What about “pull ups”? That’s what you do at the gym, right? Nope. Not these days. Long ago diaper pails were the plague of mothers. And you know, if-we-can put-a-man-on-the-moon why can’t we solve the dilemma of the diaper? Then Huggies did! Disposable diapers rescued moms. (And “Diaper Genie” rescued disposable diapers.) Today, few miss wet diapers, dirty diapers, rinsing diapers, bleaching diapers, folding diapers. Goodbye and good riddance.
So that was good.
And, for now, I WON’T take on environmental issues like maxing out our land fill. And I won’t debate health benefits, planetary benefits and cost benefits. Because no one can argue that many, many parents like the ease of disposable diapers.
Madison Ave taught moms and dads to ditch cloth diapers.
Paper diapers are what most parents like.
And paper diapers are what most parents use.
But then something funny happened. It was only logical. Pull-Ups came along. Quick. Easy. Training pants that amuse and entice. Training pants that don’t leak. Training pants without the fuss.
So when it’s time to potty train your child. . .
You know the drill. No coercion. Wait for maturational cues -- walking, talking, interest and imitation. (“I want to be just like Daddy.”) Make it easy. Make it fun. Star charts are nice. Elastic waistbands help. No mess!
It makes sense. Reach for the “I’m a big Kid now” Pull-Ups.
Except learning to use the potty needs a mess. Needs noticing, “ooops!” It needs guessing, “I think I can make it. Nope. I can’t.” It needs lots of monitoring the (sometimes subtle) urge to go and mastering the on/off switch.
But Pull-Ups are absorbent. That’s the point. No leaks to embarrass. No “accidents”. No mess.
But it’s the mess (the leak, the “uh oh”) that telegraphs a message. “Maybe I have to go. I think I have to go. I need to go now. I’m going to go. Too late. I’m wet!” It is a feedback loop that leads to “I want to do it. I can do it. I did do it!” It’s how kids learn. Little tumbles. Oops-a-daisy. Some reminders. Some appreciation for effort. And the brain and the body learn. No leaks? No accidents? No message.
So part of learning to use the potty is practice. Part of learning to use the potty is trial and error. And with Pull-Ups the error is missing. That’s a problem.