Are cloth nappies the answer to early toilet training?

 

Is the simple answer Yes…when cloth nappies was all that was available pre 1960 the average age of toilet training was 12-18 months. We are now looking at average ages of 3 years old, and in some cases even 4 years old.

Here is an interesting article that was published in the Sydney Morning Herald in June last year.

Comments from Robin Barker, childhood nurse, include;

”It would seem now that many parents are not really potty training their children,” she says. They drift along and wait until the child is three or even four and hope they will come out of nappies in a couple of days. In effect, we have doubled the time that children are in nappies. There is also the feeling of, ‘What does it matter, what the hell’.

Barker believes the convenience of disposable nappies means there is less incentive for parents to train their children. There is also less incentive for children to learn because disposables keep moisture away from the skin, meaning tots no longer know what it feels like to be wet.

In Australia, 95 per cent of nappies used are disposable, up from 40 per cent in 1993. With the average baby changed six to eight times a day, this represents about 3000 nappies for each child a year. In Australia, disposable ”pull-up” nappies are now available for children 17 kilograms and over – the weight of an average four-year-old boy.

”The marketing techniques of disposable-nappy manufacturers have a lot to do with it. It doubles their profits to keep children in nappies for twice as long,” Barker says

She says the best results are achieved when training starts before the age of two and in conjunction with cloth nappies. ”Cloth nappies mean children understand the sensation of being wet.

This article confirms;

  •  not only have we contributed waste to landfill since the introduction of disposable nappies, but we doubled the expected impact by increasing the age we toilet train.
  • We are spending large amounts of money on nappies that we use once and then throw out (thanks to the well marketed disposable nappies/pull-ups).
  • Cloth Nappies are the answer to early toilet training.

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