Ah, it’s such an exciting (and potentially messy!) time when your little one is finally big enough to stop wearing nappies. Toilet training is a huge deal for all involved, especially when your child graduates to big kid undies, marking another huge milestone in their lives. But knowing when to stop wearing nappies and start toilet training can be tricky! Read on for some tips to guide you and your little one through the transition.
So at what age should my child stop wearing nappies?
This can differ for everyone, but children are usually ready to move on from nappies somewhere between the ages of 18 months and four years old. This is the age range they’re most likely to understand the urge to go to the toilet and can make the necessary connections to do so.
What are the signs my child is ready to stop wearing nappies?
You will soon start to notice a few signs that your child is ready to leave nappies behind, both in their understanding of toileting, and their skill level.
- They express interest in the toilet and are curious about people using it
- They have longer periods of nappy dryness during the day
- Nappies are dry upon waking from a nap (but especially after wearing one overnight)
- They start preferring not to wear nappies at all, telling you they don’t want one any more or even taking it off themselves.
- They express awareness about toilet behaviour, and may announce they’re doing a wee or poo in their nappy
- They express more independence in general, can perform a few tasks on their own and can follow simple instructions
What should they wear when they’re transitioning out of nappies?
The best clothes for kids to wear when they are starting to move into underwear while toilet training is clothing they can easily manage themselves. Things like pants with elastic waists (no buttons, zips, jumpsuits or onesies) or dresses and skirts.
Cute undies are a great incentive, especially when you talk about how big your child is getting and how grown up they are now. Remember to take a couple of spare pairs in their bag when out and about in case of accidents.
What’s your best piece of potty training advice?
Trust your little one and don’t rush it. Don’t get caught up in the milestones and the “should be trained by now” rhetoric. Our first-born to a keen interest in toilet training at 18 month that faded away, and it wasn’t until after he was three that he showed an interest again. By not forcing it, and making it on his terms, it was a relatively quick and painless process with hardly any regression. He just owned it and mastered it in a hurry, because he was well and truly ready. So, don’t stress - they won’t be in nappies forever!