Toilet Resistant Child

I have recieved so much advice and I really need help. My daughter is almost 3 1/2 and has been using the toilet for a day or so, starting since she turned 2, for a day or two, and then will ask for diapers again. I haven’t really used rewards or such things, although I’ve been advised to. Yesterday she wore underwear at her opting for the whole day, using the toilet without an accident, and slept dry through the night. Then this am again, she asked for her cloth diapers again. Even some of my gentle parenting friends are telling me to tell her no, we are done with diapers. But I’m worried that will cause a power struggle or even traumatic feelings for her. But I really don’t know how to handle this because I don’t feel like I’m getting any good advice. I would really appreciate some help. Thanks.


Dear Parent,

Follow your child and ask your own heart. I think the advice you are getting is the only problem, and, your child mirrors your confusion. If you were alone on an island with your daughter, the advice would not exist. How would you act without it? I bet you would just let your daughter make her own choices and it won’t be a problem at all.

Only the idea that the child should graduate from diapers at a certain time and way causes distress. Without it I hear that your heart knows very well what to do.

Make sure to use only cloth diapers so your daughter can experience her body functions. Let her make her own decision and show no interest in her being with or without diaper. No praise, no excitement, nothing invested. She must come to experience her body decisions as fully her own. When she feels autonomous about her body, she will make her choice at her own time.

A side comment: Modern children stay in diapers almost twice the years necessary because of parental push, expectations, and disposable diapers.

With your next child try Elimination Communication combined with cloth diapers and let go of any intention to get the child out of diapers. You may be surprised how much younger a child who feels free from any expectations will choose to use the toilet.

Warmly,  Naomi Aldort,