This post was originally published on the Kelly Wels blog. Post may contain affiliate links meaning if you click and buy I receive a small commission. Thank you. You may have heard that cloth diapered children potty train sooner. While I don’t doubt this is true with natural fibers (like cotton prefolds) it definitely was not the case in our house.
Pocket diapers with stay dry micro-fleece or suedecloth linings, and absorbent inserts kept my son’s tush nice and dry. When we got more serious about potty training/learning, we mostly stuck to just diapers (or trainers) with natural fiber inners. This helped him feel when he’s wet, and is much less gross than disposable training pants with added chemicals to provide a “feel cool” sensation!
I’ve written about potty training a few times, and I really believe that children do it when they’re ready. I can’t help but wonder if my son’s soft, squishy, minky diapers in all their pretty colors and prints (he has favorites) were harder to let go of than scratchy, crinkly paper diapers. I had gotten him some very cool trainers in equally awesome colors & prints, but he wanted no part of them in the beginning. He even gave all new fluff mail the “side-eye,” on the off chance I was trying to slide some training pants or undies past him!
For some children though, all the available colors and prints can be fun, and cloth trainers can be customized to be a step away from undies, or a step away from diapers. Disposable training pants are pretty much diapers, only more expensive.
Another reason why I think my cloth diapered child didn’t potty train earlier is because of my motivation. No, I don’t mean I don’t want to let go of my fluff; I mean if I were paying $12 for 20-23 diapers, I might not be as keen on my son leading the way! Especially since a disposable diaper is garbage whether it catches a tiny accident, or if it’s totally soaked.
In fact, writing this reminds me of a discussion on a parenting message board years ago. Moms with kids who sometimes stayed dry at night hated throwing away a dry pull-up that was worn for 8-10 hours. Some said re-using them was OK, others said it was gross; they wouldn’t wear undies for 8 hours & then wear them again the next night. (Right, they washed them, like a cloth diaper or trainer!)
I didn’t mind changing a few extra diapers between potty attempts, knowing I wasn’t throwing money away. Without the financial pressure of buying diapers, the whole process feelt less urgent, and I was happy to let my son learn in his own time, avoiding power struggles! Literally the day after I originally wrote this, my son asked for underwear. He is always proving me wrong even if I don’t actually say anything. 😉
How about you? Have you cloth diapered a child through potty age? Did they potty train earlier? Were you using “modern cloth” or prefolds?