Has Anyone Used Training Pants on Their Children and Do They Work.

Updated on November 16, 2009
M.C. asks from Blaine, WA
14 answers

Hi I got some really good answers on my last question so I thought I would ask another. My little girl just turned three. She is still not potty trained at all. I have tried to put pull ups on her and she is interested some to the point where she will sit on the potty and knows how to wipe and flush but she never goes and when I try to get her to sit on it throughout the day she throws fits because she does not want to sit on it.

I have had people say that when she is ready she will potty train but I am starting to get frusterated with her and I am pregnant with our second now. I have had some people say let her run around with nothing on but I really do not have the energy to clean the carpet right now.

I thought about some other type of training pants. Have you ladies ever used these and do they work or do you have any other suggestions that might help me get started. Thanks.

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answers from Portland on

I tried the training panties. They are thicker than reg. panties but not pull up or diapers in any way. You get them at Wal Mart. I used them but don't know if they did any good. To be honest, I think that they just have to decide on their own they are ready and they just have to do it with or without training panties.

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answers from Portland on

Hi M.,

Before we deal with the training pants question, here's link to one of the best articles on assessing a child's readiness for toilet learning.


I wish I'd read this long ago; it would have saved myself and some sweet little kids a lot of heartache and frustration.

Kids have lots of their own reasons not to use the toilet. One very real thing I'm also going to mention is what I've witnessed myself, lots of times: a family, expecting a second child, decides to toilet train the first. While there's one child in the picture, things go swimmingly. When baby #2 comes along, however, the oldest often regresses. This will usually happen if: 1. the child wasn't necessarily ready on their own to use the toilet or 2. The child has decided to regress (become more babylike) and not use the toilet (because the new baby doesn't use the toilet), thus messing their pants.

If it were me, I'd do an assessment and also try to create an open-ended dialogue about what it is that your daughter might be disliking. Some children are resistant because it pulls them away from what they want to be doing, namely, playing. Some children really don't like to sit on the toilet, and the questions about "Do you need to go potty?" trigger an emotional response. For both the parent and child, the feelings can be deep, as evidenced by your response.

When you feel she's ready,put her in clothes/diapers she can feel wet in. I'd shun the pull-ups, unless you are traveling: they don't let children feel themselves getting wet in real time. If you have cloth diapers, those are great for teaching kids what wet feels like. If none of these options work for you, then yes, maybe it is time to offer training pants OR diapers. (Pull-Ups often confuse kids because they look like underwear and feel like a diaper.) Get the superthick ones...you can double them up, or put a plastic diaper cover over them to contain leaks.

I also want to say that I've know several kids who began mastering the toilet as 3 and 4 year olds. It was when they began seeing other kids using the toilet that they decided they were ready to try and follow the pack. Their parents relaxed approach to this really helped, and contrary to popular opinion, there are some great preschools out there (mine included) that are perfectly happy to have toilet-learning 3 year olds start with them.

I hope some of this helps. It's a hard place to be in, to have to decide when to encourage/nudge our kids and when to hang back a bit. My best to you... oh, and one more thing--keep a basket of books or toys handy by the potty. Lots of adults like to read on the toilet, so do kids!

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answers from Seattle on

Hi there!

My son is 2 1/2 and when I don't put anything on him, he actually lets me know that he has to go potty. When he has his pull-ups on, he doesn't! I've never had him pee on the floor... so it might be worth trying at least once. Good luck and congrats on your second pregnancy.

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answers from Portland on

Hello M.-

Today I'm a parent coach, but I use to be a Nanny and I potty trained a lot of kids.

The key to potty training is to first wait for the child to be physically ready, if they cannot control the muscles they cannot be potty trained. Next make potty training fun. Allow the child to choose their underware their padded toilet seat cover and their stickers for thier chart. Make the process all about them, because they are such a big kid,

As for pull-ups, they are ok if you're going out and want to be clean & consistant, however they are designed to work like diapers, so children do not realize when they go potty in them, which does not create the reinforcement of the concept.

The 'bare it all' method works best in summer when you can throw them in the yard, but not this time of year. I like the timer method, where you sent a timer for 30-45 minutes and have the child become use to the idea of going potty at regular intervals. The timer, not Mom, becomes the reminder and allows the child to become responsible. Eventually the act of going potty regularly will move to going potty when needed.

Good luck-

R. Magby

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answers from Portland on

Hi M.,
My son turns 3 tomorrow and he just potty-trained about 2 weeks ago. I was amazed at how easy it was, because before about 2 months ago he never even wanted to sit on the potty. I kept potty-training in the conversation, but never pushed or forced or even rewarded sitting on the potty.
After reading books, blogs and talking to people, I felt strongly that potty training needed to be finessed. She will potty train when she is ready, but she'll never be ready if she thinks you're driving it. If I were you I would drop it and keep her in diapers for a while. Training pants only work if she's interested in going on the potty. You can put training pants on her, but she's just going to poop and pee in them like a diaper. Keep offering her chances to go on the potty and maybe even talk to her about how she can have underwear once she is potty training (underwear motivation worked for both my kids--my daughter loved to wear them and for my son, he knew when he was wearing a diaper or when he was wearing underwear and he had no troubles peeing in the diaper, but the underwear he wanted to preserve!)
In the end what's been really wonderful for me (besides not changing any more diapers) is that he's really proud of himself and his own mastery. He didn't do it for me or for M 'n' Ms, he did it because he's ready to be a big boy. It's a win-win.

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answers from Yakima on

I have used training pants successfully on my girls. If they are ready for potty training they won't like that feeling of being wet. I also had them change their training pants if they had a accident. The first few days might be lots of accidents but stay at it. At naptime and bedtime put a pull-up over the training pants.Your expectation is for her to go to the bathroom and you need to let her know you beieve she can do it all the time. Not just when she is awake.
I would ask you two question to ask yourself? Is she able to stay dry for long periods of time? Does she wake up dry after nap or sleeping all night ? If so her bladder is able to hold her urine for longer periods of time. Which tells you she should be ready to potty train. I used the method of no more diapers or pull-ups and committed to potty training for a week or so. One daughter was potty trained at 22 months in three days the other was almost three . I had tried with her wasn't successful waited a couple of months and when i figured out she wanted to use the big toliet it was overnight andshe was done. Try and walk away if you aren't successful try again. Let her know what a big girl she is and those special big girl panties are just waiting for her.
Stay relaxed . It will happen.

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answers from Spokane on

With my first child, I got so frusterated whenever someone would say "He will train when he is ready." Or "Well they won't go to college still in Diapers!" But it is hard. I tried everything with him and the more I pushed, the more he resisted. He finally trained and stayed trained - when HE was ready. He was 4 1/2. My second child was almost 3 and I was pregnant with my thrid baby. I thought my attempts at training were successful. She had the motivation of wanting to start preschool, but after the baby was born she regressed and I am still struggling with her (she will be 4 in January and baby is 7 months.) At least she still poops in the potty. So if you are sucessful before the baby comes, don't be surprized if you have to start over once the baby comes.
I agree that pull-ups feel like a diaper to children and don't work well at training. However if your child understands the concept of being potty trained and then going becomes a power struggle, pull-ups are great for your peace of mind while giving your child the opportunity to decide for themselves that they want to be potty trained. The thick training pants underwear leak unless you use plastic covers with them. I also tried Kushies all in one training pants and they worked okay for a while, but after several washes they leak whenever wet in. Non disposable training pants are a horible mess if your child poops in them. (No tear away sides). Running around without anything on worked for my son, but not my daughter, she just wets anyway. Good luck!

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answers from Portland on

one thing i've learned is you really need to watch for signs and even if she shows some signs she may not be fully ready. my daughter was 2 when I'd come in to her room in the morning and she'd not have her diaper on (sign). she also wet in her diaper much less causing me to 'train'. it went horrible and i got so frustrated i was mad at myself. 4 mos later we tried again since more signs were showing up. it didn't work. few days later she asked dad for a snack and dad said she had to go potty first. she did. that's how it got started with us. she'd go potty and she'd get a snack (mini marshmallow etc.).
it's very importand to watch your kid and it's just as important to be patient. you should not have a timeframe you 'must' get it done in or the stress from you will hinder the process. i've lived and learned this :) good luck! oh, for overnight look at it differently.

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answers from Portland on

My daughter used training panties and they did not work. She had messes on the floor because all the urine came out, soaked the panties and ran down her daughter's leg.

I think training panties are for a later step in training, when the child is able to recognize the need to pee and is able to hold back most of the urine but still starts to pee before she gets to the bathroom.

There are pull ups now that allow the child to feel the discomfort of being wet. I would use those. My daughter just used regular pull ups but took her kids to the bathroom frequently until they caught on to the process.

It took several weeks to a couple of months for training both of my grandchildren in part because we weren't consistent about doing it. I like Rebecca's plan of using the timer. I think that potty training takes patience and a willingness to let it unfold as it will for each child.

It is very important to be calm, pleasant, and undemanding of the child. It has to be fun. I suggest you combine games, toys, reading with the sitting on the toilet or potty chair.

One of my friends unexpectedly had to have her 3yo daughter trained quickly so that she could go to day care. She already had a potty chair in the bathroom. She began taking her daughter with her several times/day. The mother and the daughter sat on the chair. She had books and toys on the floor next to the potty chair. The mother talked about going pee in the potty but treated it in a manner that told her daughter that she could do all of her pee in the potty when she was ready. It was no big deal. The daughter was dry in her pull ups within a week.

Obviously her daughter was physically and emotionally ready to be trained by that time. I think that her mother's care free attitude over time set the process up for success when the mother focused on a regular routine.
First, her daughter was familiar with the potty chair because she would sit on it and play. Then she saw her mother using the big potty which the mother related to the little potty. Last, the mother focused on using the potty everyday for several days. Even tho he entire process took several weeks it felt so simple.

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answers from Seattle on

I have not used them, because they don't seem like they would be fun to have to clean up...and i didn't want to spend the money on something I wasn't going to like or use for a long time...My son trained when he was just over 2 - he was definitely just ready for it. I didn't use pull-ups, just put him in underwear with a diaper UNDERNEATH...he didn't really pay attention to the fact that he had a diaper on...for the first few days, I took him to the bathroom every hour, then extended it to two hours, etc. Within a week, he was telling me when he had to go, and the diaper was gone...I also told him that the character on his underwear did not want to get wet or poopy...he has only (in 2 years) had one wet accident.

Your daughter might really not be ready - and if she isn't you shouldn't push it...especially if pregnant - she could totally regress when the baby comes, then you will be cleaning up dirty clothing instead of just changing a diaper!

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answers from Eugene on

Dear M.

I used them and they worked great. I told my daughter that when she wet herself from now on she would wet her socks. I only ever heard one MOMMIEEEE coming
from the bathroom and after that she followed her signal.
I used diapers at night until she told me to stop.

With my second daughter I never had a chance to use them as she toilet trained herself.



answers from Portland on

positive reinforcement has been working for us, like saying if she goes on the potty then she can get a smoothie (which she may get anyway, so it is not a huge deal...and not a white sugary thing). Also, I got a lot of books like "Once Upon a Potty" and "Everybody Poops" and other potty books that are encouraging and inspiring. Also, when she sees other kids going, it is also quite inspiring for her. Does she know when she goes? If she can tell you when, then she at least knows when. I have the Gerber training pants that work well, too. My daughter just turned 2 years old and she has been pooping in the potty for about 3 weeks now, next step is having her work on peeing. I have only cleaned up 2 accidents, and we have her run around without anything on, after we change her. It is taking an EXTREME amount of patience, so all the patience to you too! :)



answers from Seattle on

Personally, I don't agree with the training pants. I thought they actually encouraged my son to continue going to the restroom in his undies. It's hard because you want something that will keep from getting so messy and the training pants help with that, but they don't do as well as I thought they should. My son did better with just regular underwear. I even had him go to the store with me and pick out ones he liked. I will say that the training pants did help at night until I was able to potty train him at night. :D I watched my son's cues during the day. Usually, someone has to use the restroom within 15-30 min of eating. So this might help a bit. When my son made a mess, if it was an accident, I would help him clean the mess. If he did it simply because he didn't want to use the toiled, I made him clean his own mess. I used vinegar for all of it, which helped take out the urine smell and was safe for him to use. Believe me, after awhile, he learned to clean up his own messes and realized the toilet was the way to go. :D



answers from Corvallis on

I personally do not like using PULL UPS for potty training, but they do come in handy for long car rides and for bedtime instead of daipers.
In training undies or regular the child feels the wet and discomfort, in pull ups its just like a diaper. Yes with underwear you will be doing lots of laundry and cleaning many accidents, but I think its nore productive in the long run. Also some kids really get excited with the idea of wearing "big kid" underwear.
Good Luck!!

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