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  • Writer's pictureIlaria Galliano

Oops, I need to use the bathroom!

Should to remove the diaper or not to remove the diaper?

There is so much anticipation and expectation in this special stage of the child. It's one of the phasesin the most important and delicate growth of children.

The child discovers his own body and becomes more aware over time. He learns how to manage his physiological needs and gain control over them. Going to the bathroom is a part of our everyday life, but for the child transitioning from diapers to panties, it becomes a significant milestone as they learn to control their sphincters. All this requires both the adult and the child: commitment, trust, and patience to get to know a new routine together peacefully.

When is the child ready to make this transition?

Typically, children aged 18-24 months begin to show interest in using the toilet. However, this age range is just a general guideline and may not always align with a child's individual developmental needs. It's crucial to observe and respect the child's timeline, determining whether they are ready or if they need more time. If a child doesn't show interest or is hesitant about using the toilet, it's important to understand why and not rush them in their learning journey. Children will communicate their readiness through "signals", indicating when they are prepared to take this important step. Adults should be prepared to listen, encourage this interest, and support the child in mastering this essential skill.

How do we prepare the baby to transition out of diapers?

Young children start to take an interest in the toilet, watching it and trying to understand how it works, such as by flushing the water. It is the responsibility of the adults to encourage and motivate children to foster their independence. This can include: helping children learn to lower and raise their own trousers, involving them in the changing process, and teaching them to indicate when they need to use the toilet. Encouraging children to communicate when they have a wet diaper and suggesting that they sit on the toilet are also important steps in promoting independence.

Encourage children to use the toilet without pressuring them, as this can have the opposite effect. If children feel "forced", they may become fearful or discouraged even before they start, either because they're worried about not meeting expectations or because they're simply not ready yet. It's important to make children feel comfortable. This process should feel like a fun discovery, almost like a game that leads to new knowledge, where it's okay to make mistakes or not immediately understand all the rules. 

Over time, the child will become increasingly confident, aware, and an active part in this process of change.

Gradually let go of the diaper.

When your child shows is ready to transition out of diapers, you can begin establishing a new routine focused on personal hygiene. During diaper changes, you can encourage your child to sit on the toilet. At first, they may only sit for a few seconds, possibly even just half a second, but over time they will gradually increase the duration until they will do some wee on the toilet. If you are familiar with your child's natural bodily rhythms, you can try to time diaper changes to coincide with specific times of the day, increasing the likelihood that they will use the toilet, which can be very rewarding for them and for you.

With time and patience, it will be the same child who, during the change routine, will ask to sit on the toilet. The bathroom can be rearranged to be more accessible to the child, helping to encourage and promote their independence.

If you use the potty, it is highly recommended to place it only inside the bathroom to help the child associate the location with their physical needs. This limits possible confusion and disorientation during this crucial growth phase.

Time to put on the underwear.

The decision to have a child start wearing underwear when they are ready for this big change can be very exciting. Initially, the child will typically wear underwear throughout the day, indicating that they need to use the bathroom at various times. Once they become independent, they will let you know when they need to go.

It's recommended to use a diaper during bedtime initially, to help babies rest peacefully and develop greater awareness and control of their sphincters. Only when the baby wakes up with a dry diaper for several naps can we consider removing it permanently, even during afternoon and nighttime rest. It's normal to have some accidents along the way as it's a big change in a child's life. Don't worry if sometimes they don't make it to the toilet in time – it can happen!

At Nursery without a diaper.

Deciding whether or not to keep the diaper on is an important step that requires careful consideration and discussion for the child's well-being. Talking to your child's educator about your interest and thoughts on transitioning out of diapers at pants will lead to a constructive discussion and provide the support needed to make the best decision at the right time.

The decision to transition from diapers at underwear should be introduced for the first time in a family setting. It would be best to set aside some time, like a weekend, to approach this new stage of development in a positive and supportive atmosphere. This will help the child be ready to spend the day at Nursery with a fresh outlook, and the educators can work together with the family to guide and support the child through this transition.

If you would like to share your experience or have any questions, please leave a comment and follow our blog to stay informed!

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