Yes, I think disposable diapers make potty training harder. If you look at the average age a child was potty trained even just a generation ago, you can see that kids now take a lot longer to give up the diaper in exchange for using the potty. Lets take a look at some of the reasons that modern disposable diapers make it harder for your child to be potty trained and what you can do to make it easier on him or her.
One of the biggest improvements that has been made in the disposable diaper industry over the last decade, is how quickly the diapers absorb moisture. The obvious advantage of this is that it keeps babys skin try and prevents diaper rash. The disadvantage is that your child does not feel when he or she gets wet. There is no uncomfortable wet and squishy thing hanging around his bottom. Everything is perfectly dry and comfortable. So why should your child bother with a potty if there is nothing wrong with peeing and pooping in his diaper.
The disposable diaper industry has of course picked up on this fact and is not catering to the parents of 3 to 5 year olds. We see pictures of children in this age group on diaper packages, baby and parenting magazines and of course in the diaper company ads. Which brings us to reason number two why children are getting potty trained later.
It has become socially acceptable to have an older child use diapers. Preschools and Day Care Centers are now catering to the parents of these children by allowing children to attend who are not completely potty trained. There is no social pressure on parents at all to get their child potty trained. Combined with the fact that the diapers dont feel wet anymore, it is easy for parents to miss the moment when their child is ready to give the potty a try.
So, what other options do you have as a parent? You could use cloth diapers for a while to make sure your child feels when he is wet, or let him go in regular underwear with a pair of protective plastic panties over it. If the weather allows, let him run around bare bottom outside, or do the same inside, keeping a close eye on him so you can drag him to the bathroom when needed.
Other than that, just give potty training a try every once in a while. Sooner or later you will catch the right time and get your little one potty trained.