30 answers

Cloth Training Pants Vs. Pull Ups

What are the pros and cons ladies? I am clueless regarding which way to go on this. It would seem like the cloth trainers might lead to more unfortunate accidents, but they would make it easier for the child to realize they had had an oops. Thanks for your insights!

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What great responses - Thanks! We are going to go the cloth trainer route :-)

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I had never used pull ups with my 2 older girls (they didn't even have pull ups back then) but did use them with my 3rd child, now age 4. We had a tough time potty training her and when we started using pull ups I think she depending on those training pants as she did with diapers and had contant accidents in them. It wasn't until we took away the pull ups (except for night time use only) and gave her big girl panties to wear (it did help that they were Dora!) she had accidents but realized soon enough that if she didn't want to sit in wet clothes, she'd better use the toilet to go potty!
Good luck, it's never an easy stage!


I am so glad to see all of the posts that support cloth trainer pants over Pull-ups. My children are grown now, and I have two grandsons. I used cloth diapers for my children and the cloth trainer underwear for potty training. Don't they still have the rubber pants that you put over the underwear? This stops the leaks from the inevitable accidents. My children trained very quickly, because they hated being wet. My oldest grandson (age 3) was slower to train b/c my daughter started with Pull-ups. Once we put him in underwear, he "got it" and stopped the accidents.

Good luck!

As a nanny for over 17 years and 1 of my own my best advice is this. Never use pull ups. Use cloth and just be ready for accidents. When they have an accident don't punish or shame. Have them take off the wet clothes and put them in the wash, clean themselves up with a baby wipe, clean up the mess on the floor, get new clothes and put them on by themselves. They will quickly discover that is is in their best interest to go in the potty in the first place.

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I tried both with my son. The cloth training pants are good in that they learn that yucky feeling, but only is effective if that actually bothers them. My oldest son didn't care that he was wet and I had to do a whole lot of scrubbing. I got very frustrated with those. The pull ups are better because you don't have to clean as much. I preferred them over diapers because my son did have the option to try to go potty if he wanted to without ruining a diaper when it wasn't dirty. He was very hard headed about going potty and was a nightmare. My youngest son on the other hand, potty trained himself. He just decided to go one day right after he turned 3 and never looked back, even at night time. I used pull ups for a week after he decided to go potty because I couldn't believe it would be so easy when my first son was so hard, and he never went once in the pull ups. So, he went straight to underwear. Basically, in my opinion, if the child is ready and willing to go potty, then potty training will be successful no matter what you put on your child - diaper, pull up, training pants, or underwear. If it's your idea for your child to start going potty, then pull ups will have the least amount of mess and would be the most positive. (It's hard to be friendly and positive about an accident when you're scrubbing pee off your couch and the carpets for the umpteenth time in a day. At least for me. :)

1 mom found this helpful

I have one word - Snap-EZ. ok sort of 2 :) These are a fantastic alternative to wasting pullups and once your little one is day-trained these are fantastic for at night. I purchased them only as my son was nearly potty trained so I've used them mostly for at night, but when he still had day accidents they were wonderful. Yes they seem pricy compared to a pack of pullups, but when you think about how 2 packs of pullups pays for 1 and then you just throw them in the wash, well its a no-brainer.
Tons of colors, prints etc. If you have a thin toddler opt for the extra set of snaps - you'll get twice as much wear out of them.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi M. L -

My daughter is 2 and we started out with pull ups however found that she was smart enough to know that the pull-ups were exactly like papmers and didn't really get the hang of not wetting herself until we swithed to the thick cloth panties, which by the way you can purchase at Target now (3pk for $6). She is doing outstanding every now and then she get distracted with playing but she rarely has any accidents. i think the clothes did made her unconfortable after realizing it was wet and she didn't want that on her. We do however still use the night time pull ups for nap and bedtime.

By the way if your concern is not wanting her to make such a mess they also still sale those rubber panties that fit over cloth diapers and panties.Also the key is not to ask if she has to use the rest room but just to offer it to her by saying come on lets go use the potty. Often time if a child is ingaged in an activity and then they may tell you no i don't have to go when they really do.


Cloth trainers are better for the child and the environment, pullups are so much easier for the mom, dad, sitters, furniture...! That said, my daughter is allergic to all the pullups (weird since she isn't allergic to any diapers that I know of) so at home she wears regular underware or nothing at all and when we go out she wears a diaper. I am considering putting undies on UNDER a pullup when we go out to see if that would work (and she almost never has a poop accident- it's always pee so cleaning undies isn't too bad.

The cloth trainers are a pain to clean when it is poop. They don't hold much pee either, but they do reduce the amount of cleanup. Other than that I think regular underware are just as good.

I'm currently weighing my options as well. I have realized that pullups to her are just like diapers so she just goes in them and goes about her business because they absorb so well. So I've been putting her in panties. Messier, but definately more aware (both me and her). If we're out and about I put her in a pullup though or if someone else is watching her, etc. But if we're at home we've been doing panties. Well...let me rephrase that...for 2 days now we've done this. :)

Pull-ups are diapers. Kids don't think they're big-kid pants and they don't have natural consequences for accidents. I've assisted in potty training a lot of kiddos and pull-ups don't work.

Find plastic pants to put over cloth trainers to minimize the mess.

Good Luck

Absolutely use the cloth training pants. Get the thick ones and that way she can feel when she is wet. I would only use pull ups for outings.

If you do find a need for the disposable trainers, I highly recommend the Tom Thumb brand (something with the word Mom in it.) We used Pull Ups and Easy ups and those are just glorified diapers. And they are much more expensive. With the Tom Thumb brand ones, my 2-year-old daughter is feeling when she's wet and is telling us sooner. And they stay dry on the outside (very nice when kids are sitting in the car.)

They're so good that my daughter apparently woke up this morning around 4 p.m and didn't like that she was starting to feel wet and proceeded to strip out of her pjs and pullup and I found her stark naked on her bed having had an accident.

So far I'm loving these things--she's potty training much sooner than I expected because of them.

Good luck!

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