by Christine Cerrato
Potty learning is a quintessential rite of passage in most households as children move from baby to toddlerhood and into the world of preschooler/big kid. Picking out brightly colored, comfortable underwear that will entice a little one to move on from diapers is something many parents expect will be a very typical part of their child’s growth and development. But for many families, this is not a realistic milestone, and with that comes the anxiety of not being able to keep your child clean and dry.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics*, most typical children are physiologically ready for daytime toilet learning around the age of 18 months. However, they point to a number of other important areas to take into consideration such as social and emotional maturity, and cognitive readiness.
There are so many reasons that a child may not hit those readiness milestones. In our home, our 4.5-year-old, Ethan, is cognitively ready for potty learning, but he will never be physiologically ready. He was born with a large tumor that destroyed his pelvic organs and left him physically unable to learn to potty in the same way as most of his peers. Instead, he has tubes inserted into his kidneys through his back to drain urine directly into a diaper while he stools into a colostomy bag.
As he has gotten older, his body has obviously changed from the baby’s body that most diapers are meant for, and matured into the body of a little boy who is becoming difficult to keep dry.
I knew when he was very small that someday, diapering an already challenging little boy would feel nearly impossible and he outgrew the only diapers that worked for him. I jokingly made comments on social media about the need for the diaper that I loved in a much bigger size.
I shouldn’t have been surprised that other parents chimed in their agreement and shared stories of their own need for larger diapers. The reasons parents need a larger diaper are as incredibly diverse as each individual child. Almost 8% of minors in the United States live with a documented disabling condition.** Approximately 13% of public school students are identified as receiving special education services due to health impairments, Autism, learning disabilities, and a long list of other conditions***. These percentages solely focus on children with disabling conditions or developmental disabilities that prevent or delay potty learning. There are plenty of typical children who will meet their developmental milestones that are above the 80th percentile for height and weight, or whose children are successful daytime toileters, but need overnight protection. These families struggle with diapering options much the same as our own family does.
All of this simply points to the fact that there is a large population of children who are not physiologically, cognitively, socially, or emotionally able to potty learn by the expect e 35ish pound cutoff for most diapers. These children deserve access to high-quality diapering options that fit appropriately and offer the dignity of staying dry like their peers.
GroVia founder, Kim Ormsby, heard the plight of families like mine and developed the Big ONE. The Big ONE is a larger version of the current GroVia ONE diaper, but in a size that will accommodate a child that is approximately 35-70lbs.
When we asked why she developed the newest addition to the GroVia line up, Kim said, "As our customer base has grown, we've been privileged to get to know so many families. Families with all sorts of different needs. I think as a company we've really worked hard to be inclusive, and to be sure that we have products that meet all of those different needs. It became very apparent that we could help so many families by simply offering a larger size of our best-selling O.N.E diaper. The response and enthusiasm --and, really, just hearing the different customer stories-- has not only been inspiring but also heartwarming."
Christine is a 30-something mother of four and a bonus niece living a different kind of dream next to the Rocky Mountains. She is a strong advocate for access to resources in the world of pediatric healthcare and behavioral services. Her family of seven can often be found singing along in the car to a Broadway soundtrack and creating fan theories for their favorite Marvel movies. Christine has been cloth diapering with GroVia for over ten years and has been a Content Creator for nearly a year! Follow her on Instagram: cdabondi84