What are Potty Training Pants & How Do I Use Them?

Embarking on the potty training journey is a huge milestone for both you and your little one. If you're looking for a smooth transition away from nappies, potty training pants might just be your best bet.

Let’s explore how these clever creations can simplify the toilet training process, making it less daunting and more achievable. Plus we'll explain the difference between pull up style pants and potty training pants.  Here's our guide explaining what are potty training pants and how to use them:

Shop Potty Training Pants

What Are Potty Training Pants?

Potty training pants sit comfortably between nappies and regular underwear. They’re designed for easy up-and-downs, encouraging your child to take charge of their going to the loo when they need to.

Generally they are less absorbent than nappies as it's important for your little one to be able to feel the wetness in order to learn to stay dry.

Available in both disposable and reusable types, they offer the convenience of nappies with a big kid underwear feel. This makes them a practical choice for both parents and toddlers ready for potty training.

Benefits of Potty Training Pants

Now that we've explained what they are, here are the benefits of potty training pants:

Fostering Independence

As they're much easier to pull up and down, they empower children to use the potty on their own. However for children who are not the right age for potty training, they can be a bit tricky as the little whippersnappers can just whip the nappy off when they feel like it. Cue poo smeared on literally every surface of your living room...

Transitional Tool

Potty training pants are an excellent step between nappies and true underwear.

This is one area, where even if you haven't used cloth diapers, we really recommend cloth training pants. They won't hold a full wee, but your child will feel wetness and start to understand the 'needing to pee' sensation being linked to 'feeling wet' which is important.

Nighttime Reliability

Some training pants provide added protection for overnight, helping manage wetting the bed without discomfort.

However again, most training pants won't hold a full wee, so if your child is a heavy sleeper, they may not be enough. In this instance, we really recommend our washable bed mats which will save your mattress (and having to strip the bed in the middle of the night.

Enhanced Comfort

Generally more comfortable to wear than nappies and less like 'baby' items.

Challenges to Consider

While the benefits are significant, it's important to recognise that every child is different. If you use pull up disposable nappies, some children may find these too similar to nappies, potentially slowing the learning process.

Others might benefit from using them only during outings, while sticking to underwear at home.

And remember, every child is different. My girls and eldest boy started the potty training process at around 18 months to 2 years and were dry by 2 and a half. No 2 son took his own sweet time and was well over 3 by the time he decided that he wanted to use the loo. Pure stubbornness on his part mind you!

Shop Waterproof Bed Mats

What's The Difference Between Pull Up Pants And Potty Training Pants?

The main difference between pull up pants and potty training pants is absorbency levels. Many disposable or reusable pull up nappies are just as absorbent as a regular disposable nappy.

Great for keeping your child dry, but not so great for learning to potty train, when they need to be able to learn to correlate the sensation of needing a wee with actually doing a wee and feeling wet.

Reusable potty training pants have a leak proof layer (and some reusable potty training pants can be boosted for overnight use) but generally have less absorbency which is why they are so good for potty training.

How to Use Training Pants

Introducing training pants is straightforward, here's how to use training pants:

  1. Introduce the Concept: Explain their purpose and encourage their use, especially during daytime activities.
  2. Create a Routine: Incorporate them into your daily routine to help your child get used to them.
  3. Encourage and Praise: Acknowledge every effort, success or not, to keep motivation high. Moving towards big kids pants is a big deal and exciting!

Shop Travel Potty

What Age Should I Start Potty Training Pants?

So how do you know when your child is ready for potty training? You should generally start potty training when your child is between 18 and 30 months.

It's important to look for signs, like discomfort with dirty diapers, interest in the bathroom habits of others, and the ability to pull pants up and down might indicate readiness.

How Many Potty Training Pants Do I Need?

The number depends on your child’s needs and your laundry schedule. Generally, having around 6-8 pairs of reusable training pants ensures you’ve got spare pairs on hand between washes.

How to Clean Potty Training Pants

So if you've gone resuable and you've never used reusable nappies before, here's how to clean potty training pants:


It's a good idea to rinse any soiled pants before adding them to the wash to remove ammonia. If there's a poo, hold the waistband and flush the soiled area in the toilet to remove solids


Use a decent length wash cycle with your normal load of washing. If your potty training pants smell after washing, they need a longer wash.

Air Dry

Turn inside out for faster drying and hang on the washing line or airer. Prolong their life and maintain the fabric integrity by air-drying.


Potty training pants can really help ease the transition out of nappies, promoting independence while offering the absorbency and comfort toddlers need. Whether you choose reusable or disposable, they’re a smart step towards full potty training success.

Here’s to a successful potty training adventure.

For more information, view our range of potty training pants, travel potties, potty training seats and stools or drop us a line for additional help.  The team chat pee, poo and periods all day long and love to help!   Or for further reading,these articles may well be of interest:

About the Author: Helen Rankin, an advocate for sustainable living, embarked on her journey with reusable products when her first child was born in 2004. Facing limited options in cloth nappies, Helen’s passion only grew, leading her to launch Cheeky Wipes in 2008, right before welcoming her third child.

Helen's commitment to promoting sustainable solutions led to her taking over The Nappy Gurus in 2024. Today, she is excited to share her extensive knowledge and enthusiasm for all things reusable, helping a new generation of parents navigate eco-friendly choices for their children.

Recent Blog Posts
Follow us on Instagram @thenappygurus