Pantiliners as economical potty-training helpers (certainly cheaper than Pull-Ups!)

Beautiful. From Cynthia:

My family is on a very tight budget and I couldn’t afford Pull-ups to use while potty training my toddler daughter. When I tried to train her using panties only, the ensuing accidents would not only get her clothes soaked, but also get all over the furniture and carpet.

After much thought, I tried a pantiliner in her panties and it works great! She is able to feel the wetness so learning happens fast. An accident will still get her clothes a little wet, but the pantiliner catches the majority of it and saves the furniture. We have been using the Kotex Lightdays Maximum Protection Liners, which are about $1 at Walmart. Plus, Kotex frequently has 75-cent coupons making each pack only 25 cents.

This is a brilliant and inspired idea, Cynthia! I’d also like to remind folks about good, old-fashioned cotton training underpants — the kind with extra absorbent padding sewn into crotch. I wish I could recall the brand we used — it was much better than the more easily found Gerber version. Does anyone have a recommendation?

Related: Maxi pad as disposable diaper “extender”


  1. Carmen says

    We use the Hanna Anderssen training unders. They are organic cotton and hold in small accidents really well. They aren’t cheap, but you can get them on sale a few time a year. Also, they are so well made that you can use them for several kids!

  2. Ilene says

    My daughter used to leak a bit of urine now and then. She wouldn’t even realize it until someone pointed out that her pants were wet. As you could imagine it was horribly embarrassing even to a five or six year old. I didn’t want to put her back into pull-ups so we used pantiliners. They were the perfect size and were totally undetectable. Plus she liked the cute little packages they came in.

  3. Missy says

    We hit some rough patches financially so when we would run out of diapers just a day or so short of payday, I would line training pants with maxipads. It worked.

  4. liberrian says

    I’ve been using the gerber training pants and have been pretty happy with them, mainly because they’re really easy for my daughter to take on and off. We only use them in the house–we’re not really ready to go out into the world without a diaper yet–so yes they leak, but they catch some of it and certainly let her know that she’s wet. And here’s a little hack for them: I sewed a little heart shape* on the front of the waist band so she knows which side is front when she puts them on herself (*i just got a new sewing machine, so I’m playing around with all the new stitches.. a simple X would work too, even in permanent marker).

    I’ve also tried the Happy Heinys training pants, ( ) but they have a fleece liner that keeps the wetness off, which isn’t ideal (though they’re really easy to take on/off). I would recommend them for going out, except I’ve had problems with the snaps coming off. The company has been really good about replacing them, but then it happened again and I’m just less enthusiastic. Others have disagreed. ( ) I might try out the Motherease ones recommended above–I’ve liked their diapers.

    And the third one I’ve tried is the Imse Vimse training pants–they’re much more absorbent (and semi-waterproof) than the Gerbers (and more expensive), but they’re harder to pull up/down…but that might be because I think my daughter had outgrown the size I bought, so YMMV.

  5. Alexandra says

    The best ones we’ve found (very comfortable and absorbent) and also well-priced are the brand JCPenney sells, I think they are called Wee Ones. The only catch is that I have not been able to buy them online, only at the store. But they are really great.

  6. cindy says

    We are currently using the Luvable Friends training pants, bought from Amazon. They have been working great. I couldn’t find the Gerber training pants in my daughters’ size, and the 15-pack of training pants was perfect for my twins.

  7. says

    Target has a more extensive line of Gerber training pants in store that Walamrt and KMart I believe. I always go to Target to get mine. The JCPenny brand is good as well….why not use cloth diapers if you are needing to assist your child…some kids potty train early and still need assistance.

  8. MrsHaley says

    Kind of a backward version of this hack — when my son was born he was already too big for the nb size diapers, but since we already had a pack of them I didn’t want to waste them. A nurse at the hospital showed me how to use them as super-ultra maxi pads for that post-childbirth lochia. The, um, ‘shape’ of the diaper is perfect and the tabs keep it solidly in place.

    Gross, but, you know — whatever works! …

  9. Parent Hacks Editor says

    The JCPenney version! That’s what we used! They washed perfectly and lasted forever and have since been passed down to a younger friend.

  10. says

    What a fantastic idea to use liners! My little one is seven months old now so we’re obviously not up to potty training yet, but I’ll certainly keep that in mind for when she’s ready. We use disposable nappies at the moment, the cost of which adds up quite quickly, so any $$ savings we can make will really help.

    This is where we’re up to so far:

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