If you’re a convert to ‘squat vs sit’ or ‘wash vs wipe’ what’s the plan for educating your children?

Guts, Butts and Better Health. If you were ‘Born to Run’ then you might think of Bruce Springsteen or Mo Farah. But if you’re ‘Born to Squat + Wash your butt’… you’ll be one of billions of people around the world who have that process built into their psyche from birth. Even, if you were ‘Born to Sit + Wipe‘ then either way the likelihood is that that’s going to be your pooping plan mapped out for the rest of your life. But, as the Korgis sang, ‘Everybody’s Gotta Learn Sometime’ irrespective of whether you learn or are taught to ‘wash or wipe, sit or squat or decide to swap the way you go and clean up at some point along the way.’ Ninety nine percent of the time, the first option is going to be habitual and relate to your childhood experience – and it’s rare (or unusual) for people to change. This effectively means the ‘influencers’ on your toilet time are your parents, with their habits usually having been passed onto them by their parents. ‘Sitters‘ can’t head far back through their family trees to trace the origins of why they are ‘sitters’ and who taught them, because stand-alone sit and flush toilets are a relatively new thing, having been introduced as recently as the 1890s. To find any mass take up of the seated option you’d have to leap frog 1000s of years to your Mesopotamian, Greek or Roman relatives for examples of the original bums on seats.

Wipe or Douche and Dab, Sit or Squat. Appreciably, nowadays many people are opening their minds, and behinds, to new possibilities, as has been illustrated by the increased popularity of bidets, attachable or built-in, and switching from only wiping to wash and wipe. The differences are often not the subject of much discussion – but wash and wipe is more ‘douche & dab‘ – the wiping part (and use of toilet paper) is greatly reduced. Meanwhile going from sit back to squat is taking a little longer but gaining an increasingly loyal following. To make or persuade someone to change the habits of a lifetime is some achievement. TUSHY have led the way by converting thousands of people who wipe to using an attachable bidet. The manufacturers of toilets where bidets are ‘built-in’ are already well established so this achievement by TUSHY is quite a coup. If you wipe? Well, to be more precise you are going to wipe if you’re a sitter, squatter or washer no matter what, but you’ll ‘be more dabber’ if you wash.

Where squatting’s concerned toilet manufacturers are not addressing the issue themselves by making it an option for their sit on loos, in spite of growing evidence that sitting isn’t good for your health and wellbeing. The changes are happening through companies like ‘SquattyPotty‘ who are cleverly marketing and selling freestanding ‘foot-stools’ to raise your legs and mimic a squat. One final point to add before heading onto the original question about our kids is about the environment – not your personal environment for toilet time, but options to help planet earth. Options about what you use for the way you choose to wipe or dab. The new choices of bamboo tp [toilet paper] vs traditional and what’s out there these days – that’s the best for you, your children and their future in regard to less plastics, biodegradable products and other eco-factors that lead to a safer more sustainable world.

Elimination Communication vs Toilet Training. When researching the topic of washers vs wipers, from the bottom up so to speak, I came across the phrase that best distinguishes what happens in the countries where for children squatting is the norm [Asian countries; India, Indonesia and more] vs as a generalisation the ‘western world’ where sitting has become the norm. ‘Elimination Communication vs Toilet Training.’ Both train your children when, where and how to go, but while the nappy – potty training – sit down on the loo is one method. The other is no nappy, with a cloth under the bottom while being carried for example. It involves no potty, is all squatty and also relies on parents’ ‘sixth sense.’ In simple terms, those parents learn to read their babies’ cues such as; squirming, turning pink, shuddering, making faces or certain noises and (eventually) the babies learn to hold back until their parents give them the signal by whatever means works best for them but usually vocal. Whatever the method each success may have a reward element for the child too. Having said all that, the ‘free bum’ is thought to be the better choice for a child, its health and environment with fewer non-biodegradable disposable nappies, plus no rashes or potentially related infections, nor having to cajole kids out of their nappies as they grow older.

More of a Question than an Answer. What all this boils down to is a few questions that we’ve been bouncing around, and after reading this maybe they’ll be your questions too? These relate more to sitters and wipers than squatters and washers, in spite of the increasing crossover between both. Let’s use millennials as an example. Assuming I’m a sit and wipe kinda guy, grew up that way and have three children, two are in, or about to exit the world of potty training, and the other one is 5yrs old – so now a fully-fledged sit down wiper. My partner and I decide, after looking at the options after the ‘paper shortage‘ during coronavirus, that it’s time to go the washing way. We buy a bidet and start doing the ‘douche and dab.’ What do we tell the kids about this new accessory? Do we re-train them? What might they tell our parents when we go visit next, or vice-versa, or do we go for the ’embrace all methods’ and cover all circumstances. What are their friends going to think and say? What if it comes up at school where there’s unlikely to be a range of bidet options available? How about public toilets and restrooms which would not have bidets or ‘bum guns’ either? Just some of the sudden burst of thoughts that may either boggle your mind or possibly change your mind in making the switch. No kids? Then no problem. But, if you’ve had, or are thinking of having them they need to be part of the plan in your toilet making decision process… somehow.

Wipe Butt Squat. The same applies to a lesser extent with the squat adoption to a foot-stool, i.e. you are sticking with wiping but have bought the ‘squat’ accessory. That should be easier to explain as the new ‘leg-raiser’ that’s just appeared in the bathroom won’t necessarily be used by children until their bodies are fully developed. A thought for adults is, if it’s spotted by visiting friends and relatives, which it will be unless you hide it, it is certainly bound to be a talking point, or if not mentioned at all, by default it becomes the ‘elephant [foot-stool] in the room’… your bathroom to be precise.

Hardware, Software, Compatibility, Great Instructions and Aftercare. In conclusion, may we therefore, initially ask for answers to our questions, from manufacturers and the many brilliant disruptors who have brought eco-friendly, healthier, sustainable and environmentally friendly alternatives to our attention and are converting more and more people each day. How do you see the short, medium and long term plan and/or marketing and educating the children and other newbies needed to turn this ‘Tushy Tots Train’ into a locomotive? We love bamboo products, biodegradable materials, saving trees, saving water, the squat, helping people stay healthy and for longer. There’s a target audience that can help achieve that given your help but its this transition period and a wave to ride to keep that momentum. Maybe it’s about inclusive, educational, engaging and entertaining books for kids that show the new normal is normal, and taboo less taboo by opening up about how the whole world poops rather than ignoring other cultures? Do please reply to the article and to those many people who may be having the same thoughts – we’ll come back with the responses in another post. Also, any consumers who may have had a few thoughts or experiences sparked by all this, do throw over any questions to be answered and we’ll endeavour to get those Q’s answered.

The children’s charity ERIC has an excellent Guide to Children’s Bowel Problems it’s a must for new parents! You can download the guide here (and do please support their charity and good work). Have a great week! Want to ask any questions or add comments: contact us here.

‘How about a toilet paper amnesty?’ + ahead of Easter here’s this weeks news and views on loos, no. 2s and bidets too from’The Daily Poo!’

Albertsons Market inspired baking… Bum Cakes? Loo Rolls? Crap [oops] Cup’cakes

There’s an idea we’d like to float… ‘Toilet Paper Amnesty.’ 😉 Anyone who has packets of unopened TP that they’re simply not going to need, or now realise are excess to requirement, can you be creative in how to donate or give back? Just a thought… any great ideas please contact us and we’ll post the best ones. In the photo above, from Albertsons Market in the USA, some novel baking ideas that may make your Easter Buns ‘Hot and Cross’. Inspired? Check this link from BUST for a ‘Poop Emoji Cake‘ recipe, then photograph and share #cakemoji. As the subject of toilet paper is still refusing to go away, thought we could look at the funnier side to the situation – as there is toilet paper out there, really! That’s enough talk about buns, let’s move onto the week’s news and views on loos and no. 2s…

‘Pulp Friction’ is a great article from The Japan Times / Reuters. As we’d mentioned a while back, it’s not a shortage of toilet paper but supply chains that could create a knock-on effect i.e. ‘It’s the hoarding that created the tension in supply’. Read the article here. On which subject this headline from Fox 2 Detroit has to be one of the funniest of the week… ‘What’s behind the runs on toilet paper?

Big Brother is watching your Butt! As this recent article in Business Insider reveals… ‘The smart toilet’s flush lever is equipped a fingerprint reader, and cameras in the toilet bowl can identify people’s butts.’ The headline, ‘Stanford scientists designed a smart toilet that can ID you just with a picture of your butt to monitor the health of your poop and pee.’ Interestingly, or rather unsurprisingly, participants were somewhat uncomfortable with a camera that snaps their anus (so to speak.) Whilst as Dana G Smith wrote about a few weeks back, ‘The Butt is not a Back Door to Health and Wellness‘ even though what comes out of it may be. However the bidet certainly is good for your health and wellness, and so…

All of that brings us nicely back to why bidets are such a great idea, and are there purely to wash, not watch, your daily goings on. It’s a topic we covered in previous posts, but has come to the fore primarily because toilet paper shortages got people doing some latrinal, or rather, lateral thinking. No longer is it only about the ‘washing basin for your private parts‘ it’s now about easy-fit toilet attachments, ‘bum guns‘ that anyone can install in about 10 mins and be good to go! That’s been a real game-changer and made them ‘accessible to all‘. You can read what we posted on the subject two weeks back here, but to add to that and reinforce the positives and benefits, read on.

Planet Bidet. Some of the places where the bidet is most popular include; Asia, West Africa, the Middle East and Islam, and in Europe, as well as Southern Europe, examples are Italy and France. What about the USA and the UK? Well curiously the bidet, invented back in France centuries ago, has never really taken of in the USA, although with the outbreak of covid-19 and ‘so imagined’ toilet paper shortages, there’s been surge of interest, take TUSHY Bidets for example as US company whose sales have rocketed! We should add that a similarly Australians got to see a rise in adopting bidets too. Nevertheless, it’s written that the Americans were introduced to them during the war when stationed in Europe and saw these ‘basins’ in brothels and associated them with sex work, another was their representing a symbol of sin and hedonism, so that plus the sexuality factor made them considered taboo.

As for the British, a combination of reasons and prevail that stopped the growth of bidet sales and installations. Their original appearance tended to be in middle or upper class households (often without particularly knowing how to use them) and given the expense and amount of room the ‘basin’ bidet took up, it wasn’t really going to be a standard bathroom accessory for many at the time. As Michele Hanson once wrote for The Guardian, there was an effort made by the Council of British Sanitary Pottery Manufacturers in 1963 to reignite public interest but that failed. ‘We were restrained by British prudery, suggested the council’, ‘depriving the country of the most hygienic washing appliance of them all’. There was another uptick when they once again became the fashion in the 70s and 80s as Brits returning from holidays in Europe felt they could add a certain sophistication into their homes by placing the continental bidet they’d tried next in their bathrooms at home.

In a survey for BBC News Magazine back in 2014, they found that, ‘When staying somewhere with a bidet, 58 per cent of Brits ignored it, 30 per cent used it for the purpose for which it was intended, while 12 per cent found creative alternative uses. These included using the bidet to store wet umbrellas, using it as a foot-bath, a goldfish bowl, to develop photographs or as a swimming-pool for Barbie dolls‘. Nowadays, imagine the instagram opportunities alone! However, though the number of bidets sold in the UK has fluctuated over time, they have remained relatively low. It seems that prudery has prevailed. Let’s hope with the brilliant new attachable bidet accessories and all their recent publicity and praise, that this is going to change from here on – signs are that’s already happening.

Wishing you all a Happy Easter, and with so much #stayhome time, if you’re thinking about a bidet…. 😉 [We’ll be back next week.]