Anytime you are thinking of supporting your child’s development, there will be work. It’s not an overnight thing and requires consistency and support. The good news is there are tips to make the process easier.
The first thing to do is start early. We do not mean putting your child into underwear at 12 months old and just going for it—we mean starting the introduction early! Most Infants and toddlers do not quite have bladder control yet.
Instead of releasing a lot of pee at one time, they are peeing a little bit at a time until their diaper is full. There is no way to be successful on the potty if that bladder control is not developed yet, but how do you know? Here are some concrete tips to make the transition from diapers to underwear a little less wet, and with fewer puddles!
Transitioning from Diapers to Underwear
- Start taking note of your child’s dry diapers.
If they are not unwell and there is no concern about dehydration, dry diapers are a great indicator that it’s potty learning time!
- Introduce the potty to them. Allow children to sit on the toilet and start doing stand-up diaper changes. The goal is not that they pee right away, it is that they are just comfortable sitting! At 18- 24 months, it’s a great opportunity to allow them to sit and get comfortable with the potty! Praise them when they sit for a few minutes and celebrate that win!
- Provide opportunities! If you’d like your child to be successful at potty learning, practice makes perfect! When you are just introducing the potty, use opportunities when they are already naked to prolong sitting time. First thing in the morning or evening BATH time! Your child already has to wait till the tub fills up, so why not provide them with something to do to pass the time?
I always let my little one sit on his potty and toss the toys one by one into the tub while it was filling—it helped prolong the length of sitting!
- Once your child turns two, stand up diaper changes ONLY in the bathroom, and sit on the toilet for practice every time!
Except for a bowel movement
Alright, we have introduced the potty early- and have success… then what?! Well, once your child is consistently peeing on the toilet or potty, it’s time for underwear! I’m a huge fan of the two-week rule. That means 2 weeks of consistently peeing in the toilet with minimal dry diapers, and it’s time!!
Things to remember;
- If you start introducing it early—they will have less anxiety and fear of it.
- Do not scold them for accidents. They happen—clean up and move on! When accidents happen, 9/10 times they haven’t fully released—so still go sit on the potty and finish it off with a positive experience!
- Once you go to underwear, you can’t go back! It’s so important to keep it consistent for children—that is how they thrive!!
- Pull-ups may seem easier, but they are just expensive and fancy diapers. There is no need for pull-ups—unless you want them—but save your money!
1 last tip to make the process easier—for the first few weeks and for long car rides, we would put absorbent pee pads (hospital or puppy) on the couch or car seats! They made a HUGE difference if there was an accident on a long car ride or to save our furniture!!
If you want to learn more about potty learning, you can go over to our webinar page and watch a pre-recorded video with all the steps and stages of potty learning!