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?
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?”
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.
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?