Toilet learning

toileting questionQuestion

When should I stop using diapers?


In our culture, we tend to wait a long time before we start helping children learn to use the toilet. But the truth is that physiologically, the child is ready to start toileting independently somewhere around 18 to 24 months of age. You'll know the time is right because all of a sudden they will start holding it and then letting it out all at once later on. 

I remember when this happened with my daughter (before I was wise in the ways of Montessori), I thought I had to get better diapers. But luckily, by the time my son came around, I knew better. 

We prepare them for independent toileting starting with the standing diaper change. Once a child is stable while walking, instead of lying them down so we can change the diaper, try having them stand up. They can unfasten the tabs or pull the diaper down. You want them to start doing the part they are able to do. I know this may be intimidating because they may take off the diaper when they should definitely have it on! But have courage, the novelty will wear off and they will ultimately be more interested in the toilet. 

When they start holding it, that's the time to introduce them to their very own potty. You'll need to set up the toileting environment so it meets their needs and find an organic way to transition from diapers to the toilet. Luckily, there is a way to do this that is not terrifying! 

I made a short video about this and have a blog post that should help. It may be messy for a few days but don't give up! The children just need practice, patience, and a supportive environment and they'll get there sooner than you expect.

Good luck!

April 29, 2023 by Julia Volkman
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