Potty Training with Cloth Diapers

Potty Training with Cloth Diapers

Ask any parent who has cloth diapered, and they’ll tell you that while potty training is an incredibly exciting milestone, it’s also a bittersweet one!

Nicole, our lovely Operations Assistant here at Esembly, had heard this many times. But as she recently found herself at this milestone's doorstep with her son, Everett, our whole team of mamas couldn't help but share in the emotions with her! And as we shared in the feels, many of us were reminded of what it was like when our little ones reached this turning point (🥲) and remembered all the questions we wished we’d had answers to.

We asked Nicole if she’d be up for sharing some of her experiences potty training Everett after cloth diapering from birth, and happily, she said yes! In this blog post, we’re diving into our Q + A with Nicole, filled with helpful tips, tricks, and shared experiences that bring a sense of community and support to the journey of parenthood. Because that’s what we’re all about!

Q: When did you start potty training Everett?

A: We started potty training Everett at the end of May 2024. We’re about a month in, and it’s been quite the adventure so far!

Q: Why did you and Eric choose cloth diapering for Everett?

A: Eric and I really didn’t want to use disposables because of the waste they generate. We wanted to try something environmentally friendly that would also save us money. Cloth diapering seemed like the perfect fit for our values.

(be sure to check out this post if you’re curious about some of the benefits of cloth diapering!)

Q: How did you discover Esembly?

A: We learned about Esembly through a partnership with Babylist while creating our baby registry. After doing some research on cloth diapering and reading more about Esembly, we were hooked! We added some Inners, Outers, and a Pail Pouch to the registry and never looked back!


Q: When did you start using Esembly cloth diapers on Everett?

A: We started using our Size 1 cloth diapers when Everett was around 6-7 weeks old. (He was on the smaller side, and I didn’t know about the ruffle tuck* then!) 

*you can learn more about one of our favorite “hacks”, the Ruffle Tuck, here!

Q: And of course, you eventually started working for us here at Esembly! Can you share how this happened?

A: Having fallen in love with the diapers, accessories, and the company itself (women-owned and environmentally conscious!), I knew I wanted to work for them. I sent a DM on Instagram, which led to emails with Liz (our co-founder and CEO!) over a year and a half. Eventually, the stars aligned, and I started part-time in customer support in May 2023, transitioning to full-time in May 2024.

Q: How did you prepare for potty training Everett?

A: My husband, Eric, and I did our research, which included reading Esembly’s potty training blog. We figured out what would work best for us and Everett. We bought a potty to introduce him to the concept, and Everett peed and pooped on the potty for the first time at 27 months.

Q: What was Everett’s initial response to potty training?

A: As mentioned, Everett first used the potty at 27 months after we introduced him to the concept. He would sporadically go on the potty over the next few months, but we didn’t dive into full potty training until he was 33 months old.

Q: What potty training method did you use?

A: We did the nakie 3-day weekend where we stayed close to home. Then we moved to commando with shorts/pants, and finally to training underwear. The day before we started, we took Everett to Target to pick out his underwear. Bluey, Cars, and space-themed undies were the winners!

Q: How did you help Everett understand the feeling of needing to pee?

A: The first weekend, we pumped him with extra liquids so he could learn the pee feeling. Perhaps too much the first morning, but we’ve since learned his potty patterns and how long he can hold it. It all seems to be clicking for him, and we’re so proud!

Q: How is Everett doing with potty training now?

A: Everett is doing great! He’s had multiple out-of-the-house pees so far, and we’re working on getting him comfortable enough to go to the bathroom consistently at school. We’re now using training underwear at naps (he’s had a string of dry naps - yay!) and pull-ups only overnight.

Q: What was it like transitioning away from cloth diapers?

A: It was so bittersweet packing up our Size 1s and sending them to new owners. Saying goodbye to our diapers for potty training was another emotional moment. We had so many great memories with them.

Q: Do you have any favorite Esembly cloth diaper prints?

A: It’s tough to choose, but a few of my favorite Outers were BPP Circuit, Forest, and Graphite.

Q: Did you use any potty-related books to help with training?

A: Yes! Our go-to potty-related books were "What’s a Potty For?", "Time to Go Potty!", "Potty Time with Elmo," and "Peppa Pig - Let’s Go Potty!" Everett really only seemed interested in these over the 3-day potty training weekend, but they were a big help.

Q: Any additional tips or resources that helped you?

A: Facebook Marketplace was a lifesaver! I got a couple of the potty-related books and an extra potty there. It’s always great to find good deals and connect with other parents. 

Another great tool is the little sticker chart we made! (see below) At the very beginning we did little stickers for if he just sat on the potty and big stickers if he actually did pee or poop. Then once potty training weekend started, we just did a sticker whenever he peed or pooped. We kept things simple and just went day by day :)  

Q: We gotta ask: any advice or final words you’d like to share with any parents who might be getting ready to potty train?

Be ready to unlock an entire new level of patience 😅 And also, your kid is probably ready for potty training earlier than you think they actually are! We kept waiting for our own personal reasons but looking back I’m pretty sure we could have had success had we jumped right in at 27 months. 

A huge thank you to Nicole for sharing her experience, and way to go Everett! We hope those reading found this helpful. And in case it was missed, be sure to check out this blog post on potty training for even more tips, tricks, and ideas for getting ready for this exciting milestone with your little one! Happy Potty Training!!


Want to learn more?

Our co-founders host a free, virtual, Cloth Diapering 101 class every month to help cloth-curious parents get all the tools and information they need! You’ll learn:

  • How to use the Esembly diapers and accessories 
  • How to easily and effectively launder your Esembly diapers
  • The impact that your choice has on the planet, your wallet, and your day-to-day. 

You'll leave with the confidence to Live Less Disposably and a 20% discount code to use on your first order. 🥳 We hope to see you there!

Have Questions? Sign up for our next Cloth 101 Class!