Over the last week, I have been drafting an article for the Manly Co-op‘s member newsletter about my experience with the fabulous Modern Cloth Nappy. It has been a wonderful way for me to continue to learn more about the cloth movement in Australia and to really focus in on the impact disposables have. We all know of or have heard the standard financial costs and environmental issues with disposables but in my research it was the not so obvious impacts that really stood out.
I had contacted the Australian Nappy Association to see if they have any statistics that I could use for my article. This turned out to be a smart move as one of the lovelies wrote back to me, within a day, providing me with stats and links. BONUS. As I read her message and scanned the facts, stats and links – one jumped out at me and I read it first…Nappies staying on longer says Robin Baker.
The article goes on to ask the question ‘Are modern kids emerging out of nappies much later than children several decades ago?’ Once upon a time, two years of age was the magic number to start toilet training. However, single-use disposable nappies along with the ‘let the child decide approach’ may be providing a disincentive to start toilet-training. I am about to read the paper by Anna Christie titled Toilet Training of Infants and Children in Australia, which was released by UNSW in 2010 to find out more. I’ll keep you posted!
I love how our cloth nappy journey keeps engaging me and opening up new avenues of education. The Hubby & I were recently browsing our baby books to do some milestone comparisons with our little ladybug and we read that I was toilet trained at 2 years and 3 months. I was in cloth. My hubby was in cloth too and I texted his Mum to find out his finish line. 15 months was the Hubby’s starting point and she remembered it didn’t take long at all, maybe two months but a bit longer at night.
I had always heard that cloth bum babies toilet-trained faster but I didn’t really know why. However, when our little ladybug was in her fifth month, I got my first clue…she was starting to show more of a routine with her wees and poos. She was quite regular in the mornings and it always seemed that she would wait to ‘go’ when I took the nappy off on the change table. Ugh! So one morning, I decided to hold her on the toilet seat during change time. I sat in front of her, rubbed her back and sang for a few minutes. Nothing. We did it again the next morning and…splash down! We all laughed (even the bub) and cheered and then it dawned on me that I have just saved one more cloth soaker pad a day from a spray off. WINNING!
She continued to be this regular for the next two weeks and then we flew back to Australia from overseas and threw our schedules all out for awhile. Nonetheless, I learned that cloth makes you and your baby more aware of their nappy and provides great incentives and tools. For example, the baby has a reference point of when they are very wet whereas disposables are designed for the ‘stay dry’ feeling. And the Parents know that the earlier they start toilet training, the less loads of washing will be in their immediate future. TICK!