Parents' Guide to Toilet Training Pants for Toddlers

Boy Looking at Picture Book
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When it's time to start toilet training your toddler, trading diapers for disposable toilet training pants is usually one of the first steps.

Made of the same absorbent material as diapers, trainers are relatively easy for children to pull up and down in order to use the bathroom while potty training.

These pants offer toddlers the benefits of feeling like a "big boy" or "big girl" while saving parents the hassle of cleaning up accidents that may happen if a child wears underwear.

They are especially helpful for little ones who may seem ready for potty training but haven't yet developed bladder control.

Some children find accidents to be upsetting and discouraging, so using disposable training pants can keep mistakes from derailing your child's confidence as they work toward bathroom independence.

How to Use Disposable Training Pants

Parents who choose to use disposable training pants do so in different ways. Some use them all the time and find them clean and convenient.

Other parents start out using disposable trainers and transition slowly into cloth training pants or underwear as their children become more competent at using the potty.

Many choose to use cloth at home and disposable ones at times when accidents present the largest inconvenience like at night, during naps, and while out shopping or in the car.

Disposable Training Pants Brands

There are several brands of disposable training pants for potty training, including Pampers Easy Ups, Honest Training Pants, Huggies Pull-Ups, and others, including generic or store-brand trainers.

Both Easy Ups and Pull-Ups come in gender-specific designs, with extra absorption in the front for boys and extra absorption in the middle for girls. Some store-brands, such as Target's Up & Up brand, also have specific lines for girls and boys.

Huggies Pull-Ups

Pull-Ups has several varieties of pants, including Cool and Learn, Learning Designs, and Night Time. Cool and Learn helps toddlers recognize when they've had an accident by providing a brief sensation of coolness and wetness. Learning Designs has a design that disappears when the diaper is wet. Night Time is extra absorbent and comes in larger sizes since nighttime continence is often the last to be achieved.

This brand also has refastening hook-and-loop sides for easy opening and closing, which makes clean-ups easier on the go. If your child has an accident, you won't have to remove your toddler's pants and shoes to get dressed again. Just open the sides to take the old one off and open the sides of a clean one to put on while standing, then refasten.

Pampers Easy Ups

Easy Ups Training Underwear has a slim profile that fits more like underwear and a stretchy waistband that is easy for little hands to pull up and down.

This brand also has a double leak barrier around the legs and extra absorbent zones. Easy Ups have easy-rip seams to easily remove soiled pairs.

Honest Training Pants

Honest Training Pants are an eco-friendly option that comes in a variety of cute prints. This brand is made of a soft, cloth-like, plant-based material. With a super absorbent core, Honest pants are fragrant- and additive-free, and they are non-irritating to sensitive skin.

No-Name Brands

Some parents choose to buy generic disposable training pants for the cost savings, but generic trainers may not be as absorbent as the brand name ones.

If your child stays mostly dry and rarely has big accidents, but you're not ready to fully commit to underwear, generic training pants may be a good option for you.

However, if your child still wets heavily, especially at night, you may want to stick with the brand name trainers for more protection.

1 Source
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  1. Boston Children's Hospital. Enuresis (urinary incontinence). 2021.

By Stephanie Brown
Stephanie Brown is a parenting writer with experience in the Head Start program and in NAEYC accredited child care centers.