Potty training blues (and pinks)

So, we’ve been wondering if we should start thinking about potty training. Nursery told us a few weeks ago that E had used a toilet. I think it’s just been the once. Since she’s been talking there have been comments about her toilet habits and she is happy to comment on when Mummy has a wee or at least, says I’ll be going for a wee when I do as much as walk towards a bathroom. How lovely.

I don’t like the idea of potties to be honest. I prefer the idea of a seat on the toilet. Potties strike me as adding to the confusion.

And although I was vaguely aware of there being some differences between girls and boys in training, I didn’t think they were so significant as to make a huge difference. How foolish and naive I was…

First up, a quick look at products. Unsurprisingly there are mountains of plastic products available to see you through this transition. Was I under the impression that all E needed was some pants, a child seat, maybe a step, wipes and a calm, patient instructor? Why would I not treat us both to a 3 in 1 contraption, with potty, seat and ladder set that she can climb to sit on? Or a potty on wheels with a space for a full toilet roll hanging on the front? Or a boy’s special training thing which looks like a mini urinal? No less than £20 each people.

Mothercare have toilet seats. Most are either pink or blue. Why? Mainly so they can have some kind of character – Thomas, Mickey Mouse, and f*&%ing ubiqitous Peppa pig – on them. Some even have padding. Kiddicare

This one makes a REALLY AWFUL noise that goes on for ages...

This one makes a REALLY AWFUL noise that goes on for ages…

have a slightly wider selection with more white seats but there’s still some gender division.

And so I turned to my usual reliable source – books. Could I get E a book to teach her what to do? I could but they were all pink or blue too. Some of them even said for girls or boys on the front. Is it really so different? And do girls really only do things because princesses tell them to?

If this wasn't quite so pink and Polly was a normal girl I'd have bought it.

If this wasn’t quite so pink and Polly was a normal girl I’d have bought it.

I checked the advice given online – there really was very little difference between what they recommend for girls and boys. Boys may start later they say. The actual techniques stay the same to start with until you start to look at standing up for boys but it’s not necessary to do that straight away do why the blatant gender differences?

Tempted by this one except for the clear "for boys" label

Tempted by this one except for the clear “for boys” label

Stupid question really, it’s profit driven isn’t it, like everything else. I don’t know why we let them get away with it.

Yes this one actually comes with a padded decorated toilet seat on the cover...

Yes this one actually comes with a padded decorated toilet seat on the cover…

Anyway, I shall buy something this weekend and start to talk to E about using it. We’ll see how we get on.

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This entry was posted in Feminism, Motherhood, Observations and general nonsense, Parenting and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Potty training blues (and pinks)

  1. aviets says:

    I would find it very difficult to pass up “Pirate Pete’s Potty Book” even though I don’t have anyone to potty train…

  2. In the course of teaching preschool, I have potty trained somewhere in the vicinity of seventy children. I’ve never needed a book, or treats although I did have the enormous advantage of toilets sized for children rather than adults (my littlest trainers still needed a lift up, but it was a big difference nonetheless). I found it very helpful to have the children, before even introducing the potty, be able to do a standing diaper change where they would consistently open the diaper velcro (or pins) and then close it again on the fresh diaper. This gave them an initial acknowledgement of the mechanics that would be necessary when they switched to underwear (pants, in the uk lingo, I believe) – not that underwear needs to be opened or closed, but that it has to be removed in order to use the potty.

    When the child (and parents) seemed comfortable with that, we would switch over completely to underwear and take the child to the potty every fifteen minutes to try to use it, congratulating them on successes and handling mishaps with no drama. (Mishaps will happen, but drawing negative attention to them did nothing but shame the child and make the process more painful for everyone.) Most children responded really well to this technique and were fully trained in about a week (although often still wearing a diaper to nap or sleep). It was time consuming, but otherwise painless!

    I’m sure you didn’t need my treatise on the subject – all this info is available online – but I (weirdly) find it really interesting to teach children to use the bathroom, so I thought I’d throw in my vote of confidence that it’s fairly straightforward and you’ll do great, no matter what fancy potty seat you’re forced to buy 😀

    • basfordianthoughts says:

      Thanks for commenting! I really like this. I was thinking something like this makes more and more sense when you otherwise have to handle the insane amount of nonsense the shops are shovelling onto you. Hooray for common sense approaches!

  3. Somehow I managed to avoid all these gender differences… We had the 3 in 1 Toilet Trainer from Kids Kit which I can’t recommend more. They have it at our day care too and it’s so easy for them to use alone (plus it’s totally unisex). Also the book we had “it’s Potty Time!” by Tracey Corderoy and Caroline Pedler was fab. Good luck with it all!

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