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A training pant is an aid for toilet training, which is much like a traditional disposable diaper.
Commonly used features
These are features that are commonly used in toilet training pants.
Many toilet training pants use flexible sides for the wearer to easily pull them off and on like normal underwear. This is to increase independence, make training easier, and are designed to be child-friendly, as well as to make them designed like normal underwear, unlike most traditional diapers in which the diaper is fastened by cheap velcro straps which are unadjustable. Also unlike normal diapers, the sides are sold already fastened with the goal of enabling wearers to put them on independently.
Some brands include strong velcro on the sides, the goal being to keep the sides in place while enabling the parent to remove the pants if necessary. Conversely, the sides may be more vulnerable to breaking and are liable to lose the psychological benefit of moving away from diapers.
In addition, all training pants have leak protection for when the wearer wets the pant. When the pant is wet, the urine is absorbed and drawn into a compartment that absorbs the wetness, much like a diaper. This is used to prevent the wetness to ruin any clothing surrounding it, and also for privacy. However, if too much urine is absorbed, it can break open, exposing the foam that absorbs the urine. Many companies have allowed a fairly large amount of absorbency in their pants, mainly to make them appropriate to be used for night trainers who wet the bed.
In many cases, a training pant will contain a wetness indicator.
This is a set of designs printed in special ink that evaporates from liquid that is absorbed from the wearer-specifically urine, near the area that is most commonly urinated. When the child does wet the pant, these designs smudge to the point that they fade completely to white. This is intended to be an incentive for staying dry and a way to discourage wetting, and to identify when he or she is wet. Such a feature was first sold to consumers in 2000.
In addition to the visual wetness indicator, some companies have gone as far as to introduce a liner inside their training pants, specifically in the area most frequently urinated. This liner is intended to make wearers feel discomfort or cold upon urination, thus conditioning them to use the toilet. Pampers was the first one to use this feature with their Feel 'N Learn trainers, which were based specifically around the use of the wetness liner. This product and most other wetness liner products are now discontinued, likely due to lack of consumer interest. Most companies that use this feature also use the wetness indicator on their training pants. When Huggies used this feature on their Pull-Ups, they claimed that the wetness indicator is best suited for those who are visual learners, while the wetness liners are for those who learn from feeling.
Many training pants depict licensed characters that are likely to be recognized by young children.
For example, Huggies has used the Disney Princesses, Toy Story, and Cars designs on their training pants. Pampers has used Dora the Explorer, and Go Diego Go! on their Easy Ups. The used of licensed characters on training pants is generally used to motivate the wearer and make wearing the training pants more interesting.
Designs on pants
Huggies uses a system for the designs on their pants. Learning Designs illustrations do not follow any system, but the Cool Alert designs always reflect wintertime, snow, ice, etc., and the Night-Time pants always reflect night time and dreaming. On Pamper's Easy Ups, the designs show Dora and Diego in illustrations that reflect their activities that would be similar to that in the TV shows Dora the Explorer, Bob the Builder and Go Diego Go!. This also applies to most other companies using licensed characters.
Training pants have had some controversial issues in the past-Mainly regarding the wetness liner being linked to rashes, as well as if it is actually effective in terms of impact.
Effectiveness of wetness liner
Many reviewers[who?] and parents have criticized the wetness liner on some training pants, particularly Pamper's Easy Ups/Feel 'N learn, and Huggies's Cool-Alert Pull-Ups. These people have claimed that the wetness liner is the reason that their children have gotten rashes in the genital area. This is likely due to material used in the liner that some individuals are allergic to.
Others[who?] have also claimed that while no allergic reactions take place, the wetness liner does not signal to the child that he or she is wet, and/or does nothing.
Impact of the training pants
Some people[who?] have also questioned whether the training pants have any impact on the child's ability to use the toilet. Some people[who?] have claimed that it is about as effective as a generic diaper, as some[who?] have reported that their child is not experiencing the difference between wet and dry—one of the main purposes of training pants nowadays.