Potty training and cloth diapers

I’ve been making a huge effort in the last week not to cover my blog in potty learning updates as we’ve been working with Little Sir to use the potty. However, if you follow me on Twitter you have definitely be inundated by updates. Sorry about that.

#pottytraining: guess who pooped in the potty & had NO pee accidents today?! This guy!

I’ll be doing a more in-depth outline of our methodology later – both on this blog and on the CottonBabies blog. Suffice it to say that we are not following any program exactly, it’s something we have kind of made up as we go along to fit Little Sir’s preferences and our family. I am sure it’s a very AP-type tactic – go with your heart, blah blah blah. And I’m sure we’ll use completely different methodology when we start Little Lady on potty learning.

I do have one quick thing to say about potty training and cloth diapers. I was told back in the pre-baby days, as I researched cloth diapers, that cloth would help my child potty train earlier and easier because he or she can feel wetness when wearing cloth diapers. The logic is that the child isn’t going to like being wet and will therefore be more likely to want to learn to use the potty and less likely to have accidents in their underwear.

Unfortunately, the feeling-the-wetness aspect of cloth diapers kind of backfired on us.

It’s true that Little Sir could tell when he was wet. One of the ways I knew he was ready to use the potty is that he was starting to come to me and ask for diaper changes:
Him: “Need a diaper change!”
Me: “Do you have poop?”
Him: “No, just pee”

When we started the first potty-training day, he refused to go naked as most programs suggested. He insisted on wearing something on his lower half, and he was very enthusiastic about his “racecar underwear” which he had picked out at the store. This is where the wetness aspect didn’t help us.

Instead of being shocked and uncomfortable when he peed in the underwear, it was normal for him. He was accustomed to feeling wet! No biggie. Why would I stop playing and go sit on the potty when I always feel wet when I pee? Gah. We had to explain to him over and over that wet underwear is NOT OK. What we want is to have dry underwear. He was clearly seeing underwear as just another form of cloth diaper, because even when it was dry he wanted a new pair after going to the potty. He just saw it as a cloth diaper change. Awesome.

Most likely, this is not the norm. I know by now that Little Sir tends to be the exception and not the rule. Most kids will accept being naked. Most kids will not enjoy being wet. He is just never like “most kids”.

The good news is, he’s really doing well so far. He understood after about a day that dry underwear is preferable (also there were bribes involved). He goes in the potty several times a day and has only a few accidents.

We’re having a lot of trouble with going in unfamiliar pottys when we’re out, though, so if you have any advice there – I’m all ears!

2 thoughts on “Potty training and cloth diapers”

  1. We put Avery in panties and she didn’t seem to give a crap about wetness either, at least not at first. We started training her right when she turned two which was not a good idea because she wasn’t ready. She’s three now and still has the occasional accident. Basically, you are going to try EVERYTHING and nothing is going to work until one day something just CLICKS and he’ll get it. Some kids can be trained in a week, some take longer. I know you are are pretty calm person but you’ll get frustrated or even mad when he has an accident. I suggest not letting him see how upset you are (and definitely don’t yell, that doesn’t help matters EVER) because then he won’t even tell you he has to go out of fear of making a mistake. Give it time, Jenny, and LS will totally get it. I swear, though, one day he’ll be peeing everywhere and the next? He’ll be using the toilet. It’s one of the most difficult things I’ve had to do so far as a parent. (Also, I hope you have a good carpet cleaner, keep it ready for accidents on the floor). Good luck!

  2. I second rocknroll’s comment. You train and teach, which is good, but until they make the decision for themselves, it’s all going to be on you.

    As for strange potties — I haven’t had that problem a lot. Recently, though, my barely-3 y.o. Learned that, if she has an accident at the park, we have to leave the park. So now when I tell her to use the potty when we are out somewhere she loves and doesn’t want to leave, she is motivated and she uses the potty. I don’t know if it’s will work for you right now, but maybe down the road when he is more confident.

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