Potty Training Pants

Rubber Underwear for Potty Training

Characteristics and Use

Typically, “rubber” underwear products are made of vinyl, often polyethylene vinyl acetate, a chlorine-free alternative to PVC (polyvinyl chloride). Some feature cotton or polyester linings with 100 percent vinyl outer coverings, while others are made of polyuerethane laminated fabric. Most types come in regular toddler underwear sizes and have elastic waist and leg openings. Training toddlers wear these undergarments, which usually pull right over without any additional fastening, outside of their training pants.

Potential Benefits

Rubber underwear helps prevent leaks during potty-training. Outer training pants might also make accidents more noticeable to toddlers, encouraging them to make it to the potty on time. These products offer a green alternative to disposable diapers because they are washable and re-usable, and kids might appreciate the colorful designs offered by various brands of potty-training pants. Some public pools require children under a certain age to wear protective underwear such as this while swimming.

Potential Drawbacks

Because vinyl- and plastic-based training undergarments are made of a variety of different materials, some children might experience a reaction or skin irritation, especially in products that contain chlorine. While these undies are usually machine-washable, they typically must be air-dried.

Cost and Considerations

As of 2012, waterproof trainers run from about $5 to $12 for a two-pack of pants. Baby and toddler specialty stores and online retailers sell these items. Remember, rubber training pants aren't an elixir -- clinical psychologist Edward Christophersen tells the website BabyCenter that most children continue to have accidents for four to six months after they've been potty-trained.

How to Use Rubber Pants When Potty Training at Night

Lead your toddler to the bathroom right before bed and encourage him to use the potty. Once he's finished, assist your child in thoroughly wiping down his upper legs and groin before slipping on a diaper or training pants. The rubber or vinyl pants don't allow for air movement, so make sure his groin area is clean and dry.

Assist your child with pulling the rubber pants over his diaper or training pants before helping him hop into bed. Remind your child to use the potty during the night if he feels the urge. If he has trouble getting in and out of the rubber pants and training pants at night, let your toddler know you're available to help.

Help your child remove the rubber pants and diaper or training pants if he rouses you in the night. Instead of scolding your child if he suffers an accident or wets the bed, praise him for asking for assistance at night and for recognizing the urge to poop or pee.

Remove the rubber pants and diaper first thing in the morning. Even if your child had an accident, lead him to the bathroom and encourage him to use the potty. Once again, if he didn't make it through the night mess-free, let him know that accidents happen and you'll try again tonight. Praise your child if he is able to last the night without wetting the bed.

Continue to use the rubber pants and training pants or diaper combination until your child consistently remains accident free for at least two weeks. Once this occurs, eliminate the rubber pants from the equation and allow him to sleep in training pants or a diaper. Continue to praise your child each morning he wakes up in a dry bed, and encourage him through the accidents.

Things You Will Need

  • Diaper
  • Training pants

Tip

Cover the mattress with a fitted plastic sheet to further guard against leaks.

Provide your child with plenty of fluids throughout the day, but start to limit his access to milk, juice or water after dinner to help cut down on incidents of nighttime accidents or trips to the bathroom.

Plastic Vs. Rubber Pants

Function

Rubber and plastic pants both exist to serve the same function: protect the wearer from diaper leaks resulting in odor and wet clothing. Both come in similar styles for the same purpose.

Types

Rubber pants are made of natural rubber, allowing for airflow. Plastic pants are made from polyurethane or polyvinyl chloride, both man-made materials.

Features

Plastic pants tend to crack when dried in the dryer. Rubber pants are softer to the skin. Both pants come in various styles, closing with plastic or metal snaps, or Velcro.

Considerations

Rubber and plastic pants sizes vary by manufacturer. Some are designed to be worn over a specific brand of cloth diapers. Both provide waterproofing.

Benefits

Wearing rubber and plastic pants over cloth diapers or disposable liners are more economical than disposable diapers. Disposable diapers, though convenient, are expensive and consume more natural resources and landfill space. Rubber and plastic pants can be used repeatedly.

How to Potty Train a Boy at Night

Encourage your little boy to use the bathroom right before it's time for bed. Lead your toddler to the bathroom and if necessary, help him slip off his diaper or training pants and use the toilet. If he's not wearing training pants during the day, provide your toddler with a pair at night. According to the University of Michigan Health System, training pants aren't as absorbent as diapers, making it easier for your child to tell that he's wet.

Lead your toddler to bed and tuck him in before encouraging him to use the potty at night if he feels the urge. If your toddler is apprehensive about using the toilet at night, let him know you're available to help him to the bathroom. Otherwise, leave a nightlight in his bedroom and leave the bathroom light on to make finding the toilet less frightening in the dark.

Help your toddler to the bathroom if he rouses you in the night. Allow your toddler to pull down his own pants and training pants before helping him onto the toilet. Once finished, lead your toddler directly back to bed for the evening.

Check your toddler boy's training pants first thing in the morning. If he's made it through the night without an accident, give him plenty of praise and a hug. If your toddler suffered a nighttime accident, let him know that it's okay and you'll both try again the next night.

Continue to monitor your child's training pants in the morning. Once your toddler boy is able awaken dry for two weeks, transition him from training pants to big boy underwear. Make an event out of purchasing the underwear and encourage your toddler to tell his family members that he's big enough to wear underwear like the older kids.

Tip

Slip a plastic cover over your little boy's mattress to prevent staining due to bedtime accidents.

Help prevent nighttime accidents by limiting your toddler's liquid intake after dinner. Don't deprive your child of beverages if he's thirsty; instead, limit the amount of juice, water or milk offered to help him stay dry throughout the night.

Training Pants for Girls

Pull-On Panties

To make potty training easier for your daughter, provide her with training pants that are easy to pull up and down. The training pants should have some absorbency in the center section to prevent excessive leaking while she is learning, while also allowing her to realize that she is wet and is a little uncomfortable. Unlike diapers, training pants are not designed to keep her feeling dry and comfortable.

Waterproof Training Pants

If you want to provide some protection for carpeting and upholstery while your daughter is potty training, choose waterproof panties. Some varieties maintain the look and feel of cotton panties but have the added protection of a nylon inner liner that keeps messes contained. Your little girl will still feel the moisture against her skin, but it won’t make its way to your furniture. Some training pants are available with plastic outer covers that protect your furnishings from accidents while your child is learning this new routine.

Plastic Covers

Separate plastic covers can be worn over training pants. When your daughter has an accident, she will still realize it since her panties will feel wet, but the plastic cover will provide added protection for household furnishings. Use these plastic covers at night and at nap time to protect bedding while your daughter is learning to use the potty.

Disposable Training Pants

Disposable training pants are basically disposable diapers that are pulled on and off as opposed to using tapes to secure them. One advantage of disposable pants is that little ones can pull them up and down like panties, giving your little girl the feeling of being a “big girl." The pants have side closures to make changes easier for you when accidents do occur. Disposable training pants have an advantage over cloth pants if your child is in daycare since the daycare worker doesn’t have to deal with sending home soiled underpants. The disadvantage is that the pants are so absorbent that your child doesn’t always recognize when she is wet.