Like many of my best intentions, my “Who needs trainers?! We’re going straight to undies!” intention was thwarted by my strong-willed Cub and the arrival of his baby sister.
I’d like to believe that if Cub had been ready to potty train before I had a newborn constantly attached to me, we could’ve succeeded in a “straight to big boy undies” strategy. (And you just be kind and let me believe that.) Another perspective I use to console myself when I’m wiping the fifth poop of the day is that my son has the best interests of my blog and its readers at heart. He know Mamas ask me about trainers, and he knows the only way I can review them is if he takes his sweet time potty training.
Our Flip Trainers from Alberta’s The Cloth Diaper Source couldn’t have arrived soon enough. The potty training dilemma I had found myself in was as follows:
I had finally managed to get Cub to sit on the actual toilet with a potty seat rather than his froggy potty, but my small victory of no longer having to clean poop out of a pot was starting to fade from memory as I injured my wrist due to my opposite-of-ergonomic blogging habits and lifting 35 lbs of Cub onto and off of the toilet, then onto and off of the change table to put his diaper back on. Putting him in underwear was creating too many puddles and laundry given that I also had a newborn to care for. In a preview of the sibling shananigans that are sure to come, sister and brother seemed to be coordinating their need to nurse and need to use the potty so as to drive me to the verge of insanity.
I needed to keep Cub in a pant that could at least catch a small leak, and I needed to be able to pull the pants on and off so that I could at least skip the step of having to lie Cub down on the change table to put a diaper back on. This was particularly key when out of the house, since when your kid is too big for the wall-mounted change table there are not a lot of options except the floor for putting his diaper back. The Flip Potty Trainer Kit is just smart, smart, smart. You get one shell (adjustable to fit 20-50 lbs) and three organic cotton soaker pads. Unless it’s a big accident, you just swap out for a clean soaker. The soakers attach to the shell with hook & loop, and can be folded smaller if you have the shell on a smaller rise. The shell is also adjustable at the waist, and you can use it as a pull-up or remove it like a diaper if the contents dictate.
On a good day, Cub is only getting a little bit of pee in his trainers before we get to the potty, but it’s definitely enough pee to mean a change of pants if he were to only be in undies. Poop is another story. Since we started training, he’s decided to release his turds in increments, and basically never directly into the toilet. (JOY!)
That I can just swap out the Flip soaker with a skid mark or a pee dribble sure saves me a lot of laundry. And in the case of a full pee (Mommy forgot to remind him…. or chose not to), the PUL cover is enough to spare his pants as long as we change the soaker relatively quickly.
Really, you can use a Flip trainer cover like a full-on AI2 diaper if you want to. I can fold a prefold or Flip Overnight Insert into the shell and he can wear it overnight, and if the shell is still clean but I’m out of Flip soakers, our Geffen boosters do the trick, too!
Because of the PUL shell, I don’t stress about accidents when we are out of the house. Other trainers have the benefit of not being fully waterproof, if the benefit you are seeking is for your kid to be frustrated by wet pants and learn to go on the potty. This is great for home, but out of the house it is not what I’m looking for! If there’s an unexpected nap, I also don’t have to worry, as long as he’s in a Flip.
What I love about Flip Trainers:
- “AI2” functionality meaning you just swap out inserts rather than changing the whole pant;
- Pull up like underwear or unsnap at the sides and use like a diaper;
- Adjustable rise and waist so if your second in line to the throne (get it?!) is smaller or larger, they can still use them;
- Totally compatible with other inserts and prefolds if required.
- If your child is sensitive to PUL, these wouldn’t be a good solution as the PUL is in contact with their skin;
- I think I’d prefer it if the inserts snapped in rather than attaching with hook & loop;
- If your kid is one of those who absolutely wants to be in “big kid undies,” Flip Trainers might not pass their test (Cub loves diapers, so he really, really doesn’t care).
Shop & Connect:
Central Alberta’s The Cloth Diaper Source carries an array of cloth diapers and cloth trainers, with free shipping in Canada over $99 and a low flat-rate of $6.99. They also offer free delivery in Red Deer, Lacombe, Sylvan Lake, Blackfalds, Ponoka and Innisfail. (All parts of my new province that I have yet to visit!)