Potty training baby (toddler) A – DIY training pants

This weekend saw the start of something I was not ready for – potty training.  It has been in the back of my head that we need to do it eventually and I bought a potty ring for our little girl because she liked to be in the bathroom whenever anyone is going potty and I thought since she was interested I would set her on it now and then just so it was a normal thing when the time came.

Slowly she has been telling me the time is coming.  When she is in the bathtub and needs to use the potty she lets us know and recently she will go into the bathroom either to go potty in her diaper or after words to put the potty ring on the ‘big girl potty’.  She doesn’t seem to be bother as much just yet by being wet but I assume we’ll get there.  Anyway, at 4 months shy of her second birthday and at her signal we got some ‘big girl undies’ and put her in them for most of the day yesterday and so far all day today … she is actually napping in a pair right now.

I didn’t realize how expensive those things really are – $7.99 for 2 pairs???? And they are a little loud because they are lined with plastic.  Anyway quickly realized we need more than just one pack of 2 but wow that cost!  So I decided I could do that myself.


It took about an hour to prep three training pants and sew one of them.  To be fair, I probably made things harder on myself by not pinning them first.  Also I am fairly new to sewing (I bought my first sewing machine in November this past year) so I struggle just a little more than someone more experienced.  The best part of this project?  The materials only cost me about $5.50 for three training pants.

Here is what you need:

  • Diaper covers (I am using 6 – 12 month covers that were given to me for her shower and I just never used – you could use ones you used in the past or ones that came with little dresses and you just won’t use, without the diaper under them they will probably fit just fine)
  • 1/2 yard of baby terry cloth (usually used to make baby towels)
  • 1/4 yard of baby flannel (think flannel receiving blankets)

I guess if you have baby towels and receiving blankets you won’t use in the future, you could always use those.  There are fabrics you can buy specifically for making cloth diapers but my research showed flannel and terry cloth to be some of the more absorbent materials and the price was right – besides I didn’t want it to be too much like a diaper because then what’s the difference?  Even commercial training pants get wet through and make a bit of a mess – for me the idea is to minimize it and to allow the wet to be near her skin so she gets the discomfort.

The first thing you will do is cut the terry cloth.  I doubled it up for a little extra absorbency. I put the smooth back of the first piece face up and then layered the second piece on top with the smooth side face up.


Next you’ll want to cut and fold the flannel.  I just added a nice folded strip to the inside as extra absorbency, the avoidance of puddles is my main concern.


I first folded the flannel by putting the short ends together:


I then folded the long sides together:


And then I sewed the ends in place so the extra padding wouldn’t move around when being worn.


I then rolled all of the edges and sewed them to make the ends nice, neat and finished.  Probably not necessary but it made me feel better.

Finally I fit the insert into the diaper cover with the flannel facing the inside of the diaper cover and the textured side of the terry cloth face up.  I turned the diaper cover inside out to make this easier.  I sewed around all the edges of the insert to attach the insert to the diaper cover.  Just be careful because you are working with layer of material – I sewed the diaper cover together at one point and had to redo some of the work I had done.

I am not sure the cost savings from a time perspective actually makes sense with this project like it did with the laundry soap but it gave me the chance to keep a little extra money in my pocket, use some diaper covers that were no longer getting used, and a little extra sewing practice.  I am not sure I would actually make the insert cover as much of the diaper cover for the next two only because its a little excessive – the insert covers the whole cover at this point.


One thought on “Potty training baby (toddler) A – DIY training pants

  1. Pingback: Day 28 – Potty Training and Peace | Becoming Supermom

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