Potty training - underwear vs training pants??

Dawn - posted on 03/09/2011 ( 24 moms have responded )

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Hello!! I am preparing to potty training my son, who just turned 2. I have already decided to not use Pull-Up's (or similar training pants), but when shopping for other options...I need help!!! There are regular underwear, plastic underpant covers, and cloth training pants (these feel a lot like regular underwear but are slightly thicker throughout and have some padding in the crotch). I would love to get the feedback from some mothers who have already potty trained. Thanks :)

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Laura - posted on 03/09/2011

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I went "old school" when training my daughter--I used the heavier training pants with a vinyl/plastic cover. I still recommend them! The nice thing about the heavier cotton trainers is that the child feels the wetness when they urinate yet the heavier material absorbs much of the urine! You can even double up the trainers if your child is a heavy urinator (or they've had a lot of juice!) Regular underwear just doesn't absorb the urine and it puddles, making a wet situation even messier. The pull-ups are glorified diapers that continue to keep the child dry which they then can't really feel. If they can't feel the wetness, they don't get uncomfortable, and if they aren't uncomfortable they can't associate the sensations of urinating to their comfort, IMO. The cloth trainers get wet and stay wet, creating an immediate sensation that is uncomfortable. My daughter learned really quickly that wet pants are no fun and quickly caught on, catching herself tinkling and then running to the potty. She pretty much trained herself in a few days! The reward for using the potty consistently and with no accidents for a week was "big girl" panties of her choice! She chose Disney princess panties (eye roll!). That's okay, because the end result was a potty-trained child! Hope this helps and good luck!

Tanya - posted on 06/21/2011

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I just potty trained my son... and I used regular underwear... I chose not to use training pants because they absorb like diapers, instead I used piddle pads in the car and in the bed... which prevented everything from being wet but allowed him to feel the wetness... I also travel with a potty in my car so we use it before and after we leave any stores and restaurants... my 20 month old was trained in 3 days...

Stefanie - posted on 08/23/2011

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I have 3 kids, I have used a few different methods but I will just tell you what worked for us. We used waterproof cloth training pants - http://www.pottytrainingconcepts.com/CTG... They are a little expensive, but pull-ups DID NOT WORK for us! My mom recommend this, they are washable/reusable. I didn't know about these with my first, it took us over a year using pull ups. We used with my daughter - less than 2 weeks! Seriously best investment - I'm saving them for my last.

Good luck!

Sarah - posted on 03/11/2011

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My little boy is in training at the moment i started at the start of summer warmer month's to run around with out anyting on just a t shirt had a lot of accidents but to weeks ago we had a major break through he was, scared to sit on the toilet, training seat and potty so he now stands on the toilets seat for wees and poo's and we have not had any accidents in 2 weeks since he first stood on the toilet. So i put trainer nappies on him when we go somewhere and he thinks it's alright to go toilet in them and will not tell me when he needs to go so i say bare bum u get there eventually Good luck

Cat - posted on 11/04/2011

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Gerber and Carter's Child of Mine both make training underwear that is basically underwear but with a little padding. The padding is thin enough that they will still feel wet but thick enough to make cleanup not as messy (you will still have to clean up).

http://www.squidoo.com/three-day-potty-t...

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Johanna - posted on 10/19/2011

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i am still working on potty training my son. but the first day he used the potty like he was suppose to is when he got to where his lightning mcqueen underwear. he saw them when i was going through some things and asked to where them and i told them if he was going to wear them he had to go in the potty and so far it is working really well cause he wants to wear his mcqueen underwear. but my son is also 3 (he showed no interest in potty training until just before he turned 3)

Ileana - posted on 08/26/2011

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Hi!! I am a first time working mom. My daughter is 22 months, sometimes she can be difficult during feeding time. I am looking for quick, different, tasteful, and healthy food. I am hispanic, and she loves rice and beans; however she needs variety. Thanks for your feedback. Ileana M. Betancourt

CLAIRE - posted on 08/20/2011

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i use pull up for a year then moved on training pants for year and they didnt work they dont really let the child know they are wet or when they want to go then underwear ithis underwear better cuz they can breath down there and feel like they want to go to loo and keep showing where the potty or loo is let him sit on it to get feel of it and maybed he will wee and keep say or big boy now and keep he a good boy

Tara - posted on 08/17/2011

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I've been having decent progress with just regular underwear for my girls. We are doing a "potty weekend" this week and both girls will be in underwear or "freebird" (I love that term Jenn) for the entire weekend.
My youngest girl may not be quite ready for night training so she'll have pull ups but my oldest will have the potty go into her room for the night.

Cheryl - posted on 08/17/2011

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To Jennifer: Your post makes me feel a little better about potty training with underwear, my daughter isnt doing very well with pullups. I feel like she thinks of them as diapers too and its been a long process, so maybe Ill do what you've done and just go with the underwear, hopefully she will learn quickly this way like your son :)
Good luck Dawn and thank you Jennifer :D

Beth - posted on 08/14/2011

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I am way behind in finding this thread, but thank you all. I am armed and ready to start the process tomorrow. Great advice.

Stacey - posted on 06/21/2011

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I used regular underwear with plastic pants over them. Except my daughter was in day care n they required pull-ups...if u dont wanna have 2 wash sheets every day i would try the pull ups at night.. Unless it gets to the point ur child is using them like a diaper then i would go all natural while at home.. It workd 4 both my kids..12yr old son n 4 yr old daughter both basically traind themselves...i was lucky! Hope u r 2!

Jenn - posted on 06/21/2011

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Underwear and freebird! Going naked around the house with a little potty right where he can see helps tremendously. I also had a potty that I kept in the back of our SUV for potty stops which was quicker to access and far more sanitary. Accidents are going to happen, just be patient and ready to do a lot of laundry ;)

[deleted account]

Yep. My son is SUPER stubborn. I've been making the last of his diapers last as long as I can (since they are never even damp). He's got 3 left and I'm quite concerned about how he will react the first night he HAS to wear underwear. I've tried to put him to bed in underwear already, but it only lasts an hour or so until he gets very upset and 'needs' a diaper. Little stinker was night trained before he was day trained. lol

Dawn - posted on 03/09/2011

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Teresa, it's so funny how different and particular kids can be....thanks for sharing! And, I would probrably use Pullup style trainers when we are out in public, at least to start. I have a feeling this will be a slow going experience....my son is VERY cautious and also stubborn (things have to be his idea or its a no-go), so we shall see.

Bonnie - posted on 03/09/2011

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I also did the leaving him naked from the waist down thing. Where I live, it is only warm enough probably about 4 months out of the year so you would have to pick to train during that time period. It works well because they feel everything. Diapers and pull-ups are too much of a comfort thing for them.

[deleted account]

Well, since you aren't interested in pull ups, you won't do what I did, but wanted to share my experience anyway.



My girls would have 100% success rate while naked, but it didn't matter WHAT was on their bottoms... if there was something there the success rate went down to about 50%. So... we kept them naked at home and used pull ups for sleep times and in public until they were down to only an accident or two/week on their own (twins).



My son potty trained himself and insisted on staying in diapers. In 3 months of being fully potty trained he's only had about 3 accidents (one in a diaper and 2 on the bathroom floor), but he was fully potty trained for a month before he would quit wearing diapers during the day... he still wears them at night even though he doesn't physically need them.



Good luck! It's a process, that's for sure. :)

Emily - posted on 03/09/2011

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For the beginning of potty training, we used none of the above--just being naked! :) That worked really well. Used pull-ups for going out places. When he was finally getting really good we just switched to underwear full time.

Dawn - posted on 03/09/2011

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Alison, I live in Florida and the weather is beautiful now....perfect for walking around bottomless!! Thank you for your advise!

Alison - posted on 03/09/2011

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I don't know where you live, Dawn, but I left all my boys to potty train in the warmer/ summer months as they could run about the garden with no undies at all on - just a long t-shirt, which made it much easier for them to run to the potty. Also they had lighter clothes when not in the garden which were easier to remove at 'wee time' and also were easier to wash and dry.

Jenni - posted on 03/09/2011

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We only use pull ups for naps, night-time and outings. The rest of the time we use underwear. I find that if my son is wearing pull ups it just feels like a regular diaper to him and he'll go in them more often.

When he's wearing underwear he can tell easier when he starts to go and runs to the potty. I also find they're harder for him to get off and he can't get them off quick enough before he goes.

I just use regular underwear... it was a bit messy... but it only took 2 weeks and now at 8 weeks in he is at 95% accident-free. We still usually have one a day but he isn't physically able to stay dry for a long time yet. He goes once every 30-60 mins. So I'd say he's dong fairly well considering. And most accidents occur in the bathroom when he waits too long and doesn't get his undies off quick enough. So they are easy to clean up.



Oh, and I usually just let him run in underwear for now. No pants until he gets the hang of it better. Too much to take off.

Bonnie - posted on 03/09/2011

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I used Pull-Ups for a bit and they really didn't do anything for my son. It is like a diaper with easier access for him, which he wasn't even really doing on his own at that point. A lot of people I have spoken with like to go straight to underwear because the child feels everything (being there is no padding). If you don't mind doing extra laundry for awhile, you may want to try underwear.

I ended up using the cloth or flannel material with padding training pants that have the vinyl on the outside. We didn't use them for too long. For the most part I think they truly helped because my son was able to tell when he had gone a bit in them already and because they absorb so much, there was no mess.

Dawn - posted on 03/09/2011

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Thank you so much Laura, your posts are always helpful (I was excited to see it was you who replied first!!)......I was leaning towards the cloth trainers with the plastic cover....here is another question: they make the cloth trainers and separate covers or trainers combined with a cover...what is your opinion???

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