The great diaper debate

Our three year old son is still proudly wearing diapers, and there is no inkling of interest in sitting on the potty anytime soon. I realize that these things can change over night, and that some kids need more of a nudge than others. But to be honest, I LOVE diapers. They’re easy, and don’t require you to drive around with a potty in your car, or find the nearest toilet every time you walk in a building, or pull over to the side of the road for a quick pee behind a tree, or clean up accidents all over your house, your vehicle or any other place you might visit. So I’m not nudging. I do occasionally ask if he wants to sit on the potty, and he always says “no” and goes about his business. Every so often I pull out his Lightening McQueen underpants to see if they provide any inspiration, but they never do. He likes his diapers…they’re the one “baby” thing he has left and he’s just not ready to give them up.

In my defense, I’m not a pushover about many things with my kids. When I thought our son needed to lose his pacifier, we took it away cold turkey, and replaced it with “Little Black Fan” (literally, a small black electric fan that he adores)…his treat from the paci-fairy. I’m a drill sergeant when it comes to sleep training, and our kids ate what we were eating as soon as they could chew it. But for some reason, I just can’t get all tough-love on the potty training thing with our second child.

Our daughter was a completely different story. She potty trained with relative ease at 27 months, and was dry at night before she turned 3. Once she caught a glimpse of big girl panties, she never looked back. She also wore cloth diapers for almost her entire first year…perhaps that made it easier for her? With our son, we tried cloth and it lasted all of about 2 months. Again…I whimped out and went straight to Luvs.

But now that I’ve gone all earth-mother, I’m starting to feel a little guilty about our dependence on diapers. I just read this article today on the NRDC’s “This Green Life” site about diapers, and I’m thinking I’m going to have to step it up. This article suggests that we start potty training our kids immediately–at birth, when they’re newborns, when they can’t even freakin’ hold their heads up. So, I was three years late and about 6000 Luvs short of accomplishing that goal. The NRDC article also revisits the whole cloth vs. disposable arguement. I could consider going back to cloth at this point as a way of motivating my stubborn kid. Or I could consider something like the gDiaper, which consists of colorful cloth pants and snap-in liners with inserts made primarily of fluffed wood pulp. But somehow I don’t think their Med/Lg size refers to a 35 pounder who knows his colors and shapes and recognizes his letters.

Time for me to shake off my lazies and get this kid sitting on the toilet. I’m not above a bribe…M&Ms anyone?

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3 Responses to The great diaper debate

  1. Karen says:

    I was very frustrated as well with potty training. When I was researching potty training a common theme seemed to be praise and positive reinforcement. I came across a website called We hung it in the kitchen and named the little boy on the front of the package, Bobby. My son could not wait to go to the potty so he could push the button, hear the praising message, and get his chocolate reward from, Bobby. It really got my son excited about using the potty himself and it was fun for him. Because he became so involved, potty training was easy. So give it a try. Good Luck!

  2. carrievoris says:

    I am not above a bribe either. M&M’s worked on me 30+ years ago, they worked on my now 4-year old and they will be brought out yet again as my 18 month old shows interest. They are like baby “crack” – very addictive and powerful….but they work!

    Good luck!

  3. lelly says:

    i’ve felt a little sketchy about the whole potty-train-your-newborn movement, as it relates to us. here. in america.

    we used to sprinkle colored confetti (hole punch/tissue paper/easy to do while watching tv) into the toilet bowl, and we would challenge our son to ‘sink’ the colored circles. i won’t say that this approach potty trained our son, but it definitely made the training a lot more fun.

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