Our son, who was diagnosed with PDD, was struggling with potty training at four years of age. He would spend long periods sitting on the potty chair, and he would not go or maybe just a drop. One day my mother came to visit, and brought a bottle of Pepsi. Later that day, my son asked me for some "black juice." I thought, "Black juice!? What on earth is he talking about?" Then I realized it was the soda. I gave him some soda and of course, he loved it. So, I bought caffeine-free soda from the store the next day, gave him a glass, he guzzled it down, and gave him another. Boy did he love it! Well, with healthy kidneys of a four year old, in ten minutes he was ready to burst, so we ran to the potty chair. Niagara Falls!! Success! From that point on he loved potty training. - R.S., city and state unknown
We have an 11-year-old little boy with Coffin Lowry syndrome. His mentality is that of about a 2-year-old. He is not potty trained and I don't know if he ever will be. We have a problem with him taking his pull-ups off by himself though. We finally decided to put a belt on him all the time and also put a small key chain toy on each of his belts for him to play with. Some of them vibrate, some of them make noise, some are just cute. His friends at school always look to see what toy Allen will have on his belt. He has about 8-10 belts and so they are rotated frequently (you could just change out the toys often). With his hands busy playing, he is not trying to get his clothes off at the wrong time. - L.S., city and state unknown
When my daughter started playing in her diapers and pull-ups, I started putting all-in-one T-shirts on her with the snaps at the bottom. When she still found a way in, I put biking shorts on first and then the T-shirt. She has never got past this one. She is now outgrowing the T-shirts and I just use leotards... it works great! - J.R., Lone Rock, WI
Having a daughter who is still working on letting us know when she needs to use the restroom, we still have accidents. When this happens in her wheelchair, it requires my time to clean the pads and cushions on her J-seat. Well, one day I was tired of washing the whole seat and wondered, "Why can't I put a diaper under the seat cover?" This tip works wonders! You don't see the diaper under the seat cover, it collects all of the urine if there is an accident, and all you have to wash is the seat cover. It keeps the cushion dry. - C.B., Aurora, CO
I find because of the excessive urination from G-tube feedings that it is best to double diaper. We place a baby diaper (Pampers, Huggies) inside a larger diaper (Depends, Attends) and this seems to help with night changes. We can usually leave her until morning without a change and most of the urine is in the baby diaper. - A.C., Alexandria, Ontario, Canada
I have a developmentally delayed 4-year-old. About two years ago my son discovered his diaper, at which time it became virtually impossible to keep him out of it. He really relished in ripping them up and strewing the gel all over the house. Many times I would find him in the middle of the floor surrounded by and chewing on the contents of his diaper. And of course, he was especially fascinated with his poop. It was a lovely time in our lives... NOT! I started trying to figure out ways to keep him out of his pants because at the time, he was not developmentally in a place where he could actually learn not to do it. These are the things that I tried that each worked well for a time, until he figured out how to get around them:
First, I got him really long shirts and tucked them in his pants and he couldn't get them out to get to his diaper. Then, I switched from elastic waist pants and shorts to jeans and jean shorts with zippers and snaps, flat in the front and elastic in the back. When he learned to get them undone, I got him belts... the regular belts worked with jeans and jean shorts - it actually got him through about nine months, until he started to figure out how to get the belt undone. We then tried to put the belt on backward or his pants on backwards which worked to a degree but looked really silly.
Then I had a brain storm that had gotten us through another nine month period. I was in Petsmart one day and it hit me: dog collars!! I rushed to the dog collar section and started to explore. Most of the dog collars that they make today are made from nylon webbing and have this really wonderful heavy-duty plastic clasp that is not easily opened with little hands. They come in a variety of sizes and colors. They are washable and incredibly durable and are CHEAPER than belts.
So, now my son looks incredibly dapper in his unique but fashionable belts and most importantly, he can't get into his pants. Woohoo!! The only drawback to using the dog collar belts is that it can get a bit difficult to find jeans and shorts with large enough belt loops to accommodate the plastic clasp, but I would rather spend my time shopping then cleaning up the contents of my son's dirty diaper any day. - A.D., Phoenix, AZ
My children are very sensitive to disposable diapers (we usually use cloth diapers, but sometimes that's not real practical). I found out by accident that Lansinoh (a lanolin ointment used to relieve nipple soreness while breast feeding) is a wonder ointment. It is not only a natural product, but also easy to apply, wipe off, and doesn't seem to sting. - L.W., city unknown, MI
For the older/larger, mobile child who is not toilet trained and has grown out of disposable training pants, try Promise pads. They can be worn in regular underwear. They have no tapes, so they are easy to slip on and off a child who is able to stand up. An advantage they have over the disposable training pants is that you don't have to take the child's pants off (which can be very awkward when not at home) to get a new pad on when changing in the restroom. If you can't find Promise pads in a local store, ask your pharmacist to order them. - B.L., city and state unknown
When our son, Kevin, was 5 years old, we were trying desperately to get him out of diapers. We tried no diaper while staying on the kitchen floor - that didn't work, he just waited until the diaper was back on to go. We got suggestions from everyone and nothing worked. In desperation, I finally started bribing him with food. Cheesies if he peed in the toilet (only 2 or 3) and some Smarties if he gave us a deposit. He started cooperating quickly. Of course, it still took many years to finish the training, but at least we got started! - D.G., Surrey, B.C., Canada
Henry is 9 years old and still in diapers. He is about 53 pounds but fairly slim. I can still buy store-bought diapers, but only if I buy Pampers Premium X-Large (these are the largest size 5 diapers on the shelves) or new Pampers Regular X-Large size 6. Anyway, before I discovered Pampers Premium or they came out with size 6, I was faced with the dilemma of what to do to get larger diapers. Plus, the larger ones are so much more expensive. I got this idea that I could use the larger diapers if only I could extend them somehow. I tried tape, but that was hard on the skin. What I ended up doing was cutting two pieces of material, each about 4 inches wide and 3 inches long. I folded over the length and sewed the edges together, so now I had 2 pieces of material, each 4 inches wide and about 1 ½ inches long with all the sides sewed up. I used the regular diapers that I was able to find, and instead of the tape to attach the diaper, I safety pinned the cloth to the diaper. It really worked great. The pins were a bit of a hassle, but worth the money I was saving. And if they got dirty, I just threw them in the wash. - C.W., Phoenix, AZ
This is a tip we used to get our daughter past the 2nd half of toilet training. At age 4 ½, Rachel, who has undiagnosed global developmental delays and functions somewhere between one-half and two-thirds of her age, was urine trained both day and night, but wouldn't sit on the toilet long enough to have a bowel movement. We finally began consulting a behavioral psychologist about this when she was about 5 ½ years old. He had all kinds of ideas - rewards, laxatives, etc. (which never worked). However, we knew Rachel usually moved her bowels when she was highly absorbed in playing with small toys. We decided (with the psychologist's blessing) to put a TV tray in the bathroom which she could put her toys on while she was sitting on the toilet. We bought her some new things which we knew would keep her interest for a while. We would only let her play with those things in the bathroom. We teamed it with a reward system, and it worked like a charm! Within a few months she was totally toilet trained at last.
There is a catch, however. Rachel is now nearly nine, and still insists on having her tray and some toys in the bathroom. She also tends to stay in there longer than we would like sometimes. She's never had constipation problems, though! One of these days we'll gather up enough energy to start working on giving up the tray. - B.L., Renton, WA
I have a remedy that helps relieve diaper rash. It's a skin protectant paste called Ilex. The only problem with this is it has to be special ordered because it's expensive and not a fast selling item. It only takes 2-3 days to get it when ordered. It is distributed by Convatec, a subsidiary of Bristol-Myers. It works great. Just apply a small amount to the sore area and your baby won't cry every time she wets or dirties her diaper. - E.S., city and state unknown
Sounds strange, but laundry starch is an excellent remedy for diaper rash - it really works. Madeline used to blister and bleed when she was a baby, and we tried everything from creams, etc., bought from the chemist, to GP prescriptions. Nothing worked. Then a great aunt of mine told me to try the starch powder she normally used for her sheets, and within a couple of days, the blisters had closed over and the redness was almost gone. We always keep a box in stock now, as Madeline still gets a bit sore from time to time, but I have NEVER found anything to be as efficient. - T.H., Bristol, UK
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