I have to own up that I’ve tricked you here – this research did indeed make it into my book – so if you have been reading the earlier histories of nappies and potty training, and want to find out what happened next, then you will need to purchase my book to finish the story…
Part 1: Ancient Greece to C17th Swaddling bands
Part 2: Victorians and Freud
Part 3: Twentieth Century
A gentler approach – The Twentieth Century
As the Twentieth Century progressed, this new kind of psychological understanding of children’s development influenced the way experts thought about toilet training. The use of enemas and soap-sticks – once utterly widespread for both adults and children, was now regarded as interfering, with a good chance of causing dependency.
The concept of childhood itself, with children having distinct needs and identities, was seeded during the enlightenment and developed by the Victorians. However, they were also rather prudish: Priscilla Robertson argues that “The Victorians hated to put on paper what they considered to be dirty words, so that otherwise comprehensive manuals of childcare usually omit the entire subject of toilet training.” The Victorian doctor, Pye Henry Chavasse, seems to show this exact hesitation. His first editions of Advice to a Mother on the Management of Her Children, which appeared in 1839, only alludes to toilet training. (Though it did suggest an almost obsessional preoccupation with constipation – or ‘costiveness’) However, by his eleventh edition, he was sufficiently confident to include a paragraph on the subject:
When I was writing Nappy Free Baby in 2014, I did a huge amount of research on the history of nappy use and toilet training.
However, when it came to editing my book for publication, my publisher felt that the historical content weighed too heavy on the book. I agreed and cut much of it, excepting the very latter part of the twenty-first century.
Rather than let all that good research go to waste, I thought I ought to write it up here as blogs posts. So here’s the first instalment:
So this is a bit off topic – but I wanted to let you know that my husband and I have been working on a colouring book this year – and today, it’s published!
So if you were planning to get someone a colouring book for xmas, please do consider ours – it has a lot more depth to it than some, it guides you through using colouring as a meditation and each picture is linked to an inspirational quote – so it’s very meaningful. We hope you’ll like it!
The next Nappy Free Baby workshop will be held in Oxford, Wednesday 25th November, 11am -12pm.
This is the last workshop of the year. I will be taking time off next year as I work on my next parenting book. So this may be your last opportunity to see me for a while!
Places are free, though you need to contact me to book a place. The workshop will be a practical session, so please do bring potties and whatever you need to enable you to potty your baby. Siblings are welcome. I will be holding the meeting at my house in Oxford – please email me for details: firstname.lastname@example.org
Hope to see some of you there!
I will be running a free workshop next Wednesday 30th September at 11am in Oxford in the Marston area. Come along to share experiences and find support – this will be a practical session, so do bring potties and suitable clothes, nappies, etc.
Due to the closing of Kangaroo playgroup we will no longer meet at Barracks Lane Community Garden. Please email me for the address of the venue: email@example.com
The Nappy Science Gang have asked me to answer questions from parents about BLPT. I’ll be online at 9pm on 22nd September for an hour to answer your questions as best as I can. Come along to join in the conversation at http://nappy.imascientist.org.uk
The Nappy Science Gang are a group of parents and scientists who are dedicated to finding out answers to some of the questions around Nappies and all things related. They also have a facebook page https://www.facebook.com/groups/257856407757848/
See you there!
Real Nappies for London are celebrating Zero Waste Week this week with a competition to win a copy of my book! All you have to do is head over to http://realnappiesforlondon.blogspot.co.uk/
and comment on the blog with your ideas on how to reduce waste.
Got a question about BLPT? I’ll be over at Real Nappies for London on Monday evening 8.30 – 10pm, answering your questions. Come along and ask away!
See you there!