My daughter first showed interest in potty training around 17 months. So we bought her a little potty and let her sit on it if she wanted to. She got pretty good at it too. After a few weeks we thought she would also always poop on the potty and we would only be stuck changing wet diapers. We thought she was going to potty train early, saving us months of washing diapers. No such luck. For two months after that, she showed almost no interest in, if not an aversion to, the potty. Now at almost two she is headed toward being interested again. Last winter, when she was consistently using the potty at least once a day or so and I got tired of trying to put on and take off diapers in our tiny bathroom, I decided to buy some cloth training pants.
As a cloth diaper family, I really didn’t want to start using disposable pull-ups. But I couldn’t find many cloth trainers that I thought would work for us. I needed something that could be pulled up and down, but if it could unsnap that would be ideal. It also needed to be fully waterproof and fairly absorbent while still allowing her to feel wet. She wasn’t going to make it to the potty most of the time in the beginning and I wanted something that would save us from puddles on the floor. The reviews for most of the cloth trainers were sketchy. The really well reviewed ones, like Super Undies, were really expensive. I knew that cloth would ultimately save us money, but a stash of $20 each training pants was going to add up fast. So I bought a trainer here and there from several different brands until I assembled a reasonable stash. Below are my reviews:
Mama Bear One-Size Trainer
Mama Bear One-Size Training Pants (purchased from Mama Bear Baby Wear at Etsy.com)
$12 + shipping
These are my all time favorite trainers. I love that they snap off and are highly absorbent, though still not as much as a diaper. I think the key is in the inner absorbent core of Zorb ™. Zorb is made of a combination of bamboo, cotton and microfiber and claims to be four times more absorbent than cloth diaper flannel. I’ve been impressed by the adjustable snap system that will allow these trainers to grow with my daughter. They are the only one-size trainers I could find. My daughter, like many other children, has been potty training for a while. I like not having to worry about buying multiple stashes of sized trainers should she linger on the process for a very long time. I also bought a pair of Mama Bear’s petite one-size trainers that use a Gerber prefold as the absorbent core. It’s not as absorbent as the standard one-size trainer, but fits my skinny girl very well. If your child is thin for his or her age, ask her about custom petite trainers.
Blueberry Trainers (purchases from Kelly’s Closet and Amazon)
$15.95 (Size Medium)
These are adorable and fit just like underwear. Since they don’t snap they are a little annoying to take off if your child poops and they aren’t fully waterproof. But they honestly hold more than I anticipated and they will save you from a puddle on the floor. I recommend washing them inside out for easier cleaning. The color choices are more limited on Amazon, but they qualify for Amazon Prime free shipping.
QTBunns Potty Training Pants
QTBunns Potty Training Pants (purchased from QTBunns at Etsy.com)
$11 + shipping (Size Small)
These are also a pull-up only pant, but the soft flannel is wonderful. The stretchy sides will, I think, allow for some growth before having to size up. I found them to be quite absorbent and wash easily. This is also the only trainer from an Etsy seller than is currently featured on Diaperpin.com.
Now that Kelly’s Closet is selling Super Undies, I may finally purchase a pair if I can use a coupon and combine it with a large enough order to meet the free shipping threshold. I had a hard time finding anywhere that carried these that offered free shipping. I’m also considering purchasing a Prefold Trainer from Little Moose Diapers on Etsy since I like the idea of using a prefold that can pulled up and down like underwear, but is still waterproof, plus they have snaps. If I end up purchasing these or any other trainers I’ll make sure to review them as well.
Note: My daughter loves wearing her “big girl pants.” But she still doesn’t use the potty most of the time. When we use exclusively trainers we usually need to change her pants at least once a day when the trainer becomes oversaturated. She’s getting better so I’m hopeful.