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Toilet Training Of 3 Year Olds....


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Hi,

I run a Pre School taking children 2 1/2 to 5years. We are open mornings only, for two and a half hours.

 

Over the last few years, (since we were no longer allowed to refuse children who were still in nappies, (coincidence?) we have seen a huge increase in children over 3 who are not at all continent, both pooing and weeing in their nappies everyday and not telling anyone when they've had a poo. we often have to play "where is that smell coming from?"!!

 

We now have at least 4 or 5 children a day (out of a total of 22) using nappies.

These children's development is 'normal' in every other way, but more and more parents tell me they 'don't want puddles on the floor' or they tried once and the child had an accident so back on with the pull-ups.

 

This is taking up so much staff's time as well as not being too pleasant - changing a nearly 4 year olds nappy (which they may have been sitting in for 5 minutes or so until someone noticed the smell!) is no fun. We all accept that this is part of caring for the child and would never make the child feel uncomfortable about changing them.

 

Has anyone else noticed this?

Why are so many children still in nappies at 3-4?

Why was this not a problem before children were not able to start pre-school unless they were at least on the way to being continent?

 

Does anyone else think it has become 'socially acceptable' for children to be wearing nappies so much longer than they used to and therefore parents put off that messy first two weeks of toilet training, with puddles etc. galore!!?

 

I try to persuade parents to let their children have a go out of nappies and reassure them that accidents while training are totally normal and not a problem, but we're not getting very far!

 

Anyone got any good ideas for helping parents to take the plunge so to speak?

 

Hope I don't sound too 'harsh' it may be the result of having to change two pooey nappies each morning this week, but I also think that a child's self-esteem and overall development is improved greatly with more independence in this area.

 

 

Any thoughts??

 

Jane

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This has always been a concern of mine - for many parents the incentive for getting on with toilet training was starting nursery. We state in our brochure that might suggest a child only attends part-time whilst toilet training (we are a school nursery and all children attend only 3 of the 5 sessions for their induction period) - the reason being that this process is best supported at home. Although I am aware this is not strictly what we should be doing it does give us some leverage if I feel a parent is not supporting at all.

 

the work load is ridiculous especially in school nursery where there only has to be two of us with 26 children.

 

Luckily I have found most parents are glad of the support and willingly follow up at home what we have started in nursery.

 

For a few I have had to say that we feel they are ready and request they send pants in the change bag so that we can put them in pants for part of the session.

 

Not much useful advice there I know - but sometimes its just nice to know we're all having the smae problems.

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Jane I could not agree more. This has been an ongoing concern of mine for a few years. I absolutely beleive that the problem lies with the efficiency of disposable nappies. They are wonderful in keeping the child feeling dry so they do not have the clammy feeling of wet nappy. Additionally terry nappies on older active children just did not stay put so everyone had an incentive to get them into pants. Today there is no interest in hastening toilet training. We all so 'respect' parents wishes and sdhere to avoiding discrinmatory practice that it is getting silly. We used to be able to say out of nappies to start and guess what - they were toilet trained with no problem. Am I sounding very old?

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Same here too! (School Nursery) We suggest that they send chn. in pants and with 2 or 3 changes of clothes. This generally works in a couple of weeks, I think the chn. see the others using the toilet and don't want to be different, also the small toilets are less threatening.

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agree chill,

 

we tend to sit children on toilet when changing nappies , using toilet seat just so they get idea of acutally using one,

 

We are working with one parent with child who has special needs, and her paediatrician has said she needs to put pants on UNDER the nappy so the child feels wet and make her more aware of what she is doing... have had a parent do this before as well she said it was the best tip she had ever been given.

early days yet but we keep trying. xD

 

we do often ask parents to just put in pants, supply the spare clothes and let us start the process for them to follow through at home....usually cleasn and dry quite quickly... especially if they wear jeans...all that wet down the leg really is not the best feeling!! we have managed this with lots of children so far but there is always one who resists as they feel we are removing thier parents rights, or they are upset that we can manage something they have been avoiding for months. :o

 

Just to say ahd a parent ring yesterday who desperately wanted a place after half term, as she had kept her child off to ensure he is dry and ready for pre-school.. Although almost full with a juggle of one place we did manage 2 days for her, felt she deserved it for waiting and working hard :(

 

Inge

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Guest MaryEMac

We have noticed this as well. We are a playgroup and we regularly have at least two children in nappies at each session. I feel, as do the others that when we could say that they needed to be dry before they could start, it made parents work at it and not wait for us to do it.

 

Mary

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I have a problem with parent who have no intention of trying, had the excuse, but they're holding it in and it will end up causing problems, but when asked if they have made that all important appointment with the health visitor or doc to find out and get help, a flat No!,. How about your child is nearly 4 and is about to start a long road of social problems as well as physical if you dont! :o

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Oh dear, I am NOT looking forward to this when I start teaching Nursery in September. I had 2 children in my reception class who were not toilet trained when they started (both SEN but still!) Anyway, with lots of support from all of us and regular trips to toilet both were trained by half term (one in 3 weeks) and only have the very occasiional accident now. However, I do not relish having to do this with more in Nursery and also don't see why I should. It is a new school and I asked the Head if we could have a policy to say they couldn't start until trained and she said she'd have to check with LEA - but how come LEAs are saying that this is ok??? It's ludicrous. I was toilet trained by 18 months.... my Mum just got rid of the nappy... obviously too hard for parents these days!

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Thanks everyone, I'm so glad I'm not alone in feeling fed-up with this situation. How you

manage in a Nursery setting with only two staff to 26 children I don't know, we find it bad

enough with 4 of us to 22 children.

 

I so agree that modern nappies are 'too efficient'. Maybe I'm an old cynic but if the children

were in Terry nappies I think they'd all be out of nappies much quicker! I also think pull-ups

are dreadful, parents say to me he's not in nappies he's in pull-ups as though that makes it

o.k. Changing very messy pull-ups has got to be the worse!

 

Obviously we all agree that the Disability discrimination act is a good thing but I feel this

element of it has done a great disservice to children without special needs who are now not

being helped by their parents to achieve this so important step in independence.

 

My area Senco said it's a shame that society is pushing children to read and write too early,

making Early Years workers monitor and assess children to a ridiculous level and yet holds

children back in learning these most basic skills of personal hygiene and independence.

 

I'll be trying some of the tips here and am going to make a point of asking parents if they've

spoken to their health visitor about it. If one of my own 4 children was still pooing in a nappy

at 4 I'd be seeking medical advice!

 

One of my staff brought in a tub of 'Vic' to dab under our nostrils before changing nappies to

try to mask the smell for the squeemish amongst us (that's all of us I guess). It does help!

 

Best regards and I wish you all a poo free day tomorrow!!

 

Jane

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I so agree that modern nappies are 'too efficient'. Maybe I'm an old cynic but if the children

were in Terry nappies I think they'd all be out of nappies much quicker! I also think pull-ups

are dreadful, parents say to me he's not in nappies he's in pull-ups as though that makes it

o.k. Changing very messy pull-ups has got to be the worse!

 

I'm sure you do know but pull ups are designed to be ripped down the side for changing so they are no worse than normal disposables. :o

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oh couldn't agree more.disposables are to good. i even got in touch with Pampers and told them about 3 years ago that a child has to feel wet not warm to want to stop. It is getting worse each year and I've been doing it for nearly 20 years. Good old terries made children aware of what they were doing. I have 2 sons who were both dry at 18 months with no problems at all.

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It is so good to see support for this. I thought I was the only one who is shocked by the year to year delaying of toilet training. When I started in nursery (many years ago) there was never ever a three year old in nappies and most two year olds wre reliably dry. We did not have accidents either. So much time is now taken up with changing children which could be better spent. Also children are so proud when they do become dry - they just need a little encouragement. Parents also need educating that puddles will nappen and are not to be seen as a sign that the child is not ready! Ok rant over. (and I have not even started on the environmental issues)

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Chill,

I hadn't even thought about the effect on the environment of such a big increase in the number of nappies going into landfill - it must make a huge difference if lots of children are in nappies for a year longer than they used to be.

 

Also I agree so many parents put children straight back in nappies after one 'accident'.

I spent time this morning explaining to two different mums of 3 and a half year olds that they would get a couple of weeks of puddles before their child had got the hang of it but if they kept putting nappies back on they were confusing the child and delaying them achieving full control. The irony is that even if children are kept in nappies until they're seven they would still have to go through a transition period of having accidents.

 

Both these mums have decided to give it a go during half term and bring the children in pants when we return. They both said they had been putting it off because they didn't want the puddles.

 

Referring to pull-ups, I know that they are meant to be torn at the sides for changing but some don't tear very easily and it is difficult to tear a 3-4 year olds nappy full of poo without getting it all over the place! Or maybe I'm just awkward!

 

I also think they reinforce the idea that nappies are o.k for older children cos they're almost pants and not nappies when in fact they are nappies just ones that 'pull-up', though I've never seen a child use them as 'trainer pants' just as a nappy.

 

Jane

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I've actually bought a couple of pairs of the old fashioned trainer pants to show mums that they are better than pull ups. you know the type that have towelling inside and plastic outside. Mothercare still do them but how many mothers use them instead of pull ups the children would be dry so much quicker.

I thought it was just me getting old!!!!!!

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