The hours I spent researching which style of potty pants I should buy was ridiculous. And when I saw the cost, I was sceptical whether or not they were worth it. I wasn’t interested in disposable training pants. We hadn’t used disposable diapers, why would I start dishing out money for disposable now? I asked around and found that people sometimes just move right to regular underwear. Which seemed fine for being at home, but what about when we were out and about and cleaning up a mess wasn’t so easy? There are so many options to choose from- just like cloth diapers. Here’s a look at some different types of training pants.
Types of Training Pants
Disposable- Obviously these are everywhere. They tend to keep little ones feeling drier, so may not be the best way to help kids train quickly. But it also depends on you and your child. We use disposable if Bubs is in daycare, or if someone is babysitting. It isn’t my favourite option, but personally I feel like they do have benefits and have come in handy for long car rides.
Underwear- This is obviously not a training pant. But the idea behind going straight to underwear is that your little one knows and feels every bit of their accident. The hope is that they’ll understand quickly the feeling of needing “to go”. This isn’t the most convenient for accidents when you’re out of the house. Maybe disposables would work for you as an “out of the house” option if you chose to go this route.
Waffle Training Pants- Essentially these are underwear with extra padding through the centre. If your child is able to stop before he/she gets too far, they are able to soak up a little bit. If there is a full on accident you will still be cleaning up a mess and changing clothes. But it lends itself to the same idea as going straight to underwear. One benefit I found of using these training pants is that they come in smaller sizes than underwear. I found these in 18 month, where as the smallest I found in underwear was 2T. They will also be easier for your child to pull on and off compared to training pants.
Cloth Pull-Ups- There are a variety of brands that make training pants in this style. This type of training pant looks similar to underwear and typically has a trim fit. They pull on and off like underwear. The benefit is that it has a waterproof outer shell to keep accidents contained. The absorbent lining inside is able to handle the accident but still allows your child to feel wet, which helps them to understand the connection between the feeling of needing “to go” and actually going. We loved our Bummis Potty Pants. One thing to keep in mind when buying this style is that with being a pull-on and no way to open the sides, cleaning up #2 accidents can be a bit messy.
Hybrid Cloth Training Pants- These are a bit of a mix between cloth pull-ups and cloth diapers. They have snaps on the side, and include inserts. If your child has a wet accident you have the option of replacing the insert and reusing the cover. The snaps on the side are great for cleaning up #2 accidents. They may remind your little one of a diaper, though that may not necessarily be an issue. Generally these can still be pulled on and off. Many come in a one-size format, which is great for longevity but may be a bit bulkier than a sized training pant. We used Flip Training Pant. Flip has an insert that uses aplix to hold it in place, some brands use a pocket to hold the insert in which is great for adding absorbency for heavy wetters/overnight.
So What Do I Choose?
Although I did use training pants, I moved Bubs almost completely to underwear right away. When I am leaving him somewhere without me, like Sunday School, I still prefer to use some type of training pant. Just in case. We tend to reach for our Bummis Potty Pant or Flip Training Pant for those times.
Remember this is a general look at training pants. Every brand will have different sizing, designs, and functions. Some will be more absorbent than others. The best thing to do is try multiple different types and brands. Looking on local Buy/Sell/Trade groups and buying used is a great way to try different training pants without spending a lot of money. Ask friends and family what they found worked for them. Or your little one might love the idea of moving right to underwear. It might take a bit, but you’ll find what works for you and your family.