilet, so she started pooping in the toilet. When I told her that if she peed in the toilet as well she wouldn't have to wear diapers at all, she was thrilled and immediately began using it. I offered her the potty first, but she didn't like it; she could still smell things, and there was something to do afterwards. She learned her body's signals very rapidly, devised a way to get herself onto the toilet, and has been happy as a clam ever since.
What didn't I do? I didn't refer to pull-ups as "big kid pants," but rather "princess diapers," because that's what they are. We also only used those for car trips. I kept (keep!) a Baby Bjorn Little Potty in the car, but that's the only time she'll use it; she vastly prefers regular toilets to the potty seat.
|But 3-3.5 is actually a normal range...
Again, 3-3.5 is not normal; it's average, and there's a difference. Average is a mathematical concept based on what the group in question is actually doing. Normal is what happens naturally, what nature intended. Yes, today in this country, the average boy is fully out of diapers around 40 months, girls around 37 months. That doesn't make it normal.
I wear size 18 jeans; this is, in fact, the average size for a woman to wear in America. That doesn't mean that it's normal-- it's very clearly not. I'm a fat person. It's not normal to be fat. My body knows this, my lungs have a harder time getting air, I have less energy than my healthier, thinner peers, and my feet hurt constantly just from the force my fat ass exerts on them all the time. I'm very much average in this respect, but it's certainly not normal or desireable.
|and studies have shown that kids who "train early" actually tend to have issues with it that last until *that* point, instead of the kids who train when they're ready and tend to do it very quickly and with little struggle.
I tend to refer to potty training as potty learning, because I associate the word "train" very strongly with dogs, and my kids aren't pets; they just needed to learn a new skill (how to use the toilet on their own). Studies funded by disposeable diapering companies (and they inevitably are) are designed to keep kids in their products for as long as possible. They want children to go through all their diapers, from newborn to size 5 or 6, buying smalller (and more expensive) packages as the kids get older, hoping that they'll train out. Look at the Pampers Advanced Feel -n- Learn Trainers; they advertise these diapers as "the fast track to potty training." In fact, these diapers (and they are diapers) don't even come in a size smaller than 4T-5T-- the child has to weigh damn near 40 pounds before they'll even fit. I was somewhat petite, but I didn't weigh 40 pounds until my fifth birthday (though of course, children are getting bigger and heavier). These diapers-- the so called "fast track," are designed for children who are at least
3.5 years old!
Children who are forced to potty learn before they are ready are bound to have issues, sure, I can accept that. The thing is, you can offer a child alternatives to diapers without forcing the issue, and most of us are here because we are paying close attention to our children, we understand them in ways that many parents today sadly don't. AP is all about bonding with your child, and that bonding facilitates understanding and rapport.
Most children are, quite frankly, born ready and then diaper trained by their parents. How many times have you seen a newborn or infant cry before they need to be changed? I know that my son did it; I can remember him tapping his diaper with his fist at three months of age before he'd even gone, and thinking, "He's asking me to change him before he pees, how could he possibly be ready to use a potty as a baby?" (This was before I learned about Elimination Communication). BooBah didn't do this, she just seemed to go all the time unless she was sick, but I knew that Bella would be capable of it. Today I can leave her diaper free all day, as long as I have the ability to drop whatever I'm doing to hold her over the BBLP when she indicates that she needs to go. I'm not forcing her; on the contrary, when I put a diaper on her I'm forcing her to sit in her own urine and/or feces until it's convinient for me to change her.
There are windows of opportunity for parents who choose to diaper train their children; these vary from child to child, but I know that many children start waking around 15 months in the middle of the night. It was actually Casina here who suggested to me that Bean might have to pee when he started doing this. That night when he woke up crying, I got up and put him on the toilet. He peed and instantly fell back to sleep, wearing a dry diaper. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to help him continually at that point (I was very pregnant with BooBah and we had the world's teensiest bathroom) and we (mostly) missed that window. The next one came around 28 months, iirc, and at that point he got out of diapers very quickly. He was entirely diaper free at home about two weeks later, and I stopped putting pull-ups on him for trips around 34 months when I realized that he wouldn't have accidents if I kept a potty in the car for him to use. Honestly, I felt like it was a little late, and felt very guilty for having missed his first two "windows" (at three and 15 months).
Despite the fact that he was, in my opinion, somewhat "late," Bean never wore large sized cloth diapers at all, and was never bigger than a size 3 paper diaper. Today, you can buy regular diapers up to size *7* (especially in "fat states" like mine
), and "trainers" for kids up to 110 pounds. Diaper companies neither want nor expect children to train out of any size smaller than a 5. They want you to believe that it's healthy and normal for your child to be wearing diapers until they're damn near four and need to get out to go to preschool.
I strongly believe that most healthy children with involved parents can and should be out of diapers, at least during the daytime, by their third birthdays.