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3 yo still in diapers, help me undestand

post #1 of 201
Thread Starter 
Hi all,
I've started babysitting a 3 yo who is still in diapers and it's kind of freaking me out. Both my dd's PL before they were 2 yo and it just feels wierd to diaper a child this old, it's definately pushing my cultural comfort zone of hygene and personal privacy, kwim?

The mom tells me that he simply isn't interested and she doesn't want to push and I totally respect that. What I need from you guys is a little help in not feeling wierd about it, like perhaps some insight into what this child might be thinking and feeling. I'm sure that he can sense my discomfort with diapers and I don't want to do or say something that will hurt his feelings or make the situation at home worse.

FWIW his home situation is kind of bad, lots of sibling fighting. His parents are very loving but they are struggling with an older special needs child and both parents have difficulty with basic stuff like consistant discipline.
post #2 of 201
my two girls both PL'ed at 3 yrs 2 months. Boys in particular seem to be trained later considering the experiences we have with friends.

Since pullups cost more than large diapers, if he really just isnt taking to PL right now, there's really no point in letting him wet and soil big boy pants or use more expensive pull up diapers.

He sounds like most boys I know, but again, its my experience, and not anyone elses. If yours were trained by 2, and most other kids you know were also, then its not your experience.

Does it help to know that I think its very normal? Or that other people do?
post #3 of 201
LOTS of little boys don't PL before three. My ds is 39 months old. He is very verbal, intelligent, charming, funny and generally wonderful to be with. He pees in the potty. He is completely uninterested in pooping in the potty. We have a loving, relatively non chaotic (as much as is possiblt with two young kids) home life, we are stable, good marriage, etc.). He just doesn't want to poop in the potty. He knows when he has to poop. He will go outside and do it on the lawn if the dor is unlocked and he is naked. I think he is normal (well...maybe not the lawn thing? lol)

Let it be. Change his diaper, offer the potty if he wants it, and whatever you do, don't shame him.
post #4 of 201
If a child is truly not interested, there is not much one can do, IMO. My ds is 5 and today he used a toilet for poop for the third time in his life, the last time being over a year ago. He is not comfortable with the sitting position and prefers to stand with a diaper. He has not routinely worn diapers since he was 2 1/2. He tells me when he needs one for poop and I put one on at that time. I think that our relationship is more important than toilet training and would rather not coerce, manipulate, or bribe him (not that it would even be possible to bribe him. There is nothing he wants more than what he wants).
post #5 of 201
from my experience, 3 is the average age age for beginning PL. there are kids on both sides of that age range, but 3 is pretty well within the typical range.
post #6 of 201
I have heard of lots of 3 yr. olds still in diapers, too... but I will admit it would probably make me uncomfortable to change a child that age's diaper. I guess you'll get used to it, though!
post #7 of 201
If I were the parent of this child, i would want to know what the caregiver is thinking. You can pass a lot 'stuff' onto a baby and so the parent needs to know you're not OK with this.
post #8 of 201
I thought 3 was average? My son pl'd around 3rd bday. You can't force them, obviously, so if they aren't interested, what can you do? They'll become self conscious soon enough.
post #9 of 201
My son is 3.25 and he is now pee trained, but still poops in his underwear or a pull-up if he is wearing one. I think this progression is typical, especially with boys!
post #10 of 201
Quote:
Originally Posted by canadiangranola View Post
He knows when he has to poop. He will go outside and do it on the lawn if the dor is unlocked and he is naked. I think he is normal (well...maybe not the lawn thing? lol)
I am so relieved to hear that someone else's children do this too! ds will just rip his clothes off and poo in the yard while he and ds1 are outside playing. The only way I could keep him from doing this is if I literally followed him around all day long.
post #11 of 201
I know what your mean. My DD has taken a LONG time (IMO) to PL. She wasn't consistent with using the potty until she was over 3, and at 4.5 she still wears a diaper to bed. To be honest, I'm becoming more and more uncomfortable with putting a diaper on her- she's just so big. But in my DD's case, I truly believe that she is just not physiologically ready to be dry at night. She really does want to be done with diapers, but her body isn't cooperating. She has no idea that she's peeing in the middle of the night. And on the few nights she has stayed dry, it's been a surprise to her.

I know the general wisdom is that girls are easier to PT than boys, but that hasn't been my experience.
post #12 of 201
My oldest daughter was completely done by her second birthday.

My son didn't potty learn until he was four years and three months old.

My baby-girl just started last week, and she is three years and five months old.

Seems pretty normal to me!
post #13 of 201
I think the question you need to ask yourself is WHY does it make you so uncomfortable? what is your cultural comfort zone anyway? not trying to be snarky just trying to understand a bit further.

or is it just seeing a child so big in diapers? because I can certainly understand that! (DS is 2.5 and not a bit interested in PL atm) also do you think they just don't have time to work with him on it? from your post it sounds like there might be other issues at play here.
post #14 of 201
Please don't feel weird about it. The little guy is probably thinking and feeling that he's just not ready yet. My son turned three in May and is still in diapers. For boys especially, it's definitely within the range of normal.

What is it exactly that's pushing your comfort zone of hygiene and privacy? Even if he were putting everything in the potty, you'd still likely be highly involved with wiping, re-dressing, other private acts of the toileting experience, no? (I ask in all sincerity, as I'm still doing the diaper thing). Maybe what's unusual for you is just being so involved in another child's diapering, esp. as it's a boy when your experience is with your daughters (of course, if you've got loads of experience with child care, that's not it either).

If it's just that it feels unseemly to you to be putting a diaper on a 3-year-old, please remember that by changing his diapers, you're meeting him where he is developmentally right now. And that's something to take pride in, not feel weird about.
post #15 of 201
Quote:
Originally Posted by natashaccat View Post
Hi all,
I've started babysitting a 3 yo who is still in diapers and it's kind of freaking me out. Both my dd's PL before they were 2 yo and it just feels wierd to diaper a child this old, it's definately pushing my cultural comfort zone of hygene and personal privacy, kwim?

The mom tells me that he simply isn't interested and she doesn't want to push and I totally respect that. What I need from you guys is a little help in not feeling wierd about it, like perhaps some insight into what this child might be thinking and feeling. I'm sure that he can sense my discomfort with diapers and I don't want to do or say something that will hurt his feelings or make the situation at home worse.

FWIW his home situation is kind of bad, lots of sibling fighting. His parents are very loving but they are struggling with an older special needs child and both parents have difficulty with basic stuff like consistant discipline.
I understand your discomfort. All six of my kids knew how to use the toilet by the tim ethey were able to get up on it. No child is going to wake up one day and decide to use the toilet. I really don't understand why parents would put that kind of responsibility on a child, anyways.
The toilet is the most sanitary and hygenic place to urinate and defecate, when living inside a city/house.

Since you are watching this child, can you help him learn to use the toilet?
It does become difficult when they have spent their entire life using diapers, but most children would rather not defecate/urinate on themselves.

Hope something gets resolved for you.
post #16 of 201
Well, you can always offer him use of a potty while you are watching him. Then you can see for yourself if it is just a matter of his parents not seeing that he is ready or if he really just isn't developmentally ready yet. I am not saying to push it, but just to offer it a few times a day to him.

The age thing doesn't seem to weird to me. My daughter was 2.5 when she was pee trained, but nearly 3 before she stopped demanding a diaper to poo in. My son turned 2 in June and is just now starting to show real interest in the potty. While he is awake he does all his bathroom business in a potty, but I wouldn't consider him potty trained because he wets himself during nearly every nap and cannot stay dry at night at all (usually actually leaks out a diaper too).... oh, and if we go anywhere he needs a diaper as he gets too distracted to use a potty. So, I still can see we have a long ways to go... he may be 3 or 4 before he is fully ready to use the potty at all times. I make the potty very available to him, but I don't push it and I never, ever, ever get after him or get frustrated by him wetting his pants. He just isn't totally there developmentally yet.

So, I don't think it is unusual that a 3 year old may not be developmentally ready yet. However, it doesn't hurt to leave a potty sitting out and let him know that he is welcome to use it anytime he wants and then just see what happens.
post #17 of 201
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rainbowmoon View Post
I think the question you need to ask yourself is WHY does it make you so uncomfortable? what is your cultural comfort zone anyway? not trying to be snarky just trying to understand a bit further.

or is it just seeing a child so big in diapers? because I can certainly understand that! (DS is 2.5 and not a bit interested in PL atm) also do you think they just don't have time to work with him on it? from your post it sounds like there might be other issues at play here.
Oh yes this is an issue with me, I'm not judging the parent's choice to respect her child's timeline.

I don't really want to get into a debate over diapering but just so ya'll know where I'm coming from I've used Eliminication Communication principles with our children so it just feels not age appropriate to diaper a child of this age. Anyway, it's good to hear that this is very common and that I'm not contributing to parental neglect.
post #18 of 201
What does "PL"stand for?
post #19 of 201
No child is going to wake up one day and decide to use the toilet. I really don't understand why parents would put that kind of responsibility on a child, anyways.


You don't think? This hasn't been my experience. In my experience children do wake up one day and decide to: use the potty, walk, learn to eat with utensils, wean, etc.

My DD is 3 and she wears pull-ups to bed, so she's not fully potty learned (PL for the PP). But she can change her own pull-up, get a new one, throw the old one away etc. She requests help wiping her but for poop - because she's done it incompletely before and found it on her underwear.

So, I agree with the other posters who suggested that even if he was using the toilet, you might have to help him - either by wiping or getting his pants back over his but or making sure he washes up well.

I suspect he may not be thinking or feeling a whole lot about it right now, save that this is his routine. My Dd thinks nothing of yelling "I need someone to wipe my butt" when she's done.

As far as encouraging it, I think being around a slightly older boy who uses the toilet would do wonders. He needs someone like him that he can relate to in that respect - not all you big grown-up who can drive cars and use the stove.
post #20 of 201
PL = potty learning

DS just NOW is finally consistently going both in the potty at 3y9m. I admit to not pushing it much at all before 3 as he was afraid of sitting on the potty for a long time before that and I was either pregnant or had a newborn the whole time he was 2. I had not really heard of EC or thought of it as a viable possiblity when he was a baby. But just in the last couple of weeks something "clicked" in him and he realized he could do it.

Does the little guy even want to sit on the potty? For us, initially a reward system worked to get him to try it (stickers, later m&ms and matchbox cars), but after awhile he did not seem to care. By that point, he knew how to go, and could hold it till he got to the potty, just did not WANT to. So then, I started making sure we were going to fun places and doing fun things a lot, but we could not leave or start the fun thing till he went potty first. That has seemed to work best for him. Does the mom want you to help work with him, like try sitting him on it every diaper change or certain times? I can see why she would not want to clean up pee and poop off her floor and off underwear all the time though too.
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