Potty Training using the Naked Method

Look at how your cousin takes off her underwear to use the potty!

Diapers, both disposable and cloth, cost money. They both have an environmental impact as well. Even if you are using used cloth diapers, you still have to wash them. The earlier you potty train your kids, the more money and resources you save. With those facts in mind, I finally decided it was time to start potty training in earnest.

We’ve been casually doing “Infant Potty Training” from the beginning, so Frances is very family with her potty. The use of the potty has been directed by me from the beginning, which seems to be holding back her progress in being completely potty trained. If I don’t take off her diaper and put her on the potty every hour, she just pees in the diaper. She hasn’t figured out that she’s supposed to tell me before she goes so I can put her on the potty, but will usually tell me as she is peeing.

I saw someone on Facebook mention The Naked Method in reference to potty training, so I decided to try out our own version of the program. We didn’t set aside a three day period to dedicate to training or use any gimmicks. I just left Franci naked from the waist down whenever we were at home (and awake) and reminded her to pee in her potty every 15 minutes.

The first week she had a couple of accidents, but most days she used the potty as intended. Now that it’s routine, I don’t have to remind her very often and she is going longer stretches and taking bigger pees. She still tells me after she’s done, so I can empty the potty into the toilet. She loves to flush it and watch the water swirl around.

Now that she’s had a week of no accidents, I tried to introduce underwear. The problem is that she can’t pull it off by herself. A few times a day I practice putting it on and off with her, but she still doesn’t get it. She’s still not entirely stable on her feet, which may contribute to the challenge. Yesterday I left her underwear on to see what would happen, and she sat on the potty and peed right through them as if they weren’t there. Back to the drawing board!

It’s not a big deal to be naked at home, but she has to wear pants at daycare and when we leave the house. I’m not sure how to take this next step. I would love to hear your potty training stories and any suggestions you might have for us!


  1. Megan Landers says

    This is the method I eventually went with for my son; he we incredibly hard to potty train and boy could he hold it. He would sit on the toilet for hours and wait to get that diaper back and on and let loose. He fully understood that he could stare me in the face and and pee in his diaper because I couldn’t possibly check every minute of the day. Once the diaper and undies came off, there was no way to hide what he was doing! The only real horror story I have is that he decided to run off into a corner at my sister’s house and do a #2 – a decent sized one for a 2-year old – and tell no one. Her carpet was brown and it took a fair bit of time to track down the stench. Identifying the culprit, however, was easy: no pets and one semi-potty trained, half-naked jay bird flitting about the house. Oh, and one not-so-happy auntie 😉 Good luck and watch out where you walk on brown carpet!

  2. We are at about the same place in potty training. I have found out of the house as long as I stay on top of him and tell him to go potty regularly he will stay dry, but still doesn’t tell me when he needs to pee. Sigh. Hoping it will come with time. For now, just keep taking him every 1.5 hours.

    Good luck!

  3. I just helped my not-quite-two year old learn to use the potty. She didn’t know how to pull her underthings up and down either. I just went ahead and did the back-breaking (while largely pregnant) work of helping her with it every time she went until she wanted to do it herself and figured it out, which she did quickly, and very well. As a bonus she can get dressed and undressed by herself now, a skill almost fully acquired since learning to use the toilet. It’s been three weeks in cotton big-girls, and only 3 accidents, all at home. Woohoo!
    Happy, helpful, encouraging repetition of the ups-and-downs of underwear is what I’d go with. Ask anyone caring for her to do the same. Teach her to hold on to something if she needs support, my daughter needed that for a while. I used the cotton training underwear during the learning part, the fact that they’re thicker on the waist seemed to help with learning to get the thumbs inside to facilitate pushing clothing down.

  4. I took the lazy route and waited until my kids indicated they were “ready”, which for them was showing an interest in and asking to use the toilet. They were both just older than 2 and by that time they could pull up and down underwear and pants by themselves. It helps that they are girls, and the younger one went quicker than her sister, for obvious reasons. I do recall a lot of repetition on my part though, even though they both had a desire to become potty trained.

  5. Megan, that story is hilarious! Maybe I don’t mind our white carpet so much any more.

    Coriander, it sounds like we are in similar situations, although I’m still a few weeks away from being “largely pregnant”. I tried the cotton training underwear to see if Franci had an easier time pulling them down, without success. But it gave me the idea to try different underwear, and it turns out she is able to pull the pair that is a size too large down in front and pull them up in front. Now, getting her to pull them up and down over her bottom, that is a different story.

  6. Good idea about the bigger underwear. My little one worked the back side of things out soon after being able to manage the forward aspect. Press on, the relieving results of your mutual work are close(r) at hand!

  7. I had a similar dilemma- my son (27 months) was doing great while naked but couldn’t pull down underwear despite demonstrations and bribes. Potty training got out on hold for a couple of months due to travel… and now he can operate his pants! I started with loose elastic waist pants, then boxers and haven’t tried both drawers and oants yet, but it’s exciting! So time may be the only cure…

  8. Liz, I think you’re right about time being the only cure. Franci has been attempting to pull down her underwear all by herself, but even if she manages to get them down in front and back, they remain stuck between her chubby thighs!

  9. you got your pants down now keep going

  10. liz I could help her

  11. time and patience

  12. great ideas

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