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This is a guest post from my friend Anne over at Zephyr Hill. She is weighing in with her thoughts on cloth training pants vs going straight to underwear. What are your thoughts?
When it comes time to potty train a cloth-diapered child, there a lot of different options for trainers. A lot of families feel the simplest approach is best: just use real underwear or even go commando for a time. It saves tons of money and really works for motivated learners, so if that approach works, fantastic!
There are a few drawbacks, however, so here are some reasons you might want to invest in more absorbent cloth trainers:
Underwear is hard to pull and down when wet. It’s thin and sticks to your child like a glove. If you want something that’s easy to pull down after an accident, opt for a roomier trainer or something with side snaps.
Clean-up is tricky after a bowel movement. Pulling underwear down often makes a mess on their legs.
There will be multiple accidents, and frequently. When a child is in real underwear, watch out for the floor, the chair, the couch, the bed, etc.
It’s a gamble in public. When you’re traveling, visiting friends, or running errands, a real cloth trainer will give you (and your child) more protection and peace of mind in case there’s an accident.
Some children need more protection. Potty training has never been a one-size-fits-all proposition, so using toddler underwear just may not work well for your child….or for you. Wearing an absorbent training may be just the trick for helping your learner to feel wet without stressing about constant changes in the beginning. Some children are who are coming out of diapers just don’t like how toddler underwear feels or fits; it’s too big of a leap for them.
One final tip: when you choose to use a trainer that’s more absorbent, there’s a natural tendency to be less vigilant, since you’ve got some insurance there. That’s fine, if you’re taking a very leisurely approach to learning. But if you want to quickly move forward and cash in on your toddler’s interest and maturity, keep taking regular trips to the potty and looking for cues no matter what’s on his bum.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on training pants. What’s worked well for your family, or what are you planning to buy?