Thursday, November 11, 2010

A wee thought

 As some of you probably know, I'm a very deep thinker. Okay, I admit that I can be a little shallow at times but at least I'm profoundly shallow. Yet another thought was planted in my head the other day when one of my friends asked the Facebook community for opinions on how mums (and dads!) have dealt with nappy rash - for their babies, not themselves. I don't think I've had nappy rash in recent years although I did have shingles once which got into a very sensitive area...perhaps that's a little too much information.  Various lotions and potions were mentioned with Sudocrem and Bepanthen rating quite high. A few of us mentioned having a bare bottom for a bit (again, for the baby, not the mum), which is something I think the Chinese may have perfected here:
The most offensive thing about this picture is that those yellow shoes just might be Crocs
So all this got me thinking about how parents coped with pooping, peeing offspring before the nappy was invented. I don't know if God created a supply in the Garden of Eden. So what did Eve do when Cain and Abel came along? Who knows, perhaps the whole concept of murder came about because Cain had issues relating back to his early toileting years. Anyway, I thought I'd found a really helpful suggestion in the form of Infant Toilet Training.  Apparantly it's as simple as watching Bubs really closely and reading the signals. Then it's just a matter of doing this:

 Ummm...Okay, so maybe there is the advantage of no nappies to wash but seriously, this is where we clean our teeth! Cute baby and all that, although she doesn't look especially happy being dangled over a gaping hole in tattooed arms. No, this is not something I have tried and I can't imagine that Henry VIII and all his royal ancestors were ever toilet trained that way. So, I googled it. Apparantly the wee bairns were wrapped in strips of linen and didn't get changed for a number of days. Eeyew! I don't even think a barrel of Zinc and Castor Oil ointment would deal to the nappy rash that would have produced.  It seems that other cultures used leaves, rabbit skins, whatever was available...while others in warmer climates just let their kids fly commando in the breeze. Hippies!

It's been a while but personally I can testify that nappies are a luxery. When I had my third child, Flitwick was training as a nurse and we were scraping by on a Student Allowance. I could write an entirely seperate blog on the things we did to eke out a frugal existance for a number of years. We had a few cloth nappies from his older siblings (donated by grandparents when Number One was born) but they were a bit thread bare by this time. So using gool ol' kiwi ingenuity, I chopped up a couple of flannelette sheets I'd found in the op shop. Occasionally we'd treat him to a disposable if we were feeling flush and going away from home for a few hours, but generally my son wore pink and purple stripes on his butt and it hasn't made a blind bit of difference to his intelligence or his ability to use the bathroom later on (although it hasn't helped his aim any). He may want to meet with a counsellor if he ever reads this blog and finds out, but for now he's blissfully ignorant so let's just keep this our little secret.


  1. Here in Bangladesh the kids go commando until they are toliet trained, it was the same in Ethiopia. Once you can control the pee and poop then you get pants simple as that. Also no carpet so clean up is a breeze :)

  2. Hmmm...that just might work. Do parents have to carry pooper scoopers or do you just watch your step?

  3. It would be way cheaper to go without nappies... But then my days would get a lot busier! I think i'd have better things to do than watch babies facials every minute to see a wee or poo coming on.