When diarrhea strikes while potty training...

Liz - posted on 06/07/2012 ( 4 moms have responded )




What do you do when you are potty training and your child develops diarrhea? I usually keep underwear on my 2.5 year old son during the day but he doesn't yet poop on the potty. We'd only been potty training for a couple of weeks when he started to get sick (again). My question is, what do you do? Do you just put diapers on during the day and forget the training altogether, or what? Thanks in advance!


Sarah - posted on 06/07/2012




We had that happen to us twice while potty training. We just put a diaper back on. We'd still ask if he had to go on the potty, and sometimes he would, but most of the time in the diaper. We explained that because he was sick, it was okay to go in the diaper. Most kids will regress a bit anyways when they're sick.

Michelle - posted on 06/07/2012




When this happened with my daughter we put pull ups of her and then still continued with the training as if she had underwear on if she had an accident it was no big deal but we kept reminding her that she was a big girl and big girls use the potty.

Chet - posted on 10/06/2014




Yes, adults and older children sometimes put on "diapers". They make incontinence products for anyone who has medical issues that make them necessarily. A lot of new moms have weak pelvic floor muscles and need to wear panty liners because of leaking urine when cough or laugh or have a very full bladder.

We put the diaper back on for diarrhea. We explained to the child that they were sick, and needed to wear a diaper while their body gets better.

I didn't want accidents to risk spreading the bug to rest of the family, and would want a preschooler using strong disinfectants. I also didn't want to set a preschooler up for failure. If they don't stand a chance of making it to the bathroom in time, it's very distressing to try, not be able to control their bowels when they normally could, and to have an enormous mess.

Any diarrhea that can be contained in a pair of toddler panties isn't a bad case of diarrhea.

It's fine to leave a child in underwear if the situation is manageable and the child can cope, but the approach you used wouldn't work with all kids. It could just as easily produce a massive regression in terms of toilet training.

Katie - posted on 10/06/2014




I know this is an older post, but it was the first one that came up under the search. A lot of people may think this is a harsh way of looking at it, but really, you need to ask one question:

"Do you put on a diaper when you get diarrhea?"

No you don't. When potty training stops, the diapers stop. It's as simple as that.

My little sister went through toddler diarrhea when we were training her, but we kept her in panties and taught her how to clean up after herself when she was sick. Every time she went, it was her responsibility to take care of it. Of course we watched to make sure she was clean, but she knew it was her job.

And it paid off. She's now four, and this passed week, she caught a stomach bug at her pre school. She immediately ran to her teacher and told her it was an emergency and went straight to the nurse's office. She made it to the restroom in the nurse's office and took care of her business while the nurse called our mom. When she came to pick my little sister up, she was still clean and did not need to change clothes. The nurse mentioned she was the first little girl she had ever seen who did not end up messy.

The difference was that my little sister had been TRAINED to handle her business when she was sick. That's what potty TRAINING is all about. It may seem harsh, but just because they're sick doesn't mean the diapers go back on. If kids aren't trained to deal with their business when they're sick, how can we expect them to ever take care of themselves?

When the diapers go off they STAY off. :)


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