Many new parents want to know the answer to a very important question, “How long will my little one be in diapers?” We’re sorry to report that it’s nearly impossible to answer this question. Every child is unique and will outgrow his or her diapers when he or she is ready. In the meantime, keep an eye out for the following signs that will signify the end of diaper days and the diaper duty beginning of potty training 101.
Consistency – Okay, we know it’s gross, but look for consistency in your child’s bowl movements. When he is young, you’ll notice that he moves his bowls randomly and seemingly at all times of day. Over time, his accidents will become more regular and occur less frequently. When your child begins to stay dry for at least two consecutive hours, that’s a sure sign of bladder maturation and the end of diaper changing.
Awareness – You know that your child is nearing the end of diaper days when he starts to notice his diaper. His awareness of his wet or full diaper, and the uncomfortable feeling associated with it, is a great sign that he’s ready to be introduced to the porcelain throne. Can he pull his pants up and down? Make sure he can do so comfortably before you ask him to use the potty. Does he pull his pants off every time he has an accident? Even better!
Understanding – It’s one thing for your child to be aware of a dirty diaper and another for him to understand why it’s dirty. Once your child can recognize the feeling of a full bladder and connect that feeling to the result of his dirty diaper, he is finally ready to take the potty training plunge. Before you begin, make sure he can understand, and follow, simple directions. He should also be able to sit down quietly for two to five minutes; sometimes using the potty requires patience.
We know that you want the diaper changing stage to be over with as soon as possible. In the meantime, try to enjoy this stage of total dependency. Before you know it, he’ll be packing his bags and heading off to college.