Potty Learning Pants – The Bane of My Existence

Potty Learning Pants - The Bane of My Existence

Now, I know that M is quite young to be successful with potty learning, especially compared to other boys his age. We’ve been lucky. Whether it’s the method we chose to help him learn, the fact that he wears cloth diapers, or just pure luck, I don’t know. But whatever it is, it has made finding training pants a real bugger since he’s so small!

M wears a 24 month or 2T shirt (so age appropriate), but he’s only in 18-24 month pants, anything bigger would be swimming on him. Most training pants start at around 28lbs, he weighs about 24lbs now and he’s been using the potty for several months now, so he’s also quite skinny. Normal torso, short legs, skinny waist does not make a combination made for most training pants (let alone actual underwear, he’ll be 5 till he’s in those!).

DIY Magic for potty learning pants {Potty Learning Pants - The Bane of My Existence}

I first just wanted to buy something that was as close to underwear as possible so I went out and bought the size small Gerber training pants. They started at 28lbs, but I figured we’d give them a try anyway. They were way too big! I worked my magic with some snaps and cinched them in so that they could grow with him. I also used a tutorial to add some extra absorbency and a waterproof layer to one pair of his Gerber pants, but I only did one pair, I found that it just wasn’t necessary. Either way, my makeshift training pants have worked out nicely but I wanted a few more pairs for him without spending a ridiculous amount of money on a pair of glorified underwear.

I also put new use to his 2 pairs of cloth swimmers I bought for him over the summer. The benefit of swimmers was that they were waterproof so in the event of an accident we didn’t have to change his pants, just his undies. The downfall of swimmers is that they are quite absorbent, like a diaper, so he did not feel wet. But, they have worked well as a back up and when out and about so we don’t have to worry about leaks.

I took advantage of Cyber Monday and did some online shopping for training pants that were on sale. I tried to stick to pants that were around $3-7 per pair. I found Flip trainers on sale and they came with 3 inserts and a cover. The training pants are supposed to fit approximately 20-50lbs as the sides and front are adjustable. They are still a bit big around M’s waist though, but they work fine enough, they are not my favorite though and when we first got them, accidents meant leakage from a leg hole. Without a sale, they are about $30, so $10 per pair since you get 3 pairs of undies out of the kit. Not bad, but I was glad I got them on sale.

Best Bottom Potty Training Pants
Best Bottom

I also bought the Best Bottom training set . They also came with 3 inserts and the outer cover looks a lot more like a traditional pair of underwear. They fit M well, but with accidents when we first bought them, they still tended to come out the leg hole as he has skinny legs. They come with a plain color cover, but the inserts have fun designs on them. M hasn’t really cared about the designs on his undies though. Best Bottoms sell for about $13 (depending on the site) and again, you basically get 3 pairs, so on sale for Cyber Monday, I definitely got a good deal!

I bought one other training paint for Cyber Monday but it was so huge when it came in the mail that I never even tried it on him. I’ve found that I grab for the Gerber training pants before any of the other brands. I think it’s because they look and feel the most like true underwear, there’s no insert to deal with, and they do have designs on the outside that M does enjoy (especially the dinosaur pair and cars/trucks pair).

What would I recommend for those looking for training pants? I’d recommend just going straight to underwear or the Gerber training pants. But, if you’re looking for something waterproof, I’d recommend the Best Bottom, they’re less bulky, and while they don’t grow with your toddler like the Flip trainers do, I don’t think it’s a huge issue, at least it’s not for us.

What have been your struggles with potty learning?

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14 thoughts on “Potty Learning Pants – The Bane of My Existence

  1. I didn’t realize it could be so tough to find training pants. I’m not ready for potty training yet, but I will keep this post in mind in case my little one happens to be a small size when the time comes.


    1. Kareen, I don’t know if cloth really does make it easier, I have no means of comparison. I’ve heard it makes it easier, but I really don’t know, and all kids are different so it’s hard to say. We just started exposing our son from about 13 months on to the potty and would let him sit on it fully clothed. Once we pursued it more, around 18 months or so, it was every 1-2 hours we took him and if he went he got a small piece of chocolate or an M&M. He still gets M&Ms when he goes…if he asks for it, otherwise, we’re trying to fade back with the chocolate, but he goes much less now too than when we first started. I definitely recommend finding something highly reinforcing for when DD is successful, it’s worked great for us anyway. Good luck!


  2. Thank you so much for the suggestions! My youngest daughter is almost three, and she’s quite big (not fat!) for her age. We’re at the largest size diapers, and she still shows no interest in using her potty chair. She used it once, but now prefers to just use it as a step stool to stand on for brushing her teeth. I keep feeling like I’m missing something, or doing something wrong. After reading your post I wonder if we should try the cloth diapers so she can feel when she’s wet? Our oldest daughter was potty trained in about a week, so I’m really struggling with figuring out why my little one tells us she wants to stay in diapers!


    1. Hi Tracy! It would depend on the cloth diapers you bought. Most cloth diapers now are made with stay dry material and I find them to be very absorbent and awesome at keeping baby’s bum dry. I’ve written a few posts about our potty training experience which you can find under the Mama Extras tab. Hopefully, something in there can help you find something that will work for your little girl. I do recommend cloth training pants over the disposable brands. I have found thay the disposable trainers are too much like a diaper amd absorb too much. We have found good success with using the Gerber trainers or just regular underwear. We still have accidents od course and still diapers for naps and bedtime but DS is mostly potty trained at this point. Good luck!


  3. Our main struggle was and has been finding training pants that fit and don’t end up soaked after 1 pee. Still haven’t found any as far as the absorbency goes but I did shrink a few pairs that now fit perfectly lol.


    1. That is tough! The training pants aren’t typically designed to hold a full pee, but we struggled with that over night and ended up having to switch back to diapers at night because trainers just didn’t cut it.


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