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Why you should throw away pull-ups when you begin potty training

pottytrainingtips pull-ups Jan 10, 2023

One of the biggest questions that comes up for parents before beginning potty training is, “Should I use pull-ups or not?” While pull-ups may seem like a good solution, they can actually make the potty training process longer and more difficult. Let’s explore why you should avoid pull-ups when potty training your toddler... and why they are a waste of your money!


Pull-Ups Are Super Comfortable

"Soft and comfy fit"

"Outstanding protection"

These are just some of the words marketed to parents by some of the biggest diaper companies in the world. 

To be fair, these diaper companies are not lying. Pull-ups are certainly all of these things - soft, comfortable, provide excellent protection from leaks. 

But what these diaper companies fail to tell you... pull-ups and diapers are basically the exact same product.

Pull-ups are made from the same fabrication as diapersIn fact, pull-ups are actually designed to absorb even more urine than diapers. They absorb urine so well that it makes children feel content and comfortable in their wetness. The reality is, wearing a pull-up (or a diaper) signals to your child that it's okay for them to continue to pee without listening to their bodies urges.... meaning they have no reason or motivation to use a potty. 


Pull-Ups Encourage Accidents 

Putting your child into pull-ups once you begin potty training sends mixed messages to your child: that they can use a potty when they feel an urge AND pee when they have a pull-up on. Pull-ups can therefore create confusion for your child leading to more frequent accidents. 

Experiencing daytime wetting during potty training is part of the process for all kids. Instead of your child's pee or poop being captured by a diaper or a pull-up, your child will be able to feel the sensation of wetness and begin to understand the concept of an urge. These "accidents" create an excellent learning opportunity to bring attention to their urges and learn what to do when they feel this next time... which is exactly the point of potty training!


Pull-Ups Can Make Potty Training Take Longer

The mixed messages that pull-ups send kids can lead to a longer, more drawn out potty training process. The confusion on when and how to go can make kids more reliant on parent's prompts to go potty (or physical reminders like feeling wet) for a longer period of time... leading to a much longer process than it needs to be!

As tempting as it is to put your child into pull-ups during potty training, the comfort of pull-ups and the mixed messages it sends to your child will lead to a longer, much more drawn out process than it needs to be. Allowing your child to have some time bare-bummed (naked from the waist down) and using alternatives to pull-ups like training underwear or cloth diapers, helps to keep messaging consistent. While there may be more "accidents" in the short term, avoiding diapers or pull-ups creates more learning opportunities and leads to a faster and easier potty training experience for you and your kid. 


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