We are continuing with potty training. This week we are discussing “trainers” and their purpose. Last week we talked about cues and when to start introducing the concept of using the toilet for your babies and toddlers. Many customers will email me saying “she is three and tells me after she has peed, what trainer can I get to motivate her to get to the toilet?”.

Trainers that we sell are for two purposes:

1. For children who need diaper-like absorbency for nighttime, but have sized out of diapers, or older children with bedwetting habits who want something closer to underwear. They have a stay dry inner material so the child is comfortable, and are made to optimize absorbency with a large stuffing pocket.

2. For children who are right on the cusp of training and just need a wetness cue to stop the stream and finish in the toilet, or for those times when they are trained and you are going to be in the car or plane for several hours and don’t want to miss those first drops on a full bladder.

If your child is not in those two categories, I don’t recommend buying trainers. 95% of our customers have their children train from diapers to underwear. Trainers don’t usually motivate children to train, and as they are as expensive as diapers, it just isn’t a step needed by most children. The test I usually put to customers to see if trainers will help, put underwear on underneath the diaper, so when the child wets he will feel it (this is assuming you use a stay dry diaper). If he pees right through it and is not motivated to finish in the toilet, he is not ready for trainers and just needs more time. If you are using natural fibers, like cotton prefolds or fitteds, and your child is not bothered by the wetness or weight of the diaper, they are probably not ready to train.
You can always try one trainer to see, you will likely find use for it on those first few car trips out of the house with underwear, but try one first before investing in several. See how the child reacts and then go from there.

Kids are funny, one of mine was very excited about trainers, but she was the one who didn’t need them at all, and she trained very quickly. Another daughter was about as excited about trainers as she was brussel sprouts, and took 9 months to go from “mommy, I peed in my diaper” to being day trained, and nighttime was even longer. Now, of course, there are those of you reading this who will disagree with trainers being a motivator, and there will always be those exceptions. For the majority of our customers we find the above to be true to form, so if you still want to try one, just do try one, and see what cues you are returned with.


May 12, 2010. cloth diapers, Diaper Chatter, toilet training & learning.

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