Cloth Diapering A Toddler
Diapering a toddler can be quite challenging! When your your little one was just a baby, diapering was easy. They didn't resist having their diaper changed and lay contently while you did the job. As they got a little older, your baby started to want to play more, but with a toy or a song you could distract them long enough for a diaper change. As your child got older they suddenly had a mind of their own and a personality to match. Talk about going from one end of the spectrum to the other!
Diapering A Toddler: Their Changing Needs
As your baby gets older their diapering needs begin to change. Toddlers start to hold their pee for longer periods of time, which means that when they do go it tends to be a lot. Some moms refer to this as "flooding" their diapers. Toddlers also are now eating a wide range of foods, so needless to say, they have much larger poops.
You may find that when diapering a toddler simply using just a prefold or basic fitted will not be enough to hold all of this in. You may need to add a doubler or "upgrade" to a more absorbent diaper. Fitteds with more layers or pocket diapers are a great choice for toddlers. Or you may be considering potty training soon, so you might want to look into a diaper that can also doubler as a training pant, such as Antsy Pants. These types of diapers cost more, but might last longer since they work like a diaper or a trainer.
Now that your toddler is beginning to hold their pee in for longer periods of time, you will find that they will not need to be changed as often. This is great news for your pocket book, especially if you switch to a more expensive and absorbent diaper. You will probably find that diapering a toddler gets easier because they only needing to be changed 6-8 times day.
Finding A Diaper That Fits
One problem that I have come across when diapering a toddler is finding a cloth diaper that is big enough to accommodate your growing toddler. Some children will fall into an in between size while some will be too large even for larges. My almost 3 year can squeeze into the large setting on some one size diapers, but I'm not really sure how much longer they will fit. The same goes for large diaper covers and prefolds. He is a pretty tall guy, but he has a short rise, so finding a good fit is hard.
Luckily there are manufactures and WAHM's that make XL size cloth diapers for larger toddlers. Hanppy Heiny and Fuzzi Bunz both make XL size pocket diapers. Antsy Pants, which are diapers and trainers made just for toddlers. And of course there are toddler size prefolds, which are pretty big! Just make sure to read sizing charts carefully and measure your child before buying. And I have to add, this is another reason I love flats. They fit my toddler wonderfully, and with another smaller flat as a doubler they are very absorbent and trim! Not to mention super cheap!
Tips For Diapering A Toddler
Toddlers are always on the go, busy and into everything! That means he or she probably doesn't have time (at least in their mind) for diaper changes. I know with all of my sons they never wanted to stop what they were doing to change their diapers. My son Bastian doesn't even care if he has poop! He still does not want to be changed. So I have to come up with new tactics to make diaper changing easier.
One thing I find that helps is keeping him on a regular changing schedule. If he knows he's going to get changed every couple of hours he knows what to expect. It is a normal part of his routine. Also changing him right after he wakes up or goes to sleep is a good routine to keep him on. Sometimes telling my son he is going to get a diaper change will only cause him to run away, so just picking him up and changing him is the best route. When he is getting changed he can look at a book, play with a toy or we will talk and act silly.
I don't usually have many problems getting him to lay still, believe it or not. It's just the getting him to the changing table that is hard. You can also try giving your toddler a 5 mintute warning, like "I am going to change your diaper in 5 minutes". That way they know whats coming. Toddlers like to have some control in their lives, so anytime you can give them a choice that is also helpful. So you might ask them to pick a diaper out or help get the diapering things out, like a snappi or the wipes. My son loves to help me mix up our Booty Cubes in the water or flush the toilet after I dump poop.
A Learning Process
While diapering a toddler can be a bit challenging, with some creativity you can make it work. As you learn to guide your way through toddlerhood and the "terrible two's" you can take little moments like diaper changes to connect with your child and have a little fun. Just remember, your little one isn't going to be in diapers for much longer, so enjoy your cloth while you can. Good luck!
Return from Cloth Diapering A Toddler to Cloth Diaper Connection