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Done With Diapers: July 11, 2012

Done with diapers? Many parents would like to be, but their children aren’t always on the same page.

Right up there with stressing over when their baby will sleep through the night, parents are anxious to know when they’ll be done with diapers.

“If you look back at the 1950s in the United States, most kids by the time they were two were already dry through the night.  In 2003, they looked at that number again and it was actually moved to five at that point,” says Dr. Pierre Loredo, a pediatrician with Lee Memorial Health System.

So parents are having a tougher time weaning kids off the nighttime diapers.

“You need to understand that it’s a process. It’s not going to happen overnight,” says Dr. Loredo.

Mother of two Brittany Litwak could give lessons.

“Madison is four and a half and Kinsley, she just turned two,” says Litwak.

Even her youngest was diaper free by 18 months.

“We made sure she didn’t drink too much in the evening hours. And I’d actually wake up about half way through the night and have her go to the potty. We did that for probably about two weeks,” says Litwak.

Despite all the talk of toilet training, there is little scientific data on the subject. It comes down to the child and the parents being ready.

“When you see the kid’s interested in going to the restroom, you could go ahead and start there.  Also encourage them earlier on, say three, even four years of age.  Take them to the restroom, showing them what to do, and that will wind up helping things out,” says Dr. Loredo.

Cutting out drinks three hours before bedtime and marking the calendar for every dry night works for some people. Mom Litwak took it a step further.

“I really think it’s not putting diapers on them at night.  I mean, really, that worked for me,” says Litwak.

Here’s something to think about in the wee morning hours: nationally 80 percent of kids will be dry through the night by five years old.