When you want to help your baby use a potty, the kind of nappy you use can make or break your success. That’s because when you baby needs to go potty, speed is the essence of success. Read on to find out which nappy system is best for pottying and why.
What kinds of nappies are there?
There are 7 basic systems when it comes to dressing your babies bottom. In order of absorbency, with 1 being least absorbent to 7 the most absorbent, they are:
- No nappy
- Training pants
- Cloth and Belt
- Drop flap nappy
- Cloth nappy
- Disposable nappy / pull-ups.
Each of the above systems have their pros and cons, and pretty much all of them have a place in your pottying wardrobe. Focussing on the positive, here’s what I think each one is good for, based on my own experience:
1. No nappy is good for….
Close observation time, very young babies (0-3 months), at start of potty training, nap times after toileting.
TIP: use split pants to keep baby warm!
2. Underwear is good for…..
After potty training (and rest of life in general), close observation at home any age. What I like is to use the with a disposable insert such as ‘Dry Like Me” or Tena Lady pads, for extra back-up.
TIP: Finding small sizes can be tricky. Check out Tiny Undies as pictured.
3. Training pants are good for….
Prior to formal potty training, at nursery / daycare as back-up, at home any age,back-up at nap times after toileting, short outings after toileting (any age), travelling (older babies), during potty training.
Tip: make sure the ones you choose is properly absorbent – most are not. I like these as pictured).
4. Nappy belt and cloth is good for…..
Saving money! At home all ages, especially young babies. Back up at nap times all ages, observation time, when pottying frequently at home or out and about. This system is also good with split crotch clothing and you can use a cover for waterproofing if needed. (Between you and me, this is the system I use the most). You can read more about this system on my Go Potty page.
TIP: Make your own with my template and tutorial.
5. Flaparaps / Drop-flap design nappy is good for…….
Babies 3/4 months old and up, wriggly babies / babies on the move, moderately close observation (home or nursery), back up at nap times post toileting for older babies, out and about with frequent pottying, away from home with access to washing facilities, night time if doing EC at night or older babies.
TIP: Combine with split crotch clothing for extra speed.
6. Cloth nappy is good for…..
All ages, especially babies on milk only (pre-solids), timing method (offering potty at certain times only), when catching poo’s only, when you can’t really observe closely or offer a potty regularly (day or night).
TIP: change as soon as you know they are wet. That way, you are teaching that clean & dry is the norm.
7. Disposable nappy / pull-ups are good for…..
Night time pre-toilet training/EC completion (dryness may help with sleep), when travelling if no access to washing machine, during illness when baby is too upset or ill to potty (especially if has a runny bottom).
TIP: avoid in the early weeks, when you will just spend a ton on changing them all the time. During this time, try and use cloth or nappy belt and cloth. Also, try and reduce your carbon and landfill footprint by choosing a more biodegradable option such as Naty, Beaming Baby etc.
So which nappy is best for pottying?
That’s right, you’ve guessed it: the quick and simple answer is there is no ONE system that works best, all the time.
When you help your baby use a potty, you will have good days and bad days/weeks/months. Baby pottying (like babies in general), is like a spring day – bright skies and sun one minute, and rain and clouds the next.
The best nappy depends on whether you want to potty frequently at that time, or only sometimes. It depends on how your baby is dressed, what the weather is like, what environment your baby is in, who you are with etc etc. Then there are things relating to your baby in terms of their age and development …….combined this makes for a lot of changing factors. No single system can meet all that at once.
Your motivation is also a key factor. If you’re highly motivated, and your baby is compliant, then you can get away with using hardly any nappies. Alternatively, if you’re motivation is low (and it can be for many reasons), you may feel you can’t go without a nappy.
What does Little Bunny Bear use most?
Having had two babies and been fairly obsessive about finding the best way to do things, I have a whole range of things in my nappy armoury. But, without a doubt, my go to system has to be nappy belt and cloth (usually without a cover). It just has so many advantages when it comes to pottying, and it super simple to use as well as cheap. You can read more about that particular system here. But alongside that we also use a variety of cloth nappies, a flaparap, pants and also disposables.
So, my advice is dont invest too heavily in any one system. Pick and mix. That way you can choose the best nappy for you and your baby at that particular time.
Happy pottying! …oh and please do leave a comment to share your experiences, or just to say hello!
Read more on How to use a nappy belt and cloth