It’s the question that’s been plaguing you since your child turned three: is it time to get rid of their diaper, and how do I get started? How do I know they’re ready for this stage?
Our grandmothers taught us that a child is ready for this development once they’re able to walk down the stairs by themselves. This approach has medical relevance in terms of its association with a child’s muscle strength and ability to control their bladder and focus, to a certain point, on going to the bathroom.
In principle, it’s recommended that you start taking off your child’s diaper in the summer, when it’s easiest to clean urine off the furniture in the garden at home, or on the roof. The summer warmth also protects your child from catching cold when they wet themselves and speeds up the process of drying the laundry that builds up from repeated failed attempts.
However, know that not all children are ready for this development at the same time but that the matter is subject to the rhythm of each child, individually and independently. It won’t work to be insistent and strict on the subject.
Taking off the diaper from time to time during the day helps your child get a feeling for their body and their cleanliness, and it will motivate them to pay more attention to what they want to get rid of. Still, many attempts will end in failure before one succeeds. Don’t be tense or angry or scold your child because of it.
Remember that it’s never healthy for your child to feel guilt or failure when they wet themselves. Nor is it helpful to tie their success to their love for you and say things like, “If you really love Mama, you’ll use the potty.” The issue lies with their ability to engage individually with their need to get rid of bodily waste.
You can go back to diapers for a few days and then try again so that your child doesn’t have to carry the weight of repeated failures. This doesn’t mean surrender, just a necessary break before launching the next offensive.
Finally, know that your child won’t respond to your attempts before they’re ready, mentally and physically. Praise their efforts, even if they fail to use the potty or don’t make it to the bathroom; this will encourage them to try again.
Never forget, when they succeed even once, to reward them for their achievement.