Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Defining 'Potty Trained'

I just realised that I have gotten through almost six years of blogging without once doing a post on poop. This is a gross violation of the mommyblogger code because what else do we exist for if not to bore you or gross you out with the minutiae of our childrens' lives, right? And what can do it more effectively that discussing said children's bodily functions.

Hello? Still there? Or have I scared you off? :p

Worry not, I don't intend to wax eloquent about poop per se but about what people consider to be a potty trained child. Because if I had a rupee for everyone who has told me that they successfully potty trained their kid at 3/6/9 months, well... I could buy Tarana a diaper or two with the money I earned :p

What they mean to say is that they take the baby to the loo several times a day and perch her/ him on the pot or sink (I will come back to this later) and make encouraging noises or run the tap till s/he finally gives in to the urge to pee. They are also super-tuned into their baby's facial expressions and recognise a certain one that indicates a desire to empty their bowels and away they go again to perch the baby on the toilet seat. My question is: does this count as a potty trained child?

Not for me. I think success can only said to have been achieved when a child is sentient enough to recognise the need to go all by himself and act on it, with out without help. A child who needs to be taken every few hours/ minutes or constantly reminded to go does not count. Nor does one who is promptly popped into a diaper when an outing is planned. What do you think?

Also, what is this race we have Indians have going to claim the potty training badge. If I had a rupee for every time I got a judgmental look or statement when I mentioned that my kid was in diapers at the ripe, old age of two, well... I could have bought another couple of diapers. Whatever happened to 'waiting till the child is ready'? Whatever happened to 'to each her own'? The only advantage I can see to putting yourself through this is that you have less dirty nappies to wash and fewer pricey diapers to buy. Even then, it is a personal choice.

Also, getting back to the sink thing. Please desist from making your babies relieve themselves there. The rest of us tend to use them for more mundane activities like washing our hands and brushing our teeth and we'd rather not have baby urine in the near vicinity. Just saying.

Sigh. I am clearly grasping at straws if I am writing about potty training. This daily blogging thing is hard! I have nothing but the utmost respect for blogger who manage to do this everyday, come rain or shine. 

29 comments:

  1. Please Please tell my MIL about it.. she thinks I am the laziest mother on earth to still have a 2 year old on diapers.

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    1. You are most welcome to forward this link :p

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  2. The last line was funny! You can write about your college days! If you miss being at work every morn? How did your mom raise you - difft from how you are raising kids? Expectations etc...am always curious about that when I see parents with young kids...
    And this potty thing - I totally agree - why sweat so much - when the child is ready just get the training over with quickly. But I guess some of those help the child get ready sooner may be. One advantage to early training is less diapers used and also the relief that the child is not wearing that bulky thing...but two is the perfect age I feel...both my kids I think trained at 27m. It made it easier. Although for KG it got to a point where I felt like I could not stand the diaper change process any longer.

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    1. Agree. Between 2 and 2.5 is when they are ready, though it differs by child. Ayaan was largely done with daytime diapers by 2, Tarana waited till she was a little over 2.5

      What do you mean by expectations?

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    2. For example - B's parents were both extremely relaxed - no expectations - well at least minimal defined expectations from the child in terms of what they should do, what they should achieve etc. But my mom esp was the opposite - so tuned into school/grades and have to study well or else you will only ride a rickshaw - that kind of scolding! :) From a young age...for me now I am so careful not to "expect" KB or KG to be the topper in class etc...I expect them to not take things for granted and waste time but I am not a tiger mom to put it simply!

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  3. I feel the main motivation factor for me was that I wanted to minimize my share of environmental garbage..Some kids do get trained really early but it depends on the kid...
    Also, I have heard / seen that kids below 2, though they might not be able to communicate their needs, once used to a potty, resist/ refrain from doing it in a diaper..
    Kids our generation were pretty much trained by 1!! So I guess there is no need to brag here but it also annoys me when kids who are 2+ years still roam in their diapers and still moms do not want to take any steps...

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    1. To each their own, na? Why get annoyed with someone else's choices? I think it is also much easier for us in India where we don't have to worry about accidents on carpeted floors and have help with washing up.

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  4. Anonymous11:01 pm

    Agree with you 100%....fortunately here in the US when I say my kids are potty trained at 2.5 yrs except nite....my kid and I get admired for being so quick in learning:))

    Loving all your posts..please continue....

    Bhavani

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    1. I plan to continue all through December. After that, I might need a wee break. :o)

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  5. Ro, to each his own, really. 7.5 yr old potty trained fully....... all jobs...all clean. 4.5 yr old still needs help but no more potty seat and no more diapers and no more reminders through the day to flush or wash hands.... Yay..

    BTW, I expected real gross stuff when I read your first few lines...

    Read this....https://www.facebook.com/notes/sailakshmi-deepak/the-potty-talk/260614621497

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    1. Ha ha, it was a set up so that my actual post did not sound as bad in comparison. :o)

      The link is not working. Says the content is not available.

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    2. http://saitherambler.blogspot.in/2012/12/potty-talk.html

      see if the copy / paste works

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  6. hahahaaa... 6 yrs and u didnt post on that... yay! on crossing that mark girl!

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    1. Not yet crossed. One more month to go :o)

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  7. I refuse to bow down to the "Your kid SHOULD be diaper free at night by now" sentiment. His body, his bladder, let him decide. I shall provide the encouragement and whisper supporting words but I will not change sheets twice, sometimes thrice, every night till what seems like eternity :( N is day time bathroom trained now - which means he uses the loo on his own, when he wants to including during travel. But night time is a different story. We still have a small bladder I guess and so we are going to wait till biology decides it's time!! And no I don't want suggestions that say no fluids after 6 pm, or give him lots of fluids during the day to expand his bladder or let him get wet and sleep like that (yuck!) or reward him if he stays dry or pray to the lord to help him stop peeing while sleeping at night. If I need help I shall ask. Till then we are happy using pricey diapers that pretend to be underpants.
    Oops! mini post :(

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    1. Amen to that. I am delaying the night time one for my daughter as well. Just do not have the energy to do the waking up and taking to the loo like I did for my son.

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  8. Aha, the always-in-fashion topic of potty training among obsessed mothers!

    You've hit bull's eye with this one. It makes me sick when mothers ferry their kids to the bathroom every half-an-hour and call them trained. I know someone who once kept her 15-month old boy in the bathroom for more than an hour until he peed, in a ziplock bag. She wanted to make sure that he knew that it was not OK to pee on the floor. Bah!

    A child can be considered trained when he/she can identify the instinct and either manage the business him/herself or inform an adult. The instinct *will* develop eventually. What's the hurry?

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    1. Whoa at the hour in the bathroom to pee in a ziplock. That is just weird.

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  9. Lol love love love your posts, and am so glad you're putting yourself through this cos now every day I can look forward to something to smile at! :D
    I agree with you about the potty training bit, incidentally, even if you're just clutching at straws! ;) I got my son out of diapers only recently, at 2 yrs 10 mos, cos I did not want to be tied to a toilet. He got trained almost right away because he was ready for it and old enough for it. Night training is still posing problems, but I think that's cos it's too soon, and I just got greedy and went whole hog with the no-diaper situation. :)

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  10. We are 3 years and 2 months with the younger one and yet to commence on night time training. Day is done and dusted though.

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  11. I am soo glad you are writing regularly again :). This was so much fun to read, and reminded me of all the (supposedly) well meaning advice I had to go through when I decided to stop it with the nighttime waking and washing zillions of clothes and switch to diapers for my daughter when she was 7 months old. The poor baby had her best sleep of her entire life! My son was in a diaper from the day he was born, only a bad reaction/rash would have deterred me and thankfully that never happened :).

    Potty trained - that happens when they can go to the bathroom and actually wash their own bum if you ask me - any idea when that's supposed to be ;).

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    1. Phew, good call. I belonged to the nappy brigade largely during the day but at night, diapers it was.

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  12. Anonymous10:18 pm

    Probably I am loving in a different era ....All kids in my friends circle got potty trained at 3 or 4 and beyond ...some of them were really big for their age and it was cute and funny seeing them roam in diapers ....when parents hurry for this milestone or any other milestone i have a set like ready "have you seen a 10 year old who doesn't know his ABC's or a 5 year old in diapers or a 15 year old who wants to sleep with parents" ..potty training, sleeping on own and everything else will happen sonner than later ...why worry (or probably i am just lazy)
    In my case my 2 year old goes to a montessori and his school has this policy of no diapers ( they will clean the undies and the mess) ...kids roam in undies and when they get wet and know the feeling they get potty trained more easily is the school's funda...Since we were looking at a day-care set up and this worked well, we went with the flow ..and he got potty trained way before 2 (only in school :) ) coz at home we were lazy/ignorant to do what the teachers are doing ....plus his school has really kid sized potties on the floor specially made (unlike the extra fitting or kid potty that we have in homes ...so he think in school you do potty in the pot and at home since we don't have an exactly similar one he doesn't go either ...anyways i am giving it a few months time, we have a one month tracel coming up and probably once we r back ....night time diapers i forsee to have for a loooooooooooong long time coz his diaper is very heavy in the morning coz he drinks 2 glass of milk after dinner before going to bed ....

    -Anamika

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  13. Completely agree with you Roh, when I took my 14month old daughter to India everyone was blaming me for not training or even attempting. My SIL who has a kid same age as Chucky and she kept him diaper free, and of course accidents do happen,I had tough time living in that house especially because of hygiene reasons. Chucky was spending a lot of time on the floor. I had to tell my husband to speak to my SIL and I offered a big packet of diapers to use at least when we are there.I don't understand what is the fun keeping them diaper free and living in the pee and poop for years and call in diaper free/potty trained. Sorry for the rant.

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    1. Hey Little Finger,

      I think I moonlighted as you in my sleep and put this comment because this is *exactly* the situation I faced when I went over to my SIL's and in-laws'. They'd just let the 15-month-old child pee and poo everywhere and just soak the urine in a duster (I never saw the duster being washed. Ugh.) and recycling diapers (for visitis to the market. Mega-ugh). Nonetheless, I -- the cleanliness freak -- was the bad mother, keeping my 11-month in a diaper and not even thinking about toilet training him.

      Rohini, you have exposed my raw nerve and hit it with a hammer.

      K

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  14. deepa2:11 am

    I have a wise friend who told me (when I was stressed out with my then 2 year old) - relax, your daughter will not go to college in diapers ;-)
    It kinda put things in perpective for me - they grow up and fast - enjoy them as they are now - this is helping with my now 2 year old

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  15. You are absolutely right, let them take their own sweet time, they will eventually learn. All kids are not same, some learn early, some learn late, but ultimately they all do. Just that they need to be prepared physically and mentally. I am a new mother myself and I have gone through this phase. I also recently blogged about it in my blog called Humpty Bumpty Kids. Do visit my blog as well and share your thoughts and yes, here is my blog on potty training: http://www.humptybumptykids.com/how-and-when-to-potty-train-your-kid/.

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  16. Its wonderful to read your post almost after a yr ...i last read lats yr when i was pregnent with my daughter who jsut turned 1!!!good u raked this topic ...in India a mother is termed plain bad if the baby is not soiling the floor,bed and the house is not stinking!!!my son got fully toilet trained by 2.3 both day,night and outing (what more to expect from a head strong taurus)...my usual nossy neighbours are loosing their sleep over the fact i m diapering my girl and not attempting any susu training...they lecture me why i shouldnt make her wear diapers etc ..i snapped she is in cloth diapers and pls dont speak on things u dont know..their jaws hung and have stopped talking to us!!! good for me ...good for my kids!!!!

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  17. hi rohoni
    its grt to read ur blog and im returning almost after a year ...alst i read when i was preg with my daughter who just turned 1!!!true u never spoke abt toilet training ...my son got trained by 2.3 day,night and outing!!!thanks to his headstrong attitude of being a taurus,now its my daughter turn to be harrasaed by our nossy neighbours ...she is just 1 she being cloth diapered atleast signals when she has pooped ...bt no they have to say me snidely how bad a mother i am ..that my house is not stinking ..or beds are dry ..some knock the door to say i shouldnt put her in diapers ...they are bad ...atlast i cudnt keep quite and i said when u dont know what she is in why do open your big mouth ..are u remotely aware there is something called cloth diaper..their jaws dropped and since then avoided talking to me ... good for us ...good for teh kids ...

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