The iPotty Can’t Touch The Damage We’ve Already Done

A funny thing has happened over the last few weeks. Dozens? Yeah, I’d say probably dozens of people have emailed me, tagged me, tweeted me, or left links on my Facebook page to articles about the iPotty.

Image from AP via HuffingtonPost

Why? Because it reminds them of me. Errr… not of me but of my love for the iPad as potty training device.

My dad’s email to me about it was titled “You thought of it first.”

I thought it was one of those fake products that websites conjure up for page views, but a little research proved it is indeed something people can pay money for. It is also something people have REALLY strong opinions about.  One comment on this DailyMail UK article about it said,

This is stupid. I toilet trained my daughter in less than two weeks with a potty, stickers and a bag of prizes which consisted of little dinosaurs.

Uhm, go you? You get a cookie! See, I don’t really care how you potty train your kid or when you potty train your kid. And if you need/want a special potty that will safely hold your iPad for your toddler throughout that process, I am the last one to judge you. 

Not that I’m actually going to shell out the cash for one. Mainly, I hate the little plastic potties to begin with and try my best to get the kids up on the big toilet as early as possible because cleaning a log of poop out of a plastic bowl is 10x worse that wiping it off their butt. I have no idea why. That’s just the way the world works.

But the iPad part? We’re big fans of that as ONE of many potty training tools around here.

You certainly don’t NEED one to potty train a child. So don’t think this is me saying go out and spend hundreds on a potty training tablet. You CAN do it with stickers and little dinosaurs, but if desperation calls to you… or let’s just call it inspiration, and beckons the iPad you already have, go for it. It may be the one thing to keep your kiddo on the potty just long enough to drop that first big poop you’ve all been waiting for so you can errupt into a fit of manic joy and make it rain jelly beans.

And if you feel you need special chair for that, one that will insure they don’t drop the iPad in a bowl of pee? Hey, I can think of worse things you can waste your money on- about half of Babies R Us.

But this is just going to train them to feel like they HAVE to use an electronic device every time they potty! Some say.

Doubtful. I read stacks of books to my now 4 year old when he was potty training. He certainly doesn’t expect that kind of treatment anymore. He’s quite efficient now. I used to worry he’d ask for jelly beans or marshmallows after every poop through college, but that goes away, too.

Potty training can be a time for bonding! Don’t just abandon your kid with an iPad, others say.

Listen, I’m not advocating letting the iPad do the whole thing for you. But sometimes I don’t have 30 minutes, 8 times a day to sit there and engage in loving discussion. Every now and then, I need to break away to do things like make sure dinner isn’t burning or that my other kid is alive.

So before we freak out that this is the downfall of society and we’re creating tiny tots who can’t poop without an app, let’s all calm down and realize that it’s all up to the parent and how they use it. If they are truly relying on an app and an iPad to potty train their child, while they text and get drunk in another room, then let’s just all have a hearty LOL.  I think their kids will still be in diapers at high school graduation.

There is no way to potty train a kid without a shit-ton of involvement on the parents’ part. So please spare me the concern that parents who rely on a little technology to make the process easier are somehow ruining the next generation.

We’ve already done that by breastfeeding too long/not breastfeeding at all, using disposable diapers/using diapers at all, putting our kids in daycare/homeschooling, letting our kids chew on plastic toys and suck on pacifiers. The iPotty can’t touch the kind of damage we’ve already done.