Monday, September 14, 2015

Update on Toilet Learning and Pacifiers

The last toilet training update I gave was when Tate was 23 months-old. At that time, we were reminding him to use the toilet every hour or so. 

He's currently 26 months-old and now he can independently decide when he needs to go pee or poop. He'll yell "pee!" and start running to the toilet. We only use diapers at nap and bed time.

In the middle of helping Tate with his toilet learning, I read this article about the dangers of early toilet learning, written by a pediatric urologist. I'll be honest and say that it freaked me out a little bit. Fortunately, everything seems to be going well with Tate's early toilet learning, just like it did with Henry. I'm still convinced that the Montessori approach of starting early is right. We have three year-olds at our school who cannot yet use the toilet independently, and it's hard on both the teachers and the parents. Three year-olds have such a strong, independent will. Toilet learning can easily become a battle. 

On the pacifier front, I wrote this post back in October about trying to wean Tate by reducing his usage to nap and bedtime. The goal at that time was to wait another month and then eliminate it all together.

Well, that did not go so well. He screamed and screamed as if he were being psychologically traumatized. We persisted for a few days (if we could handle sleep training, I figured we could handle pacifier-weaning), but it was awful. We finally gave in and gave his pacifiers back at nap and bedtime.

Fast forward almost a year(!). Tate bit a hole in one of his pacifiers, so we seized the opportunity to try again. It was a rough couple days, but nothing like the first time we tried. Now he says, "Giraffe broke." And we commiserate with him and then move on.  

Phew! The pediatrician said we should wean him by two years-old, three at the very latest. Tate is now two years and two months. It seemed like the right time. 

I'm glad we are done with that phase in our lives! #stoppingattwo #hoorayforvasectomies

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Dreamer said...

For what it's worth, I have seen equally impassioned and convincing arguments from medical doctors that training late is leading to an increase in a variety of problems. Moreover, worldwide and historically most children are trained between 1 and 2 if not earlier.

Late training is an anomaly largely confined to western countries in the last 100 years and originally inspired by Freud, hence the conviction that early toilet training is sexually harmful that is widely held and strongly asserted (in America at least).

mamaschlick said...

I think that the early training "historically and worldwide" took place in environments different from ours, namely, in settings that are less abbout outsourcing childcare to large institutions and more about open communities and family caretakers. Nonetheless, just because something is found in western countries and possibly inspired by Freud doesn't mean they are wrong or bad. I personally, resent the pressure to toilet train for daycares, especially because many of the staff refuse to assist or "touch" the child. I've never seen what the hurry is. It is a huge underestimated emotional leap to toilet train and I think it makes sense to do it later and not consider it a "delay" or anything bad. I've never agreed with montessori on this, though I embrace other aspects of the montessori approach. Sometimes there is such a rush to "independence" that you miss out on giving kids time and space to actually make their own, independent decisions about major things in their lives. Just my thoughts. It is an important and interesting topic. Thanks for raising.

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