That all depends on what stage of potty training you're intending on buying them for!
When should your little one potty train?
Potty training can start anywhere from around 1 year old up until around 3 years old. On average, most toddlers tend to potty train around the 2 years old mark, when they are developmentally ready.
Developmentally ready for potty training means that they can do at least of the below
- They have enough bladder control to hold a pee or poo for a short amount of time (this often coincides with being able to walk up stairs independently)
- They pee or poo at regular times of the day
- They can communicate, whether verbally or by gesturing, that they need to use the toilet
- They can focus long enough to stay on the potty
Being able to pull their pants up and down is not a pre-requisite, and cultural influences play a huge part as well. Sometimes children are physically ready to toilet train, but psychologically aren't ready to yet, and that's ok, pushing them to do it too early can cause unnecessary anxiety and even trauma that's hard to undo!
Why do I need training pants?
Not all parents go down the route of using training pants, but some do choose to minimise the use of diapers to avoid confusing their children during toilet training, but also wanting to avoid too much mess on furniture or in cars, or in public!
Training pants are designed to have just enough absorbency to hold one pee so that if there is an accident, it will contain most of the mess, but at the same time your child learns what it feels like to be wet (especially if your LO is not cloth-diapered) and associate that with the urge to pee that precedes it.
We also used training pants for a long time at night even after the kids were fully potty trained, just in case there were some nighttime accidents if they couldn't wake in time to get to the toilet. It's more common that you'd think for kids 5 years and up to still be working on potty training at night, so you can never be too safe!
How much absorbency do I need?
If you're hoping to tackle potty training early, or if your little one doesn't show too much interest in using the toilet, you may want to start with something more absorbent. If your kid's diapers are pretty soaked during the day, this is you.
Editor's Pick: Baby Beehinds Training Pants
For most kids starting out, you'll have lots of hits and misses, so you'll want something that has good absorbency, but you may not want to go too thick all the time. If your kid's diapers are sometimes wet, but sometimes you can convince them to use the toilet before it's too late, this is you.
Editor's Pick: Thiristies Trainer Pants
If you want something that looks like underwear, you're probably further down the road and don't need as much absorbency. Good for maximum comfort and the odd situation where a toilet may not be readily available, like during travel, for example or at school.
Editor's Pick: AppleCheeks Bamboo Learning Pants