At Ella's 15-month-checkup, I told her pediatrician that Ella was telling us when she was wet and had expressed interest in the potty. As you can imagine, I was told that it was far too early to worry about potty training and that she would be well over the age of two before she was ready. I disagreed. While I hadn't been brave enough to attempt infant potty training, I knew my child well enough to know that she was, at the very least, interested.
While I left feeling totally annoyed, I went with my gut and started searching for "big girl" underwear anyway. I needed something that was thick enough in case she had an accident, but small enough to fit her size 12-month frame.
It wasn't easy. As it turns out, there's lots of options for toddlers, but few for "babies". In fact, most potty training underwear sizes start at 2T! In the end, I'm glad I kept up my search though because moms do know best. At 19-months, Ella was potty trained.
You'll notice that the training pants I recommend are not of the disposable variety ... that is deliberate. In my experience, cloth trainers tend to speed up the potty training process. You'll also notice that they are not inexpensive. Unfortunately, baby trainers seem to be a specialized item, so you're not likely to find them mass-made an in multi-packs.
In my opinion, these are hands-down the best potty training pants for babies.
Available in two versions, both straight cotton and a 2-in-1 waterproof version, I preferred the straight cotton because it was a much trimmer fit. Both versions are roomy enough for your baby to pull them up and down by themselves, but snug enough to catch any accidents.
The cotton-only pants have a thicker center panel that, while not always keeping clothes totally dry, do a great job of containing the mess in the event your child pees in them. On the other hand, the 2-in-1 waterproof pant features a waterproof outer layer made of the same material that keeps cloth diaper leaks at bay - Polyurethane Laminate (PUL) - and has a double absorbent center core.
Both styles give your baby the sensation of being wet, so they're great for training, and both styles wash well and become more absorbent with each washing.
The other major difference between the two types of potty training underwear offered in the Potty Patty and Potty Scotty lines is sizing; the cotton underwear start at a size XS (19-24 lbs) while the 2-in-1 training pants start at size small (24-29 lbs).
In terms of price, they average about $10/each, unless you can grab them on sale. While this seems expensive, in terms of this list, these are actually really affordable. With that said, I still highly recommend grabbing a few pairs if you can swing it - they are well worth the price.
You can read my full review of the Potty Patty and Potty Scotty training underwear and then compare prices across multiple retailers.
Blueberry potty training pants are another great option for babies that train ... especially those that are petite or smaller than "average." Though the minimum recommended weight for these trainers are 22 pounds, our baby comfortably wore these when she was still just tipping the scale at 18 pounds.
Not fully waterproof, these training pants bring the best of both worlds ... cotton absorbency with PUL, but the PUL is hidden. This means that the fit is very trim, but leaks will stay contained for the most part.
The waistband and leg openings are made of a soft and comfortable 50/50 cotton/polyester blend and are very like a jersey knit. Easy for independent babies to get up and down, the Blueberry Trainers come in great prints and for those that are interested in how cute their trainers are, this will give you exactly what you're looking for ... for a price. At nearly $16 per pair, these Blueberry Trainers are worth the money, but are too pricey to reasonably accommodate a newly-training baby. After all, potty training can be a lengthy process and is about far more than just getting to the potty on time.
Another great option for early trainers, Imse Vimse training pants feature an organic cotton outer knit with a double layer of cotton terry on the inside along with a hidden inner layer of PUL. With a stretchy waistband and leg holes, these are easy for babies to get up and down.
Sizing is the primary feature I like about the Imse Vimse line. The smalls will fit babies weighing just 20 pounds, so even if your baby begins training super-early, you should be able to use these. The down side to these is level of absorbency. They offer little more protection than the thinner Gerber training pant, even with the PUL. In most cases, this is fine because with early trainers, you rarely have a soaking accident ... it's just something to be aware of. You can always use an extra insert (sold separately) if you'll be out and about for any length of time and you want to take extra precautions.
The only complaint parents seem to have about the Imse Vimse line is that it's a little bulkier than other, similar styles. However, if you have an early trainer, this may not be a big deal because chances are, your baby is still wearing lots of stretchy pants.
Price may be the other problem here — at nearly $18 a pair, these are far too expensive to use as your only early potty training underwear.