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The best potty training pants to help your toddler move from nappies to underwear

A stepping stone between nappies and children's underwear, potty training pants can be really helpful to toddlers who've just started potty training. Here's our pick of the best potty training pants.

By Louise Baty | Last updated May 9, 2022

Child playing in potty training pants

Let’s be honest; potty training can be a tricky and, ahem, messy time. The NHS advises that it’s really important to remain calm and patient during the potty training process and to allow your child to take all the time they need to adjust to using a potty rather than nappies.

That said, there are certain products which can help your toddler learn this important new life skill. For example, the NHS advises that training pants can be very useful during potty training.

Potty training pants may be either disposable pull-ups or washable pants. The reusable ones are made of cloth so they have the feel and comfort of normal pants, as well as being able to be easily pulled up and down by a toddler. 

As they have a certain level of absorbency, toilet training pants are ideal for catching the odd dribble, especially when they’re out and about or at nursery. They can be worn full-time until a child is dry and confident enough to move onto ordinary pants, or part-time whenever extra reassurance is needed.

Bear in mind that the NHS recommends that training pants should be seen as a step towards wearing pants, rather than as a replacement for nappies. Your child should be encouraged to keep their training pants dry by using the potty when they feel the need to go.

With so many different potty training pants available on the market, it can be hard to know which are most suited to your child. To help you get started, here are the best potty training pants of 2022.

How we chose our recommendations

Recommendations from real parents

Before we recommend new products, we always check the opinions of our trusted Mumsnet users, of which there are more than 7 million each month. That’s a lot of honest, impartial advice. Many of the potty training pants in this round-up are products that have been tried, tested and recommended by Mumsnetters.

Expert guidance

We always ensure our information represents the latest recommendations from experts so you can rely on it, and we research each product thoroughly to ensure it follows the latest expert advice and stands up to scrutiny. Here, for advice on potty training and products which can help with potty training, we consulted trusted sources including the NHS

Consumer feedback

We also scour the internet, leaving no stone unturned to check out real reviews from customers who have bought the products themselves and given both positive and negative feedback. 

Celebrated best products

Finally, we check to see which products have won industry awards and received recognition from trusted sources and feed this into our analysis too.

Mumsnet HQ's Best Buys at a Glance

Best potty training pants round-up

  1. Best overall potty training pants: Bright Bots Trainer Pants
  2. Best budget potty training pants: Bambino Mio Potty Training Pants
  3. Best training pants for boys: JoJo Maman Bébé Boys’ Training Pants
  4. Best training pants for girls: JoJo Maman Bébé Girls’ Training Knickers
  5. Best potty training pants for swimming: Charlie Banana 2-in-1 Swim Nappy and Training Pants

1. Best overall potty training pants: Bright Bots Trainer Pants

Bright Bots Trainer Pants

Price: £10 for pack of two | Buy now from Amazon

“We had a pack of Bright Bots - my eldest would dribble a bit rather than go to the loo immediately, they are soft cotton jersey with a bit of hidden waterproofing and absorbency and look and feel like pants. We found the wide elastic quite easy to pull up and down by themselves.” Tried and tested by Ariela.

A comfy, cosy option, Bright Bots Trainer Pants come in a choice of 14 bright colourways and prints, .These cotton training pants by Bright Bots are a comfy option and are available in a wide choice of bright colours.

While they won’t hold a full wee, like a nappy, they are ideal for children prone to leaving it a bit too late to make it to the loo. The central target area has an extra layer of terry towelling with a waterproof lining, which contains enough wee to stop it from soaking through other layers of clothes.

Not only do these trainer pants wash and dry with no fuss, but they stand out for being the most recommended potty training pants on the Mumsnet forums thanks to their reliability, washability and all-round practical nature.

Pros

  • 14 bright colourways to choose from
  • Cosy cotton and terry towelling fabric
  • Machine washable at 40 C

Cons

  • Can be a bit snug so size up
  • Not suitable for tumble drying

Key specs

  • Age range: 12 months to 2.5 years
  • Sizes: S, M, L and XL

2. Best budget potty training pants: Bambino Mio Potty Training Pants

Bambino Mio Potty Training Pants

Price: £22 for five pairs | Buy now from Amazon

“We went straight to toilet with seat insert and step, used washable training pants (we have carpet all through our house and were trying to sell it so really couldn't have puddles everywhere). Then regular toilet trips and chocolate buttons!”  ISaidDontLickTheBin

Very popular with parents of potty-training toddlers, these packs of brightly-coloured toilet training pants  are available in plain or printed designs. They look great and feel comfortable too. 

Thick bands at the legs and waist make them really easy for toddlers to get on and off. Made from 80% cotton, 20% polyester, the concealed laminated water resistant layer and inner pad is designed to keep unexpected leaks safely in. However they’ll also give your child that feeling of being wet to help them learn the sensation and prompt them to make the move to the potty.

At £22.45 for five pairs - because, let’s face it, you’re going to need a stack of these pants - this multi-pack is great value in comparison to other potty training pants on the market and ideal if you need lots of pairs of potty training pants on a budget.

Pros

  • Machine-washable up to 40 degrees
  • Can be tumble-dried

Cons

  • None that we could find!

Key specs

  • Age range: 18 months to 3+ years
  • Sizes: 18 months+, 2-3 years and 3 years+

3. Best training pants for boys: JoJo Maman Bébé Boys’ Training Pants

Price: £15 for three pairs | Buy now from JoJo Maman Bébé

“I trained my boy in pull ups, it was far less stressful when he had an accident.” Fatas

These JoJo Maman Bébé training pants are designed for boys, with extra absorbency at the front. The soft elasticated waist makes them easy for little hands to pull up and down. You’ll get three in a pack - at £15 for three pairs, this pack isn’t as good value as the Bambino Mio Potty Training Pants which are £22.45 for five pairs.

Made from 100% cotton, the hidden water-resistant layer and inner pad in these pull-ups for boys keep in any accidental leaks, whilst still indicating to your toddler that they’re wet so that they learn to dash to the potty.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Good absorbency
  • Machine washable

Cons

  • If dinos and diggers aren’t your thing, there’s no other choice of design

Key specs

  • Age range: 18 months to 4 years
  • Sizes: 18-24 months, 2-3 years and 3-4 years

4. Best training pants for girls: JoJo Maman Bébé Girls’ Training Knickers

Price: £15 for three pairs | Buy now from JoJo Maman Bébé

Like the JoJo Boys' Training Pants, these are designed for girls, so the extra absorbency section is more equally spread around the whole gusset. Just like the Jojo training pants for boys, these toilet training pants for girls made from 100% cotton and have the same concealed water-resistant layer and easy to pull up stretchy waistband.

It’s great to see garments adorned with T. Rexes and Steggies - girls like dinos too, y’know! Alternatively you could choose the Bunny design. There is, however, no other colour-way available than pink….

Pros

  • Good value for money
  • Well-designed
  • Machine-washable

Cons

  • Design options limited to bunnies and dinosaurs

Key specs

  • Age range: 18 months to 4 years
  • Sizes: 18-24 months, 2-3 years and 3-4 years

5. Best potty training pants for swimming: Charlie Banana 2-in-1 Swim Nappy and Training Pants

_Charlie Banana 2-in-1 Swim Nappy and Training Pants

Price: £10 for one pair | Buy now from Amazon

Everyone loves a multi-tasker and these clever pants from Charlie Banana work as a swim nappy or as ordinary training pants to wear under clothes when your toddler is out of the pool. Another bonus - they’re available in loads of brilliant and bright patterns.

The award-winning design is made of one waterproof layer and one soft, absorbent Loycell fabric layer, so it keeps everything contained in the pool but doesn’t swell up in the water like many swim nappies do.

We also like the adjustable waist ties, which make it easier to get the perfect fit. That said, while these pants are great at doing two jobs - in water and on dry land - they’re eye-wateringly expensive in comparison to other training pants on this list.

Pros

  • Eco-friendly swim nappy
  • Dual use
  • Machine-washable and can be tumble-dried

Cons

  • Expensive

Key specs

  • Age range: Birth to 2+ years
  • Sizes: S, M, L and XL

6. Best printed potty training pants: Flyish Training Pants

Price: £18 for pack of four | Buy now from Amazon

Each pair of Flyish potty training pants is made from soft 100% cotton and contains five absorbent, breathable cotton layers with a leakproof layer underneath. Unlike a nappy, the pants aren’t able to contain a full wee but they’re ideal for those awkward moments when a child doesn't quite make it to the potty in time. 

A comfy elastic waistband makes the pants easier for little ones to pull up and down and the leg holes are also elasticated to avoid restricting busy toddlers at play. Some consumer reviewers claim that the sizings are a tad unreliable so you may need to play trial and error to get the correct fit for your child. They’re good value though with four pairs of pants in each pack.

Pros

  • Good size range available
  • Machine-washable

Cons

  • Unreliable sizings

Need to know

  • Age range: 2 to 5 years
  • Sizes: 2, 3, 4 and 5 years

7. Best potty training pants for independent toddlers: Ez Undeez Toddler Potty Training Pants

Price: £10 for two pairs | Buy now from Amazon

What makes these potty training pants stand out from the rest? The very clever loop design on the waistband. Little fingers can hook through the loops so even toddlers who find fiddly clothes tricky will be able to pull their pants up and down alone.

The leg and waistbands are thick and stretchy, making them feel really secure and preventing them from slipping down and there are no irritating labels.

Made from 95% cotton and 5% elastane, there’s a breathable padded layer to absorb accidents. When compared to other potty training pants, these pants aren’t quite as absorbent  - but the plus side is that this makes them less bulky to wear. 

Pros

  • Super easy to pull up and down 
  • Machine washable
  • Available in a range of patterns

Cons

  • Slightly less absorbent than some potty training pants

Key Specs

  • Age range: 2 to 4 years
  • Sizes: 2, 3 and 4 years

8. Best character potty training pants: Paw Patrol Unisex Baby Paw Patrol Baby & Toddler Reusable Training Pants

Price: £12 for two pairs | Buy now from Amazon

If you have a Paw Patrol mad toddler, they’ll love this two pack of reusable cloth training pants featuring Skye, Rocky, Chase and pals. 

Made from soft 100% cotton with a stretchy, comfy waistband, these pants feature an extra absorbent layer designed to stop leaks seeping into outer layers of clothing. Machine washable and reasonably priced, Paw Patrol unisex pants are a useful stepping stone between nappies and proper pants although some reviewers say that they’re not hugely absorbent so they may be better for toddlers who are further down the line with potty training.

Pros

  • Appealing Paw Patrol design
  • Unisex pants
  • Made from soft 100% cotton

Cons

  • Not as absorbent as some potty training pants

Key specs

  • Age range: 18 months to 3 years
  • Sizes: 18  - 24 months, 2 - 3 years

9. Best pack of toddler training pants: Skhls Toddler Training Pants for Potty Training

Price: £24 for eight pairs | Buy now from Amazon

If your priority is to have lots of spare pairs of training pants at the ready, during potty training then we salute your organisation in advance. This pack by Skhls contains eight pairs of toddler training pants so, in theory, you should never run out. 

Available in appealing bright colours and prints, these training pants  are made from a mix of polyester, cotton  and TPU and feature an absorbent inner layer to soak up unexpected leaks. The elasticated waistband makes them easy to pull on and off. They’re machine washable too. Coming in under £24 for eight pairs, these training pants are excellent value for money. However, some consumers say that they’re not hugely absorbent when compared against other training pants.

Pros

  • Eight pairs of pants in a pack
  • Value-for-money
  • Bright, cheerful prints

Cons

  • Not as absorbent as some potty training pants

10. Best disposable potty training pants: Huggies Pull-Ups Potty Training Pants

Price: £12 for 40 | Buy now from Amazon

Let’s be brutally honest here - disposables aren’t great for the environment. Try to use washable potty pants if possible - the planet will thank you for it. However, if you’re really not keen and just need a simple solution to getting your toddler through potty training or nights when they’re not yet dry, Huggies are a recommended brand. 

Their Pull-Ups feature a range of Disney characters that will appeal to potty-training children. A feel-wet layer and wetness indicator means the character on the front fades if the nappy is wet, encouraging children to get to the loo in time. An elasticated waist makes things easier too. Some parents reckon disposables aren’t as effective at helping your child potty train in comparison to cloth pants because they’re more absorbent.

Pros

  • Also available in a more absorbent nighttime version
  • Disney character designs include Cars and Cinderella

Cons

  • Not eco-friendly as they can't be reused
  • Expensive over time
  • May not help children learn to stay dry as quickly as cloth pants

Key specs

  • Age range: 2 to 4 years
  • Sizes: 1-2.5 years and 2-4 years

Are potty training pants any good?

Some parents swear by potty training pants when potty training their child, while others feel it’s better to go for the speedier method and move straight to ordinary pants.

Toilet training pants have come a long way since the flannelette versions you may be scarred by from your own toddlerhood, which means that there's a multitude of choices to suit different toddlers and development stages.

What are the best training pants for potty training?

The best overall potty training pants are Bright Bots Trainer Pants, which Mumsnetters love for their bright designs, comfort and value-for-money. 

What's the difference between training pants and pull-ups?

Pull-ups are essentially disposable nappies that you can pull up and down, so there’s less of a training aspect to them than potty training pants.

They tend to be used in the very early stages of potty training and at nighttime for more absorbency when toddlers aren't yet dry through the night.

When worn in the daytime, they’re good for giving your child the idea that you can pull pants down to use the potty or loo. But because they have the absorbency of a nappy, your child won’t feel that they’re wet.

Reusable or cloth versions are designed for smaller accidents and to encourage toddlers to check for wetness.

There are lots of different styles to suit all tastes and comforts, from boxer-style shorts to pants with thick waistbands for ease of pulling up and down.

As well as being better for the environment than pull-ups, reusable cloth training pants are more like ordinary pants. They’ll stop an accidental wee soaking through to clothes, but they won’t take away the feeling of being wet. This means that your child will begin to learn when they need to use the toilet.

Are potty training pants necessary?

Lots of parents don’t bother with training underwear and move straight from nappies to big kid pants.

But if you’re concerned about days out while potty training, first days at nursery or long car journeys, they’re a great stepping stone, and many parents use them throughout potty training to make clean-ups easier.

How many potty training pants do I need?

It depends on how you’re going to use them. If your child is wearing them every day, you’ll want at least five pairs of reusable potty training pants to start with.

Pull-ups are a good alternative for nighttime and usually come in packs of at least 15 pants.

When should a child start wearing training pants?

Training pants are part of potty training so there’s no point thinking about them until your toddler is ready for the potty. This is generally between 18 months and three-and-a-half years.

It might also be that you crack potty training first and just use training pants on the occasions when your child needs a bit of extra reassurance. 

When should a child stop wearing training pants?

As soon as they’re confident, really. Many children take a little longer to be dry at night and use some form of pull-ups or training pants well into primary school, particularly when they're away from home.

Many brands of training pants are now so subtle they easily pass for normal pants, which might help children feel less self-conscious.

But they are expensive, so moving on to proper pants as soon as you can means your bank balance will thank you later.

 

Do training pants slow down potty training?

Some parents think it’s best to go ‘cold turkey’ and move straight to ordinary pants. While disposable pull-ups won't help your child know when they're wet, which could be a hindrance, most cloth training pants enable them to feel the wetness, which ultimately aids potty training.

What to look for in potty training pants

The main thing to consider is whether your child is happy in their new pants - and appealing patterns and recognisable characters will help them make friends with their new undies. 

From a practical perspective, look for training pants that are machine washable and easily dried as you'll likely get through a handful in the first few days.

Good absorbency in the right areas is a must and leg holes that are close-fitting but not too tight will help keep leaks contained in the event of an accident.

Also try to choose pants that your toddler will be able to pull up and down themselves. Some have thick waistbands or loops to help with this.

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