Putting Your Potty-Trained Kid in Diapers on a Road Trip Is All Kinds of Wrong

Rant 100

potty trained kidRoad trips with children are notoriously no fun. The last big one I took with my family was from Boston to Chesapeake Bay, which turned out to be 10 hours for what should have been an 8.5-hour trip. It wasn't SO bad, but the reason it was like that was because of bathroom breaks. Our 4- and 5-year-old seemed to have to pee every five seconds (was it all that juice we kept bribing them with?), so we were constantly in search of bathrooms.

That was a summer trip. Now, it's the dead of winter, and if we were going to take a long road trip, the weather would give me great pause and concern. I am not sure how we would deal with the frequent stops and the risk of bad weather. But one thing is sure -- I wouldn't put my potty-trained kids in diapers.

It seems insane, right? But apparently, SOME parents are doing this on long road trips.

Never mind the fact that I am not sure I could wrestle my now 6-year-old daughter into a diaper if I tried. My 4-year-old son may do it. He may even like it, which, er, is about 90 percent of why I would never do it.

For my daughter though, it would be so undignified. I know how she feels about her body and she is proud of being a big kid. She would be humiliated and angry if I ever put her back in diapers. I mean, honestly, who would ever think of this?

Would you put your husband in a diaper for a long road trip? It seems borderline abusive. A lot of things are OK in parenting, but this just seems wrong.

Children take so much pride in the things they accomplish as they learn and grow. It's hard to imagine taking that away from them just because you want to get somewhere faster.

So, no. I wouldn't put a potty-trained child back in diapers for a road trip. The only exception MIGHT be if he or she specifically asked and brought it up on his or her own. Then maybe. But even then, I can't imagine saying OK. It just feels wrong.

Would you ever put potty-trained kids back in diapers for a car ride?


Image via Mai Le/Flickr

potty training


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nonmember avatar Victoria

I wouldn't do it just to avoid stops, but maybe if she had just been potty trained but still had accidents. I've never heard of this. I think it would be very wrong if a fully potty trained child was forced to wear diapers, use them and sit in them only for convenience sake.

amiec... amiecanflie

WTF?! Judging much? My son is 3 and we have been making long roadtrips/flying since he was 2 months old. He's been potty trained for about 2-3 months and I'd put him in a diaper in a heartbeat for a roadtrip. Maybe not the 6 year old but a 3, 4, or a 5 year old? They're probably still using diapers at night anyway.

Wheep... Wheepingchree

No way! My daughter is three & we will be taking our trip from New Windsor, NY to Oak Island, NC again this summer (a 12h trip without stops).  There is no way we would put her in diapers for that!  She is very vocal about when she has to go potty and has been fully potty trained since early September with very little accidents.  We need to stop anyhow so she can stretch her legs - I don't expect a toddler to just sit in a car seat for more than half a day.  Some people have unrealistic expectations of their children.

Katy Khan

what's your source that people are putting 4 and 5 year olds in diapers? My son is nearly 3 and is potty trained but we are traveling around Asia and will be for another 6 months or more and they don't have much in the way of public restrooms so yea he's in a diaper. He goes diaper free when home but it's just more practical this way. I see nothing wrong with it.

cassi... cassie_kellison

When my son was 3-4 he was goin perfectly at home but ya car trips were iffy so I put his portable potty in the trunk in case of emergencies

work4... work4mickey

If you actually expect them to use the diapers, it's wrong. If it's just in case you can't find a bathroom in time, I don't see the problem. If there is an accident, it will be quicker and easier to clean up if it's in a diaper, but it not be used instead of the neccessary bathroom breaks

zandh... zandhmom2

No, I woudn't.  My kids were potty trained at 2 1/2 (son) and 3 (daughter) and after each, we just never bought diapers again.  My kids also never wore diapers at bednight once they were potty trained.  I know some kids have issues with wetting the bed but I guess we just got lucky with ours.  I did know one woman who son was potty trained for urine but would not have a bowel movement in diapers for almost a year.  I was very hard on her so I don't judge if you have a kid who still needs to wear diapers for issues beyond your control.  Every kid is different. Now, if you are putting fully potty trained kids in diapers more for your convinence than theirs, than I do think thats just lazy.

Zamaria Zamaria

We used pull ups until my son was almost four when we traveled. He never had to use the pull up, because we were able to find bathrooms in time. But he would much rather have an accident in a pull up than in his underwear and get his carseat all wet and have to sit in it for the rest of the trip. Pull ups would have protected his clothes and seat if he couldn't hold it till we found a bathroom. He didn't mind at all.

Sierr... SierraLynn

No I would never think about it. My 3 year old has been potty trained for nearly a year. We just move from Georgia to Colorado and we drove. We sent realistic goals for us each day of travel and didn't try to do it in 2 days. Dh drove with the 3 year old and I drove with the 3 week old. We stopped about every 1.5 hours for a quick pee and to feed the baby. And even then we met our goals sooner then we planned to. Dh also didn't keep pumping juice and water in the 3 year old.

nonmember avatar MammaMel

I wouldn't call it abusive, but ill-advised. It depends on WHERE they are in potty training...my two year old has been potty trained for 6 months (still wears a diaper at night) and I would never THINK of putting him in a diaper for a road-trip, but that's because I will make the stops and he is able to "hold it". A kid who doesn't have good control it would be more embarassing to pee themselves than to be in a diaper.

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