Big Step Toward a Diaper-Free Life

“Toilet training, like every developmental milestone, is the compilation of numerous neurobiological processes affected by social opportunities, cultural expectations, and temperamental tendencies (Schonwald and Rappaport 2008).”

Being diaper-free is a big step toward conquering one of the obstacles of life. It is a developmental milestone for a toddler. As a parent or teacher, we have to look for signs to help them get rid of diapers when they tell us they need to change their diaper because it is wet. Research shows that 20-26 months of age is the ideal time for toilet training, however every individual is different. Eventually everyone will be toilet trained. In my experience, if the child is attending school during the toilet training process, the school and home need to play the same role. Because we are fortunate to have multi-age class, I pair them up with a trained child so the trainee child gets his motivation from his companion.

Some parental guidelines are:

The child needs to develop basic dressing/undressing skills.
The child needs to take the diaper off and put the underwear on to feel the wetness. This way they learn the consequences.
Consider the clothing which is child friendly so that the child can easily manipulate his pants and underwear by himself which requires minimum assistance.
Maintain a bathroom schedule.
Mentally prepare for some messy situations like accidents.
During this time you may also see some emotional changes happening to the child.

If you are further interested, many developmental behavioral pediatrics have their publications available, such as the following articles:

1. B. Taubman and N. J. Blum. “Toilet Training,” Encyclopedia or Infant and Early Childhood Development, 2008, pp 356-364

2. A. Schonwald and L. A. Rappaport. “Elimination Condition,” Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics, 2008, pp 791-804.

Jayati Bhattacharjee
Toddler Lead Teacher

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