Cloth Diapering Helped Me Potty Train

There are an abundant amount of parenting decisions and options available these days. One I didn’t ever really think about while I was pregnant was the decision of how to diaper my child. Naturally, when Costco had their diaper sale (hello $8 off!), we got a few boxes of multiple sizes. These plus the various brands we got from family and friends and we were sure to be set for a while after our baby was born. Months after our girl joined the family, I started researching different diaper brands and I kept finding information on cloth diapers

We made the transition relatively late with our first child, more out of desperation than anything.

Folliculitis, a skin disorder in which the hair follicles are irritated, plagued the bum of my oldest child and left me searching for alternative diapers, diaper creams or any other idea we could think of. The pediatrician ensured me it would ease up with time and would likely only go away once she wasn’t wearing diapers anymore and the irritant of a wet diaper rubbing against her skin was removed. But at 7 months old, this seems so far away. After much research, I jumped in and ordered our first set of cloth diapers from Amazon. While cloth diapering seemed so intimidating, it really wasn’t as big of a transition as I anticipated. I still changed her diaper as I did before, though now her diapers snapped rather than Velcro shut. 

Clothing diapering seemed to make her folliculitis somewhat better. I couldn’t tell if it was just my desire to see improvement and believe all my efforts were yielding some kind of positive outcome, or if she truly did just have flare ups from time to time regardless of type of diaper. I’ll pretend it was because I changed her quickly after wetting her diaper and she had a softer fabric on her bum. We stuck to the cloth diapers and the initial investment of choosing cloth over disposable diapers paid itself off by the time she was 1 year old. By the time she reached 14 months, she was handing me a new diaper and telling me when she wanted to be changed. The thing with cloth diapers is there are no magical super absorbent crystals that retain all fluids. Instead, it’s just a piece of fabric folded and lined inside a waterproof material known as PUL. It can be a bit more bulky, especially when wet and even for a toddler, creates a noticeably more wet feeling than a diaper. Yet this feeling of having a full wet diaper is what brought my child to the realization that she wanted a new fresh diaper all on her own. I was incredibly encouraged by the progress she made! 

Cloth diapering also became a way for her to express herself.

She was eager to pick her next diaper for her diaper change. There are so many wonderful prints – animals, food, colors, flowers, etc. She brought me the diaper that she decided she wanted to wear next. Ultimately, she didn’t fully potty train until she was 18 months due to fear of the big girl toilet for a while. We got an infant seat cover for the toilet and did the bare bottom method for a few days at home, but overall the last little transition to potty training went relatively smoothly. I am grateful that cloth diapers helped her realize the need to use the bathroom and that she had options other than staying in wet diaper. Her folliculitis did clear up as she switched to being completely potty trained. So we’ve put the cloth diapers away for now, but I am looking forward to using all the cloth diapers for the next child! 

Emily Miller
Emily is a dual citizen, residing in Lafayette, Louisiana, yet a temporary visitor in her other residency of Germany. She is a wife of four years and full time working mother to two kids: a 2.5 year old girl (C) and 5 month old boy (H). Having graduated from LSU with her bachelors, she continued her education by getting her Masters in Business Administration from UL. Working in management in retail, her schedule frequently varies and consists of unusual hours, but she embraces that as extra time with her children. While off the clock, Emily pours herself a cup of decaf coffee, plays in a room filled with toddler toys, teaches her children German, and attempts to be a scrunchy Montessori inspired mama with goals of raising independent children.


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