Clothes for training. What your child should (and shouldn’t) wear when toilet training.
Toddler clothes are adorable. Who can resist the cute little overalls or the colourful jumpsuits or the soft footed pajamas?
For children that are in nappies full-time, those outfits are just fine, but when a child begins toilet training, it is time to put them in the back of the closet or pass them on to friends or the local charity shop. When it comes to toilet training, clothes that are simple and easy to put on and take off, outrank cute and adorable.
Go against fashion trends
Parents quickly learn that while it might be nice for their child to be the fashionable kid in the neighbourhood, most of these clothes aren’t practical. The best toilet training clothes a child can wear are the ones that are easiest to take off quickly. Many parents and experts suggest that little girls should wear dresses or skirts. In cooler weather, tracksuit pants or other pants with an elasticised waist are a favourite choice for toilet training children.
“Kids tend to wait until the last minute to go to the potty,” says Wendy, a mother of two. “If they have a lot of trouble getting the hooks and latches and buttons on overalls undone they will wet themselves before they get it all taken off.”
“This is the case even after toilet training is complete”, Wendy is quick to add. Even her daughter, who is in Grade One, refuses to wear overalls or any outfit that is too complicated to take off quickly.
If it is easy, they will go
Children should wear toilet training clothes that can be easily dropped to the ankles or kicked off completely so the knees can be spread apart, which makes weeing much easier and more comfortable. Tights and leggings are the hardest to get off, and little girls rarely push them down far enough when going to the bathroom.
Tips for dressing
Keep these tips in mind when dressing your child for potty training success:
Less is best
When first starting out it can be best to wear as little clothing as possible for the most of the day or for a few hours in the morning.
Parent Tip - “If we're at home and no one is there or coming over, the kids can run around in their T-shirts and undies. When they are first learning, you know they are going to have accidents, so that is only one little garment to change.”
Gradually expand the time wearing underwear
As your child becomes more confident and comfortable wearing undies, add additional practice time until your child is wearing them all day.
Take advantage of warm weather
In cold weather areas, small children wear a lot of layers, especially if they are playing outside. It can be easier for both the child and parent when there are fewer clothes involved.
Take a test run
Parents shouldn't assume their child knows how to put on or take off their clothes. With each new outfit, there should be practice time. Children will be more willing to go to the potty or toilet, if they are confident they can undress with confidence.
Dress for the occasion
Letting your children run around the house naked or with very little on is fine if you are at home alone. At childcare or when out and about, dress your child in clothes that are easy to pull up and down. Elasticised pants are a good idea for boys and girls, and skirts or dresses for girls.
Accidents will happen, so be prepared. Keep one or two extra outfits and a stash of Pull-Ups® Training Pants in the car.
Clothes for potty-training toddlers
Dungarees or Overalls
Pants with an elasticised waist
Singlets or T-shirts that do up under the crotch
Skirts and dresses
Hand-wash garments or (heaven forbid) anything marked ‘dry-clean only'
Bare bottoms, especially in the summer when children can run around with nothing on
Tights and stockings
Pull-Ups® training pants