Potty training is not fun. I have been mostly incredibly blessed, because Charly’s nursery school started the process and my mom manages most of the rest. But there have been stages where we all sat in hysterical tears as well. Why did nobody tell me that surviving potty training is one of the greatest challenges moms face!!
Potty training, or toilet training (as I prefer to call it because potties are gross) was something I looked forward to. What parents DO tell you is how amazing it is not having to change nappies a hundred times a day and how much money you save not having to buy nappies. What they don’t tell you is that there are many “accidents” in those early days… Guess what, changing soiled little panties and pants is WAY worse than changing a nappy!! It is official that I will never be using cloth diapers for any future children, because I would be bankrupt… Poop in clothing has resulted in me throwing said clothing away.
Also not shared was that your child could be completely traumatised by the process. Not “insisting on using a nappy” traumatised, not pooping at all traumatised. She wouldn’t go in the toilet. She wouldn’t go in a potty. She wouldn’t go in a nappy. There was hysteria every day for up to 6 hours as she desperately needed to go, but was too scared to use a potty or toilet and “big girls don’t use nappies”. I get this, I really do. This is how it is done. This is how they learn. And at 2 it is very effective for most kids. Charly is not most kids… She can be quite literal. Big girls don’t use nappies meant she would NOT use a nappy because she is a big girl.
You guys, I thought there was something very wrong with my baby. She was in so much pain from phyiscally holding it in. She was beside herself as she ripped the nappy off to go to the toilet and then insisted on us putting the nappy back on, then off and on the potty, then back on NOW NOW NOW – for hours. Mom and I were finished. I was tramatised. I even considered taking her out of school. She stayed at my parents the one night, and my dad was in tears from watching her go through hours of extreme agitation. He wanted us to can the whole potty training thing.
And when she eventually went, it was over in seconds! No actual pain on going, we danced and clapped and celebrated. We rewarded with stars and sweets and a tiara and hugs. She was instantly super happy and proud of herself. She had no fear or upset seeing the poop in the toilet / potty / nappy; she actually insisted on seeing it (sigh, #momlife) and happily waved it goodbye.
And then the next day it would start all over. We gave her prunes and grapes and prune purity and juice and extra water and even Lacson syrup, because we had also weaned her so I was concerned the change of diet was making her tummy not work. But nothing worked, because there was nothing wrong with her tummy; it was pure fear and / or stubborness.
We tried to stop the potty training / toilet training. I chatted to her teachers and they were surprised as she showed no sign of agitation during the morning with them. (of course). But they were 100% on board with stopping for a few weeks because obviously she wasn’t ready (right?). Hahahaha. My child took her own nappy off and sat on the toilet all day. So, the end result was having to keep a close eye on her and desperately hope something would change.
And then I went to MamaMagic. When I was walking around, I came across Zoe Durbach and the Baby Throne. I remembered receiving an email from them earlier in the year around potentially trying the Baby Throne and doing a review, and with the whole potty training / toilet training trauma going on, I thought I should relook at it. I am SO glad I stopped (and waited, there were a lot of people around their stall) to talk with Zoe.
So here is Zoe’s story and how the Baby Throne came to be
“I am an engineer with experience in the oil and mining industry. I also have family in the medical profession ,so it is a familiar field to me. When my baby, Hector, was about 4 months old and able to sit up comfortably unaided I used to pack cushions around him and under his thighs (so he would not fall forward and smack his head!). I would then pack a bag ready to leave in the mornings. Each time he was in this position having just had a clean diaper/nappy he would completely empty his bowels every time and then cry as now his diaper/nappy was dirty.
As mentioned having family in the medical profession I knew why this was happening: he was in the optimal squat position and it was this position that was triggering his instinct to push and empty his bowels. I had to ask myself the question why he had to do this in his diaper; he certainly was not happy about this. Like any good woman I went shopping to try and find something that would hold my baby safely either in a potty or on the toilet in that optimal squat position. There was nothing available. All were designed for toddlers and non had the squat position. Being an engineer it was easy for me to make something for Hector. I called it the Baby Throne.
Using the Baby Throne twice a day for literally less than 2 minutes meant I had a very happy baby. He sat on his Throne morning and evening and each time emptied his bowels. What it meant for me is that there were no more number 2 diapers and the diaper took care of the urine; remember they wee almost every half hour as babies! Eventually when his bladder was big enough to hold the urine longer the diaper was no longer needed.
Hector’s diaper became redundant at about 14 months in the day and at about 18 months he dropped the night time diaper (everyone is different with this one). It was pressure from friends and family telling me that I had to do something about this and help other moms that I decided to patent the idea and take my Baby Throne prototype through product design to full scale production and available to other moms.”
The Baby Throne is now patented in South Africa, Australia, Europe and the USA. It is endorsed by paediatricians and a world recognised paediatric surgeon as a valuable aid, especially for children when transitioning from liquid to solid foods. And it can save you SO much money on nappies!!
For me? It saved us. I let Charly sit on it in it’s first mode in her nappy. After sitting in it for a short time, her tummy worked. Later I flipped it into “potty” mode and she ran around without the nappy for a while before using it without drama. And then in the evening, I put it on the toilet for her to try and it worked. We’ve had one or two more days of tears and trauma, but from the day the Baby Throne came into our house, things started going better and today we have no issues at all. She alternates between using the throne and the regular toilet seat depending on her mood.
My personal feelings on why this changed the course of our potty training journey…
It is a solid, supportive super comfy shape that makes little humans feel secure and surrounded. Balancing on a toilet, even on a toilet training seat, made Charly feel unsafe. She couldn’t relax enough to use the toilet comfortably. In the throne, she literally leans against the supportive back rest, singing songs, and nature just does the rest.
The squat positioning (which is what is patented by the Baby Throne creators) DEFINITELY works!! When she sits on the throne, her tummy always works, and she doesn’t strain at all. This means she doesn’t feel stressed to make things happen, which has made a huge difference for her.
It is visually similar to her Bumbo, which remains one of her favourite things (still!). I think that familiarity helped her adjust to it very easily. What this tells me, is that if I had used a Baby Throne from little, we probably have avoided the entire trauma of potty training altogether!! Not to mention awful nappy experiences.
One of the outcries I saw online when reading up on using the product from +- 4 months, was why can’t you let babies be babies?! They are too little to potty train. Sigh. Ok, all my own response – OBVIOUSLY you aren’t potty training your tiny baby! You aren’t expecting your 4 month old to get themselves to a potty to do their business. Don’t be daft.
Around the 4 month point, your little one usually has more or less predictable poop times. With the Baby Throne, once baby can hold their head up properly, you simply sit with them while they have some fully supported “sitting up” for a few minutes just before those times. Because of the natural squat position of the Throne, your little ones’ tummy will work and they will do all their business comfortably. Then you pop the nappy on and don’t have to deal with the all-too-common baby nappy explosions.
No / far fewer poop nappies cuts down your nappy bill substantially (it definitely would’ve saved us thousands of rands)! It is also so much healthier for baby to not have dirty nappies on. As your little one gains better control of their bladder, they will start to use the Throne for that as well. The way I see it, this is an incredibly natural and healthy way to move your child from nappies to toilet when they are ready for it. Think about it… If your little one is familiar with the Baby Throne (which they would be), and knows their tummy works quickly and easily on it and that means no gross wet or stinky nappies on them, and they can suddenly walk to it… Yes, that’s why!
Good luck everybody!!
Sending you alllll the love xxx