Stop Buying Diapers

Stop Buying Diapers

Apparently there’s a book about how to potty train you kid in 3 days. I never read the book. Instead, I spent a year buying just 1 more package of diapers, hoping it would be the last one. Probably could have saved a ton of money by buying that book. 

I have heard lots of potty training advice, and can sum it up in: give your kid lots of water to drink. Let them be naked. Put them on the potty every 10 minutes. Giant celebration when they go on the potty. Cool bath if they pee on the floor. 

With both of my girls, I started potty training the day they decided they hated wearing cloth diapers. If you do not want a diaper, than be naked. After peeing in the floor a couple times, they begged for a diaper back. But they also figured out how to go on the potty. 

Potty Training 1.0

When my first daughter started potty training, I was 7 months pregnant. We knew the baby might spend some time in the NICU, and I didn’t want Big Sis peeing all over the hospital floors. So we dragged out this process for 6+ months. At first, I kept her in diapers, but put her on the potty during diaper changes. Then she graduated to undies during the day at home, but using pull-ups away from home, and diapers for nap and overnight. 

She did not actually nap, she just took advantage of the opportunity to poop in her diaper. So when I quit putting her down for a nap, she had to start pooping on the potty or hold it till bed time. 

I knew she was actually potty trained when she got out of a swimming pool to go potty. Then a couple days later we did a 3 mike hike. She complained the whole time that she needed to go potty. We could not convince her to squat and pee in the woods. She could not convince us to carry her, cuz we did not want to get peed on. So she hiked, and held it, and made it all the way back to the restroom. 

Even though she was potty trained during the day, we still put her in diapers overnight. I heard that when a kid wakes up dry a few days in a row, than you can quit using over-night diapers. That never happened. In hindsight, I bet she did wake up dry and then choose to pee in her diaper, just because she’s smart and lazy. Why waste a diaper by not peeing in it? 

She used diapers overnight for 10 months after being officially potty trained. 10 months, people! That’s 300+ diapers. One day, we were at a friend’s house late. The kids fell asleep in the car and we carried them in to bed. In the morning, we discovered we had forgotten to put a diaper on, but she woke up dry and made it to the potty. After that she stoped using diapers overnight, because I stopped buying diapers for her.

Potty Training 2.0

With the 2nd child, I decided not to drag it out for 6-18 months. When she decided she hated cloth diapers, I sold the cloth diapers. She did a few days of nakedness and figured out how to use the potty. 

For a week or so, I strictly enforced that diapers are only for bed-time. She wore undies to the playground and to our homeschool co-op. We also brought her little potty everywhere. She asked to go potty a lot, but rarely actually went. She still had accidents once a day, but only at home. 

At some point, I decided this was too stressful for me, so I bought pull-ups. We used them only if we left the house. I called them “undies” and she believed me, until she accidentally peed in them and discovered they work just like diapers. 

Once again, I dragged out potty training for 6 months. She peed on the floor once a day and pooped in her diaper during nap time. I gave up on nap-time, so by bed-time she would be begging for a diaper.

One afternoon, she was tired enough to fall asleep on the kitchen floor. I moved her to the couch. She napped 1 1/2 hrs and woke up cranky. I sat and held her. Then she peed on me. I realized she had just held it for a couple hours and woke up from her nap dry, so maybe I could try no more diapers at nap time? 

But if she was super tired, I wanted her to actually nap, and not pee her bed. So one day she was in her room, not napping. She started yelling about poop. I ignored her for a bit. Eventually she came down stairs and begged me to change her diaper. 

After that, she refused to wear a diaper ever again, because wearing poop is gross. That night she wore undies to bed. We did 5 days of no diapers at all, and she only wet the bed once. And so I stopped buying diapers.

The Problem with Pull-ups

I realized, when she switches between diapers and undies, she cannot keep track of which she is wearing and if it is safe to pee. Take diapers away completely, and she knows she has to use the potty every time, or wear soggy pants. 

I should have known that with my first daughter. When she was day-time potty trained, I would put her night-night diaper on and 2 minuets later she would ask for a dry one. Seriously? You peed in a clean diaper while we were in the bathroom putting your PJs on? She is smart and lazy. 

I valued our sleep too much. I did not want my child to wake up wet and have to clean her sheets at 3am. But in reality, a kid only wets the bed a few times before they figured out not to do that. It is a small price to pay, vs buying another 300+ diapers. And my daughter sleeps on a full-size mattress (with a waterproof cover) so if she wets the bed, I just move her over to the other side of the bed, use a towel to dry that spot, and change the sheets in the morning.

The moral of the story is: Just stop buying diapers. Don’t confuse the kid by switching between undies and diapers. It is ok if they have a few accidents, that is how they learn. They will figure it out. Or you can let them continue to be lazy, while you waste money on diapers…


When it comes to potty training you child, you are free to do whatever works for you. I am not an expert. I am just a mom who has potty trained 2 kids now. Hopefully you can learn from my mistakes, and stop buying diapers sooner.

Becky TheBahaMama

Becky TheBahaMama

I spend my time making Custom Softbands and Accessories for Ponto, AdHear and Baha hearing devices. I am also a published author. I wanted our daughter to see herself represented in a story - a little girl who has facial differences and wears BAHA hearing aids. The book grew to include some of our friends who are all so wonderfully different. My first book, “Wonderfully Different, Wonderfully Me” features a diverse group of children and celebrates each child’s unique strengths. All children can see themselves in at least one of the characters, whether they look similar, or have the same interests or personality. "Wonderfully Different, Wonderfully Me" is the children's book that belongs in every household and classroom, to promote inclusion, acceptance, and friendship. Order your copt at:

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