The sun is out and it’s the perfect time to start potty training. Summer means less layers of clothes to wash after accidents and it’s a great time to get in the garden where the mess of accidents are far less stressful than when they land on the furniture or carpets!
Jude and I often get asked if we advise parents to let their children go underwear & clothing free when they are in the first stages of potty training.
We totally get the appeal; less washing after accidents and faster access to the potty or toilet. We do however find that parents that have tried this sometimes contact us a couple of weeks later to say their child was doing really well but then as soon as they dress them in pants and clothes the accidents start again.
It’s difficult to categorically conclude why this happens. It might be that clothes slow them down, so they need to re-think the timing between recognising the need to go to the toilet or potty and actually getting there. Alternatively, it may be that they get used to the feeling of nothing against their skin and then when pants come back on they think of them as a nappy. We don’t however find this is a problem when going from nappies to pants, as children recognise there is a difference in feeling, and so are less likely to get confused.
Our advice is that it’s easier to teach the full potty training routine once and from the outset. We would therefore recommend going from nappies into pants and clothes. It does of course make sense to choose clothes that are easy for your toddler to manage themselves, so avoid any tricky buttons or zips.