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Do Disposable Diapers Make Potty Training Harder?
It is possible, while not scientifically proven, that disposable diapers can make potty training harder for your child. Generations ago, when children were strictly cloth diapered, they potty trained on average, faster than children today. It could be that the modern disposable diaper makes it harder for your child to be potty trained.
One of the biggest improvements that have been made in the disposable diaper industry over the last decade, is how quickly the diapers absorb moisture. The obvious advantage of this is that it keeps the baby’s skin dry and prevents diaper rash. Unfortunately, your child does not feel the discomfort of being wet. This may discourage them from eliminating in the toilet since there is no benefit to them if they are able to pee in their diaper and remain dry.
This may also impede potty training because the child is not given the opportunity to learn the correlation between the urge to urinate and the act. Often it is recommended to allow children to remain without pants or a diaper at home, to allow them the opportunity to learn the consequences of having a full bladder. Without the child having the chance to feel the sensation of wetness, they may be delayed in connecting that feeling with the urge to pee.
The diaper companies also cater to an older age group of children. It has become socially acceptable to have an older child wearing diapers. Although a parent should never feel socially pressured to potty train their child, they are being assured by the industry that there is no rush, thus causing a delay in transitioning their child to underwear.
All these factors combined may make it difficult for parents to catch the moments their child is ready to pee, thus losing opportunity to place the child on the potty.
So what other options do you have as a parent? You can always consider switching to cloth diapering, which has many other benefits as well (low cost, environmentally friendlier, etc.). You can also wait until your child is at an appropriate age for potty training and switch them to underwear and use a protective plastic covering to avoid messes, or if appropriate, you can allow your child to remain bare bottomed and watch for signs of needing to urinate.
It’s not to say that disposable diapers will absolutely hinder potty training. There are many other factors that may be interrupting your child’s success, but if you are struggling to have your child use the toilet you may want to consider the type of diaper you use. A temporary switch to an alternate method of diapering may be the key to having your child learn to use the potty.
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