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Top 5 tips on how potty train your child if they only want their diaper

Mar 21, 2023

Potty training is one of the most complex developmental milestones of toddlers... particularly if they have a difficult time separating from their diaper. 

Any moment of change for a child can see insecurity, resistance and tears. However, there are strategies that you can implement that can help your child separate from diapers willingly... and make the journey to diaper freedom a little easier!

Diapers feel safe and provide comfort for kids 

Even if your child is showing all the signs of readiness, your child may still insist on the comfort of a diaper.

If you think about it, there has been so much change going on in your child's life over these past 2 years.. and while your child's type of clothing change daily, their dependable diaper has always been there!

Kids have quite literally only known the sensation of a diaper against their bodies since they day they were born... it symbolizes comfort for your child.

Change is also thing that is very difficult for children of this age.

Any disruption to their usual routine can trigger feelings of insecurity, making it hard for kids to adjust. So the removal of diapers and the comfort it brings is the epitome of this change.

1. Prepare your child in advance

Preparing your child for the separation of diapers begins months before you start potty training... and comes in the form of activities and changes you can slowly introduce to your child's day. This is what I like to call Pre-Potty Training - the important first step in potty training  in my online course Cut The Crap.

Pre-potty training helps to expose your child to new toileting concepts in a way they understand and in a non-pressured setting (before they begin!) to get ahead of common fears and anxieties that often lead to resistance when you begin potty training.

Some of the activities that relate to getting your child comfortable with the idea of separating from diapers include:

1. Encourage your child to throw their diaper in the trash and say "bye-bye" to their diapers!

2. Start building bathroom associations with diaper movements by changing your child's diaper in the bathroom standing up. Moving the changing station like diapers, wipes etc. to the bathroom also helps with this association

3. Encourage your child to empty out their stools from the diaper into the toilet and flush. You can also make up a story about poop going for a swim down the toilet with his friends!

 2. Start a countdown to "no more diapers"

To prepare your child for the emotional transition out of diapers, make a countdown to "no more diapers" using a calendar! Cross the days off with your child a week before you start and start preparing your child for the idea of separating from them. 

For example, you can say "5 more days to no longer wearing diapers! You're going to learn how to use a potty just like I do!"

3. Take your child on a special shopping trip with you to select potty supplies

Getting your child excited by the idea of using a potty and eventually wearing underwear starts with a special shopping trip that encourages your child to get involved in the process!

Let your child choose their potty and their favorite underwear to really get them excited about the idea of wearing these once they will no longer wear diapers!

4. Put the diapers out of sight once you start potty training 

On the morning of Day 1, put your child's diapers out of sight and remind them that "Today is the day you are going to learn to no longer use a diaper and use a potty instead!"

Put these at the top or your closet or get your child to throw the diapers in the trash so they can visually part with their diapers.

5. Commit to removing diapers during the day 

Successful and fast potty training is all about keeping messaging clear and consistent and establishing boundaries. 

For example, if you put your child in and out of a diaper during the day, the messaging that is being received by your child is "I can pee on the potty AND I can pee in a diaper" and eventually your child may be confused by how they should go. 

Establish those boundaries and commit to no more diapers once you start. You can put your child in a diaper or pull-up for sleeps, but I recommend purchasing a different brand so it looks different to your child and refer to these now as "sleep underwear" only. To keep this messaging consistent, be sure to only put your child in their diaper just before they jump into bed at night!

If your child is truly ready for potty training, they should be able to stay dry for 2-3 hours during a day sleep, so keep them in the same attire you have them in during the day.

6. Consider removing diapers altogether if your child withholds for nights

If you are finding your child is waiting for nights and the comfort of a diaper to go, then consider removing diapers altogether. While you may see more frequent wet beds in the beginning, you'll see more improvements in their daytime progress and over time this will improve.

Consider layering your child's bed with mattress protector, bedsheet, mattress protector, bedsheet so you can simply remove the top two wet layers without putting fresh sheets on, making it easy for yourself to change a wet bed during the night! 

Ready to ditch diapers for good this summer?

Fast, easy, stress-free potty training IS possible with our best-selling course Cut The Crap. Love it, or your money back.