Hi, this is Sharni of Nappy Shoppe. My youngest Braden at 2 has been back and forth on training. I am a firm believer that they will do it at their own pace, so I let him decide when he is ready. So right now he goes a few times a day, opts to wear trainers a few times a day and opts to wear a diaper other times. So right now I have the best of both worlds as a cloth diaper store owner, he is testing both diapers and trainers!
So when Braden first showed signs of training, I pulled out the Happy Heiny trainers that I had been stocking since I started Nappy Shoppe. While he loved to wear the cow print one I had chosen for him, I thought them to be rather poofy and diaperish still. They are still one of my number one recommendations for night time and nap time though as they can be stuffed like a diaper for absorbency, but they can be pulled up and down like underwear. But I found I wanted something trimmer that looked more like underwear. So the applications to stock trainers started, and we have tried several brands on Braden, and the ones I stock in the store, we do like. But there was one that was an outstanding favourite for us.
Designed by Debby Reed of Otter Babies is the Otter Puddle. These trainers are the best we have found. They are trim, absorbent, and well made. These trainers are a day time option only. They are not for night time or nap time usage. They will hold an accident nicely and protect furniture and flooring nicely for one accident, but they are not designed to be left on as long as a diaper.
The ones we stock have snaps on the side (though they do make one that does not). I far prefer snaps on the side so that when a poopy accident happens, clean up is easy. We had a poopy accident in a pair of trainers that did not have snaps, and it was not a pleasant experience cleaning that up. The puddles can be pulled up and down like undies, and if there is no poopy accidents you do not have to undo the snaps.
The outside of the trainers is a cotton interlock (though some do have a bamboo french terry), so that they feel like undies. Some of the brands I sell have a PUL outer, which to me makes it feel like a diaper still. (These tend to be the brands that work great for night time and nap time though). The fabric helps the child transition to underwear, and the pants feel more like undies as a result.
The inner of the trainers is a soft bamboo interlock, that is comfortable to wear, but will make the child feel wet when they have an accident. You do not want a stay dry fleece in my opinion in a trainer during the day, as you need them to feel wet to learn.
The absorbent layers are two layers of hemp fleece, that is hidden between the inner and outer layer of the pants. This is backed by a layer of water proof fabric to prevent the bulk of the accident from coming through the pants. We have found that this is sufficient to hold the one accident and not had any leaking on to furniture. If you leave them on for another accident (ie you are not aware that the first has happened) then the outer of the pants will get wet.
There is an optional snap in pad. The pants all come with the pad, but the optional part is if you want to use it or not. It is great for the early days of training when accidents are more common, but it can be removed later on when accidents are rarer. The pad is one layer of bamboo fleece and two layers of hemp fleece. It snaps into the pants, and has an otter embroidered on to the front. Not only is the otter the logo of the brand of pants, but it can be used as a teaching tool. We tell Braden to keep the otter dry. (His little friend Natalie calls it a Kitty .... ).
The small sized puddles are great for those who EC. We do find that the most commonly used size is the larges and extra larges.
We love the Puddles, so much so that when Debby was unable to keep up with our demand for them, Nappy Shoppe crew came on board to help sew them. We really believe in this product, and they are a favourite of many of my customers who are training or have trained their tots.
Congratulations to Libby (15) who one our free otter puddle.
In these photos, Braden is around 30 pounds in a size large, and Natalie is around 27 pounds in a size large.