Two weeks ago, I set our toddler Mary Kate on the potty and she burst into tears. Not a very promising start. Her big sister had no problem using the “big potty” with the toddler seat insert, but Mary Kate is just too fearful right now. We’ll have to start her off with a stand-alone potty, which I was hoping to avoid because it adds another transition to the process. We also happen to have a really tiny bathroom. Ah well…
But there’s something I’m really pleased about. The first trainers we’ve tried with her happen to be new to the market, and from a brand we’ve used a lot over the years: Buttons! We received a free pair to share in a review, plus a pack of the 100% cotton boosters.
Here are the basic features of Buttons training pants:
- Waterproof PUL outer material
- Soft poly mesh inner lining
- 3-layer bamboo/cotton sewn-in pad
- Adjustable from 15 to 35 pounds: 3 waist settings and 3 rise settings
- Stuffable pocket for more absorbency
- Price: $15 (solid colors) and $15.75 (prints)
Performance: I love a trainer like this that snaps open at the sides to make removal and clean-up of #2 accidents much easier. If you’ve ever trained a toddler before, you already know that it can be quite some time before they master both #1 and #2 skills. The mesh lining is also super easy to clean up.
Here’s a closer look at the poly mesh. It’s soft, breathable and doesn’t hold onto stains.
As is, the Buttons trainer features a built-in soaker of bamboo/cotton (3 layers). It’s sewn onto the underside of the white mesh lining. For Mary Kate, it holds a small leak.
For absorbency beyond that, I added one of the cotton boosters. That helps catch a small accident. Stuffing the pocket is not exactly easy since it has a very narrow cut (only 4.25″ at the smallest). Buttons’ cotton boosters are made to fit the narrow pocket, so you may or may not have luck if trying to use inserts from your existing stash. The more you stuff, the harder it will be for your toddler to pull up and down, so keep that in mind, too.
Value: At $15, the price is nice! You get additional value for your money, too, because it can be used as a side-snapping diaper for younger babies (see notes on fit below). It also doubles as a swim diaper.
Fit: Buttons has made a trainer that’s not just cute, but also very trim. As a bonus, it doesn’t really look like a cloth diaper, so that gives your toddler the feeling of wearing big kid pants. I would say it definitely runs small overall, like Buttons covers do. The smallest rise setting is super small; this trainer actually fits my 12 pound, 2 month old Camille (below). But I do know there are some really petite learners out there, so this trainer will certainly call to them.
Mary Kate is 23 pounds and 2 years old. She’s wearing it on the largest rise setting, but has some room to grow in the waist. I think she’s in the sweet spot for this particular trainer, being a young toddler that’s also not tall or really chunky.
I was curious to see how it fit on a bigger/older toddler, since some don’t get started (or done) until age 3 or older. Ingrid is 34 pounds and a slim 4-year-old. At this point, the trainer is too tight for her to pull up and down independently, and the snaps leave red marks on her hips.
Here is my 3-year-old nephew, Roderick, in the Buttons trainer. Katie concurs the fit does run small, especially at the waist, but it’s still comfortable for Roderick to wear. She also likes the side snaps, and that they are adjustable. For Roderick, it holds one small accident as is.
I would love to see a “Super” Buttons trainer, like their covers, which offered extended sizing for bigger toddlers.
Where to Shop for Buttons Trainers
Buttons Diapers Website (free shipping over $75)
Buttons may be releasing their new trainers to participating retailers soon, so be sure to check their Facebook page for news.
Do you have a child that will be potty training, or have you already passed that milestone? What features do you look for in a cloth trainer?
And if you have questions, please leave them in a comment below!