A mother hugs her daughter who is starting potty training with pull-ups.

The Benefits and Pitfalls of Potty Training with Pull-Ups

For many parents Pull-Ups have been an absolute blessing. For others it has only seemed to drag out the process of potty training. Every parent has to make the decision that is best for their little one, but know that as with everything in life, there are pros and cons to potty training with Pull-Ups.

As I type this, I am smack dab in the middle of potty training my toddler. This hasn’t been easy or pleasant. I am blessed (that’s the right word, right?) to have a toddler that is very strong willed and incredibly intelligent. This is most certainly complicating the matter. I decided to try potty training with Pull-Ups because they worked well with my older children, but this has not been the case for my youngest.

Don’t get me wrong; the process has not been entirely horrible. Pull-Ups have definitely been helpful in some matters. The product itself provides a sense of transition for my daughter and the concept that is behind Pull-Ups of simulating the feeling of wearing underwear, has not been lost on her. And she did feel more like a “big girl” when she started wearing them.

Here’s the risk: your child can become dependent on them (as mine apparently has). Your child may only want to have bowel movements in their pull-up instead of in the toilet. They may become accustomed to them to the point where you have wean your child off of them. Becoming a “big kid” can incentivize some children, but as my daughter pointed out the other day, “Mommy, I AM a big girl. Babies wear diapers. I wear Pull-Ups.”

See, I told you she was smart.

Pull-Ups are great for teaching the mechanics of potty time as a “big kid,” but they can become a security blanket if your child isn’t comfortable with the idea of using the potty independently.

So how do you know if you should potty train with Pull-Ups or not? It depends on your child. Children who are eager to do things on their own and are fairly independent may do very well in Pull-Ups. Children who grow attached to things and feel like they “need them” to get through the day may have difficulty with the transition.

If your child really wants to wear underwear but still has accidents on a regular basis, Pull-Ups can be a great tool to get past the hurdle. If your children are “scared” or timid to use the potty, Pull-Ups might only delay the transitional process if they depend on them like they did with diapers.

This entire process of potty training my daughter has reminded me that you’re not just training your toddler to use the potty; you’re getting trained too. And if I’m too dependent on Pull-Ups to save the day, my daughter will continue to be that way as well. Make the decision that is best for your child and trust the process. It will happen. I promise.



I am thinking about potty training my 1 year old because she keeps pulling her diaper off…or maybe we will just use pull-ups?

During the day my two year old goes to the big girl potty all day, but when we are out and about she uses a pull-up. How do I transition away from the pull-up?

My 3 year old son has been peeing in the potty for a long time but he REFUSES to poop in the potty. Has anyone gone through this?

My daughter is doing well with peeing in the potty but will only poop in her pull-up or her underwear. Should I just let her go bottomless until she figures it out?

My son barely fits into the size 6 diaper and I want to potty train but my pediatrician said he was too young and to wait and use pull-ups. What are your thoughts?

My son will poop in the potty when he has underwear or a pull-up on, but when he wants to pee in the potty he takes off all of his clothing.

My 1 year old does not want to potty train. We have tried underwear and pull-ups. Any ideas?

I am going to potty train my daughter because the pull-ups are too expensive!

I have an almost 4 year old who still wears pull-ups at night. Any night potty training advice?

If I potty train my son do I put pull-ups or underwear on him in the morning?

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About Angela Moore

I am a 33 year old mother of three living in NE Ohio with my family. The only thing I love more than my family are words... reading them, writing them, devouring them. You can find me sitting at a laptop by day, exploring the worlds of SEO, Social Media and the written word. By night, I am most likely going to be sitting with my kids, knitting up something for a friend and watching sports or one of my shows on TV. You can find me on Twitter and Google +.