13 answers

Potty Training Pants Recommendations?

Our almost 3yo son has been doing very well with potty training for #1. He was definitely ready, and was staying dry in underwear for 2-3 hours and even most nights. When he did have an accident, he would only wet himself a little bit and then stop.

The problem is with the #2. I fully expect that to take longer for to be ready to use the toilet and am fine with that. The issue is that he has relatively loose and frequent bowel movements (1-3 per day). The stool is VERY difficult to clean from his underwear. You cannot shake it off into the toilet like well-formed stool. It also gets all over his legs (and sometimes the floor) just trying to get the underwear off of him.

I tried switching him from underwear to pull-ups, which are much easier to handle for #2s because of the velcro sides. However, not surprisingly, he has lost significant ground on the potty training as he has decided to just pee in them too.

I've been researching training pants and am frustrated that they all seem to be just super-absorbent underwear with or without a waterproof outer lining. Any of these will be just as hard get off of him and wash as underwear. I'm looking for something that is not absorbent (so he will quickly sense he is wet), is easier to get off (with velcro or snaps on the sides) and easier to wash (a waterproof material)? Does such a thing exist? Has anyone tried using a cloth diaper wrap or "cover" without the cloth diaper? Will that be comfortable? Would that give him a rash as it's not designed/intended to touch the skin?

Any other suggestions? I've already tried modifying his diet to firm up his stool. I don't give him any juice or dried fruit. I encourage him to eat bananas, apple sauce, rice and toast, but he gets tired of those foods so it's not sustainable.


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Featured Answers

i highly recommend Potty Scotty 2 in 1 Training pants! They are not "crunchy" and the let him feel the wetness. They also have a night trainer that has velcro on the side. There are lots of online reviews of them. Good luck!

More Answers

Hi D.,

There are many brands of trainers that have the features you are looking for. Look for trainers with PUL (a waterproofing material) and side or back snaps. You may like these: http://www.nosugaraddedshop.com/store.cgi?p=Starbunz_Supe..., but you should also research this site: http://allaboutclothdiapers.com/most-popular-cloth-trainers/. I haven't tried any of these trainers because I made my own. If you are crafty and know how to sew, there are many patterns out there to make just what you are looking for, such as these: stellar transitions http://littlecomettails.kingstondesign.com/st1855.html. Good luck!


We used snap-ez training pants:

They have snaps on the sides so they are easy to take off.
They are a bit thicker than underwear, but he'd definitely feel the wetness.

Most cloth diaper covers or wraps are PUL, which is a plasticy fabric. So they'd hold the pee in the wrap a bit but they would probably leak. he'd basically be in a puddle. I don't think they would work.

Yes, these exist! Just shop on cloth diaper websites, they will have exactly what you are look for: cotton trainers that are thick enough to hold an accident but will let the child feel wet, but have snaps on the sides for easy removal. A few of my favorite online stores are zannadu.com, and babynaturale.com, but there are many other places to look.

My 3 1/2 year old was just diagnosed with celiac disease which caused frequent, loose stool for him. I suggest working with your Dr. to make sure your son isn't having a medical/dietary issue causing the diarrhea. It might be hard for him to control and make potty training difficult for him right now. Best of luck!

I empathize w/ you when it comes to those messy loose stools. When my son was a yr he was eating so many apples from the yard it was just an awful mess!

I did elimination communication so my son pretty much stopped pooping in his (cloth) diaper around early 1. He just knew he didn't want to sit in it. He had no prob being bare bottom and pooping outside if he didn't want to stop to go to the potty. At some point I realized the same as you- undies are way messier to clean compared to diapers. I know you're afraid of losing headway w/ the #1 but I don't think you really will. I would suggest that you just tell your son that he is going to go back to wearing diapers till he is ready to poop in the potty because it is easier for you to clean. ALso let him know that you know he is a big boy and he doesn't have to wear diapers. If he likes his undies better, AND if he will tell you when he needs to go potty to poo, he doesn't have to wear the diapers. Little children, given the chance to act "big" and able to recognize what allows them their dignity, will choose not to sit in their poo. The trick is not to put them down about their elimination- it is important to treat pooping and peeing like it's normal- as normal and eating and sleeping, right?
Good luck. In about a month it'll prob be all normalizing. Of course, night is the hardest. Usually my daughter would let out a cry and that was my cue to get up and take her to the bathroom.
P.S. Less fruit maybe?

i highly recommend Potty Scotty 2 in 1 Training pants! They are not "crunchy" and the let him feel the wetness. They also have a night trainer that has velcro on the side. There are lots of online reviews of them. Good luck!

starbunz and snap-ez make trainers that you're describing. snaps on the side, waterproof outer, adjustable absorbency.
Keep in mind, they are *quite* pricey. I completely understand your frustrations with the #2 though. My son hid behind the sofa and pooped into his underpants/trainers for a *looooong* time. i just couldn't justify the cost of buying those trainers. they are like $20+ a piece.

the potty scotty's are awful, in my opinion. they are *super* thick in the middle. gerbers are more like an underwear. the potty scotty almost felt like there was a big ol' pad in the middle. sent them straight back.

Does your son eat/ like bananas. They may help solidify his stools more so they are easier to handle.

In the past, I saw those pull ups that got cold when the child pees. So should help stop the regressing with #1.

Hi D., you can try a diaper cover called Bio-bottoms which are made of very fine wool. I believe they also make training pants. Have you told the doctor about the loose bowels? It sounds to me like he may have an intestinal bacteria. Considering how many things go into a toddlers mouth, he could easily have picked one up, (especially if he ever swims in a kiddie pool). I know that when I lived in the Sierras after college, lots of the kids I worked with had picked up an intestinal bug called Giardia from playing in the water. It causes loose stools and can be cleared up with an antibiotic. I would definitely have a test done to make sure it is not just his diet.

Tiny Tots diaper service has the training pants with waterproof outer lining and cotton insides - I liked the Bummis wraps on my cotton diapers, and that is the same style for the trainig pants (elastic waist & legs). My son went almost straight from cotton diapers to underwear with very little pull-up time since he son also figured out they were essentially diapers- I never ended up using my Bummis training pants (the diaper service doesn't take them, you have to launder them yourself on hot).

Luckily my sons pediatric vitamins seem to have iron (or something) that firms up his stool, and he's always liked watching the poo-poo go bye-bye! Good luck!!!

This a is a tough one...we really waited until my son was ready and never pushed the issue (totally sounds like your son is ready as well), it just seemed to be easier. My son was a little over three and when he was ready it was just obvious...also a dollar a bathroom trip really helped as well. He is 4 now and has quite the large collection of money. We stopped this when he started asking other people for money when they happened to be around and he started to expect several dollars when he would start to pee, stop and start to pee again. These kids!

Anyway, it sounds like what you are doing is really working...the BMs are tough...my son holds it in for days because he does not like to go as it figures because it is probably uncomfortable. If I were you I would go buy really cheap underwear in bulk and try to wait it out...just throw the underwear out when he has an accident. He should catch on quickly. This will also probably cost the same amount as training pants for pullups yet perhaps will avoid the issue of the regressing with the pee. Did you try scheduled bathroom times where he needs to sit and read a book to see if you can catch the timing?

Did you try a reward system? I know this does not work for all and some look down upon it, but I would be lost without a bribe here and there!

Best of luck...you will soon look back on this and move on to the next issue :)..it is always something with these little guys.

Diaper services also have services for training pants but I don't know how costly it is. In the old days, we would soak the dirty diapers or training pants in the toilet and then scrub them by hand against the side of the toilet, wring them out and then put them in a diaper pail with clothes soap and bleach with water. (they were always white. Then wring them out, wash in the washer on pre-wash, wash, and two rinses. Yes it was alot of work. If a child is truely ready, willing, and able it only takes a short time to train for everything. He may just need some time in diapers again or pullups. I really don't like pull ups but to keep the mess in control, I do use them. Parents are anxious to get their child trained and feel better when their kids are in pullups. But kids do tend to pee in them. The most important thing is to not go back and forth between diapers and training pants. They do have training pants with plastic attached for night time use so the bed does not get wet. And the Gerber three ply cotton for days. They also need to know how to pull their pants down, wipe, pull pants up, flush the toilet, and wash their hands each time. It is a process and we help them and then they learn to do the whole thing.

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