B was on annual leave and would be home for three whole weeks so it seemed a perfect time to tackle a few things while we had both hands on deck.
The plan included weaning Zee off the boob and toilet training LD. As it turns out, both these tasks are fairly monumental so it became necessary to choose just one. And since Zee is a huge boob pig and LD is about to start college, the toilet training won out.
Actually, LD is not about to start college. He is 3.5 years old. So, clearly, too young for college but, let us speak frankly, getting too old for all this nappy-wearing business. But at 3.5, he is showing none of the initiative to start toilet training that all the books told me to be on the lookout for before even thinking about proceeding.
I waited patiently, the experts assuring me that to push a kid into using the toilet before he is ready is to create a painfully prolonged and possibly traumatic training period.
Boys matured more slowly than girls, I comforted myself when a dear friend’s daughter, nine months LD’s junior, began wearing underpants each day.
And I waited.
And finally, it just seemed like the kid would be walking down the aisle to his future life partner in adult diapers.
So, it was time to take action.
On Facebook, a friend made a comment about her recent success with toilet training her son, a similar age to LD. I demanded she tell me her secrets and in doing so (there really aren’t any), she mentioned she had used Fluffies Training Pants.
I wasn’t familiar with the training pants but I recognised the packaging and realised I’d seen them before. Fluffies Training Pants are made of terry towelling and have a foam lining which means they are more absorbent than your average pair of undies. However, they are not designed to absorb liquid the way pull-up pants are and subsequently, they will leak. I didn’t see the point of going the pull-up route because as far as I could tell, they were just a nappy by a different name. And hey, a friend said the Fluffies were good and I had exactly zero to lose.
I got in touch with Fluffies and they graciously agreed to supply me with 6 pairs for review. The package arrived and I waited patiently for B to begin his annual leave so that we could begin the journey towards this momentous milestone in the life of our LD.
The night before we began, we told LD the Nappy Fairy was coming to take away his nappies. He seemed vaguely interested in this.
The first day was….a complete and utter failure. Before 12 noon, LD had pissed his way through four pairs of Fluffies. I asked him to let me know when he needed to wee and his response was, “No”. Ooookay.
I was despairing. But I was determined to persevere. Give it a week, I thought.
The second day after a couple of accidents, the M-G family could be found screaming, clapping and dancing around the potty after LD used it for the first time. We had progress!
I am writing today in the third week of our journey and I would say that 98% of the time, LD is using the toilet. And I do mean toilet – the little genius having graduated from the potty already. I am quite amazed. In two short weeks, we went from outright refusal, to potty use motivated by a praising audience, to “Go away, Mumma. I do it myself” as my kid sits perched on the toilet like he’s been doing it all his life.
We still get the odd accident (daycare poses a challenge) and there are still “travel nappies” and “night nappies” but we have made a start. Something has switched in that little brain and I am hoping like hell that it won’t switch back.
I think we've had success for a few reasons. Namely, LD was 100% physically and mentally ready for the challenge. The first day disaster was a normal resistance to change but calm and consistent perseverance meant we could overcome that resistance quite quickly.
The Fluffies pants have been great for a number of reasons.
- They are slightly more absorbent than a regular pair of underpants so if you catch the little trainer quickly enough, there may be less mess after an accident.
- Fluffies pants have some absorbency but the child will feel uncomfortable in them if they get wet. Pull-ups never worked for LD because they felt too much like a nappy and so he would use them accordingly.
- Unlike pull-ups, they can be washed and reused which is a benefit financially and is also a greener choice.
- The major advantage of using the training pants for us was, I think, psychological. We have undies with robots and undies with Spiderman. All manner of undie incentives we provided but LD preferred his “fluffy undies” and I think that was because they feel more like a nappy. They’re bigger than regular undies and they’re softer. So he was less resistant to wearing them. I think they’re an ideal in-between
– going from the security of a nappy to a thin pair of cotton underpants is probably a bigger jump for LD than I figured.
So, we’re still in the early stages of training and certainly not “trained” yet but it's a start and I am relieved because it was always a nagging thought at the back of my mind that my kid should not still be in nappies. Fluffies Training Pants have been a helpful transitional tool. And they’re cheap. I’ve seen a 6-pack advertised for $19.95.
Other helpful stuff included a sticker reward chart, keeping my mounting frustration to myself and just generally encouraging without overwhelming. In the end, what seems to have been the most cementing factor for LD was his own sense of independence in doing this most grown up of things.
So, I'm proud of the little fella. Wish us continuing luck!