Diaper Care & Potty Training Tips for Special Needs Kids

Photo Credits: Glenn

Photo Credits: Glenn

Disposable diapers are super convenient for parents: just put them on and there’s no more worries of whether or not the kids will poop on the bed! However, from a health perspective, I don’t think that this is a good idea. I’ve put my own son in diapers, but if I had known back then what I know now, I would have tried a different way. The reason is because a disposable diaper is not breathable; it is a sealed material through which no air can come through. Consequently, the skin underneath the diaper cannot breathe and may become irritated. The chemicals found in diapers (like the ones with fragrances) will constantly rub against your child’s skin, which can also aggravate diaper rash symptoms.

 

Another reason you may want to ditch the diaper is to better help potty train your child. We want to teach our kids to go to the washroom on their own, but at the same time we keep them in their diapers, making them feel comfortable to “go” any time they want. This applies to all children, even children with special needs. By potty training your child, they will feel more independent and encouraged to do things on their own.

 

Photo Credits: Eric Peacock

Photo Credits: Eric Peacock

One way to help potty train your child is by keeping track of when your child needs to go pee or poo. Then with respect to those times, put your child on the potty a little bit before they usually need to go. Talk it through with them the entire time; “We’re going to the bathroom now to poo.” “We’re sitting on the toilet now so you can go.” Communicating with your child during the whole process will help them understand what the point of going to the washroom is for.

 

Another way to help potty train your kids is by setting up a bathroom regimen for them. This will help train their bladder and will teach them to tell you when they need to go. For example, every time your child eats something, take them to the bathroom 3-4 hours after. If they drink something, take them about 1-2 hours after since liquids pass through the system faster. Again, explain the whole process while you are doing this with them. If your child goes pee or poo at this time, tell them that they need to tell you when they need to go.

 

It’s best to be consistent and to do these things with them constantly at roughly the same times of day. Being patient and communicating what you are doing every single time is key. Make sure to adjust the way you communicate depending on your child’s personality so that they will understand. You will find that eventually your child will start asking you to help them go to the bathroom when they need to go or will go by themselves if physically able. This is a huge step towards independence for every child, including those with special needs.

Photo Credits: Abigail Batchelder

Photo Credits: Abigail Batchelder

 

What are some of your diaper care or potty training tips? Let us know in the comments section below! And don’t forget to share this article with your friends and family! :)

Natan

About the author

Natan Gendelman has written 274 articles for Enabled Kids.

Natan Gendelman is licensed as a physical therapist in Russia and Israel. After moving to Canada, he was certified as a kinesiologist and osteopathy manual practitioner. Natan has more than 20 years of experience providing rehabilitation and treatment for conditions such as cerebral palsy, autism, Down syndrome, pediatric stroke and acquired brain injury. He is the founder and director of Health in Motion Rehabilitation, a Toronto-based clinic whose main objective is to teach their patients the independence necessary for success in their daily lives.

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