20 answers

19 Month Old Won't Keep Diaper On

My 19 month old little girl won't keep her diaper on! She takes it off the minute she is even slightly wet. Does this mean she is ready to be potty trained? If I ask her if she needs a diaper change she knows to go to the changing area, but she won't tell me when she is wet... she just removes her diaper. If she is ready for potty training how do I begin? Thanks for your help!

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yes, please do, you can probably even pass up the pullup stage since she won't have anything to do with wetness. and I agree with Barbara j's note below..also.....except that I think she is ready...


Try the potty training. Start slowly - get a small (Baby Bjorn makes a good one.) See if want pull ups or big girl undies. I have heard of kids starting potty training at 19 months and then they revert back, cause it was a short phase.

If it's a phase she won't potty train. Pull ups helped us, they felt more comfortable my daughter. Also, remember at 19 months the "me -do- it" are starting - so this could be her "thing." Distraction, Distraction, Distraction - we used everything to distract the attention away from the diaper...

Hope some of this helps! Hopefully someone will come up with right answer that will work for you! Good Luck!

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My kids did the taking off of the diaper too! But now beacause they were wet, they did it just because!!! I would say if she is taking it off only when she is wet, then yes, maybe she is ready, no hurt trying to start, just keep in mind she may not go for it ans don't be upset. I would also get her the "Once Upon a Potty -- Girl by Alona Frankel" video and/or book, it has a great "potty" song that kids seem to love!!! Good luck! D.


Try the potty training. Start slowly - get a small (Baby Bjorn makes a good one.) See if want pull ups or big girl undies. I have heard of kids starting potty training at 19 months and then they revert back, cause it was a short phase.

If it's a phase she won't potty train. Pull ups helped us, they felt more comfortable my daughter. Also, remember at 19 months the "me -do- it" are starting - so this could be her "thing." Distraction, Distraction, Distraction - we used everything to distract the attention away from the diaper...

Hope some of this helps! Hopefully someone will come up with right answer that will work for you! Good Luck!

HI M.. That was one of the signs of potty-readiness with my daughter, and she was outta diapers and accident free at around 20 months! Just take it easy and make it fun and you might just be cutting your diaper costs drastically in no time!
K. in EC

The first sign that a child is ready to potty train is if they are waking up dry in the morning and/or after naptime. Taking off her diaper is helpful but at 19 months, I seriously doubt she is ready.

It is, however, a very good sign that she does not like to have a wet diaper on her body but it doesn't mean she has any control yet.

Give it about 6-8 more months and start looking for dry diapers first thing in the morning and right after naptime.


Hi M.. Yes, it is time. My daughter was doing the same thing and today she went #2 on the potty for the first time. Now is a good time because it's summer--that means they don't have to wear a lot of clothes and you have easier access! Get a little potty seat (my Dr suggested letting her pick it out) and every hour or so take her to the potty and constantly ask her if she needs to go pee pee also have her pick out some cute underwear. Suggest princess underwear and then tell her not to pee pee on the princesses. Girls catch on very quick but don't expect your son to be as quick. My son just got potty trained with a few accidents here and there - he's almost 4!! Good luck!

We went through the same thing as well with our daughter. I took it as a sign and ran with it. However, after a really good month of training (we were down to just a couple diapers a day) - she completely lost interest in the entire thing. She could care less and when I asked her about the potty it became a power struggle, so I took that as a sign to back off until the next window. Especially being that she was so young. I don't really have advice - just that we've been there too and for us it was a phase that passed.

We only had this problem during nap time, so I'd safety pin the zipper of her one piece closed. This worked well enough for us.

Another alternative I've heard of that I never got around to trying is duct tape. The kids can't get it off. The biggest problem with this suggestion is that you'd likely need to cut the diaper off when the time comes, since it's such a strong adhesive.

Note that I never got frustrated enough to try this, I just thought you'd like to hear about as many alternatives as possible.

Mother of a 9 year old daughter

Hey, M.--

My oldest did that and it drove me NUTS. The coveralls are a good idea--the onesie, if loose enough, doesn't give enough resistance and they can reach under and take it off anyway--my mother finally suggested safety pins. Worked like a dream. Once he forgot he wanted to do that I stopped the safety pins and we made it to potty training at three.

Good luck! :)


Hi M.,
I was really surprised when both of my grandmothers, who raised their kids in the 1950's, told me that in that era, it was very unusual for kids to make it to 2 years old without being potty trained. (My grandmother with 7 kids told me that it was the mark of a terrible mother to have a 2 year old in a diaper! Can you believe that?) It was only in the 70's that moms decided that kids had to decide when potty training was going to happen. So in answer to your question, it is completely possible to potty train a 19 month old.

That said, here's my advice. When she takes her diaper off, leave it off. Don't put on panties or pull-ups. Watch her very carefully - the second you think she might have to go potty, run to the bathroom with her and sit her down on the potty. If she goes in the potty, great! Even if she has an accident on the floor, she will very quickly come to understand the sensation of peeing and what that means (face it, she's been covered up with a diaper and has never seen what happens down there!). Just clean up the accident and calmly tell her that next time she'll make it to the potty. In any case, stick with the program. After a day or two she will get it. You can fully expect her to rebel the first day - both of my girls cried, begged for their diapers back, etc. I didn't give in. Although being that your daughter is pretty young and may not have hit the terrible 2s yet, maybe you'll get off pretty easy on that score! =)

Good luck!

Try putting her diaper on backward.

as for potty training im not ure sorry but a onesie will sure help keep that diaper on

My daughter was trained at 18 months with no accidents by 20 months.

Take her in the morning, take her every hour and before bath and bedtime.

Tiny Tots Diaper Service provides training pants weekly - sign up for one month, and be diligent for 2 weeks (even if it interrupts dinner to take her potty!) Give her big girl potty stickers for every time she makes it in the potty. Go ahead and start your boy - he'll be curious about his sister's new activities. My boys were both trained (without tears) by 2!

Two HARD weeks, two weeks with some oopsies, and you'll be good to go! (AT NIGHT, I doubled training pants and added a plastic diaper liner (the kind for cloth diapers) over the top initially, reduced to one pair with liner to nothing)

Good luck!

She is definitely ready! My daughter did the same thing and we began putting her in panties and taking her to the potty on a regular schedule and she was trained in two weeks.

If you have an idea of the timeframes that your daughter has been bringing you her diaper begin taking her to potty just before those times throughout the day. If you are unsure start taking her every 30-45 minutes or track wet diaper removals for a day or two and then begin the process on her schedule after reading her some books, talking about it and showing her how you use the potty. When you take her to the potty, tell her you think she may need to go peepee or poopoo. In order to reinforce, let her watch you use the toilet and talk to her about the feeling that tells you when it is time to go and let her know that you want her to help remind you when she needs to go to the potty. Toddlers enjoy having a sense of control over their actions and she will probably catch on quickly.

I also suggest going to buy her several packets of pretty panties and start using them right away. You will probably end up cleaning up a few piddles, but they learn much more quickly when they soak through their panties down to their socks/shoes, especially since she doesn't like being wet. If she has an accident, say uhoh, you had an accident, you will do better next time and remind her to listen to her body. Reinforce the idea by taking her to the potty to "see if there is any more peepee in there" because she will get to a point where she may begin to wet then remember and stop herself from letting it all out once her panties are damp. If she is resistant remind her that she does not want to wet on the princesses or Dora or whatever character happens to be on the panties and continue taking her to the potty on a regular schedule. If she does not seem to be getting it, let her know that you don't think it is time yet and put her back in diapers and try again in a week or two, especially if she begins showing signs of interest. Read lots of books about using the potty because the reinforcement is helpful.

Don't expect her to have night dryness for another 6-12 months. Explain that it is hard to listen to your body when you are sleeping and that it is okay to wear a diaper at night or for naps or long trips in the car because she will proabably be resistant. However, take her potty right before putting on bedtime diapers and if she cries out at night, you should probably consider getting up to take her to the potty. We ignored this signal from my daughter because we thought she was too little (books tell you they are not ready, but they are all different) and now we have had to start night training over again 18 months later...she has caught on quickly...we had to get her up when she cried out the first few nights and now she has been going in there on her own with only two accidents in one night on a night when she was overtired and up too late with too much to drink before bedtime.

Also get her used to using public restrooms or going outside so it is not an issue if you are away from home or in a place where a bathroom is not available. Speaking from experience, boys like to pee everywhere, girls don't. Explain to her that her bathroom or a toilet may not always be available, especially when you are traveling.

Include brother in on the process with her, but don't put him in underwear yet. Have him watch daddy and sister and let him know that he will be ready to use the potty soon too. Boys are more competitive and he may show interest once his sister is doing it so be aware of his signals.

Hooray and good luck with it!

My 22 month old started doing the same thing last month. I thought the same, maybe she is ready for potty training, but not really. I couldn't be bothered with pins or overalls, and onsies b/c I have a 5 month old at home too. Also, telling her, 70 million times a day, that we need to leave our diaper on was not working. I think she just realized that she can pull the tabs off the regular diapers which was neat and it was also fun to get a reaction out of me. I bought pull-ups, even though she isn't ready for potty training, she can't get them off. She likes them, as it is a new concept and she is keeping them on at least. The only thing is they don't absorb as much as a regular diaper. I felt changing her diaper about 1-2 more times a day with pull-ups was worth my sanity. We also bought some potty books and started reading those. I ask her each time we change her diaper if she wants to sit on the potty. If she says yes, then I let her choose the small potty seat or the big potty/toilet. We also dump her poop into the big toilet every time she goes in her diaper and we talk about how mama and dada sit there and put our poop and pee in there. I am hoping that it will help her realize that is where poop and pee go. We'll see....Good luck!

Hi M.-
My pediatrician recommended putting the diaper on backwards. This was mostly happening to me when my daughter would wake up from her nap so I was only putting on the diaper backwards (which is not easy) before naps and before bedtime and this seemed to work.

YOu could try to put her diaper on backwards until she forgets that she can take it off. As far as potty training you could give it try but don't bet too stressed about. You well know in a day or so if she it really ready. If not don't worry about it.

yes, please do, you can probably even pass up the pullup stage since she won't have anything to do with wetness. and I agree with Barbara j's note below..also.....except that I think she is ready...

Go for the potty. Why not? She doesn't like to be in a wet diaper -- she may be ready. Or get her pull ups and have her change her own when she is wet.

HI, M.,
I agree with the mom who posted about keeping off her diaper and taking her to the potty when it looks like she might need to pee or poop. I did that with my now 3 year old when we started potty training. He ended up being without pants or underwear in the house for about a month while in the beginning stages of training. He quickly learned to recognize his desire to pee this way and always told me he had to pee. When he put underwear and pants on, he would have accidents, so it was back to being naked again! Eventually, he got potty trained. As for the moms who purport it is too early, I would disagree. I read about diaper-free babies and decided to try it with my three MONTH old. It worked from day 1! They actually can control their bladder muscles and bowel movements. My three month old still wears diapers, but I take him to the toilet every 30 minutes or so and he pees or poops on cue (when I say, "shhhhhhhh" and make the sound of water running). I don't have to wait more than a few seconds and he uses the toilet! It is really amazing. So I am assuming that he will be able to go to the potty on his own sometime around your daughter's age, because he is already used to using the potty and is used to controlling his own elimination. He still wets his diapers in between the times I take him to the toilet, but most of his bowel movements are in the toilet! So I think if she is showing interest, go ahead and try potty training her. Have her run around naked (you might have an accident or two) and that way she will recognize the feeling that she needs to pee, better than if she had her diaper on. Good luck!

Hi M.,

I am a sahm to 4 boys ages 9,6, and twins that are now 4. Let me start by saying it does get better! My twins did the same thing, and it drove me crazy, until I slapped on the overalls. I had shortalls and coveralls. After about a week of that, they forgot that they were taking of their diapers! It also worked with my older boys when they were toddlers. it's a simple distraction technique that has proven it self through time! Children are not ready to potty train and truly be successful until they can associate the sensation of what it means when you have to pee and poop. The brain and the body have to connect, and no it doesn't happen when their 2. Sometimes it doesn't happen until their 3 or even 4. That was shared with me by my pediatrician, and boy was she right! Every child is different, and makes the connection at different ages. Potty trips every hour, and stories on the pot are great, but if they don't understand what it feels like to have to go, then it's a very stressful labor, that often ends in frustration and many accidents. So don't sweat the potty training right now, start at 2 to introduce the ,"if it tickles here, then you have to potty" talks. We made it a part of everyday conversation, even when on the potty chair, to help them get familiar with what their bodies are doing! Time is on your side and will be your best friend. Follow your children's lead, and not the advice of the potty training/mommy trap! It'll spare you many a grey hairs!

I hope t his helps!

A little about me:

I am 34, and I am a stay at home (homeschooling) mama. I'm married to my best friend, and we have 4 beautiful little boys. I am a Christian, and I love to sing and write songs, I love to cook, hike, camp, and spend time with my family and friends!

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