Cloth Training Pants for a Pull-ups-free Life

When I started potty training Audrey, I wasn’t planning on buying disposable Pull-ups or even cloth training pants.  I just took her out of diapers and put her into underwear.  This actually worked, for the most part.  But then Audrey’s daycare provider said she was on board with potty training, but that Audrey would need to wear training pants.  I guess she wasn’t up for my “just wear underwear” technique, which admittedly results in a puddle here and there. 

So I looked around.  Our big grocery store carried Gerber training pants, but they didn’t carry them in Audrey’s size–ever.  I stopped by a drug store, which had disposable training pants, but no cloth ones.  Then I popped into two children’s consignment stores and came out empty handed.  Who knew cloth training pants were such a rare commodity?

Finally I remembered a Hannah Anderson gift certificate I’d had since Audrey’s birth.  They have a store downtown, so I ventured out there and bought a set of three adorable little training pants for $28.50—cheaper than Imse Vimse training pants, which cost about $12 each.  (By comparison, a jumbo pack of 88 Pull-ups costs over $30.00.) 

The Hannah Anderson pants are made from 100% organic cotton and don’t have a plastic layer.  In other words, they are not water proof, which is just what I wanted.  A child in these training pants will feel wetness and won’t be tempted to treat them as a diaper.  (At least this has been our experience.)  They’re also absorbent enough to prevent those pesky puddles, so they definitely work for me. 

Audrey is potty trained now, and I never needed to buy more training pants or a pack of Pull-ups.  I can personally attest to the fact that a life without Pull-ups is possible!  Although she didn’t need training pants for very long, she still wears them and thinks of them as regular underwear, so I consider it money well spent. 

For more great Works for Me Wednesday tips, head on over to Rocks in My Dryer––and please join us for our Thrifty Green Thursday carnival this week!


  1. I so want to try cloth diapers with Ethan. Will is set in his ways and likes the Diego pull ups at night, but Ethan is only 8 months old and I have thought about using cloth with him. Are they really hard to keep clean? I wonder how many pairs would be enough to have? Thanks for posting this. It reminded me that I need to do some more research on this topic. I would love to stop spending money on diapers and formula by the end of the year!

  2. Donna, at 8 months old, it’s probably too soon to think about potty training, but you can switch to cloth diapers! We wrote a post a while back for Cloth Diaper Novices that might interest you. The average boy doesn’t potty train until he’s over three years old, so I’d say you’d get your money’s worth out of cloth diapers if you started now.

  3. Cute! I use cloth diapers for my baby, but we aren’t to the potty training stage yet. I love this idea.

  4. You don’t have to tell me about boys and potty training. 🙂 Will is 3.5 and we are having major problems PT him, but I know he will get it eventually. Thanks for the link to your article. When it is all nice and quite tonight, I will sit down and have a look.

  5. I might have to try this. I have been buying pull ups…. but training my son to go on the toilet is unfortunately taking longer than hoped!! Thanks!

  6. Donna and Wani, I said in my post that one thing I liked about the training pants is that Audrey “didn’t treat them like a diaper.” The first couple weeks of potty training, we’d put Audrey back in a diaper for outings, and she would wet it every time. I soon realized that she knew she could go in her diaper, but not in her underwear or training pants. I wonder if using Pull-ups hinders potty training because they seem too much like a diaper? There’s my hairbrained theory of the day. . . .

  7. Thanks for sharing this find. I’m not yet ready for potty training with a 6 month old, but it’s always in the back of my mind. I’ll definitely be ordering some of these.

  8. My oldest is a heavy wetter at night. Do you think that this would be a good option? We do cloth with our LO and I hate using Pullups. I am fine with her feeling wet and learning to get up, but do these keep the sheets dry? Thanks!

  9. Rebecca, no, the training pants wouldn’t work well in place of a diaper at night. They’re not very absorbent at all–just like thick underwear. They prevent puddles, but that’s about it. We still put Audrey in a cloth diaper at night and will continue to do so until she’s dry in the mornings. I have an upcoming post about using cloth diapers during potty training that will address this in further detail!

  10. Doesn’t Fuzzi Bunz have training pants?

  11. Hmm, G & C Mom, I’m not sure. I have heard that Fuzzibunz without the insert can function as training pants. I gave that a try and it didn’t work. My daughter was not fooled–she knew fuzzibunz were still diapers, with or without the insert.

  12. There are heaps of WAHM’s that are making waterproof, reusable training pants – even ones recycled from prefolds into trainers!

    Here is an extensive list of makers, perhaps visitors can find a supplier close to their home to reduce the environmental impact of shipping and transportation.


  13. I agree that I think Pullups Hinder training!! I’m now on my third baby and i just now figured that out, Shame on me! So i traced out one of our disposable pullups as a pattern and made some cloth ones using a folded washcloth sandwiched inside and my daughter definetly treats it differently. She can actually feel the wetness now.

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