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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

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Cloth Diapering and Older Toddler

I take a pretty relaxed approach to potty training and let my child tell me when he's ready instead of me telling him. Using this method on my oldest son meant that he more or less trained himself to use the potty in a matter of days right around his third birthday. I have taken this approach with my second son as well so when he still wasn’t interested in using the potty by 30 months, then 33 months I didn't think much of it and figured that using the potty was just around the corner. When Dub turned three I got some cloth trainers and a potty figuring that he would soon be interested.

Well, that was over two months ago and he’s still not interested in the potty at all so we're still in cloth diapers full-time. As Dub gets older and bigger I am finding that diapering him as an older toddler is quite a bit different from cloth diapering a baby and younger toddler. He eliminates more waste, he moves a lot more, and he is often too busy for diaper changes. This means that I need diapers that allow for fast changes and that have more absorbency than before without being too thick for him to wear pants.

I used to be one of those people who had to match inserts with the diaper they came with. No exceptions. Now I have gotten over that and am finding that I like to use prefolds as inserts. I am also swapping out pockets in favor of AI2s and covers with prefolds. For the greatest amount of absorbency with the least amount of bulk I find that natural fibers do the job wonderfully.

Another change from cloth diapering him as a baby is that while his one size diapers still fit, I am starting to prefer sized diapers or two size systems. They give him a more custom fit so we have less issues with leaking out of the legs. My personal favorites two size systems for diapering my older toddler have been AppleCheeks envelope covers and the Blueberry Capri with prefolds. For sized diapers I love the Blueberry Simplex.

Cloth diapering a three-year-old at night is also a bit tricky. For this we love wool covers with a good quality fitted. We use PUL covers with a fitted or a prefold wrapped around a high quality, thick bamboo insert which works well for us but the wool works a bit better at this stage.

In addition to changing the kinds of diapers that I prefer, my wash routine has changed a little as he’s gotten older. Instead of the cold pre-rinse I use to do, now I do a warm wash on the handwash (or gentle) setting without detergent and switched exclusively to hot water when I used to use warm. I have also found that I need to add a little more detergent than before in order to get rid of stubborn toddler stains and odors.

While cloth diapering an older toddler may require you to change-up your routine a bit, it is still very doable.

Bio: Regan is the mom of two boys, a toddler and a teenager. She enjoys going greener, writing, baking, and baseball. You can find her blogging about a little of everything over at

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