Why use cloth training pants?

eco parenting potty training toilet learning toilet training

It's Plastic Free July and a lot of us are using this time to make small changes that will reduce our dependence on single-use plastics. In our home we've ditched plastic bin-liners and we're not missing them one bit. It's funny how you can think something so necessary right up until you try living without it!

For families starting toilet training there's a big opportunity to ditch a really nasty single-use item - the disposable nappy. While it might seem daunting, it's really no drama. A lot of parents switch to cloth training pants during the toilet training phase with good reasons. Here are just a few:

1. They look and feel like big kid pants

There's a lot to be said for pants that actually look like the ones mum, dad and older siblings use. It's such a milestone for a child to put on real undies for the first time and a great way to signal that it's time for your child to use the toilet like a big kid too. 

2. They allow your child to feel wet

One of the really important components of toilet training is teaching your child to recognise when they've done a wee. The fabric layers in reusable trainers are absorbent, but not as absorbent as the chemical polymer found in disposables, so reusables give your child more of an opportunity to feel what's going on. 

3. They're more fun

Kids love choosing a real set of undies in their favourite colour or design. There's a lot more variety in reusables so you can really engage your child in the process.

4. They're cheaper

Even the most expensive cloth training pants are cheaper over time than disposable. You can keep using them and washing them for as long as it takes for your child to become reliable and then further into night training too. Younger siblings can help double their use!

5. They're easy

Reusable trainers can generally go in the washing machine and dryer just like any clothing item. There's no special detergent or soaking required - they're made to be washed and used over and over again.

6. They're better for the environment

Every time you choose to use a cloth training pant over a disposable pull up, you're making a positive difference. Disposable nappies:

  • Are single use - one wee and it's in the bin.
  • Are not recyclable.
  • Once used, they contain human waste that would be far better dealt with at the waste water treatment plant.
  • Take up to 500 years to break down. The nappy your child uses today will still be here when their great  great  great  great  great  great  great  great  great  great  great  great  great  great grandchild is born.


Overall we at Tink just prefer cloth to disposables in every way so we quite deliberately don't sell disposable trainers. We know they're a little less convenient but, in the case of toilet training, convenience is not king - we need our kids to learn and reusable training pants are the best thing for that!

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