Potty training can be difficult for any family to navigate and choosing the right cloth training system can sometimes be overwhelming. Cloth trainers are excellent tools to use in the potty training phase as they help baby feel wet and recognize when the need to go has come and/or passed.
Cloth trainers can be used and washed just like cloth diapers and like cloth diapers, there are several different styles to choose from. The best choice for your family may depend on the stage of potty training you are currently experiencing. In this article, we are going to compare the best cloth trainers on the market and share our best tips and tricks for using cloth trainers while potty learning.
1. Sloomb Trainers
Size: Sloomb trainers come in three sizes: size one (20-28lbs), size two (27-36lbs) and size three (35-46lbs). Their trainers are super soft and work with a 'system' cloth diapering parents will already be familiar with - bamboo/organic cotton + wool (this is my personal favorite cloth diaper system and as the same concepts apply to trainers, you’ll quickly see why).
Style: Sloomb trainers have a stretchy knit body with an absorbent fleece center panel. You’ll need to pair Sloomb training underwear with Sloomb wool for wetness protection, as there is no waterproofing in these trainers. Because there is no TPU layer, you’ll need to lanolize your wool layers to keep leaks away.
Cost: Sloomb trainers are $51 for a 3 pack, so right at $17 each, which is very comparable to the other styles we will discuss later on.
Bonus: Sloomb trainers also look and feel exactly like regular underwear, so toddlers may be more inclined to choose them as well. They are super absorbent and when paired with wool, a great potty training system. They are an easy transition from cloth diapers to eventually underwear and at the very top of our list.
2. GroVia My Choice Trainers
Size: GroVia My Choice Trainers are a one size product, but have optional extender panels to bring the fit from 1T-3T to 3T-5T. They also have rise snaps on the front of the trainer that will allow you to adjust from 18 to 35+ lbs. The side snaps allow for caregivers to unsnap rather than pull it down like underwear, which can be very helpful when solids are present.
Style: The My Choice Trainer is waterproof and has built in absorbency with a pocket in the back which allows you to add absorbency should you need to. Because this style of cloth trainer is completely waterproof, it’s ideal for the beginning stages of potty training, long car rides and overnight.
Cost: GroVia My Choice Trainers are sold individually and are $18.99 each. And again, very comparable in price to the rest of our list.
Bonus: This trainer might be the most versatile on our list. The built in waterproofing protects against leaks while the added absorbency pocket allows parents to customize their absorbency as they see fit. The one size features like rise snaps and optional waist extenders allow parents to use this trainer for several months without having to size up and the hip snaps make clean up easy. (Because no one wants to pull a trainer full of poo down a wriggly toddler’s legs in the bathroom at Target. No one.)
3. Thirsties Training Pant
Size: Thirsties Training Pants come in four sizes: small (20-27lbs), medium (26-35lbs), large (35-45lbs) and extra large (42-56lbs). Try to avoid choosing a size that your toddler will ‘grow into’. The leg and waist elastics provide some leak protection, but if your trainer isn’t sized properly, leaks can occur.
Style: The Thirsties Training Pants look and feel very much like underwear. They have four layers of absorbent organic cotton and one layer of TPU lining the wet zone to prevent leaks. Although this trainer is intended to catch small accidents, it does not replace a diaper. #protip If you need a little more absorbency to catch bigger accidents, you can always add a booster to line your trainer.
Cost: Thirsties Training Pants come as singles and cost $18.75 each, so again within the normal range of the other trainers on our list.
Bonus: This is the first trainer on our list that comes in 3 fun prints, Classic Jurassic, Unicornicopia and Duck Duck Moo. Help entice toddlers to get involved in their own potty learning process by helping them choose their favorite prints themselves. (Since every toddler needs to take two hours to dress themselves anyway or the world might end.)
4. Blueberry Trainers
Size: Blueberry trainers come in three sizes: small (20-28lbs), medium (25-35lbs) and large (32-42lbs). Although there is about a ten pound spread per size, they do tend to shrink slightly with wash and wear, so keep that in mind if you are considering moving up or down a size.
Style: These trainers are very similar to underwear unlike some of the options on our list. They have a microterry/PUL lining designed to absorb small accidents, but do not replace a diaper and are not recommended for naptime or nighttime. However, because they feel so much like underwear, they will be an easy transition to regular underwear when the time comes.
Cost: Blueberry trainers are sold individually and cost $17.95 each.
Bonus: Blueberry trainers have a large selection of colors and prints to choose from and lots of gender neutral options too. Get your toddler or preschooler involved in thoughtfully choosing their prints and they may be more excited to potty train than you thought!
5. Flip Training Pants
Size: Flip trainers are a one size trainer option with rise settings on the front to adjust from 20 pounds to 50 pounds. Because this one trainer accommodates such a wide size range, it may be an ideal choice for parents who have more than one child in cloth or plan to have more than one child in cloth eventually.
Style: This trainer mimics the cover and prefold cloth diapering system in that it has reusable trainer pads that can be inserted into the trainer cover. Because the trainer itself is made completely from TPU, it is a totally waterproof option. However, it does look and feel very much like a cloth diaper, which may put some toddlers and preschoolers off to the idea of wearing this particular style.
Cost: Flip training pants are sold individually and cost $19.95 each.
Bonus: Because Flip trainer shells can be wiped out and used again, they are ideal for parents who have just begun potty training and littles who are having frequent accidents. The removable pads allow parents to quickly and easily get a fresh change on baby and move on with their day.
Finding the potty training system that works best for your family can be challenging, but our top five will help you navigate this stage easily. I’ve used each system with my children at some point and I can tell you that your perfect potty trainer may even differ from child to child.
When choosing a trainer, I encourage the families that come to our boutique to consider the child, the caregiver and your own lifestyle. Choose the trainers that will work best for the current stage of your toddler and consider the stages ahead. In other words, I promise, they won’t be potty training forever. (Believe it or not, I have never gone to a job interview or college class and had someone ask me at what age I potty trained as a metric for… well anything really. You will survive this, I promise.)
You can shop most of the trainer styles mentioned above in our carefully curated collection of cloth trainers. For more potty training tips and tricks, LIKE us on Facebook, FOLLOW us on Instagram at @ArcticBabyBottoms or join our community on Facebook at the Arctic Baby Bottoms Fan Group!