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A friend of mine has a baby girl thats been in disposable diapers for about 4 months. Recently she made the switch to cloth diapers which has been fine expect she noticed that her baby won't pee in them. The baby will hold it until the cloth diaper is removed at which point she will pee. When my friend puts her baby back in disposable diapers there is no peeing issues.

Any suggestions besides infant potty training?

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    How old is the baby, four months? I imagine that the problem is that cloth diapers feel more wet than disposables. Personally I'd be excited to have potty training begin so early, but it can be a bigger challenge with a child who's still learning how to sit up... – Acire Apr 27 '15 at 1:59
  • @Erica The baby is a little more than 4 months old. I think my friend has similar thoughts to infant potty training. – Steve Moser Apr 27 '15 at 2:01
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    I think what @Erica mentions is exactly it: cloth diapers aren't as absorbent so they feel 'wetter', which may be uncomfortable for her. Potty training is often considered to be easier when using cloth diapers for that reason, as children have an easier time understanding the physical cues. – Joe Apr 27 '15 at 3:10
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The root cause may be that the baby is more sensitive to wet diapers, and therefore holds back. Cloth diapers generally feel more wet than disposables from the same amount of fluid; disposables are designed to draw all the moisture away and bind it in gels.

There are probably only a few options, none of which seem really great to me:

  1. Go back to disposables. I don't really like this on a personal level, I'm pro-cloth — but only so long as it's working for the parents and child, and it seems like the baby isn't a fan of cloth.
  2. Look for a different cloth diaper. The "traditional" cloth diaper (also called a prefold) is just a cotton cloth folded around the baby's bottom. These make amazing burp cloths, but they will very quickly feel damp and cold once wet. Some other cloth diaper designs (fitted diapers or all-in-one diapers) still use the same basic design, but with integrated snaps and elastic for easier fit (and less leg leakage) — they'll still feel wet quickly.

    It's possible that a pocket diaper, which has an absorbent cotton insert covered by a fleece lining, would provide enough of a buffer that the baby wouldn't notice (or wouldn't be as bothered) when she's wet. There are also different brands of pocket diapers, one of which might be "dryer" than others.

    The downside is that cloth diapers are expensive and buying a different brand may not even solve the problem. An interim experiment could be to sew a light fleece layer into one of the cloth diapers and see if that makes any noticeable difference for the baby.

  3. Consider potty training. Baby seems ready, there are less diapers to wash, and every other mom will be jealous ;) However, it's more work with a child who's too young to even sit up easily, compared to a toddler who can crawl or walk to the potty and is able to help remove pants.... and you did say options besides potty training! Consider this the option of last resort.
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  • Option 3 is the best, imho. Yes it's more work now, but this means it will be far less work later. – NotMe Apr 27 '15 at 15:15
  • It may depend -- a stay at home parent has some leeway with dealing with early potty training, but many daycare facilities may not expect or want to toilet train an infant. Certainly a possibility to explore, though! – Acire Apr 27 '15 at 15:33

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