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Children in nappies in reception

Discussion in 'Early Years' started by cath1980, Aug 2, 2009.

  1. This is all part of the same old problem - these children are simply not old enough for school and should remain in a nursery where they can deal with it and they won't be made to feel like freaks. Children need to start school at the right age for them not just because it happens to be the stated time of year. If schools insist on taking babies then they will have to deal with the issues babies face. I bet some of these poor little souls will only have had their fourth birthdays a few weeks before being asked to start school, no wonder they're not ready. As usual everyone is very keen to blame bad parenting or accuse the children of having developmental delays when actually they are really quite 'normal' and are just having to cope with the enormous task of fitting in to school life.
  2. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    How are nurseries more able to deal with this and why should they be expected to?

  3. May2

    May2 Established commenter

    Whether all children are ready to start full time school in September of the year they will be 5, I think is a different issue. I don't think it is unreasonable to expect all 4 year olds to be toilet trained. Surely most children can be trained by at least 3 1/2 if parents give there time to it. That is the main problem, parents are not seeing it as an important job for them and find it easier in their busy lives to keep them safe in nappies. I don't think it is a social class thing either, I think it goes across the board with parents in my area far more interested in getting to the gym etc and 'dumping' their child in the creche than actually committing that time to training their toddlers.
  4. Of course- one could interpret potty training as coming into the EYFS Principle agenda- Unique child= positive relationships gumpf. I am not saying that should happen but you can see that the back door is left wide open for that interpretation.
    Useful post. Msz, Ta.

  5. marymoocow

    marymoocow Star commenter

    It was mentioned on breakfast news this morning. The psychologist felt it was due to working parents. If children are in child care there is no consistency during toilet training, with many different people involved in the child's toilet training. I was lucky to be an at home mum and know it took 4 weeks to crack it with both kids. How many working parents can take 4 weeks off work. However I also remember my health visitor possitively encouraging parents to leave it until at least 3 years old as it would be easier. This was something the psych advocated as you wouldnt be struggling to toilet train during the terrible twos. Pull ups should be banned for all except when you know you are going to be along way from toilets such as car journeys or shopping etc. I always tell parents of children not toilet trained to put them in knickers as it is easier to deal with and they quickly understand about being wet and toilet train. I think parents can feel awkard about asking child carers to help toilet train and resort to pull ups. When my first born started pre school at 2 and a half a couple of days a week, he was only recently toilet trained. I was wary of him having an accident as he still did sometimes and put him in pull ups. I told the staff that he needed frequent reminders. However I quickly realised that they werent doing this and he kept coming home with a soaking wet pullups. I then decided to put him in pants. He did wet on the first day in pants, but at least it reminded the staff that he needed regular toileting and he never wet again. The problem I have with my parents is that despite us asking them to put them in pants and the child being fully toilet trained at school, the parents put them back in pull ups or even nappies once they get home as they cant be bothered with dealing with it. I work in a deprived area where parents dont work and late toilet training is nearly always down to ignorance/ laziness/ and a need to baby their children (dummies and pushchairs are also overused to a late age)
  6. I disagree. Unless it's due to a medical condition, children who are not toilet trained are purely a result of their parents not being consistent in their training or simply not even bothering to attempt it. It is not due to the children being young and not ready for school. Some of these children who are not trained by 4 may still not be trained by 5 or 6 or 7yrs old if they were to start school later. Their age is largely irrelevant, it's their parents attitude towards training that is the issue.
    It's not the role of the nursery to train them either. Schools or nurseries would do all they can to prevent the child from feeling like a 'freak' but if the child does feel like this, then it is their parents fault for not teaching them a basic life skill!
    The whole point is that 4yr olds are NOT babies and therefore should not be wearing nappies like babies. Yes, they are young and yes I agree that they are not ready for some aspects of school life but at 4yrs old they should be more than capable of using the toilet independently. (Obviously accidents will happen occasionally).
    Being toilet trained is nothing to do with having to cope with the enormous task of fitting in to school life, as they should have been toilet trained way before starting school. Yes, at 4yrs old they do have a lot to cope with when starting school and therefore being toilet trained before this time is even more important, as they should not have to be dealing with this at the same time as dealing with everything else in school.
    I do blame bad parenting as I see no other reason for children arriving at school in nappies. Parents of such children should be ashamed of themselves.
  7. This is not the first time that this discussion has been started on this forum. However, this thread is very refreshing and different to past threads because it is being refreshingly honest.
    In the past the threads have been very p.c. and posters have not been able differentiate between those children who have genuine delay or conditions from those children who have been delayed throught parenting choice. The DDA wa quoted and there was an end to it.
    I have always felt that I have been the lone voice who has expressed dismay at this trend in 4 and 5year starting school not toilet trained.
  8. Leapyearbaby64

    Leapyearbaby64 New commenter

    I agree with you Hedda. My son is only 11, but the policy when he started nursery (aged 3) was that they would not generally take children who were not potty trained. Frankly, to take children into school who are still in nappies is absurd. I am sure everyone is happy to deal with the odd accident, but I for one would not be prepared to change a nappy.
  9. cinderella1

    cinderella1 New commenter

    Well if the reason was medical then you would need a careplan in place, but as this is not the case then these children still have a special need dont they, that is going to require extra support so I would put them all on IEP's, the long term target to be for the children to use the toilet independently.
    When you share the IEP's with the parents together you can have a training plan that is consistant both at home and at school.
    We too have lots of children who are not toilet trained starting in our nursery class between the ages of 3 and 4, and as msz says it takes between 2-3 weeks and even 1 week in a lot of cases to support the child to go to the toilet independently.
    We ask for them to bring spare clothes (in your case I would ask for 2 sets), and to wear no nappies, then every 15 minutes we will remind the children to use the toilet, encourage them to watch others and give lots of praise.
    If there is an accident of any kind then we change the child, we wouldnt leave them soiled to wait for a parent or carer to arrive, if we need support then we phone the office.
    I too think it is down to lack of parental care/knowledge, whatever you wish to call it, laziness, and rather than not ready I would say the children have been ready for so long and still put in a nappy as it is easier that they have gone past the easy stage of training.
    health visitors these days when mothers ask, say oh dont worry when they are ready hmmmm
    Parents worry about wet accidents on the new bed or carpet etc... although i do find that those who struggle with the cost of nappies tend to make sure their children are trained at an early age.
  10. It is interesting that many of you have found that children coming to you 'untrained' then find the child trains rapidly under your guidance. Do you not feel this may be, at least in part, down to the additional incentive the child has to train? It seems obvious to me that many children who enter school untrained, will want to achieve this in school simply because the majority of their peers are using the toilet.
    I feel (obviously unpopularly) that many of you are unecessarily harsh towards parents. It IS difficult to oversee the training of your child when they are at nursery and you are at work. It is difficult for parents, who are given the message from 'experts' that they should not push their child to train 'before they are ready', to know when 'ready' is. Not all parents with untrained children are 'poor' parents - what does that even mean?! Even if a parent is deficient in the area of potty training their child, they could be a fabulous parent in other areas. I would hope this one area would not colour one's judgement of the parent as a whole, but I can't see how that cannot be given some of the sweeping judgements made here.
  11. Not all of the children in my setting who are in nappies have working parents.
    I find that in the main, working parents are pretty well organised and so are their children. Disabilities apart, it takes around a week to 'train' a child and anytime from around 2-3 years most are ready. A few more weeks before they are totally without wetting accidents daytime and perhaps a bit longer at night. This is not rocket science but does require a plan, energy and consistency, sadly lacking in a lot of children's lives.
    Controlling poo is a bit more individual for many children...often caused by dietary issues. Too many children have horrendous diets with too much sugar and little in the way of roughage with alternating diarrhoea and constipation. Too many have irregular 'mealtimes' which does not enable them to go to the toilet at regular times. There is a 'gastrocolic reflex' which is the natural stimulation of the digestive system, moving food along and out as more comes in. This natural feeling tends to get lost with constant 'grazing'.
    If you are a parent you have to learn and apply these things and I think it would help if nurseries said NO CHILDREN IN NAPPIES ...unless ...disabilities.
    I blame parents totally...their children...their responsibility.
    Having said that I would never make a child feel bad about having an accident and deal with it sympathetically ensuring their dignity at all times BUT from years ago when there was just the odd accident almost a third in our setting last year were in nappies ( 3-5yrs. ) I do not believe the disability discrimination legislation was ever intended to cover what is becoming an 'epidemic' in early years. We need to take a stance.
    Issues for settings:
    • Child protection is an issue for children and staff - when children get used to anyone other than a parent carrying out intimate care it makes them much more vulnerable.
  12. So it's ok for some parents to leave their children untrained because they can learn off the children whose parents have bothered to train them? Another easy route out of a (possibly) difficult part of parenting! If you take that view to its logical conclusion then all children will come to school untrained, with the assumption that they'll learn quicker from other children- but then there'll be no trained children to learn from!
    No-one said parenting was easy. It's probably the most difficult and the most important job a person can do. Therefore it's vital that parents get the basics right and teaching your child to use the toilet independently is a basic life skill, no matter how difficult the process may be (and training is not always difficult).
    I agree that this is unhelpful and I wish such 'experts' would stop being so vague. However, surely it is not too difficult for parents to work out the age at which most other children are trained and to realise that school age is way too old for nappies.
    Yes they could be, no-one has suggested otherwise have they? It still doesn't take away the fact that they have bad parenting skills in toilet training and as this is a very important area of their child's life, it's not acceptable to be 'deficient'. Being 'fabulous' in other areas doesn't make it ok to be bad in toilet training.
    Any judgements made about the parents have been regarding their toilet training skills. If they haven't trained their children it's bad parenting because they're not helping their child with a basic human function. I don't presume that they are 'bad parents' in general, just like I don't presume that those parents who have toilet trained their children are 'fabulous parents'.
  13. tash- you have made some very interesting points.
  14. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    I've never had a child in nappies who has working parents. My belief is that the children of working parents have attended some form of childcare - day nursery or child minder where they have been toilet trained ....
  15. I have not had children in nappies from daycare but I have had children who are supposedly toilet trained according to day care records, but are far from it on arrival at school.
    I don't think that it is all to do with upheaval of transition between settings.
    I sometimes wonder if the the high staff ratios at daycare enable staff to manage the child's evacuations rather train the child to become independent in the lavatory department. The same sort of thing tends to happen whne children have nanny's too. It is also quite evident by the garments that parents dress their children in as there is no way some of these children can be independent because of their difficult fastenings.
    Somebody on this thread said that the children need an incentive and that they are responsive to toilet training at school at school because there is an incentive to be dry like their peers- I am not sure that I agree with that. However, it got me thinking that when parents were faced with the incentive to get their child drry before starting nursery/school, as that was the entry criteria, it was amazing how many of them managed it!
  16. So it's ok for some parents to leave their children untrained because they can learn off the children whose parents have bothered to train them?
    That was not at all the point I was making. I doubt there are many parent who want their child to be the only one in nappies, and would actively choose for them to learn by some kind of 'peer modelling' although I believe it will undoubtedly be a factor for most children untrained at the start of school.
    Therefore it's vital that parents get the basics right and teaching your child to use the toilet independently is a basic life skill, no matter how difficult the process may be (and training is not always difficult).
    Of course this is important. If an 'expert' has told you to wait until your child shows signs of 'being ready' to train, then this is what many parents will do. Some will not train for reasons of convenience, but to assume this is the case with all parents of untrained children is judgemental and simply wrong.
    Even if a parent is deficient in the area of potty training their child, they could be a fabulous parent in other areas.
    Yes they could be, no-one has suggested otherwise have they?
    Actually, if that's true then I am delighted, but the tone of many of the posts suggests many of you believe otherwise.
    I accept there are some parents deficient in toilet training but it's quite insulting to suggest that all late trained children have parents who have simply failed to try train them 'properly'. There are children who will struggle to train, there are children with recurrent UTIs that are never diagnosed, there are children with deficient (or overactive) bladders - many of these conditions are hard to diagnose medically, and many doctors are reluctant to test for them until every other avenue has been explored. I am not saying these conditions are the explanation for a growing trend, I am simply saying if you must judge, then judge each case on it's merits - not with a blanket belief about all untrained four and five year olds.
  17. However, it got me thinking that when parents were faced with the incentive to get their child drry before starting nursery/school, as that was the entry criteria, it was amazing how many of them managed it!
    I actually think this would be a good idea (with the previso that parents really 'struggling' could come in and have a chat with the school to explain what's going on) except it's possibly illegal. The pre-school I used to work with had this policy until they were informed by Ofsted it was discriminatory and had to abandon it. Many of the pre-schools in my area (which must fight to fill places in order to stay open) now offer places to children from age two, and will take children in nappies.
    Regarding the 'upheaval' issue. I do think this can have a temporary impact. Several of my daughter's class (just finished YR) regressed to wetting when they started full-time school, having been completely dry before going. These were invariably the children most distressed by the transition.
  18. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    When nurseries had this "rule" amazingly very few children weren't clean and dry by the age of three.
    Judging by the number of our parents who put children back into nappies over holidays when their child has managed to use the school toilet for weeks I'm not sure I agree.
    I don't think anyone is making blanket assumptions about children in nappies as everyone is more than willing to concede that some children have physical, medical and developmental reasons for not being toilet trained but equally there are parents who will happily state they haven't got round to it yet or that they just haven't tried.
    I do think modern nappies delay children as they just don't feel uncomfortable as they would in pants or traditional nappies. also nappy companies are producing larger and "attractive" nappies and pullups which reinforces the message that it's normal for all children to be wearing nappies and no doubt is economically very lucrative
  19. Absolutely agree with the last point Msz. It's something I've pointed out to the parents at our groups many times. I fell into this trap myself with my first child. Easy to train during the day, I waited and waited for a 'dry' night-time nappy so I could night train her. Eventually realised it was never going to happen because she was far too comfy! Took her out of bedtime nappy just before four and after a single accident, she was completely dry - much to my surprise! I have always gone 'cold turkey' with daytimes, because pull ups and training pants all allowed to child to 'stay dry'. If I (as a reasonably educated, middle-class teacher) can be lured in by the psycho babble parenting books and health visitor speak of 'being child-led' then I think it is reasonable to expect other parents to be lulled into a false sense of security too. I've met LOTS of them (and I live in a nice, middle class, educated town, whereas I suspect many of you are dealing with a whole other demographic).

  20. I have already expressed my opinion regarding some of these 'experts' but even if an 'expert' says wait until they are ready, surely a parent wouldn't wait until the day when their child says 'I'm ready to be toilet trained now'. They should be looking for signs and realise that if there are no 'signs' then they need to just get started with it and not wait for others to do it for them. I am judging these parents because I think what they are doing (or not doing) is wrong.
    You seem to be making assumptions about our opinions. Which is judgemental and wrong.
    We've all said we are not talking about children with medical conditions and I think we've all acknowledged that children will have 'accidents'. If children have undiagnosed problems as in the examples you give I still see no need to keep them in nappies. Their toileting can be managed in a much better way- such as ensuring they go to the toilet regularly and not be left in wet nappies for hours (no matter how absorbent they are these days).


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