As a new parent, you may wonder when your baby will stop wearing diapers. While there’s no hard and fast rule, most children will start potty training between the ages of 18 months and 2.5 years, and will be completely diaper-free by age 3. However, every child is unique and may develop at their own pace, so it’s important to be patient and follow your child’s cues as they navigate this important developmental milestone.
Babies are full of mysteries whether you are expecting your first child or you are several kiddos in. Sometimes, it can feel impossible to predict all of the ways that they will grow, develop, and change. Of course, most parents are very interested in knowing about one area of development in particular: potty training.
Leaving Diapers Behind: What the Experts Say
There are plenty of moments that you will love sharing with your child, but over time, changing infant diapers can get old. As your child grows and develops, they will move towards specific benchmarks, and potty training is one of the big ones. So, what do the experts say about when you can leave those dirty diapers behind for good?
The average estimate for when a child might be ready to stop using newborn diapers is as early as 18 months—but that doesn’t mean that your child will make the change at that age. Experts generally say to expect a range. On average, most children stop wearing diapers between 18 months and 2.5 years old. However, it is essential to remember that this is just a general estimate, not a guarantee. Your baby might be wearing diapers size 6 before they are ready to make the change.
Celebrating the Differences in Every Child
Your baby is an entirely unique person, and that is really important to remember that when it comes to moving past the diaper phase. Since every child is different, you cannot necessarily guarantee that your child will be ready to use the potty by a specific age.
It is entirely understandable that you might have a vested interest in teaching your baby or toddler to use the potty. Changing diapers can take a surprising amount of energy from you, after all. However, you have to remember that your child will make this transition on their own schedule.
As lovely as it would be if your baby would come with an agreed-upon date to stop using diapers, it just doesn’t work that way. There are plenty of different factors that go into determining when your child will be ready. Really, it all comes down to when they decide that they are prepared. While you might be able to encourage them to move toward this change, seasoned parents will tell you that babies work on their own schedules.
Even the general range is not a guaranteed timeline, and it is essential to remember that—and not panic. While a large number of children will transition away from diapers between 18 months and 2.5 years old, that doesn’t mean that all of them do, and that isn’t a bad thing.
Parents often start to worry when their kiddos don’t follow the schedules outlined in parenting books. It makes sense, but you will be glad to know that experts agree that some babies really do just need the extra time. It doesn’t mean that something is wrong. It is just a component of your child’s development, and they will get there in their own time.
Some parents find that their children are getting closer to kindergarten age before they are ready to make the jump. If you find yourself watching those birthdays pass while your child is still wearing diapers, don’t panic. It might not be that common for some kids to stay in diapers until three or four years of age, but it isn’t as uncommon as you might think. Help your child along, and trust that they will say goodbye to diapers when they are ready to.
After Diapers, What Comes Next?
Children go through various phases as they transition away from diapers. A lot of parents rely on training pants, which are an excellent middle ground between diapers and traditional underpants.
Training pants offer the support and protection of diapers but the functionality of underwear. If your child has an accident, training pants can stop messes. Since messes are inevitable during potty training, they can bring you quite a bit of comfort.
Where training pants really shine is in how your child uses them. As your baby or toddler starts learning how to use the potty, they need to be able to remove their diaper—and training pants accommodate this need.
Your child can get used to using the potty while still having a little extra help, just in case. Soon, they will be fully transitioned to standard bathroom practices and excited to show off just how grown up they are!
Transitioning Away from Diapers: Your Key to Success
Given the broad age range that is available when transitioning away from diapers, you might be wondering how to move things along. Though this is a natural instinct for most parents, it must be approached with care. In reality, the best thing that you can do for your child simply remains supportive and encouraging as they figure out a schedule that will work for them.
When parents try to decide when a child is ready instead, it can be very stressful for that child. Chances are that you don’t like being pressured to do something when you aren’t willing—so why would you expect your child to? Being loving and supportive, especially as more time passes, is the best way to help your child take this step forward.
When they are ready, your child will step away from diapers and chase down their next significant milestone. In the meantime, it is always best to ensure that they are as comfortable as possible. This means choosing the softest diapers and the most breathable diapers to help protect their skin and encourage mobility. Support your child on their path to development with diapers and learn just how wonderful super soft diapers can be. Your child deserves to be comfortable every single day until they are ready to leave diaper life behind for good!