Intro to Cloth Diapers: Cloth Training Pants

Even the Non Cloth Diapering Family can get down with Cloth Training Pants, especially when they realize those Pull Ups they are only using twice a day are still costing a fortune!

This installment in the Introduction to Cloth Diapers Series is going to show you the many types of Reusable Cloth Trainers available.

Cloth Trainers also can be called “Reusable Trainers,” “Cloth Training Pants,” or just “Trainers.”

loth Trainers are an easy to pull up (and down) pant with enough absorbency to hold at least one accident or more.  Can be waterproof or not.  Many have side snaps for e removal in case of solid accidents. Just like regular cloth diapers, the types of Cloth Trainers on the market are plentiful.  It is an entire subset where more categories exist and branch out.  Let’s break it down.

Pull on Only- These trainers are strictly pull ups with no other closures.  They have a stretchy waistband.  Can be Waterproof or Non Waterproof. Ex. Imse Vimse


Side Snapping Pull on- These trainers pull up and down thanks to a stretchy waistband but they also have the option of unsnapping on the sides.  This is especially helpful if your child has a number 2 accident and makes clean-up easier.  Can be Waterproof or Non Waterproof.

Pocket Style Trainer–  These trainers have a pocket (just like Pocket cloth diapers) that can be stuffed with an absorbent insert.  This gives you control over the absorbency levels you need.  Pocket Trainers are especially good for nights when you might need extra protection.  Pocket Trainers can be Waterproof or Non Waterproof.  They are usually Side Snapping Trainers as well.

superundiescottonnighttimeundiesgreenOvernight Trainers- Overnight trainers have a lot of absorbency included and are Waterproof to keep the bed sheets (hopefully) dry.  Most trainers by definition are not that absorbent since they are assuming the child is in some stage of potty learning.  They are meant to hold one miss or a trinkle, not an entire full bladder’s pee.  For parents wanting to give toddlers their dignity in the last phase of potty training or older children who cannot yet stay dry at night these are a good option.  Ex.  Super Undies Overnights
Bedwetting Pants- Bedwetting Pants are designed for older toddlers, children who still wet the bed at night, and sometimes older children with Special Needs.  They are VERY absorbent and are meant to contain a large amount of urine.  Another item to pair with these would be a PUL backed mat for extra protection of the sheets (saves changing for every accident).  Ex. Motherease Bedwetting Pants
EC Pants- Elimination Communication is a practice of introducing a baby to the potty at an early age (even from birth).  Typical Training Pants don’t fit infants and small babies so there are some “trainers” that are easy on and off, even those with panels that pull down while the waist stays closed, that are smaller.  These usually have EC in mind in some way so they have easy access but still have some absorbency for any accidents.  They can be Waterproof or Non Waterproof.  Ex. ECA Ware

Other options:

Most parents who are considering a Training Pant are looking for something specific.  These are options available within most of the above TYPES of Trainers.
Stay Dry Lining- A Stay Dry Liner, such as Suedecloth or Microfleece, will wick mosture from the child’s skin and to the absorbent insert, leaving their skin feeling dry.  This is more confortable for the child and a great option for Overnight Trainers.
Non Stay Dry Lining– Any natural material such as Bamboo, Cotton, or Hemp will feel wet after urinating.  Feeling wet is a good thing for potty training since it alerts the child to their accident.  If they are uncomfortable with being wet, or notice, this will aid in potty training.  Ex. Kissaluvs Trainers with Flannel Lining
Full Waterproof– Trainers that are completely waterproof function much like a diaper.  The drawback is that you, the parent, are unaware that your child has had an accident in many cases.  Full Waterproof trainers with a High Absorbency level are great for nights and naps or outings.   Ex. Happy Heiny’s Pocket Trainer

Hidden Waterproof Layer– Many of the trimmer and “most like underwear” Trainers have a hidden layer of PUL sewn between the outside and inside layers.  This means they are a soft material (usually cotton) to the touch on the outside and look/feel like real underwear.  The downside is that they do not hold up to larger misses like during naps and overnight.  They are still great for the mostly potty trained child who trickles a bit and work great for going out and saving a pair of pants.  Ex.  Blueberry Trainers
Non Waterproof– You might be thinking, what is the point of a Non Waterproof Trainer?  Well, if you want to know when a child has an accident right away, or you’d like to understand their patterns before beginning Potty Training, a non waterproof trainer will be easy to tell by sight or touch.  This a great tool for parents practicing “Elimination Communication.” Ex. Little Beetle Learners

And remember, Side Snapping Pockets work great for trainers too, like the Evolution Ion or Knickernappies!

Like cloth diapers, Cloth Trainers should not be washed using detergents with softeners or other harmful materials.  They can be washed with regular clothes if they have only been peed in and if you aren’t doing regular diaper laundry.

Keep following the Intro to Cloth Diaper Series as I continue to add to the library of videos and posts.


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  • kim, it’s telling me the video is private

    • Anonymous

      I think I do that every week…..  sorry!  We had a meeting this morning and I rushed to hit publish!

  • We love our Night Time Pocket Tinkle Time Trainers by Ladder Hill
    they have been bullet proof for my 4.5 year old who
    still randomly wets the bed at night. The single hemp soaker is plenty
    for my also spontaneous heavy wetter.

    We also just got a Sleep
    About Night Trainer
    tester from The Nappy Shoppe and so far
    it’s okay, just a bit too poofy in the front/crotch.

  • Leigh

    I like my Baby Kicks as trainers too since they pull up well and have side snaps.
    I have also been using Bummies Wisper pull ups over my Blueberry trainers to hold bigger pees when we are out and my Kissas are all dirty. 

  • This is awesome!  I guess I have been wondering about this and not knowing to ask/look.  I know it has to be personal to the child, but how many of these in each type seem reasonable to purchase and have on hand?  My daughter is 2.5 and ready to train, but kind of stubborn and unsure of the potty thing.  We’ve tried it, but haven’t officially gone completely diaper-less yet.  She wakes up with soaked pajamas nearly every morning.  I think we might have to take her to the potty in the middle of the night, type thing.  But anyway, I know this isn’t a potty training site, but do you have any suggestions? 🙂

  • Crystal Cline

    This is a super way of helping people find the perfect trainer Kim!  Thank you so much for you wonderful reviews & helpful information!  We will be referring many people to your site as you constantly have some great posts!  We love our Happy Heiny’s trainers as well as our Charlie Banana trainers – a newer item on the market!  Here is the link if anyone’s interested: 🙂

  • Jill Caywood

    I used bumbledoo with my last two kids and they are my go-to shower gift for new moms! Check them out at bumbledoo

  • danielle

    I wanted to use cloth trainers with my girl but they seemed so expensive, i think i will use them with my boy though…

  • Jason Carpp

    What I’d like to see are more cloth diapers made in the USA. With everything else being made elsewhere, it’d be nice to see something made in North America for a change.

  • Kate

    Best Bottom diapers (and training pants) are made in the US and are pretty fabulous!