From diapers to underpants (2 years)
Rather than “discipline” or “training,” moving from diapers to underpants is a matter of helping your child be able to go to the bathroom on their own. Your child will be ready for underpants someday, but take it one step at a time as they develop.
When it’s time to switch
★Start moving from diapers to underpants when your child has to go about once every two hours.
- If you change your child’s diaper at the same time every day, it’s easier to tell how often they go.
- When you think your child may have to go soon, suggest the toilet.
- Don’t interrupt playtime.
↓When your child is often able to use the toilet when you suggest it
★Switch to underpants
- Your child will have a lot of accidents! But don’t scold them.
- Just say nicely, “Let’s try to use the toilet next time.”
↓When your child doesn’t have accidents very often anymore
★Wait for your child to say “I have to go to the bathroom”
- Don’t suggest the toilet—wait for your child to think of it.
- Your child will begin to say “I have to go to the bathroom,” but they will still have accidents and false alarms. Take a break and try again later!
Other things to teach your child
When your child can go to the bathroom on their own, teach them these things.
- Boys can go to the bathroom standing up
Practice using a urinal neatly.
- Use toilet paper and flush
Teach your child to pull out as much toilet paper as she needs, tear it off, wipe herself, and flush.
- Boys don’t have to take off their pants and underpants
Boys start off by pulling their pants down to their knees. Next they practice pulling down their pants but leaving their underpants on, and so on.
Are you worried because your child is still in diapers？
If your child won’t use the toilet when you suggest it
Try suggesting the toilet at transition times such as when your child wakes up from a nap or before going out, not in the middle of playtime. (“Let’s go to the bathroom before we go shopping!”)
If your child won’t tell you when she has gone
Are you constantly asking your child if her diaper is wet? At this age, they may not want to admit they have gone even if they're aware of it. Get a feel for how often they go and suggest the toilet at the usual time. (“Tell me next time, OK?”)
If your child won’t tell you when she has to poop
Watch for signs. Your child may go to a place that feels safe, like the corner of a room. When you see that, suggest the toilet. (Now that you mention it, she often poops after eating.)