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Review of Cloth Diapering Trainers

Cedar has been (daytime) diaper-free for some time now. I had intended to do this review and, well, procrastinated.

First, some history.

Norah learned to use the potty like a dream. I didn’t do anything. We never used a little potty, training pants, or strategy. We never read potty books or watched DVD’s. She turned two and decided she’d had enough. C’est fini.

Lots of parents asked me how to potty train and I confidently responded, “they just do it when they’re ready.” This information was based on my case study of ONE.

With Cedar, I tried half-heartedly to do elimination communication. I stared into her baby blues watching for her “cue” while she stealthily pooped in my lap. Great bonding time. After dropping out of EC, I provided her with a little potty. At 16 months, she used it! Nice. Just like I remembered.

And then she never used that potty again.

Her two year birthday came and went. We had the big trip to Asia coming up and I decided she simply must be diaper-free by then. It is tough for me to admit but I checked out one of those “potty training boot camp” books from the library.

After dropping out of potty-training boot camp, I dealt with cloth diapering in Asia. Then I simmered down and let her “just do it when she was ready.” Guess what? She did.

I tried training pants this time around. I’m not sure it made a significant difference. I tried a bummi’s, flip trainer, and grovia trainer.

Bummi’s: This one did not get points on cute factor. It was huge and bubbled out around Cedar’s trim bum. There was no way this thing was going under pants. It would have to be for skirts and dresses. I bought a medium. Maybe a small would have been trimmer but I’m not sure the elastic would have been comfortable. This diaper takes forever to dry. I liked the flannel lining that would let her feel wetness quickly. Leaks were contained. I still use it–at night of all times–with an extra liner. I got it on sale and so, for the cost, it is fine as a nighttime diaper.

Flip Trainer: The flip trainer is an adjustable cover that comes with five organic inserts. The diaper can be pulled down or snapped apart. I liked the snap apart feature for the few times she pooped in them. A poop accident in a trainer that can only be pulled down? No thank you. It has adjustable snaps for sizing. The problem I encountered was fitting her skinny legs. I think the cover was so light and the inserts so heavy that it increased the leg leak factor. When I stuffed it with a BG microfiber insert, it worked much better. Cedar did have some trouble pulling the flip back up when she used the potty. Because the insert is on the outside (to feel wetness, I get it) and because I had the cover so snug to prevent leaks, the insert sometimes shifted as she pulled the diaper back up. The inserts require extra drying time. But, I still use it–at night of all times–with an extra liner. I bought mine used and so, for the cost, it is fine as a nighttime diaper.

IMG_1250Grovia Trainer: This trainer is darling. It won me over when I saw how trim it looked. Cedar was easily able to pull it up and down. The Grovia material is, in my opinion, the cadillac of the cloth diaper market. The core is a hemp/cotton blend which makes it fairly absorbent. It has a pocket for additional stuffing and I found the flip trainer inserts fit perfectly for nighttime. The big complaint, however, is the size. Cedar is small and she can no longer fit the trainer. She says it is too tight. Grovia offers extender tabs that snap in but with a trainer that already carries a hefty price tag, who wants to spend anything else? Also, if you have an early potty learner, the snaps can not be sized smaller. These diapers dry faster than the other two.

Bottom line: I’m not sure I’m sold on the whole concept of training pants. This opinion is based on my case study of TWO so what do I know? We’re all trying our best to figure this parenting gig out and, in the big picture, while potty-learning can feel huge; it’s really a tiny blip, a fleeting moment.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on potty learning or trainers.


Disclosure: I Love Natural Baby, a retailer of the above diapers, gave me a Grovia trainer when I was complaining about potty-learning in the store one day. The manager suggested I could write a review on the diaper. </e

4 responses »

  1. That Grovia is cute. 🙂

  2. My 5 yr old has not night time trained yet. Late night awareness runs in the family so I don’t sweat it but I hated buying pull-ups or now goodnights. We still use these for trips away from home or if I forget to put our cloth pull-ups in the dryer but we are mostly cloth. I have two of these: As they are intended to be for nighttime use and very absorbent they are not particularly trim (especially when you stuff additional absorbent material in them as I have to do). But, they are easy up and down, dry quickly, and we have NO accidents. They are also comfortable, something the Gro Via trainers (with the plus side panels) were not. Those puppies left horrible elastic marks on my girl. I really wish they would rethink their design because it really only fits one size of child and is not flexible.

    I haven’t gotten rid of my Gro Via Trainers because I plan to use them when #2 decides to PT. She’s very slender so I’m hopeful they will fit her well.

    • We use happy heiny trainers at night time too. My son announced right before turning 2 1/2 that he was done with diapers. The night time pull-ups are our compromise. They don’t have any snaps and so look like underwear. I also let him pick out the colors/designs. And since he is still using them a year later I think they were worth the money.

  3. Ryleigh was the same as Norah. 26 months she decided she was ready for panties. No more diaper, a couple of accidents, and she was done. I hadn’t braved cloth diapering back then, so we bought pull-ups. I’m pretty sure half of that one pack we bought is still hiding in the hall closet.
    Maddie will be far different I think… A month or so ago she seemed super interested when Ryleigh or I went to the potty. She started going off by herself for privacy to go and sometimes even picks out a diaper or wipes when she is ready to be changed. I was thinking “yay she is going to potty train early and on her own like her sister!”. Nope. I sat her on the big potty and the baby potty that Ryleigh refused to use, and she acted like I was using a torture device on her. No more potty. Oh well….
    It took me forever to decide which cloth diapers I liked best and has she has changed sizes and shapes as she grows, my diapering preference has changed too – so I hope the trainers aren’t as hard of a decision for me! If so, I’m hoping she makes her preference clear like she does with everything else!


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