If you’re in the early steps of researching cloth diapers, you’ve probably read that you only need to buy cloth diapers once because they grow with your child and fit from birth to potty-training. That’s great news, right? But how exactly do one-size cloth diapers work?
With our cloth diapers, you can expect them to fit from 10 – 35 pounds depending on your baby’s shape and size. Our one-size cloth diapers feature snaps that can be adjusted to fit small, medium and large babies. The smallest rise setting (completely snapped) works best for babies 8-16 pounds. Medium, or middle snap, fits babies weighing 17-22 pounds, and completely unsnapped fits babies 23-35 pounds.
In the 1950s when nearly all infants used cloth diapers it was estimated that 95% were potty-trained by 18 months. Fast forward to today where 95% of babies at the age of 18 months are now in disposables instead, with only around 10% potty-trained. Furthermore, the average age for completion of training has advanced from 18 months to 36 months+. Given that an average child will use anywhere from 2,000 to 3,000 diapers per year, these additional months of disposable diaper add to a lot of plastic & waste in our landfills. In an article by the Huffington Post Who Decides When to Potty Train: You, Baby or Big Diapers? They explain what has changed.
Linda Sonna, author of “Early Start Potty Training” explains that the “child-oriented approach” to training began in 1961 when big pharma companies started test-marketing the first disposable diaper. They “began looking for a pediatrician to promote them”, she explains in her book, “it signed up T. Berry Brazelton, who began extolling the merits of the company’s product and recommending that parents not begin potty training before children are physically, mentally, and emotionally ready.” Extending the dependency of parents use and consumption of disposable diapers, pretty smart no?
Even child-raising guru Dr. Benjamin Spock advocated for this change “Spock used to say younger was better, 14 months was considered late for training,” Sonna discovered while researching for her book. With the power and influence of large advertising budgets, this advice to extend the use of diapers began to change the nation’s ideas about when a child was ready for the toilet.
But now, nearly a half century after the first disposable diaper hit the market, there is a growing backlash against child choice potty training. Partly motivated by the huge impact of diapers on our landfills and water supplies (all that untreated sewage) and their potentially toxic chemicals (dyes, fragrances, toluene, xylene, ethylbenzene, dipentene and super absorbency gels (SAP)), an increasing number of parents, healthcare providers, and authors are calling for more environmentally friendly options (hello, cloth diapers!) as well as a return to early toilet training.
Using disposable diapers completely decreases the ability for baby to feel how wet or dirty he or she is-all thanks to the harsh, unnatural chemical called sodium polyacrylate that fills disposable diapers. Because cloth diapers don’t contain any of these absorbency gels, your baby can recognize the feeling of wetness. Over time this allows your baby to learn and connect the sensation of a full bladder to the soon-to-follow sensation of wetness in his/her diaper, and if this sensation is uncomfortable, they will cry, be changed, and their preference for a dry bottom is reinforced. This pattern creates that ‘potty-awareness’ connection which is the first step to a successful training from diaper to potty.
Can we make the claim that all cloth diapered babies will transition from diapers to the potty early or easily? Unfortunately, we can’t. But from our experience, we’ve noticed a difference between disposable-diapered and cloth-diapered children’s potty-learning trajectories. Have you?
Do you think the type of fibers against your baby’s skin made a difference in the speed or ease of your child’s transition to using the toilet?
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When building a cloth diaper stash we recommend considering additional inserts. They can help with additional absorbency, avoiding tummy leaks among boys and cloth diapering newborns. Learn why.