Diaper Sticker Shock? Train ‘Em Now!

The pandemic has created gaps in consumer staples and rising prices for everyday items.  One of those staples is…diapers!  Well, when things get harder, it is time to think out of the (diaper) box.

If your child is over 18 months of age and has typical motor and cognitive development, there is a fair chance that they have the neurological abilities needed for toilet training.  They have to have a dry diaper for a few hours during the day, and it would be even more encouraging if they wake up dry from a nap every once in a while.  They are able to follow your directions to sit down and stand up, and they are trying to help you get some of their clothes on.  

Yup.  That is all you need.  

In fact, if you start pre-training early enough, you avoid the stage at which any and all of your statements are met with “NOOOOOOO!”.

Waiting too long for training is as big a mistake as expecting an infant to master the potty.  I regularly get hired to teach 4 year-old with no medical issues (or any other problem) that have decided that they simply won’t train.  Usually this child is failure-averse, and things go well in a matter of sessions.  In every instance, there wasn’t a perfect time to train or their early resistance allowed abandonment of any type of training.  And there you are, with someone who is ready to learn to read, but not to poop in the potty!

Pre-training often is so successful that it is obvious that real training needs to start.

Pre-training includes:

  • The child gathering the need wipes, fresh diaper, and creme, and bringing it to the bathroom, not the family room.  Elimination happens in one location in the house now.
  • Talking about body parts and body functions during diaper changes, not chatting about other plans or watching videos.  This is learning time, not fun time.
  • Watching videos and reading books about toilet training.  Talking about your own toilet needs.  Allowing your child to see you or your partner eliminate.  
  • Talking up the positives about future success.  Communicating that they can and will be successful, and that it is a good thing to be potty trained.  We talk up college, driver’s licenses, and going to kindergarten.  We need to talk up potty training.

For kids that have low muscle tone, there is a book parents can use to solve the complex challenges they face along the way to success.  Filled with useful strategies, not theories, it guides parents through all the stages, and all the skills, right into using the potty in public.  No child or parent should struggle when there are things they can do right now to make toilet training easier and faster:

The Practical Guide to Toilet Training Your Child With Low Muscle Tone is available as an e-book on amazon.com

By Cathy Collyer

I am a licensed occupational therapist, licensed massage therapist, and certified CBT-i sleep coach in private practice in the NYC area. I have over 25 years of professional experience in adult and pediatric treatment. It has been a joy to help people of all ages improve their ability to grow and thrive! Occupational therapists are focused on enhancing a client's functioning in everyday life. We are practical healthcare providers, interested in teaching, adapting actions and environments, and building a client's useful skills for living their best life, regardless of their challenges. I am the author of five books, including "Staying In The Room: Managing Medical And Dental Care When You Have DID" and "The Practical Guide To Toilet Training the Autistic Child". I lecture on many subjects, including sleep, trauma, and development. Contact me to learn more about how I can help you achieve YOUR goals!

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