Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Bare baby bottoms

I recently travelled to China and one of the first things I noticed was the many baby bums you see everywhere. The children aren't naked, they just wear crotchless pants! These special pants (or Kai Dan Ku) are worn by most Chinese children as part of their toilet training. No underwear or diapers needed!

Chinese toilet training involves holding a baby by the hips over a potty while whistling softly to imitate the tinkle of urine. Parents begin to toilet train their child as early as one month and by the time they can walk, most babies know how to squat down in their pants whenever they feel the urge. While this sounds great in theory, in practice this means this usually happens in the most inappropriate public places, such as on public transport, on the sidewalk, in restaurants etc.

Numbers two's on the Great Wall of China
Recently I was having lunch at a restaurant and at the table across from me a little boy was standing between the legs of his mother. While his mom was trying to feed him he was happily peeing on the floor under the table. I looked around but apart from me nobody seemed to be the slightest bit disturbed by this. For me however, the sight of the yellow puddle under the table ruined my appetite for my Chinese soup!

Even statues of children have crotchless pants!
Diapers have been introduced in China a long time ago but they are still considered a luxury product and many parents therefore continue to prefer the traditional way of toilet training.

While the sight of tiny baby bums is in fact very endearing, I do feel sorry for those little bottoms in winter time as temperatures in most parts of China drop to sub zero temperatures! I also can’t help but think that carrying your child around on your arm is just an accident waiting to happen…

See you next time!

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