Families who’ve saved a lot of money on cloth diapers may face some sticker shock when it comes to buying reusable trainers. Some are $20 or even $30 apiece. But opting for disposable pull-ups takes an even bigger toll on your wallet. Even the generic trainers from Wal-Mart cost $6.00 each and might last a week or so. Spend that week after week, and it could add up to $300 or more over the course of a year (if your toddler doesn’t train right away). And they all go in the trash. Nothing to re-use, nothing you can re-sell.
So if you really DO want to keep using cloth, and keep saving money, here are a couple of tricks for the potty training phase.
Make Them Yourself
But don’t worry because this tutorial is simple; you just need to add a little absorbency to a pack of storebought Gerber trainers. Cut out a pad and attach it with a few simple stitches. Lindsey at So Easy Being Green calculates the final cost for her DIY trainer to be just $2.91.
Don’t Spend a Fortune on New
I’ve tried all these brands that are about $15 or less. Most you can get with free shipping.
- Imagine Trainers snap open on one side and offer several layers of cotton plus a PUL panel for light absorbency. Normally $12.95, they are BUY 1 GET 1 FREE right now at Nicki’s!
- Nicki’s Day Trainers are pull-up style with stretchy elastic sides and a low-rise fit. Lined with cotton flannel and waterproof on the outside, they are just $10 each with free shipping.
- Nicki’s Night Trainers contain four layers of a bamboo, a comfy stay dry fleece lining and a waterproof outer. You also get a bonus, foldable bamboo insert. All of this for just $14.00!
- Wink Organic Bamboo Trainers snap open at both sides and have 3 layers of bamboo terry and microfiber inside. Lots of unique and beautiful prints and colors, too! Just $15.99 at Wink Diapers (use my code ZEPHYR20 for 20% off your order).
- Buttons Trainers are new to the market are great for small toddlers and new learners. There are 3 layers of bamboo/cotton sewn in; you can also purchase additional cotton boosters that fit perfectly inside the pocket. $15.00 at Buttons Diapers.
Use Side-Snapping Diapers
Side-snapping diapers work well as trainers because they look more like big kid pants. The side closure makes cleaning up accidents so easy, compared to standard trainers that leave an awful mess on your child’s legs as you pull them down.
- Knickernappies Custom Pockets go up to size large (35 pounds, photo below) and can double as trainers. They are on sale for just $6.00 right now at Cloth Diaper Outlet, or you can easily find them used on Ebay.
- GroVia All-in-One diapers are very trim and can double as trainers later on, so they are a great investment. They are available new with free shipping at Nicki’s. You can also buy directly from GroVia, and they usually have a 20% off sale every Black Friday.
- Blueberry Simplex diapers can be found used on Ebay or Facebook buy/sell/trade groups. Like GroVia, they are a great investment that can possibly double as trainers for your baby later on.
Buy Ahead and Buy Slowly
You can make an investment into cloth trainers over time to spread the cost out. Start before your baby is learning so you’ll be ready. Consider selling some of the diapers you don’t use or don’t like to fund a few trainers. I invested in some Imagine XL pocket diapers one at a time because I knew Ingrid was not going to nail night trainer for a long time. They are $17 each (with free shipping at Nicki’s), and I now have 4 pairs that I rotate between washings, and they’ve totally paid for themselves. When I think of the money I would have thrown away on overnight pull-ups, I’m so happy about my decision!
Do you have any tips for saving money on cloth training pants?