Parents' Guide to Pull-Ups Training Pants for Toddlers

Boy Looking at Picture Book
Pull-ups for potty training. David P. Hall / Getty Images

Pull-Ups are a brand of disposable training pants from Kimberly Clark (also the maker of Huggies Diapers). They are made of the same absorbent material as diapers and are relatively easy for children to pull up (hence the name) and down in order to use the bathroom while potty training.

Parents who choose to use Pull-Ups do so in several different ways. Some use Pull-Ups all the time and find them clean and convenient. Other parents start out using Pull-Ups and transition slowly into cloth underwear as their children become more competent at using the potty. Other parents prefer to use Pull-Ups during the times when accidents present the largest inconvenience like at night, during naps and while out shopping or in the car.

Different Types of Pull-Ups

Pull-Ups come in three different varieties:

  • Cool Alert - When these get wet, they feel cool against your toddler's skin to let him know he's gone to the bathroom. Early Pull-Ups did not have this liner and some parents found that their children didn't respond to the training pants any differently than they would a regular diaper. This cool feeling (much like the feeling that occurs when children in cloth underwear have an accident) could further your toddler's potty training success by increasing his awareness of urination. They come in sizes 2T-5T.
  • Learning Designs - These Pull-Ups have designs on them that disappear when wet. While some children may find this visual cue helpful, I feel that it's a better aid for parents to use in knowing for sure when they need a change since small accidents can be hard to detect otherwise. They come in sizes 2T-5T.
  • Night Time - These are more absorbent than regular Pull-Ups and are used at night when your toddler is asleep. Nighttime dryness doesn't usually occur for most children until a year or more after daytime bladder control has been fully accomplished, so this variety of Pull-Ups can definitely come in handy and keep accident clean-up a less stressful time for everyone. Strangely though these only come in sizes 2T-4T and since nighttime dryness occurs so much later, I find this odd.

    Why Parents Like Pull-Ups

    There are other brands of disposable training pants for potty training besides Pull-Ups, but some parents prefer Pull-Ups brand because the sides open easily. This makes clean-up of bowel movements easier and less messy. In addition, if there's an accident, you won't have to remove your toddler's pants and shoes to get dressed again. Hook-and-loop fasteners also allow the sides to be refastened and used again as long as the Pull-Up stay clean and dry.

    Why Parents Don't Like Pull-Ups

    Some parents still feel like these are just glorified diapers. They argue that even with the Cool Alert feature or fading designs, Pull-Ups don't give their children the same amount of stimuli that an accident in cloth panties can give. I tend to agree (for the most part) and am a firm believer that when a child is truly ready to potty train his failures can be as impressionable and motivating as his successes. Each child is different, though, so I encourage all parents to experiment and find what works for them. If for example, your child seems indifferent to Pull-Ups, it's probably more cost-effective to try again at a later time when he might be more responsive.

    For more information, visit the official site of Pull-Ups or you can purchase Pull-Ups online.

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