filed under: eco toddler, green baby, green diapers, kids health, parenting
Before disposable diapers were introduced in the ’50s, 95 percent of children were potty trained by 18 months. So why do most parents today focus their potty training efforts between the ages of 2 and 4 years old? Recent research shows delaying potty training can come with health problems. And even if you’ve found a cloth diaper that works for you and your child and you’ve made the commitment to stay away from disposables, diapers still have a heavy impact on the planet due to the water and energy required to wash them — the Real Diaper Association estimates each baby requires roughly 6,000 diaper changes in the first two years. So naturally, the sooner you can get your child out of diapers, the better! Here’s why some parents delay potty training and how you can get it done earlier.
The Trouble With Waiting
Beyond the environmental costs of keeping kids in diapers, pediatricians sometimes find that kids who ditch diapers later are more likely to have issues with incomplete voiding, which can lead to urinary tract infections. Constipation and refusing to go number two are also more common when potty training older children.
Why Parents Delay
When having a kid in diapers costs about $66 a month, why are parents dragging their feet? Currently, the average age of potty training in the US is 37 months, which is a an all-time high and double the average toilet training age of kids in nearly 50 countries. And as we’re getting ready to send our four-year-olds off to preschool for the first time, some parents struggle to meet the potty training deadline of the first day of school.
Experts say the disposable diaper industry plays a big part in the shift of average potty training times. Parents can buy disposable diapers and pull ups in sizes as big as 6, making later potty training socially acceptable. Plenty of parenting books and even the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend waiting until kids are physically and emotionally ready for toilet training, which includes being able to verbally communicate their wants and needs. Many parents say this lack of communication ability is frustrating to them and their kids in the potty training process. And parents who wait until their children are talking, often after age 2, have moved into the tricky development stage of saying, “no” to everything.
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