15 answers

My Little Girl Keeps Putting Her Hands down in Her Diaper!

I have a wonderful 20 month old little girl. She has had a potty since Christmas she has only been sitting on it till about two months ago then she was really interested in it asking to use the potty and then sitting on it for awhile, then get up and start playing we would take her out to put a diaper on and she would scream for her potty. This lasted for about a week and then stop and started again. She has gone poop three time and pee at least 8 times. I have not been pushing it because we were going out of state for two weeks and knew that would be hard for her. Now we are home and want to start potty training so I was hoping for some input but my other problem is that three times last week she put her hands down her pants after she went poop and brought out a little present. Two times in her crib and spread it everywhere! The third I caught and it was on the chair. She does not like messes so she was trying to wipe it off her fingers. I was thinking of trying the potty training method where you give lots of salty foods and sweet drinks. ( The thought is the salt makes you thirsty and the sugar drinks do not quench your thirst) This is only a one or two day method but it is suppose to work because of the amount they will go in such a short time. I was also going to get training pants....Any ideas? I would love to potty train but if she is not ready I need to find away to keep her from putting her hands down her pants!

Thanks so much

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I know diapers are expensive and it gets tiresome changing them all of the time, especially with two in diapers. But, she is not even 2 yet. All kids will, at some point, pull off a poopy diaper or spread the contents in the crib or on the wall. It's one of my mom's favorite stories to tell about me and I am nearly 40! And I have a story for each of my kids. I wouldn't push her now. If she really starts showing an interest and wanting to go, then great, go for it. But if not wait it out. They all get potty trained in their own time on their own schedule. Good Luck.

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Try dealing with the hands down the pants at age 6. My dd has been facinated with her poop since that age. I had an incident just after girl scouts last week where she got it all over her hands for no reason. Talk about the smell and mess then. Thank the Lord for handi wipes. I don't feel that there is any age inappropriate for teaching potty training. If the child is interested she/he will let you know. You hope by letting them understand how gross and dirty it is playing with your poop is that they would get it, but they don't. Your dd is at the age that they love to clean. Leave wipes by her chair and let her know that if she makes a mess, this is the answer. Make sure they don't go in the big toilet. That can be a different kind of mess too. If she hates messes, in some ways it is a good thing. Good luck and relax, there will be more later on that will be more upsetting than a little poop.

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I know diapers are expensive and it gets tiresome changing them all of the time, especially with two in diapers. But, she is not even 2 yet. All kids will, at some point, pull off a poopy diaper or spread the contents in the crib or on the wall. It's one of my mom's favorite stories to tell about me and I am nearly 40! And I have a story for each of my kids. I wouldn't push her now. If she really starts showing an interest and wanting to go, then great, go for it. But if not wait it out. They all get potty trained in their own time on their own schedule. Good Luck.

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My daughter went through the fingers down the diaper stage too. It's probably just that-- a stage. She may have just figured out that there is something in there, and maybe it makes her bum itch. Put her in onesies and she won't be able to get to the diaper.

I don't agree with the diet-altering method of potty training. If she can't do it on her normal diet, she's not ready, besides that what you describes sounds horribly unhealthy. But only you (and your child) can decide if she is ready or not. Also, if I had to do it again, I wouldn't use the training pants (except maybe at night). They were a lot of extra money, and my daughter liked to make the little prints disappear.

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As far as being too young to potty train only you can determine if you think she is ready. But I am sure many of us were trained around 2 yrs old. Waiting to potty train until 3.5 or 4 is relatively new thing.
I don't have good training tips since I am just considering it for myself and 19 month daughter. there are resources available to train in 1 day (realistically I would say a few more days to take off some pressure)
If she isn't ready to potty train go back to onesies so she can't dig in her diaper. Unfortunately onesies don't work well with the hurry and go potty of potty training.

My 18 month old likes to put her hand down the back of her diaper, not when she is poopy, but she thinks it is funny. I try to keep a onesie on her, so she can't. She doesn't do it when she is wearing a dress either.

In my opinion if she is taking out the poop because she doesn't like the mess it's time to potty train. I don't know about the best method for a girl (I have 2 boys) but we kept our kids naked for 3 days and it was done. Great time of year to do it since the weather is so nice. We basically didn't go anywhere for those days. My husband and I tag-teamed because you have to be right there to avoid accidents on floor/furniture. After the 3rd day we went places, just made sure potty before leaving and potty every available chance. I kept a change of clothes in the car just in case. Good luck with whatever choice you make.

i am sure you don't want to hear it - but i think that she is too young to potty train...i think that you need to deal with the problem of her not enjoying a poopie diaper by changing her more quickly...but 20 months is pretty young to potty train. I will share with you what we did with our son - who is now 33 months old...
One year ago, just before he turned 2, we got a potty seat. He played with it, pretended to use it, occasionally did use it. Nearly 6 months later, just after he turned 2, he showed signs of being ready to make the move. We bought him underwear. Initially, he wore the underwear over a diaper and we took him to the bathroom nearly every hour. After a few days, he started resisting and saying he didn't have to go. We trusted his judgement, but would try again the next hour...After a week or so, we dropped the diaper (he had not had an accident in the diaper during the daytime in the first week). But, we still put a diaper on if we were leaving the house...some might call it a false sense of security, I called it avoiding a mess and embarrassing my son. It worked, and he had the control to tell us when he needed to go. Since January, we have had ONE accident - at home, that was partially my fault because I was doing something and couldn't stop immediately. He is not trained at night - which is fine with me, because in my opinion, sleep is more important!

Although diapers are expensive and have 2 in diapers isn't pleasant, I think there is something to be said for just waiting until the child is 3 and then going for it. I have heard too many stories of trying to potty train under 3 and it just takes forever. After 3, it takes about a week.
The method you choose right now won't make any difference...It just sounds like she isn't really ready to be potty trained.

I agree that she sounds too young. If you want to proceed, then it's going to probably be a very long process.

I think training pants only work for some kids. They're too much like diapers.

We did the 3 day method: potty alarm (buy a new kitchen timer so that it's "Special") every 15 minutes the first day. Every 30 minutes the second day, and every 45 minutes the third day. In theory they're supposed to be trained. My daughter still had accidents once a week for about 6 months.

I suggest waiting longer.

Hi M.!

I have a little girl, 21 months, who had done the same thing. She didn't do it again after she got it all over her favortie blankie and did get to keep it because it had to be washed. For some reason she is tramatized by her blanket being in the washing machine. I also gave her some wipes and her help clean up the crib. She didn't like that!

Anyway, I have just started potty training her and we've reached 100% success when we are at home. I've either let her go naked so it's easier for her to go sit on the potty by herself (she likes to be in control) or I have put the thick training pants on under her pull-ups. This makes her feel when she has gone, but minimizes messes. Great for going to the store or being in the car or at someone elses house! WEaring a dress helps too as she can't pull her pants up and down yet.

This has been my favorite website for advice:


For boys they have pottyscotty.com.

Hope this helps!


I think the 24 - 30 month range is when my daughter really started to get into the potty training. I would avoid any type of unhealthy diet changes, as this could be dangerous.

Does your daughter do anything that signals she is pooping, so you know to change her right away? My daughter always backed up against a wall, or hid over by the corner and was very quiet. I tried to get her to go to the potty a few times but she would get upset with me.

After she pooped we would change her diaper right away and drop the poop in the toilet and say bye bye poop, then flushed it. I explained to her this is where the poop is supposed to be.

I think it just takes being pro-active and watching the cues from your daughter so you can deal with it right away, rather than waiting for it to happen.

She is ready to potty train. If she doesn't like the mess of the diaper then it is time. Each child is different so they potty train at different ages. My daughter didn't potty train until she was over three, but my son, who is younger, started potty training before he was two. He was ready when she was not. So, my kids trained very close together since they are only 20 months apart.
So, go with what her signs are now. Using the timer method mentioned by another mom is the way to go. A side note is imagine the poop mess with cloth diapers and plastic pants, that is what I dealt with, no disposible diapers.
Good Luck.

The Toilet Training in Less Than a Day book totally worked for us. I'd recommend getting it and doing all the steps (the snacks and drinks are just part of it). You'll need a doll that pees (very basic is fine) and loose fitting panties or training pants. It sounds like she's totally ready - don't let anyone insult her otherwise. The book is available for cheap on amazon. It takes a bit to read it; try to quickly skim through it and take notes as you do to catch all the steps. 50 years ago all kids were potty trained by age 2.

My daughter is only 7 1/2 months old, but I have a brother and sister who are 14 and 16 years younger than me. My little brother started smearing feces all over his crib and himself at about that age, maybe a little younger. He would wake up early in the morning and not alert anyone that he was awake (and as a teenager 5 am ish was not a time I was voluntarily awake:-))Since my mother was sick, I got the pleasure of cleaning it up (YUK). We tried absolutely everything to get him to stop....nothing worked. (sorry for the downer) It took about a month (he did this once or twice a week) and then he suddenly stopped....I know this doesn't seem very helpful, but it is a fairly common phase....


The method of toilet training you mentioned is part of "Toilet Training in Less Than a Day" by Nathan Azrin. I used the book a long time ago with both my son and daughter, and it worked as promised. But, you need to get the book and read it through first. He developed this for toilet training severely mentally disabled people, and then adapted it for toddlers. But there's much more to it than just salty foods and sweet drinks! Good luck.

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