You may have a 4 year old has no interest in potty training. A new baby in the home has your 6 year old begging to wear a diaper again. You may have a 9 year old that has started having accidents or wetting the bed for no apparant physical reason. Your 11 year old has taken a couple of pampers out of a pack that was intended for a toddler when no one was looking.
You ask yourself, "Why is potty training my child such a challenge?" "Why is my big kid wanting to be treated like a baby?" You worry that your 9 year old may have a physical illness. Do we need to consult our pediatrician. Should we ignore this? Or should we just allow him to wear a diaper so he will get over these feelings after satifying his curiosity?
Still have a kid in diapers and need help?
Everyone in the modern world is put into a diaper on their first day of life outside their mother's body. The president and the biggest sports hero's all started out with the same artcle of clothing as your child. At some point almost everyone is required to use a potty and give up something that they have worn all their young lives. Every individual will learn at different paces and have varying physical and emotional needs. Potty training is no exception. Typically 2.5 to 3 years year old is the age most parents attempt training their young child. Some kids train as early as 18 months and some don't train until they are past their 4th birthday. Any parent can read a parenting mazine, join a parenting group on the internet, read books, watch parenting TV shows and find this same information. Generally they all offer the advise. Be patient. It will happen before you know it. No kid goes to kindergarten wearing a diaper. Baby diapers are now in sizes to fit the largest 4 year old's easily. So it is no wonder that you see many parents begin to panic as the time frame society demands a kid to be diaper free gets shorter.
I do feel that potty training is essential. To not potty train a child would not be in the child's best interest. On the otherhand I believe in a gradual approach through this process. If wearing a diaper makes your child feel secure and loved it is probably best to allow them this priveledge outside events that require them to be diaper free. There is no law that says a potty trained child must stay out of diapers for good. The threat of losing diapers forever can cause a child to be very reluctant about using the potty.
My young child wants to be a baby again
This is very common. Different types of stress on a young child can bring this on. Parents going through a divorce, moving to a new home or the arrival of a baby sibling can cause an older child to want to be a baby again. This behavior has been noted for years by child pediatricians and psychologists. Where an adult may seek a vice to deal with pressures, it is natural for a child to want to return to a time everything was happy and in order. If you show a young child a picture of a baby and then ask them how they know it is a baby most will point to the diaper.
Age 5 to 8 can be difficult to read. Most children this age that make such a request are not young infantilists. They will never have any interest once they move past this phase. On the otherhand almost every adult that is an infantilist can tell you that they had a strong desire to wear diapers at this same age.
When I first created this website in July 2000, I felt that you needed to evaluate what kind of child you were dealing with before allowing them to wear a diaper. I didn't want a parent to spark infantilism in a child that may only be curious. I errored on the side of caution. After communication with countless people, I changed my position on this issue. You can put a diaper on an older kid, but you can not instill infantilism in that same child. My conclusion was arrived at by evaluating other behaviors and comparing them to real life situations where older children have been diapered for reasons that were not physically health related.
The average child is very curious. This is how we learn what we like and don't like. When I was 8, I begged to drink a beer. My grandmother finally poured some into a cup for me when no one was looking. I anticpated something that tasted better than kool-aid. I came to the quick conclusion that it tasted awful and to this day have never had more than a sip of beer. Of course another man in AA could be telling a similar story of how this was the beginning of his struggle. Many boy's will try on their sister's clothes only to find out they look absolutely silly looking and never even entertain the idea of trying that again. A small percentage of boys will become a cross dresser. Many infantilists that are now parents have introduced diapers to older children thinking that they are providing them with what they feel they missed out on. Their child may like it in the beginning, but will lose the desire to wear diapers as time passes.
So in a child that is only merely curious or feels the need to be babied to deal with stress, you won't cause infantilism by providing them a diaper. In a young infantilist their desire to wear diapers will remain the same whether you deny them or provide them as many diapers as they wish.
My child has been having accidents or has started bedwetting
At some point during the childhood years this can happen. There are several causes and most are the result of a temporary minor physical illness. If you notice an alarming trend there are two things that you need to do as a parent. First talk with your child. Secondly you will need to have them checked out by a doctor for a potential physical problem.
While most doctor's won't admit it, some children will intentionally have accidents or wet their beds on purpose. If this is the case you have to understand that this child is trying to meet an emotional need. Most children that want to return to wearing diapers will not make plans of this nature. A few children may intentionally wet in hopes that you may suggest what they can't ask for--"a diaper", but that is rare. Children usually try to exhibit small hints such as sucking their thumbs and talking babyish first. No matter the cause of these accidents you should never scorn a child because of this.
Just like younger children a preteen may only be curious, but as your child gets older the possibilty that your child is a young infantilist increases. If you are confident that you have a child that loves wearing diapers the best approach is to allow diapers. Don't ignore it. Talk about it. Don't make a big deal about it. You would be shocked to know just how many kids his age still wear diapers at home for emotional needs
My child is sneaking diapers when no one is lookingThe most common way a preteen will acquire diapers is by taking them from the supply of a toddler. If your child is 5 to 8 they may only be curious. If your child is 9 to 12 there is a very good chance he does have strong infantile feelings that may be with him throughout his life. Such a kid may steal a diaper where that same child would never take anything else without asking. That child will need to be reminded that you don't take something that don't belong to you, but you need to understand his reasons for sneaking a few diapers.
Preteens that have strong infantile feelings are typically just as normal as their friends in most areas, such as grades, social, and physical abilities. Their need for acting out their babyish feelings are nothing to get overly concerned about. The quicker that a parent can accept their child's uniqueness in this regard the better. Before age 13 it could be only a phase or it could be infantilism. In the worst case where the child is a young infantilist there is no reason that child can't have a highly productive and happy life.