Four and a half months ago, in early April, I shared a cloth diaper conundrum with you. To sum up, this was the situation:
- My son Jacob was toilet-trained during the day.
- He was two and a half, and hurtling headlong towards his third birthday.
- His existing cloth diapers weren’t working so well anymore, and I was loathe to lay out cash for new ones since I anticipated that we’d try night-time toilet training in a few months.
- I didn’t really want to buy disposable diapers, either.
Oh, the hand-wringing!
My problem was actually solved a couple of months ago, but I haven’t blogged about it until now because I wanted to make sure everything was really set before I wrote something and jinxed myself. I have been burned by the curse of the internet before, and I have learned not to run my mouth off online at the early stages of a developmental milestone. It’s the surest way to ensure that your kid decides to hold off walking another three months, or never sits on the potty again.
So, here’s how everything actually played out. Sometime around May, Jacob’s diapers totally gave up and I decided to buy a package of disposables. I opted for Seventh Generation diapers in an effort to be slightly less environmentally catastrophic, but I noticed that Jacob was dry at night about half the time, so when those were done I bought a big box of Pull-Ups. I chose them because I could sit Jacob on the potty before I went to sleep at night, as well as first thing in the morning, without having to deal with un-fastening and re-fastening tabs.
And then, sometime around June, we got to the end of the Pull-Ups, and I decided to go for it. We stopped using the night-time diaper altogether and pulled out the protective pads and waterproof mattress cover. And, I am happy to say, things went very well. Jacob sits on the potty before he goes to sleep at night, and I sit him on it again before I go to sleep myself. As long as I take him for that midnight pee he’s generally dry. We have had maybe five accidents total, and he’s even started asking to pee when he wakes up at night.
So, it seems, my gamble paid off. I used cloth diapers for two and a half years, and then in the end I bought a couple of packs of disposables to see me through the gap until Jacob was ready to ditch the night-time diaper. Would it have been better to avoid disposables altogether? Perhaps. But buying new cloth diapers for a two-month window feels like it would have been overkill, particularly since I’m not currently planning another child.
I have to say that I was nervous about toilet-training my son, since conventional wisdom says that boys are harder to potty train than girls, but so far that has not proven to be the case for us. I’m knocking wood as I write that sentence, but it’s the truth. Both kids brought high points and low points on their journey to potty mastery, but in the end Jacob was dry during the day at around the same age that Hannah was, and he’s now dry at night about six months before Hannah was. Perhaps, in the end, an individual child’s developmental curve matters more than their gender.
What was night-time toilet training like for you? Did your kids get it fairly quickly after toilet training during the day, or did the night-time diapers hang around for years? And did you notice a difference between your boys and your girls? I’m curious!