Is it silly to say I've been excited about making training pants lately? As you can guess, potty training is in full swing at our house these days. I'm thrilled my little lady has decided she's ready, but I've got to admit this phase tests my parental patience. With 3 kids we've experienced every sort of potty issue imaginable over the years (and purchased a huge assortment of various pants that were less than stellar). So this time around I decided to get serious and make some of my own.
I'm calling them my Sanity Saving Trainers. This was my way to have all the features we've found useful and do it at a reasonable price. There are a few things I've learned are must-haves for training pants:
- Waterproof outer fabric is critical. PUL fabric (the stuff for cloth diapers) is ideal because it won't leak and it comes in loads of colors and cute prints. Changing entire outfits with every accident gets old real fast.
- FOE (fold over elastic) makes for soft, yet snug leg holes and waistbands so there's a breathable seal around all the pant openings. It also makes it easy to get a great fit on all sorts of little bodies.
- Use inserts to adjust the level of absorbency - it means not wasting money on a bunch of different pant styles, since every kid trains at his/her own pace.
- Side snaps for easy on/off in case of a potty disaster. Ideal when said disaster occurs away from home.
- Motivating designs - kids will wear something they love, but it can be tough to find pre-made pants with specific designs or features. Not being able to find waterproof Disney princess pants was what got me into making my own!
- Keep it cheap - I've found a few pants for sale that met most of my criteria, but they're pricey. Unlike cloth diapers they won't be getting years of wear, so paying a lot doesn't really make sense. Making them is a fraction of the price (and way less than disposable pull-ups).
I lined the pants with flannel so they'd be easy to clean and also retain the wet feeling to help her recognize accidents. I also created an opening at the back to slip in inserts so I can vary absorbency as needed. We can slip in a couple of super soaking microfiber diaper inserts during nap time, a single insert when we're on the go, and when she's really got the hang of things, they can be worn without anything.
And for some added flair I've even done some appliques to create special custom looks for her. My sweetie loves all things princess, so I used a layering & folding technique to add a little Sleeping Beauty applique to these pink pants without worry of any leaking around the stitching. She couldn't wait to get them on, so it was a great incentive for ditching the diapers.
UPDATE: I now have a PDF Pattern for my Sanity Saving Training Pants (which includes how to do a waterproof back appliqué) available in my shop. It can be found HERE.
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