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The Best Training Pants for Your Potty-Training Child

Potty training, here you come! But before you and your toddler can claim victory, you’ll need to decide which training pants to use. Here’s the 411 on how to choose.
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Updated January 26, 2024
The Best Types of Training Pants
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In a nutshell:
Based on feedback from our independent product tester, we chose Millie Moon Training Pants as the overall best training pants, due to their stretchy, comfortable fit and convenient disposal features.

After two-plus years of changing dirty nappies, you’re likely really (really!) ready to say so long to diapers. No matter what potty training method you choose—and there are many!—you’ll definitely need something to cover your kid’s bum during this transition (at least when he’s out and about). So what are your options?

Training pants give you some wetness coverage, as well as a quick and easy way for your child to get their underwear down and themselves on the potty when nature calls. Overall, though, “the point of training underwear is to help with the mess,” explains Michelle D. Swaney, CEO of The Potty School in Costa Mesa, California, and author of The Complete Guide to Potty Training.

What you choose will depend largely on what’s working for your child, what stage you’re at in potty training and what you’re up to that day. We sorted through all the crap (so to speak) to get you the lowdown on the best training pants and potty training underwear, plus how to make the right decision for your family.

How We Chose the Best Training Pants

Training pants are an important tool in the potty training experience. To help you find the best training pants on the market today:

  • We asked an independent product tester to use multiple brands of training pants in their own home, and evaluate them based on ease of use, effectiveness, materials and ingredients, comfort and value for money.
  • Since The Bump writer and editors are parents ourselves, we relied on first-hand experience with some of these products.
  • Because no two potty training experiences are alike, we read user reviews to find out how these training pants perform for a broad range of families, and didn’t consider anything with less than an average four-star rating.

Editorial integrity is at the heart of everything we publish. Read about how The Bump develops and reviews all articles, including product reviews.

Best Training Pants

Overall best training pants

Millie Moon Unisex Training Pants
Image: Target
What We Love
  • Easy to take on and off
  • Great stretch
  • Easy to seal dirty pants
Things To Consider
  • Tearable sides don’t rip easily
  • Thick material may appear bulky

These disposable training pants received high marks during our testing, and they’re a popular choice of many parents, too. “They are very stretchy, which helps to put on and take off,” our product tester shared, noting that these pants allow you to rip off the side when you’re ready to dispose of them, making for easy removal. (There are also resealable tabs, just in case the pants get ripped by accident.) The pants offer up to 12 hours of wetness protection and have a stretchy fit that moves with your little one. “They fit great around her waist, thanks to the stretchy material the waistband is made out of,” our tester shared. Another nice perk, according to our tester, is the sealable tab on the back. “That allows you to roll and seal the training pants when they are dirty, which makes disposing [of] them so much easier,” she said.

Type: Disposable | Size range: 2T-3T to 4T-5T | Material: Fiber-blend topsheet, wood fluff pulp

Our product tester says:

“I think these are definitely worth the price. The quality, along with the many features, gives you the best bang for your buck.”

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Best potty training underwear

Hanna Andersson Training Underwear
Image: Hanna Andersson
What We Love
  • Invisible under clothing
  • Absorbent lining doesn’t touch skin
  • Adorable colors and patterns
Things To Consider
  • Won’t fully prevent leaks
  • Expensive

When it’s time to trade in the diapers, toddler training underwear is an obvious choice for potty training. This set of beautiful undies from Hanna Andersson is sure to get your little one excited for this big transition. Bright colors and fun patterns are in line with the Hanna Andersson brand you’re used to, while four layers of protection help prevent embarrassing accidents while your little one is still getting used to making it to the potty on time.

Type: Cloth training pants | Size range: XS to S | Material: Cotton with poly interlining

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Best eco-friendly disposable training pants

What We Love
  • Cute prints
  • Sides are clearly labeled
  • Made from plant-derived materials
Things To Consider
  • Pricier per pant than many brands
  • May leak with bigger accidents

Honest’s training pants are designed for eco-conscious families. They boast a special bio-based core that features sustainably harvested, totally chlorine-free fluff pulp and plant-derived materials. The training pants have all-over stretch for your little one’s comfort and provide coverage overnight and during the day. They also feature Honest’s signature adorable prints. “These training pants have child-friendly prints that are so cute,” our tester said. “I like that the backs are labeled with ‘back’ on them, so you know which is the correct side.” The training pants are tearable for easy removal if the pants get soiled. Clean Conscious Training Pants are also “soft to the touch and feel like soft cotton,” our tester said.

Type: Disposable | Size range: 2T-3T to 4T-5T | Material: Chlorine-free wood pulp, polypropylene, polymer spandex

Our product tester says:

“I like that it’s made with eco-friendly materials—even though I can’t physically tell that it’s made with eco-friendly materials.”

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Best girls training pants

U0U Baby Girls Training Pants
Image: Amazon
What We Love
  • Added protective layers in front and back
  • Great price point
  • Fun prints
Things To Consider
  • Not recommended for nighttime use

Not only is this 4-pack of potty training underwear cute, they’re made with added layers of wetness protection in the crotch, and gentle elastic waist and legs for comfort and a secure fit. Choose from three different packs of patterns, featuring colors like pinks, purples, florals and sweet characters, or dinosaurs and woodland creatures. Your child is sure to want to start learning how to use the potty when she sees these stylish and functional training pants.

Type: Cloth training pants | Size range: 2T to 4T | Material: Cotton

Our community says:

“I used these training pants with my daughter, who liked the idea of having ‘big girl’ underwear, even though she wasn’t quite there yet.” – Korin M., writer for The Bump and mother of four

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Best training pants for boys

BIG ELEPHANT Toddler Potty Training Pants
Image: Amazon
What We Love
  • Great price point
  • Large pack
  • Covered elastic waistband
Things To Consider
  • Best suited to small leaks

If you’ve got a little boy who’s ready for the potty, treat him to a pack of his very own toddler training pants. With patterns that range from trucks and dinosaurs to solar systems and numbers, this 10-pack comes in bold colors that will put a smile on his face (and yours, when you realize you don’t have to do laundry every five minutes!). These easy-on, easy-off underpants feature a comfortable, not-too-restrictive waistband, added layers for protection against leaks and an overall lack of excess bulkiness, which means they work well under pants and shorts.

Type: Cloth training pants | Size range: 12-24 months to 5T | Material: Cotton

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Best overnight training pants

What We Love
  • Feels like underwear
  • Wide variety of sizes available
  • Fun designs for kids
  • High absorbency
Things To Consider
  • May feel rough on the outside

Most kids are potty trained during the day long before they’re able to stay dry all through the night. So, you may have to call in the big guns when it comes to training pants for overnight use. We love the popular Goodnites brand, which we find to be both affordable and effective. They’re soft like underwear but pull on and off easily in case there are any overnight trips to the potty. What’s more, they’re hypoallergenic and come in a variety of sizes to suit both young and older potty trainers.

Type: Disposable training pants | Size range: XS to XL | Material: Wood Fluff Pulp, Polyester

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What Kind of Training Pants Should You Choose?

Training pants are meant to help with that all-important transition from diapers to underwear. There are a few different types you can choose from, and the best training pants for your little one will depend on their needs and how they respond to the training process.

  • Toddler underwear. Many experts actually encourage parents to forgo the transition options and use these right away. “Kids who use underwear are most likely to be aware they had an accident, therefore making training much more speedy,” says Adriana Vermillion, a Charlotte, North Carolina-based potty training expert known as “The Potty Whisperer.” Make things easy on yourself and choose something your kid is going to be psyched to wear!
  • Cloth training pants. These are basically regular underwear that feature extra layers of absorbent and/or water-resistant fabric to provide some accident protection. They can be really helpful if your kid doesn’t make it to the toilet exactly on time. “Training underwear simply absorbs more of an accident so less gets on the ground,” Swaney says.
  • Plastic underwear covers. These go over your toddler’s regular or training underwear. This method may seem a bit outdated, but waterproof training pants definitely have their place, especially when you’re on the go. “The instances that I would recommend a plastic outer diaper would be for travel, for the first few days of transitioning back to preschool after potty training, or for nap/overnight training,” Swaney says.
  • Disposable training pants. “It’s important to know that a pull-up is not much different than a diaper,” Vermillion says, “so training with them may be slower and less effective.” Kids won’t learn from their accidents, since there won’t be any. Plus, they won’t get a “wet” feeling if they dribble a little and therefore may miss their cue to head to the loo. But they’re obviously popular for a reason—they’re mess-free! This means they’re a good pick when you’re traveling or out somewhere without easy bathroom access, or at night (which really is a whole different potty-training ball game).

About the writer:

Christin Perry is a freelance writer and editor who specializes in pregnancy, parenting and health and wellness topics. As a mother of four (ages 5, 10, 12 and 14), she’s gone through the paces and has used what seems like every product under the sun—and she’s used that experience to write dozens of product roundups for The Bump. Christin considers herself lucky to have worked for a long list of other large clients, including Forbes Advisor, VeryWell Family, Parents, Parade, The Knot, Apartment Therapy and Dwell, to name a few.

Please note: The Bump and the materials and information it contains are not intended to, and do not constitute, medical or other health advice or diagnosis and should not be used as such. You should always consult with a qualified physician or health professional about your specific circumstances.

Sources

Michelle D. Swaney is a potty training consultant in Costa Mesa, California, and the author of The Complete Guide to Potty Training Your Child: Expert Solutions for Any Mess.

Adriana Vermillion is a professional potty training instructor in Charlotte, North Carolina.

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