Best Toddler Training Pants Review in 2018

When potty training begins cloth training pants offer parents an ideal balance between accident protection and independence for their toddler. Once your child is between 18 and 24 months old they should be ready to transition out of diapers and begin toilet training. Washable training underwear can help ease the transition, especially overnight when your child cannot fully control their bladder and will still need leak protection.

What Are Training Pants?

training pants

Training underwear come in a variety of styles, including disposable, but are designed to look and act like regular underwear in most ways. Unlike diapers which usually close with tabs at the hips, these absorbent cloth underwear tend to be much more streamlined than diapers and are pulled up just like regular undies. Although they do have a soaking layer for occasional accidents, they aren't as absorbent as diapers, especially overnight diapers which often have extra wetness protection.

A toddler needs to be physically and emotionally ready to toilet train before they successfully transition to underwear. The idea behind using trainers is that your child will be able to potty train and learn to use underwear while still benefitting from some leak protection if they do have an accident.

The Benefits of Toddler Training Pants

Because they offer light protection against leaks, training underwear provides a helpful transitional stage between diapering and regular underwear and allow your child to slowly learn how to respond to their own body's needs. Since every child is unique, it may take less time for some toddlers to learn the signals associated with potty time, while other toddlers may need more time to adjust to using the bathroom.

You may also choose to continue using training underwear with your older toddler after they can reliably use the toilet during the daytime. If you are planning on a long car trip, or if your child still needs occasional protection at night, a trainer will still be useful.

Possible Disadvantages of Cloth Training Underwear

Like washable diapers, using washable training underwear instead of disposables means extra laundry, and may mean dealing with unsavory messes. And unlike diapers which open at the front, training underwear must slide down your child's legs and any messes inside will slide down as well.

Some parents also argue that instead of helping, training underwear actually hinder the potty training process by allowing toddlers to continue to rely on a diaper. These families may skip this transition stage altogether and simply switch from diapers to underwear during a two or three day period when they feel their child is ready. But for most families, especially those who rely on child care during the day, training underwear may be a necessary part of your child's transition from diapers to underwear.

How To Choose The Best Toddler Training Pants

Cloth vs. Disposable Training Underwear

In recent decades, disposable training pants have become incredibly popular, and cloth training underwear has fallen somewhat out of favor. Certain daycare centers or child care providers may also require your toddler to wear disposable trainer if they aren't yet fully potty trained. Some care centers do not like cloth training underwear since extra care is necessary to handle the soiled pants. But there are some good reasons to choose cloth instead.

Cloth training underwear are more like real underwear, and will help your toddler feel more like a "big kid", and may encourage them to be more responsible about their potty habits. Cloth trainers also reduce the amount of waste in the environment compared to disposables. If your child is prone to rashes, or if they have reacted negatively to one or more of the toxic components of disposable diapers, their skin may react badly to disposable trainers.

Waterproofing

There are two theories on whether training underwear should be waterproof. If your child has an accident in underwear that is not waterproof, it may mean their clothes also become wet as well as the carpet or furniture they were sitting on. Some families think that it is important for their toddler to feel wetness on their clothes when an accident occurs, as this encourages their child to note when accidents happen and relate the sensation of bladder fullness to the wetness. Other parents feel this is either unsanitary or dislike the extra mess caused by non-waterproof training underwear.

Either way, most cloth trainers have cotton as their inner layer. This allows your child to feel wetness against their skin, even if the training underwear has a waterproof exterior. Always look for this cotton layer when buying trainers.

Absorbency, and Number of Layers

Even once your toddler is aware of their body's signals, and can sense when they need to go to the potty, they may not be able to make it to a toilet every single time. Even if your child has infrequent accidents, finding a brand of training underwear that can absorb adequate wetness is important. Some cloth training undies are an all-in-one garment with the soaking layers sewn into the underwear. Other training underwear have absorbency pads which can be removed to be washed and can be worn like regular underwear as your child gains confidence and control.

These "pocket" style training underwear are often a great choice due to their flexibility. During the day, you can use a thinner absorbent soaking layer so that the trainers are more streamlined and act more like regular underwear. At night, you can add extra protection.

Time Needed to Dry

Drying time may be less of an issue if you choose a brand of training underwear which has removable soaking inserts. But if you have an all-in-one style pant, then they may take some time or effort to dry.

The amount of time it takes for your child's training underwear to dry is important for several reasons. First, if you only have a few pairs on hand, then a bad day of accidents can quickly diminish your supply of training underwear. If you line dry or have to put the training underwear through several cycles in the dryer you may run out of pants. Secondly, bacteria like the moist environment created by soiled training underwear. If the soaking layers do not dry properly, these bacteria can flourish and can cause an ammonia smell to develop in the pants, or they may even cause health issues for your toddler.

Five Best Training Pants

MOM & BAB Toddler Training Underwear

The best thing about these training underwear is their close resemblance to normal undies. There are three layers, an absorbent inner layer, a waterproof liner, and then a cute outer layer. The inner layer is highly absorbent terry cloth fabric which allows your toddler to feel wetness. The waterproof liner offers excellent leak protection, but it is made from PVC plastic, which may be an issue for some families. MOM & BAB Toddler Training Underwear comes in several charming patterns and you can choose designs meant for little girls, little boys, or gender neutral designs. Be aware that they are not able to hold much wetness, so they may be better suited for kids who are almost fully potty trained or for light wetters.

  • Cute prints
  • Closely resemble regular underwear
  • Buying per pack
  • Keeps poop well in
  • Liner is PVC plastic
  • Can't hold large leaks
  • Thread around waistline may loose easily

Losorn (Tm) Pack of 4 X Baby Toddler Girls Cute 4 Layers Potty Training Pants Reusable

This Potty Training Reusable Underwear are super soft and have four layers to provide leak protection for children who are almost fully potty trained. They look and feel like real underwear and have adorable, loveable characters printed on them, but unfortunately, they will only hold wetness for a few minutes before they start to leak around the leg openings. As one of the most affordable options for washable training undies, the best thing about these training underwear is the price. The four pack costs less than a package of disposable trainers, but you can rest assured that they are more environmentally friendly, and will outlast your toddler's toilet training stage.

  • Four layers design
  • Adorable prints
  • Low cost
  • Comfy to toddlers
  • Limited leak protection
  • Not too thick
  • Too small on thighs for some

Super Undies Pull-on Waterproof Toilet Training Underwear

These pull-on undies are not only cute, but their clever pocket design allows parents to add or remove absorbency as needed. A simple opening at the back makes it easy to slide in a soaking pad for toddlers who are just beginning to potty train, or for overnight use. But because they are a thicker design than other pants, these trainers look more like a diaper than underwear, especially with an extra soaker inserted. The sides are stretchy, but the middle of the pants have a waterproof barrier to prevent leaks. You and your toddler will love the choice of prints, from colorful aliens to superhero prints, and brightly colored solids.

  • Pocket for extra soaker
  • Great for overnight protection
  • Easy pull up
  • Built in absorber
  • Can leak on the sides
  • Do not resemble underwear
  • Not for overnight use

Gerber Unisex Baby Training Pants

These trainers are a fantastic, if basic, choice for families who want an all cotton training underwear option. They feel and look almost identical to regular underwear, but have an extra layer of absorbent lining in the middle. Families who plan to use bleach their child's training underwear will appreciate having this option, but parents who want more colorful options should know that Gerber does make these pants in several different colors, too. Because there is no waterproofing layer, they are not a good solution for overnight wetness control. Instead, they are best suited for families who want their toddler to associate wetness with using the bathroom.

  • All cotton
  • Still nice after several wash
  • Bleachable
  • Very similar to regular undies
  • May not fit for smaller babies
  • Not waterproof
  • Runs big

MoomooBaby Adorable Toddler Potty Training Pants for Baby Boys and Girls

MoomooBaby Toddler Potty Training Pants come as an affordable four pack and have several color choices. They are 100% cotton and are very soft. The fabric is great at allowing your child to feel wetness while still giving them enough time to undress before the leak can soak through to their clothes. They are almost identical to regular underwear and are quite breathable, but have a very thick absorbent layer and offer more leak protection than other cotton training underwear. Be sure to follow the sizing guide, as some parents note that they may seem too large at first, but that they shrink after their first wash.

  • 100% cotton
  • Look like real underwear
  • Thick, absorbent core
  • List Element
  • List Element
  • Not waterproof
  • No removable insert
  • Designs are more on for boys
  • May shrink a little after wash

Conclusion

The brand of training pants you choose for your child will depend on how you plan to use them: as a replacement for diapers or as an aid to help you toddler feel wetness. It will also depend on how often your child needs leak protection. If they are nearly potty trained, they can wear a thinner training underwear. But if your toddler has just begun to potty train, or if they need extra protection overnight, a thicker trainer with extra absorbency will suit them better.

Of the five brands above, the Super Undies Pull-on Waterproof Toilet Training Underwear are the best choice for most families. Not only do they look great, but the hidden pocket for an extra soaker pad makes these more flexible than other brands, meaning that your toddler can use them the entire time they potty train. The inner cotton layer and waterproof barrier make it easy for your baby can learn how to respond to wetness without risk of soiling their clothes or bedding. Although they look and feel more bulky than other brands when the extra soaking layer is in, they are still very similar to regular underwear, and the stretchy sides will accustom your toddler to pulling their underwear up and down.

Washable training underwear may seem like more work than disposables, but ultimately, their similarity to regular undies will help your child transition to toilet training more effectively, and because they are breathable and re-usable, they are healthier for your toddler and for the planet.

Sandra Henderson
 

Editor-in-chief at Babiology and a proud mother of four passionate about sharing pregnancy and baby growth knowledges

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