Naked Potty Training: Yes, It’s a Thing (and It Works)
- Naked potty training is an (often) quick but intensive process where your child wears no bottoms during waking hours.
- While it requires very little in the way of equipment, you’ll need to stay at home for several days and devote your full attention to your child.
- Many parents have been highly successful with this method, but you shouldn’t undertake it if you or your child are already under a lot of stress.
It’s no secret that potty training can be a difficult process. Some children are ready at 18 months, while others wait until they’re 3 or 4 years old. How do you know when your child is ready? What’s the best way to train them? There are so many potty training methods out there, but naked potty training may just be the most effective one yet!
Naked potty training, sometimes referred to as the “bare-bottomed” method, is a rapid and intense process. It’s touted as the quickest way to potty train, and for many children it works. But naked potty training isn’t suitable for everyone; we’ll give you all the details about naked potty training below so you can make the right decision for your family.
What is the Naked Potty Training Method?
Naked potty training is the practice of keeping your child nude while going through the potty training process. It is not as crazy (or as messy) as it sounds! Allowing your children to be naked lets them be more aware of their bodies, helps them understand what they’re doing and why, and eliminates the challenges that buttons or zippers pose during the potty training process.
One of the best things about naked potty training is that you don’t need special equipment or clothes. You can avoid buying pull-ups or training pants. You may need a toddler step stool and potty seat, but that’s about it!
If your child responds positively to rewards like sticker charts, you could also invest in a potty training reward system. You could even print your own simple sticker chart to incentivize them!
Is Your Child Ready for Potty Training?
It’s hard to know when kids are truly ready for potty training. You don’t want to start and stop the process over and over again, so it’s essential to be sure that the time is right to begin the transition out of pull-ups or diapers.
Most children start exhibiting these signs of readiness between the age of 18 months and 3 years:
- Hiding when they use the bathroom in their diaper
- Going long periods with a dry diaper
- Expressing anger or frustration when their diaper is wet
- Showing interest when other people use the toilet
- Having the ability to pull pants/underwear up and down
When your little one starts to show signs of potty training readiness, it’s time to make a potty training plan.
Create a Naked Potty Training Plan
While you don’t need any complicated equipment for naked potty training, you do need a solid plan. You will need to adjust your schedule so you can stay at home during this period. You don’t want to have to take your naked toddler out of the house!
So pick a weekend or a full week where you can dedicate your time to potty training. This means having someone at home with your toddler and engaged in the potty training process the entire time. You might have to skip your normal Saturday outing or have groceries delivered, but the dedication and consistency will greatly shorten the potty training process.
It’s a huge time commitment. But the silver lining of staying home for several days is that you’ll avoid the frustration of trying to potty train in public restrooms!
Naked potty training is an intense process. You should not start naked potty training if:
- You can’t be home 24/7 for at least several days. Your toddler shouldn’t leave the house at all.
- You’ve recently moved. An unfamiliar home might make the process difficult.
- Your family has experienced a loss or trauma.
- You (or the other caregivers) are under a lot of stress.
How to Start Naked Potty Training
Potty training can be intimidating, but you can follow these simple steps to get naked potty training off to a fast and easy start.
- Start by getting your toddler naked! Remove all their clothing, including diapers. Explain that they’ll be learning to use the potty today, and they don’t want their clothes to get in the way.
- Set the ground rules. You probably don’t want your naked toddler to have an accident on furniture that’s difficult to clean. Define the areas where your toddler is allowed, and prepare the space accordingly. You might want to remove rugs, lay towels on the couch cushions, and put a protective cover over your toddler’s mattress.
- Create a schedule for the potty. Define when your little one should sit on the potty. For example, you should always try to use the potty upon waking (from bed or naps), just before snacks and meals, and then once every hour during play. Also, encourage your little one to go to the potty any time you notice their bathroom signals (squirming, fidgeting, etc.).
- Stick to it, no matter what! The biggest obstacle is staying consistent. It can be tiring and frustrating, but consistency is the most crucial factor in potty training success.
Does Naked Potty Training Work?
Naked potty training has been used successfully by many parents all over the world. It’s an effective method because naked potty training allows children to be aware of what’s happening and why, eliminates distractions that come with wearing clothes or diapers, and encourages them to pay attention as they learn to listen to their bodies.
Naked potty training is one of the quickest ways to get through the potty training process, which is why lots of parents prefer it!
If you need to potty train your toddler fast, bare-bottomed potty training is the way to go.
Many parents use this method if they need to potty train before sending their kids to preschool or if they want to complete potty training before a family vacation. Or you might choose this method if you need an intensive solution for potty training a stubborn kid.
Whatever the reason, naked potty training works in the majority of situations if implemented consistently!
How Long Does Naked Potty Training Take?
The naked potty training method can take anywhere from a few days to a month. It will take longer if you have a stubborn toddler or aren’t staying consistent with your potty training schedule. The most important thing is to stick with it and be patient so your child doesn’t become overwhelmed or frustrated.
Does Naked Potty Training Work at Night?
Naked potty training works at night too! One of the most significant benefits of naked potty training is that there are no clothes or diapers to cause delays or distractions. When a child wakes up because their body is sending them bathroom signals, naked potty training allows them to get up and go immediately.
It’s important to note that daytime potty training and nighttime potty training are two different behaviors. Many kids achieve these milestones at different times. If your toddler has mastered daytime toilet use but still struggles at night, that’s totally normal!
What if my child is struggling at night?
Some kids struggle with nighttime potty training, regardless of which method you choose. Children may be deep sleepers or have difficulty recognizing their body signals while they’re asleep.
If you choose to use disposable undies during the night, that’s ok! You won’t derail your daytime potty training efforts by using pull-ups at night. You’ll just need to revisit nighttime potty training at a later time.
What Happens After Naked Potty Training?
Naked potty training is generally a short process. After a few days, some kids are fully potty trained. After a couple of weeks of being consistent, virtually all children are potty trained.
Once you’ve eliminated all potty accidents, you can reintroduce clothing. Many experts suggest using regular cotton undies (as opposed to thick, lined training underwear). These undies are simpler to remove, making it easier for your child to go potty!
After your children have mastered their body cues and have few (or no) accidents, start working towards complete bathroom independence. You can do this by dressing your child in pants and underwear that they can easily pull up and down, demonstrating proper wiping techniques, and encouraging them to practice good handwashing.
Remaining consistent and patient will be vital as you work toward accident-free days! If you continue to encounter accidents after weeks of naked potty training, there may be an underlying issue that can be addressed with a doctor or therapist.
Naked Potty Training Regression
Sometimes kids appear to be fully potty trained for several days, weeks, or even months, but then they start to have accidents. Potty training regression can be highly frustrating for parents, but it’s not uncommon.
If you’re facing potty training regression, try these strategies:
- Stay calm and refrain from punishing.
- Empathize with your child.
- Consider things that might be creating stress and anxiety—have there been changes at school? Has their routine changed? Have you been traveling?
- Get back on your bathroom schedule.
- Make sure your child is comfortable on the toilet. Do they have a child seat and stool to rest their feet on?
- Monitor their fluid intake. Did they have accidents after drinking more than usual or eating a hydrating food like watermelon?
- Reinforce potty training by having another naked potty training weekend.
What If Naked Potty Training Isn’t Working?
Naked potty training can feel awkward, and it’s hard to be consistent with something that feels strange. If naked potty training isn’t working, it is likely because you are not being consistent. Once you pick a strategy, stick to it! Be patient as your child learns what they need to do.
Here are a few things you can try:
- Contain your toddler in a smaller space, placing a portable or travel potty nearby.
- Avoid asking if they need to potty too often (it causes them stress!)
- Pay attention to their subtle potty cues (like fidgets or facial expressions) so you can get them to the potty when they need to go.
- Read potty books and educational shows with fun potty songs (like Daniel Tiger and Sesame Street)
If at all possible, refrain from stopping and starting potty training. Inconsistency can be confusing for kids and may delay their successful transition. You should also avoid changing your potty training strategy midway through, which can be confusing and lead to setbacks.
If you’ve been consistent, but potty training is still a struggle after several weeks, there may be other factors at play. Talk to your child’s doctor or therapist, and make sure you have support in place.
Naked vs. Clothed Potty Training
Naked potty training is often considered the best way to train your child, especially if you’re looking for an efficient and effective method. Many families report quick success with this method. But it’s not for everyone. The other option is clothed potty training, which can be effective too.
Clothed potty training just means that your little one wears their everyday clothing during the potty training process. They might wear big kid undies, or they may remain in a diaper during the process. Either way, they have to pull down their pants and underwear each time they use the bathroom.
One of the significant drawbacks to clothed potty training is the complexity of some kids’ clothing. Buttons, zippers, and snaps can all be difficult for children to manage, and naked potty training alleviates this problem.
On the other hand, some parents prefer to leave their kids’ clothes on during this process for hygiene and privacy reasons. Understandably, they don’t want to worry about their kids’ genitals or butt coming in contact with every surface of their home, or being exposed all day long.
FAQs About Naked Potty Training
Is naked potty training messy?
Naked potty training can be messy, and your child will have accidents. This is how they learn! Mitigate issues by planning ahead for accidents.
Keep cleaning supplies nearby, remove any valuable furniture, and keep kids contained in an area where cleanup is easy. Avoid playing in a room with carpet if possible. You can also place towels or protective plastic on furniture.
Should I force my toddler to potty train?
You cannot force your toddler to go potty. Threats and punishment rarely work long term. If your toddler isn’t ready for potty training, you should wait until they are. Don’t make a big deal about pee and poop! Eventually, your toddler will take an interest in potty training. At that point you should try to potty train your child.
What happens if I don’t potty train?
Children will eventually take an interest in using the toilet. If potty training isn’t working, you can wait to see if your child starts using the bathroom on their own.
Kids will eventually learn that using a toilet is a social norm, and they’ll be eager to learn how to use it themselves. Peer pressure can be a great motivator, but they may also decide to use the toilet if they’re uncomfortable in wet undies.
Do pull-ups delay potty training?
Pull-ups can impact how quickly your children potty train. They are absorbent and comfortable by design. The lack of discomfort can eliminate an essential motivator for kids who are otherwise ready for potty training: discomfort.
Some children dislike potty training because it requires them to take a break from playing. If your child can comfortably use the bathroom in their dirty pants and continue playing, they’re likely to ignore their bathroom queues. And then pull-ups turn into a huge obstacle.
If naked potty training isn’t working, should I switch?
Using the potty can be stressful and confusing for kids. It’s ok if it takes them a little time to get the hang of it!
You should pick a strategy and stick with it. No matter which potty training method you use, the essential factors are patience and consistency. If you switch your approach, you’re basically starting all over!
When is potty training considered complete?
There’s no single definition of what it means to be fully potty trained.
For most people, the behavior of recognizing the need to pee or poop and then doing so on a toilet consistently is enough to be considered potty trained.
For others, they might not consider a child fully potty trained until they reach complete bathroom independence. In other words, they’re fully trained once they can recognize their body signals, use the bathroom, wipe themselves, and wash their hands without any assistance.
You can consider your child fully potty trained when they’ve gone a week or more with no accidents. Some preschools and daycares require kids to go several weeks or a full month with no accidents before they deem them fully potty trained.
When should my child be potty trained?
Most children should be fully toilet trained by 4 or 5 years old at the latest. This does not include complete bathroom independence, but they should at least recognize their bathroom signals and use the toilet without accidents the vast majority of the time. Children with developmental delays or special needs might be on a more extended schedule.
Tackling Potty Training Naked But Unafraid
Learning to use the potty is a stressful process. To increase your chances of success, it’s important to be encouraging and patient. Be aware of your child’s subtle cues, communicate about what they can expect, and prepare for accidents!
And if you want to get the job done quickly, naked potty training is the way to go. It can be messy, but it works, and it’s worth the effort.
Now that you know naked potty training is a thing (and it totally works), what are you waiting for? Get started today!
Is potty training girls different than potty training boys? Yes! But these strategies will help you potty train your little girl with success!