Last week a momentous event happened.
At 3 years and 2 months old the little man told me one morning before preschool that he was a big boy and wanted to wear pants.I was nervous; it’s been a long time coming. We’ve had plenty of false alarms, accidents, puddles on the carpet, turds in pants(amongst other obscure places) and the little dude has just never quite got there.
In my head I knew he would tell me when he was ready – he’s a stubborn, strong willed little chap and he’s always been that child that does things when he is ready.
And that’s how I believe it should be. After all, I’m not the one who is doing it, he is, therefore it’s down to him when he is ready.
Looking back I’ve been a terrible mum – not to the extent of neglect or injecting heroin into his eyeballs, but I’ve pushed him at times to go nappy-free when he’s been far from ready.
But it’s difficult not to when other children around you of a similar age have been out of nappies for ages and you don’t want your little one to be left behind.
Motherhood at times seems to be ridiculously competitive, why does it matter what age they are? Motherhood is hard enough, aren’t we all trying to do the same job?
I knew of children who were potty trained and completely out of nappies at 18 months old – I also spoke to lots of people, some with some pretty strong opinions about how to do it.
I read articles, books, blogs and all sorts of how to potty training. Some promised overnight success; some had some radical ideas(such as introducing the potty to a newborn) and others told of how easy it all was.
The thing is, what works for one doesn’t work for another. Little Brad from six doors down may well have been out of nappies and studying sixteen GCSEs from six months old but he’s a different child.
I couldn’t less what my little man does – as long as he is happy and healthy, that’s all that matters.
I’ve always been a huge believer in maternal instinct; I trust it more than anything else in the world and so far it’s never let me down.
It’s guided me through a nasty illness when the little one was six weeks old – every single person told me it was just a cold. When he was nearly admitted to hospital because he was so poorly – I just wanted to say ‘I told you so’ to everyone. And punch them in the face. Hard.
It’s got me through crippling post natal depression, anxiety and birth trauma – I’d wake up most mornings just wanting to die, yet my maternal instinct and love kept me going, it never let me down.
And so I knew that day when he said he didn’t want to wear nappies anymore that it was the right time for him and together we could work it out.
He went to preschool, and had an accident, but we didn’t go back. We put our dry big boy pants on and kept going.
That was just over a week ago; within three days he’d done a three hour return car journey and day out with no accidents. There was some truth in some of what I’d heard and read – when they are truly ready there are few accidents, because it’s like they’ve reached a sort of maturity where they know what to do.
I have never been so proud as I am of my little man, he’s been such a good boy and has taken to nappy-free life like a boss.
Yes, we still use nappies at night – if that takes a another year, who cares – he well tell me when he is ready.
And also – this may have worked for us, but every child is different – trust your gut and find your own way.
Well done little man – mummy is super proud.
And my advice to you – wait until they are ready! You will both know 🙂
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