Toddler Training Pants

potty training

The most important features for every situation

Finding the right toddler training pants is important. There are three important things that you need your toddlers training pants to accomplish for successful potty training and to minimize clean-ups.

  • Pant needs to be easy to pull on and off
  • Pant needs to hold in accidents
  • Pant needs feel wet so child knows when they have peed and feels uncomfortable

Given the requirements above, reusable training pants for toddlers are clearly the way to go. Not only can you use them over and over, making it less likely you will put undue pressure on your little tyke, but they provide better feedback and are more comfortable to wear (when not wet) than disposables. Let’s talk about the different types of cloth training pants available and features you want to look for.

Toddler Training Pants need to be easy to pull on and off

cloth training pants

One of the main elements of potty training is that your youngster is learning is how to be self-sufficient when it comes to basic bodily functions. Now is the time when your child is learning to recognize when his body is telling him that it needs to relieve itself. Ultimately, your child will learn to master the entire process, but to get there he or she will first need to master the following steps one at a time - with your help.

  • Get to the bathroom
  • Pull down their pants
  • Get onto the potty
  • Wipe their bottom
  • Flush the potty
  • Wash their hands

One of the big reasons that you will want to switch from diapers to toddlers training pants is that it allows your child to pull her own pants and underwear on and off. Because you will be helping your child with every step of the process (until they are able to master each step on their own), you can also appreciate that it is a lot faster to slide training pants on and off than a diaper!

One-piece cloth training pants are easier to pull up and down than two-piece toddler training pants made up of an inner absorbent pant followed by a outer, waterproof layer.

Toddler Training Pants need to hold in accidents

While most toddler training pants can be counted on to hold in poo-poo, many cannot be counted on to prevent pee-pee from leaking out of the pants onto whatever your child is wearing. Although this is not as inconvenient as having an accident with nothing other than cotton underwear on, it still is not optimal to have to change your child’s clothes every time he or she doesn’t make it to the bathroom in time.

The best pants to ensure that leakage does not occur are the two piece toddler training pants and those designed with extra absorbent layers.

Toddler Training Pants need to feel wet so your child knows when he/she has wet him/herself

The main reason that potty training is harder with disposable diapers and pull-ups is that they keep your child so dry they do not make the cause/effect connection between their body telling them that it needs to relieve itself and actually peeing in their pants. If they don’t feel wet, it takes much longer to make the connection.

For the same reason, many of the new cloth diapers that have a PUL layer against your child’s skin will also delay potty training since they also keep your child feeling dry.

The best toddler training pants are reusable pants that have a flannel or cotton layer against your child’s skin that immediately feels wet when they go to the bathroom in their pants.

Toddler Training Pants – Finding the right one for your situation

toddler training pants

Now that we have covered the basics, let’s move into the trade-offs and things you want to consider about your particular situation that will influence the type of toddlers training pants that will work best for you.

Snapping pants make accidental poops easier to clean

For younger children who are just learning to use the potty and do not reliably get to the potty in time for poo-poo, it can be very helpful to have training pants that unsnap so that you aren’t smearing poo-poo down their legs as you try to remove their soiled pants.

Having pants that unsnap on the sides also make it much easier to rinse the poo-poo off the pants with your toilet sprayer before throwing them in your diaper pail. For more about cloth diapering and cloth diapering accessories read our article about Cloth Baby Diapering.

The problem with all of the snapping varieties is that they are more likely to leak. So we prefer some of the other pants we will discuss after our children are poo-poo potty trained – something your child will get control over first.

Our favorite snapping toddler training pants are Mom Innovations Potty Training Pants (listed as for night-time, but we prefer them for day-time as they only hold one accident), but we only recommend you get a few to use when your child is overdue for a poop as the other training pants are less likely to leak. Your child will gain control over poops before pee-pee, so you only need to use the snapping pants at the start of the potty training process.

Consider absorbent, breathable and waterproof all-in-one toddler training pants for daytime

We prefer absorbent, waterproof (no leaks) yet breathable, all-in-one toddler training pants for use during the day when our kids are running around and playing. They are easier to move in, easier to pull on and off, more flexible and breathable than the two piece varieties. They don’t handle huge soakings well, but your child is will have smaller quantities of urine during the day than at night.

Once they learn to recognize their need to go to the bathroom, the main reason that children wet their pants is that they don’t want to miss out or leave a group activity to use the bathroom. By wearing pants that are uncomfortable (when wet) and will start leaking onto outer clothing over time (embarrassing) we are encouraging our children to take responsibility for their elimination.

We also regularly remind our children that going to the restroom to change wet pants takes a lot more time (cloths on and off) than using the restroom in the first place (instead of their underwear). Our favorite is the Potty Scotty 2 in 1 Waterproof Potty Training Pant.

Consider more absorbent, toddler training pants that hold a larger volume of liquid for at night

Until your child is fully potty trained, we recommend that you have them wear a two piece toddler training pant like Potty Scotty & Patty Training Pants with Waterproof Covers at night. Children tend to have bigger accidents at night because their bladder fills completely while they are relaxed and horizontal.

Most night-time wettings are closely related to the depth at which some children sleep. The urge to urinate does not always wake children up and their ability to wake-up and use the bathroom is often influenced by genetics more than willpower. If you or your spouse was teased for bedwetting, there is a pretty good chance that your own child will be slow to be potty trained at night.

The best toddler training pants for older kids

Because some of our own kids have taken longer to master the art of waking and using the bathroom we searched out and found some great training pants for older children. By using them, we have successfully prevented nighttime bed wetting from becoming a point of shame and embarrassment.

Best yet is when our 3 and 4 year olds are completely capable of taking their pants off (when wet), putting them in the diaper pail and putting a new one on – all by themselves in the middle of the night. The ability to control taking care of themselves after a wetting (even though they were unable to prevent the wetting in the first place) helps maintain strong self confidence and self sufficiency at a time when many kids feel unnecessary shame and embarrassment.

Why punish kids for sleeping heavily or for not mastering something that is out of their control? We have had great results with letting our children decide for themselves when they want to give up wearing their night-time pants. Youth Pull-on All-In-One Flannel Diapers are our favorite nighttime solution for older toddlers.

Toddler training pants needed for potty training (if you only do wash once a week)

We are busy working mothers who do not have time to do wash every other day. For this reason, we have put together a list of the toddler training pants you will need if you do wash once a week like we do. We recommend looking for:

  • 4 Snapping Toddler Training Pants (in size small or medium – depending on when you are starting) – you only need these until they have mastered poop control
  • 10-14 All-In-One Training Pants for during the day when you are out and about
  • 14 Two-Piece Toddler Training Pants with 14 inner-absorbent pants and 7 outer waterproof covers
  • 4-5 All-In-One Pull-Ups for Older Kids to prevent middle-of-the-night sheet changing until your child no longer wets the bed

Recommendation for the fastest and easiest potty training

For the fastest possible potty training, you need to be consistent and set the expectation that your child should be using the potty. You can’t expect them to use the potty when convenient and encourage them to pee in their diaper at other times.

To make this easy for other busy mothers, we suggest you get a portable potty and carry it with you in the car.

Kids always have to go to the bathroom when you are trying to get somewhere. Being able to pull over and have your child use the potty in the car is convenient and much cleaner than most public restrooms. We even use our portable potties at the park or anywhere where the bathroom may be several minutes away.

If we have it in the bottom of the stroller, and we have a towel or blanket, it is simply a matter of quickly whisking the potty out of its bag and draping the towel around our child for pee-pee privacy. After wiping and pulling up pants, it is just a matter of squeezing on safe hand sanitizer and we are ready to continue with whatever we were doing before the urge hit!

More Toddler Topics

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  • Child Naturism – Having trouble keeping cloths on your little one? Learn about why this is the case and how a healthy self-image and a love of nature go hand-in-hand.