Best Clothing for a Toilet Training Child


Ahhh, toilet training… that point in time that we hope happens soon, but we also wish we could just skip to the end when it’s all over and done with!

It’s a good day when the time of spending half of your monthly income on nappies comes to an end, and the capacity of your wheelie bin suddenly increases too!

Often, the best way to get started is to remove ALL clothing and let your little one run free, in close proximity to a toilet or potty…but this isn’t always possible, and very rarely the climate for it either!

There are a couple of things to think about when it comes to clothing during toilet training…underwear AND outerwear…


Although pull-up nappy pants are great as a safety net, they can hinder progress due to the fact that they still feel like a nappy, and the child doesn’t get any uncomfortable wet feelings if they have an accident, which helps them to understand and recognise their toileting needs.

We used pull-ups for long car journeys and night-times, but during the day, try to choose something that will allow your child to recognise if they have had an accident.

Normal cotton briefs are the easiest solution – you can buy them in large packs and they are relatively easy for a young child to pull up and down with ease!

Toilet training pants are another option, these usually consist of a soft inner layer and a waterproof outer layer, which absorbs liquids without ruining the outer-clothing, but still allows a child to feel damp. These are great for the first few days of toilet training when accidents may happen a lot! You can then progress onto cotton briefs once your child starts to use the toilet or potty successfully.

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This is something that you may not consider at first, but can actually make a huge difference to how independent and successful your child’s potty training attempts become. Here are some of the lessons I learnt with my own children:

  • Ditch the popper vests and babygros…anything that requires doing up and undoing between the legs, and can also then dangle in the potty is a no go. Your child can’t manage these alone.
  • Say bye-bye to dungarees and jumpsuits… they look super cute but they are an absolute nightmare to get off when a child is desperate for a wee, and again, they end up on the floor or in the potty!
  • Keep skirts short and simple…or give them a miss for a while! It is really hard for a little one to hold up a skirt, whilst pulling down underwear and making sure that none of it gets stuck in the loo or potty. If my own daughter needs a wee and she is wearing a dress or skirt, she will usually ask me to ‘tuck it up’ first, so that she can use the toilet effectively.
  • Switch to leggings – trousers and jeans with tricky fastens are not your friend during toilet training. Make it easier for your little one by dressing them in trousers that can easily be pulled up and down without them falling completely onto the (possibly wet) floor.
  • Keep tops short and tight rather than long and loose – for the same reason as before, you want to avoid any unnecessary dippage.

Finally, if possible, let your little one choose their own underwear for toilet training – the excitement of a new pair of big kid pants that they REALLY want to wear can often be a great motivator!

Sarah x

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