Once you believe that your child is ready to start being potty trained, you may wonder how or if you should use pull-up training pants. Pull-up training pants have characteristics of a diaper and regular underwear and certainly have their advantages and disadvantages. Aside from the psychological factors involved, pull-up training pants can be significantly more expensive than regular diapers or big kid underpants so you do not want to use them unless you think that they are going to be helpful to your child.
When transitioning from diaper to underpants pull-ups are great.
At the beginning of the process of potty training it may be helpful to use pull-ups to show your child that diapers are a thing of the past. You can explain to your child that the pull-ups will be easier for them to pull up and down so that they can use the potty. Tell your child that if they do well at keeping their special pull-ups dry, that they will be able to wear big kid underwear. Using pull-ups this way helps to teach your child that their waste belongs in the toilet and not in their special training pants.
Use pull-ups if potty training is inconsistent.
It is more convenient for mom and dad to use pull-ups when your child’s potty training abilities are inconsistent. Of course you cannot spend every waking moment standing by ready to rush your child to the restroom at the first sight of moisture. Give both of you a break and use the pull-ups.
Use pull-ups for overnight protection.
Going a full eight or more hours without wetting their pants is a huge accomplishment for toddlers. Unfortunately this accomplishment may also be a long time coming. Until you and your child are confident in the child’s ability to use the toilet in the night or to wait until morning you may want to put him or her to bed with pull-ups on.
Avoid discouragement from too many accidents. Use pull-ups now and then.
Your child is going to have an accident at least once and probably many more times during the course of potty training them. Sometimes a failure to keep big kid underwear clean is very discouraging and disheartening for a child. You may want to consider allowing them to use pull-ups so that they can feel comfortable at least some of the times that they do not make it to the bathroom on time.
With pull-ups the child cannot “feel” as easily that they have wet themselves.
One drawback to using pull-ups training pants is that with pull-ups the child cannot “feel” as easily that they have wet themselves. The dislike of a wet or dirty feeling is one of the greatest motivators that you child has that will help them develop the desire to be potty trained. If pull-ups pants work just like diapers, then where is the incentive? Some children will notice no difference at all between their diaper and the pull-ups. Using big kid underpants makes it very clear in your child’s mind that wetting or dirtying themselves is uncomfortable, and they will be better motivated to make a change in order to feel better.
It is helpful to encourage your child to develop the mentality that with grown-up underwear there is more of an expectation.
Using pull-ups can detract from the excitement of being potty trained in order to be able to use big kid underwear. For some toddlers being a big kid is their biggest motivation. Using pull-ups can be too similar to simply wearing a diaper, and the child may not be as motivated to work hard in order to accomplish their potty training goal.