Sunday, May 17, 2009

What will other people think?

The main concern I had starting out was, what on earth will people think when I tell them I'm potty training my infant? Will people think I've lost it? We all say that it doesn't matter what other people think, but we all know that deep down we do want the approval of others. While some people do give you strange looks, or a skeptical eye, many people think it's fascinating. With my son, we weren't as confident that it would work, or how long it would take, so it was more difficult to tell people about it. After we were successful with our first, it became much easier to talk about it, and to practice it openly with our daughter.

For example, when my son was 6 weeks old we took a couple of weeks of leave (my husband was in the Marine Corps at that time) to visit our families on the East coast . We felt like it'd be easier on our son, and on us, to simply do the conventional diapering thing. We thought it'd be awkward taking him potty at other people's houses. We thought it would be awkward taking him away from the arms of relatives who haven't met their new cousin/nephew/grandson yet, to go potty. In hindsight, we should've stuck with it. While we were on leave he had blowouts. For those of you who don't know, that's when the poop shoots out of the diaper and up the baby's back, ruining whatever clothes your baby is wearing. In one instance he had a blowout that went all over the him, his clothes, and his carseat. This was something we had never experienced with him before. Normally 95% of his poop went in the potty, and when we did have a poop miss, it was tiny.

Some people will tell you that it's too much work, just let babies be babies. I'd say to them that my babies were much happier when we did this. Many times when a baby is fussing, they need a good poop, pee, or to get some gas out. Believe it or not, babies don't like to poop on themselves. One great thing about the position shown in this picture is it very effectively helps the baby gets the gas out.

If you think someone will be critical, simply don't tell them. Even if you're visiting their house, you could tell them you're going for a diaper change and take the baby into their bathroom and sit them on the toilet. But you'll be surprised to find that more often than not, people are very supportive. It does help to have some success first, before you tell people.

Parenting books are filled with the "facts" about potty training, saying that babies lack the muscle control needed. However, my experience, along with the experience of most mothers in non-Western cultures, simply contradicts those "facts."

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