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’s definitely not the case in our house.
Pocket diapers with stay dry micro-fleece or suedecloth linings, and absorbent inserts keep my son’s tush nice and dry. When we get more serious about potty training/learning, I will probably stick to just diapers (or trainers) with natural fiber inners. This will help 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) are harder to let go of than scratchy, crinkly paper diapers. I’ve gotten him some very cool trainers in equally awesome colors & prints, but he wants no part of them. He even gives all new fluff mail the “side-eye,” on the off chance I’m 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 isn’t potty training 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!)
For now, I don’t mind changing a few extra diapers between potty attempts, knowing I’m not throwing money away. Without the financial pressure of buying diapers, the whole process feels less urgent, and I’m happy to let my son learn in his own time, avoiding power struggles! edit: literally the day after I 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?