The Training Pants Dilemma

Posted 05-14-2014 at 03:40 PM by Banana Cat

Shortly before her second birthday, my daughter became intensely interested in using the potty. She followed us into the bathroom to watch us go. She started pulling at her diapers after she peed. She sat on her little plastic potty and read books. One day after watching my husband use the bathroom, she ran around naked pretending to pee standing up with various “Wissssssssssssh!” sound effects. It was really the perfect time to start potty training her.

Her brother didn’t agree. I went into labor with him on my daughter’s birthday and all thoughts of potty training went out the window for all of us. I suppose it was for the best, since she probably would have regressed with a new baby in the house anyway, but I was slightly irritated at having lost the “window of opportunity” to train her. A couple of months later, when the water bill showed up and we were somehow shocked at learning that cloth diapering two full time uses much more water than only cloth diapering one full time, I bribed my daughter onto the potty with a couple of M&Ms (no judgment!) and suddenly, boom, she wanted to use the potty! Now that I had forced open a new window of opportunity, I found myself with another issue—what kind of training pants to use?


If you thought choosing cloth diapers from the millions of types available was hard, I’m sorry to tell you there are just as many types of training pants out there!

Our experience with training pants falls on two completely opposite ends of the financial spectrum. On one hand, we have several pairs of cheap Gerber training pants anyone can pick up at the local big-box store down the street. On the other hand, we also have several pairs of Blueberry training pants, which are quite the premium—the price of one pair of Blueberry trainers is the same price as six pairs of Gerber trainers! There are plenty of other brands of trainers that fall in the middle, price-wise, of those two brands, but the question remains: “Is a $15 pair of training pants that much better than a $2.50 pair?”


That’s $75 worth of training pants right there. I think my bank account just flinched.


It depends. The training pants you need depend on your budget, how far along your child is in the potty training process, and how you are potty training them. With my daughter, we went a few days with no diaper on and put her on the potty at regular intervals. She caught on fairly quickly that she should go to the bathroom in the potty, but she would not tell us when she had to go, so she had a lot of accidents. At this stage, I put Blueberry trainers on her because they are thick, but trimmer than a diaper, and can hold a fair amount without leaking (and with a newborn in the home, I wanted to minimize the time I spent cleaning up accidents, I admit). Once she started going longer intervals without having accidents, I switched to the Gerber trainers. These are thinner, so they don’t hold as much liquid—but my daughter, upon seeing them, yelled, “Oh! Iz underwear!” She was more motivated to keep them dry, because compared to the thicker Blueberry trainers, they really did seem like underpants.


Gerber training pants: very close to “real” underwear according to my 2 year old.


Although she’s fairly dry during the day now, she still hasn’t quite mastered telling us when she has to go potty (and she won’t run to the bathroom on her own!) so she is still in training pants, not underwear. However, at home we use the Gerber training pants because they are like underwear, but will catch small accidents. When we go out, we use the Blueberry ones because they will hold more—really, she is generally dry when we are out and about, but just in case she has an accident I’d rather not need to clean the car seat if I can help it! I bet soon we can mostly transition to proper underwear during the day.

There are any different types of training pants, some have inserts and snaps and some simply pull-on like the types we use. Some are waterproof, some aren’t, and of course there are disposable Pull-Ups. There really is a type of training pant that’s right for your family’s style of potty training! What type of training pants have you used?


3 Responses to “The Training Pants Dilemma”

  1. mamalusbear on May 15th, 2014 11:36 am

    I am having this dilemma right now….I mean just when I had found the perfect diaper my son wants to potty train…..I picked up about five trainers, one of each kind. I’m really not sure which one will work best, this is like a whole new ball game for me!

  2. lmiranda8681 on May 15th, 2014 12:14 pm

    Skip the trainers all together and go right to undies! Save yourself some money without dragging out potty learning. After potty training 3 boys(who were all cloth diapered), My 3rd son went right to undies. He had a few accidents but he potty trained the quickes(when he turned 2). My older 2 were 3.5 & 4 before they were fully day trained. My youngest is already out of diapers over night at 2.5 while my 6 year old is still wearing pull-ups to bed!

  3. Christine C on May 20th, 2014 9:25 pm

    I am just now at the soon to be walking stage but I can’t help but think about when and how all of this will happen and what I should do as a parent to help the process along and not hinder any progress. I know it’s probably at least a year away but I think educating myself now is the best idea! Suggestions on successful potty training tips!

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