9 Tips on Diaper Free Time and How to Do It Right

Newborn baby girl

When going through the diaper stage with your little one, you’re going to hear parents, in a similar situation, discuss a variety of topics around diapering. You’ll hear discussions being raised about the best nappy brand, should you go disposable or cloth and even, giving your baby diaper-free time. 

Find out in this article why it’s a good practice to adopt diaper-free time with your baby and how to do it with my 9 great tips. With my tips, you can ensure that both you and your baby enjoy those times without the mess! 🙂

Is Diaper-free Time Necessary for Babies?

Diaper-free time is often necessary for babies for two main reasons. One, to manage diaper rashes by giving the baby’s bottom a break from wearing diapers. Two, to introduce the concept of Elimination Communication (EC), so babies can learn to use the potty from an early age.  

9 Great Tips on How to Do Diaper Free Time

It helps to know why you’re going diaper-less with your baby. Is it to give your baby some time out of nappies because he or she is battling with diaper rashes? Or, are you practicing the EC approach? 

Some parents like to use naked time as an opportunity for their babies to move around freely when they’re learning to crawl and walk. Other parents are looking for cost-effective ways to save money. 

Whatever your reason, you’ll want to do it so it’s stress-free, without the mess, for both you and your baby. 

1. Know Your Baby’s Elimination Times

By tuning into your baby’s natural elimination pattern, you can plan for a relatively mess-free naked time. Knowing when your baby is most likely going to pee and poop helps you to be better prepared. This isn’t always a foolproof solution and it does mean you have to be on the lookout for the signals that indicate your baby wants to eliminate. 

In general, babies will relieve themselves during these times:

  • When waking up first thing in the morning
  • After being on a car trip or a stroll in their stroller
  • During or after feeding times

By planning a diaper-free schedule with the above patterns in mind, you can rest assured your baby’s naked time is mostly free of accidents.

2. Do It In Areas That Are Easy to Clean 

Do diaper-free time in areas that are easy to clean. Avoid carpeted areas when possible and use large beach towels or waterproof blankets. This Catalonia Waterproof Blanket gives your older baby a soft, fleece material to move around on while protecting your floor from leaks. 

You could also pick between the Hatch Baby Grow, Keekaroo, Bumbo or Skip Hop changing pads for extra protection. 

If the weather is warm outside, let your little one go naked while exploring the outdoors

3. Handling Baby Boy’s Sprinkling

Baby boys are known to sprinkle, far and wide, as soon as the diaper is removed. If the weather is not conducive for diaper-less time outdoors, let your baby boy lie on towels or waterproof blankets as mentioned in Tip #2. 

Some parents take advantage of the innovative Pee-Pee Teepees designed to stop the spray from reaching them during diaper changes. These cone-shaped, washable, and reusable devices will help minimize the mess of any pee during short periods of diaper-free time with baby boys who aren’t mobile yet. 

4. Fit in With Baby’s Daily Routine

Incorporate nappy-free time into your baby’s daily routine. Going diaper-less straight after a diaper change is a good time to let your baby go naked. You can also air your baby’s bottom 30 minutes before his bath time.

Playtime and tummy time is also good time to let your baby go nappy-free. Another perfect time to go nappy-free is straight after your baby has had a poop. This way, you won’t have to worry about another mess on the way!

Your baby’s nappy free time can be anything between 10 to 45 minutes at a time and as often as you feel is feasible. throughout the day. By incorporating this practice into your baby’s daily routine, it becomes less stressful trying to find other times in the day to do it.  

5. Use Organic Cloth Diapers

While using cloth diapers is not strictly going diaper-free, it’s a way to contain the mess and save on the cost of using expensive disposable nappies. Organic cloth diapers are also kinder to your baby’s bum being made of breathable fabrics constructed with natural materials. 

Some of the best organic diapers are well-priced making them an affordable option..

6. Dress Your Baby in the Right Clothing

Going diaper-free doesn’t necessarily mean your baby goes completely bare. While the bottom area may be free of wearing diapers, your baby’s upper body can be dressed with a vest or T-shirt. If you’re going diaper-less as part of the EC training process, you could use training pants, undies, or pull-ups for boys or girls. 

7. Be Observant

It helps to be observant of the signals that will tell you your baby is about to pee or poop. This way, you can avoid messy accidents from happening. Get familiar with your baby’s signs that show he’s about to tinkle or make a poo. You can then catch them before they act and get them to the potty in time.

Typical signals to look out for include:

  • Wriggling or squirming
  • Throwing arms around
  • Going red in the face
  • Pulling grimaces
  • Making grunts or starting to cry

The more observant you are of your baby’s elimination signals, the better prepared you are to avoid having to clean up after an accident. 

8. Keep a Potty Nearby

If you’re practicing EC, it’s a good idea to have the potty nearby during the times your baby’s diaper-free. This will save you wasting time searching for it at the last minute! It’s also essential to have a potty that’s easy to use when holding your smaller baby over it. 

9. Make Nappy Free Time Fun

Some babies may feel uncomfortable going nappy free so make it a fun time for them. This helps to keep them distracted from the fact that they’re not wearing a diaper. Depending on the age of your baby, use toys and books to keep them entertained. 

Mobiles and rattles work well for babies having diaper-less time in the crib. For toddlers, you could read them the Dino Potty: Learn to Potty with Dino book with engaging illustrations and fun rhymes. Your toddler boy or girl will find potty time fun with this book! 

Benefits of Diaper Free Time

For Babies

  • Less expenses: Babies go through a lot of disposable diapers which gets costly in the long run. By picking times for your baby to not wear diapers, you’re decreasing the number of nappies they need to wear every day. This will save you a lot of money.
  • Less diaper rashes: Your baby’s skin is soft and sensitive. Diapers contain various substances that may cause your baby to get bottom rashes. By limiting the amount of time your baby wears diapers, you’re keeping rashes away. Exposing your baby’s bottom to air also helps to heal nasty skin rashes. 
  • Better observation skills: If you want to use the EC process from the newborn stage, you need to improve on your observation skills. Diaper-free time is also the best opportunity for you to learn the cues that indicate your baby is ready for the potty. 

Watch this video and see why dermatologists recommend using diaper-free time for skin rashes.

For Toddlers

  • Free movement: When your toddler wants to move around, they don’t want to feel restricted by bulky nappies. Your toddler will feel less inhibited while being mobile which is essential for both growth and development. 
  • Improved body function awareness: Your toddler will have a better awareness of his body functions when not kept in diapers all the time. He’ll learn to associate his urges to pee and poop with the need to go to the potty. 
  • Easier toilet training: Toddlers with more diaper-free time will learn to use the potty or toilet faster. This makes toilet training easier for the parent who wants their toddler to stop wearing diapers altogether. 

When to Do Nappy Free Time for Newborn and Toddler

At What Age Should You Start Nappy Free Time

Advocates of the EC method such as Dr. Jeffrey Bender and Dr. Rosemary will tell you that you can start nappy-free time from a newborn. But, you can also use nappy free time for managing diaper rashes from as young as a 1-month old. Some parents do wait until their baby is a bit older, from 3 to 6 months old, before giving him more time without a diaper. 

Toddlers from 2 years old are ready for potty training and this is a good time to start introducing nappy-free time if you haven’t been doing it beforehand. However, it’s a good idea to dress your toddler in training pants while they get used to not wearing diapers.  

Should You Do Nappy Free Time in Winter?

You can go nappy-free during winter as long as your baby is comfortable. Ensure the room is warm and keep your baby’s legs covered, either with leg warmers or dressing them in long pants. You could also use cloth diapers during winter if you’re worried about them being exposed to the cold weather for too long. 

How Often Should You Do Nappy Free Time?

How often you do nappy-free time is a personal preference. Once a day is ideal for newborn babies. Incorporate it into their daily routine such as at playtime or before bath time. With older babies, you can do it more often throughout the day. Some parents may only have the time to do nappy free time on weekends when they’re not working and that is fine too. 

How Much Diaper-Free Time You Should Implement Daily

Newborn babies are comfortable with diaper-free time that runs for about 5 to 10 minutes. Older babies can go for as long as 30 to 45 minutes while toddlers can go for even longer periods without a diaper. Once again, the length of time depends on you and when you’re available.


Going diaper-free is easy once you know how! And, it comes with so many benefits. Your baby will thank you if he suffers from diaper rashes. Plus, it’ll help you practice EC. 

And, if you’re an eco-conscious parent looking for cost-effective, environmentally friendly solutions to using diapers, here’s your answer!

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