Flip trainers are made of the same soft, durable waterproof fabric you find in the one-size covers. Each trainer comes with 5 organic cotton inserts which can be adjusted for size, just like the pants. Plus, the stretch-to-fit side panels offer additional customization for both size and color. The trainers are designed to both pull up and snap off, making training and cleaning up much easier on everybody.
They fit sizes 18 months to 4T or approximately 20 to 50 pounds.
Getting to try them on both my 18-month-old (Samuel – 22 pounds) and my 3 year old (Benjamin – 30 pounds) has been a great way to test the fit and the absorbency. By adjusting the snaps to the middle setting, I found a good fit for Samuel. He’s got a nice round tummy that likes to stick out, but the trainers hugged him comfortably around the middle.
The cotton soaker contained his first accident with no problems. I pulled off the trainer, opened it up and removed the wet insert. Just like I do sometimes with my Flip covers, I quickly wiped the inside and put in a fresh insert. This is THE BEST thing about these trainers. All of the other training pants we’ve tried are single use only and they go straight into the laundry pail after one accident.
I talked to a lot of other mothers, and many of them had to purchase 10 or more cloth trainers for their child. Those who bought just 5 or 6 were doing laundry constantly in the early days of training AND seeing a lot more wear and tear on the trainers.
The fact that I’m successfully using the Flip system with just TWO shells and ten inserts is fantastic. It’s a very smart and economical system. And since they are one-size, you not only use them exclusively throughout the potty training process, you could also use them on two different children at the same time.
And now to how the Flip training pants are made. It was hard for me to get an idea of just exactly how the system worked by looking at pictures on retailer websites. On the left, you can see the trainer opened up and laid flat. The blue stretch-to-fit side knit panels are one example of the color combinations that you can get. It’s the same stretchy material you’ll find on other Flip and BumGenius products.
Underneath the back and front flaps, and hidden from view here, is a strip of velcro. This is used to keep the cotton inserts in place as the trainers are being pulled up and down.
On laundry day I noted a few minor annoyances. The hook & loop closure on one of the trainers snagged the PUL on the gussets. This isn’t a huge issue, but it did do a tiny bit of damage to the brand new fabric and I’m assuming that if this happens every time I launder eventually the PUL will start to tear. The inserts washed up well except for the fact that when they came out of the dryer there was a little bit of bunching in some of the layers of fabric inside that would not smooth back out. So they will be like that for keeps, but it’s not something that’s going to affect the absorbency of the inserts.
UPDATE: Contacted Flip customer service about the aplix snagging on things in the laundry. They apologized and said it is a known issue and that they can send out “laundry strips” which stick on and cover the aplix during washing. So that problem seems to be solved! Also, asked about the fabric inside the inserts bunching up a little after washing & drying. Another known issue, and apparently a problem with certain batches of the inserts that were produced. They are currently working on correcting that problem, too.
OK – The next photo shows an insert fastened inside the shell (there is velcro at the front and back, under two flaps, which keeps the pad in place). Because there is nothing to hold the pad down in the crotch area, it might bunch and twist a little. Another minor annoyance for Samuel and Benjamin, but nothing bad enough to negatively impact the performance of the training pants.
I like how smooth and soft the organic inserts are, and they are very well made with durably serged edges. Each consists of six layers of absorbent organic cotton, which for us means no sensitivity issues like we’ve encountered in the past with fleece and microfiber. Each organic cotton insert can be used on the small, medium or large setting by means of strips of velcro closure and “folding” lines sewn into the fabric.
Can the new Flip training pants be used overnight? It depends. I tried putting 2 inserts in the trainer for 3-year-old Benjamin overnight. The first one attached to the velcro in the shell. The second insert stayed put fairly well by being tucked under the flaps. Together, both of the inserts held in an early morning accident. Like most absorbency issues, you will just have to try and see what works for your child. The Flips will probably not work for heavy wetters as an overnight diaper.
Can other types of inserts be used with the Flip trainers? Yes. I have a few of the organic “tri fold” Flip inserts in my stash and was able to tuck these under both flaps. However, this creates a lot more bulk and the fit was not as good. I was not able to use my Thirsties Fab Doublers in the trainers because they are too short and won’t stay under the flaps.
So….regarding inserts and absorbency, I’ve found that during the day using just 1 of the organic inserts works fine, and it stays in place well. At night, we have a few different options, and I’m not so concerned then about looks or fit, so using 2 inserts at a time, or using other doublers from your stash, can work very well. Because your child will be sleeping and not running, jumping and playing, the extra inserts will stay in place better.
Right now I’m diapering a 2 month old baby and an 18 month old toddler, so I truly appreciate “one size” systems. I love that Flip has come up with these wonderful training pants to round out their line of one size diapers.
I acknowledge that one-size diapers aren’t the perfect fit for everyone, no pun intended. A one-size option is going to fit your little one differently as he grows. There may be a little bunching or puckering when they are smaller, but then later on it will start to fit like a glove. But if you’re like me, and think of cloth diapers as a long-term investment OR if you have multiple children and a limited budget like I do, then these Flip training pants will be a welcome addition to your stash.
I think the fit is more trim on my three-year-old than it is on Samuel. As I mentioned before, this is something you’ll notice with one-size cloth diapering systems. They tend to fit better and better as your little one grows, and babies at the smaller end of the sizing spectrum might look a little bunched up or bulky in their pants. The Flip training pants are made to fit 18 months to 4T so my Samuel is at the lowest end of the size range. Benjamin is a small three-year-old so I think that’s why the trainers fit slightly better on him.
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