When to Switch to Pull Ups- Until When Should Babies Wear Regular Diapers?

By Maria Wilcox •  Updated: 07/13/22 •  7 min read
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Wondering when to switch to Pull Ups? The answer to this question may surprise you! Pull Ups are a diaper alternative that was originally developed to extend diaper wear for growing babies and toddlers. Now, Pull Ups are widely available and are being used for a variety of purposes. But when is the best time to make the switch? We’ll answer that and more in today’s upcoming post. 

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When Should I Use Pull-Ups Instead of Diapers?

Pull Ups can be used instead of diapers whenever you feel comfortable making the switch.

That’s right! There’s no set answer as to when to switch from diapers to Pull Ups. Still, many wonder what the advantages and disadvantages are to having your baby in a Pull Up versus a diaper. This is a good question that has a variety of answers.

First, it might help to understand the main differences between Pull Ups and diapers.

Size

Pull Ups, and any other type of training pants, often start at bigger sizes. You’ll likely never see a training pant marked as being for newborns because they are designed to be utilized as potty-training underwear with the same components as a diaper, but with less mess.

Therefore, the first consideration when making the switch from diaper to Pull Up is whether or not your baby can fit in the smallest size training pants, which is often a size 4.

(For more on sizing guides: 24 Months vs 2t and What Size Is After 5t)

Comfort 

Apart from sizing comes the comfort of your child. While sizing plays a huge role in comfort, design can play a part, too. Many training pants today are designed with elastic waistbands, with some even coming with a 360-degree waistband. These will be more comfortable for movers and shakers that are just learning to walk or crawl. 

On the other hand, some Pull Ups and training pants may actually be a bit more uncomfortable for babies, particularly those who have a chubbier midsection. This is because Pull Ups can often fit slim and won’t be able to be adjusted the way that diapers with tabs can be adjusted. Because of this, you may find Pull Ups and other training pants to fit a bit too snug around the waist while potentially remaining too loose around the bum (which can lead to its own host of problems!)

Practicality

Practically speaking, Pull Ups are great when you want to potty train because they allow your toddler to pull his or her training pants up or down without having to fasten and unfasten tabs like you would a traditional diaper. 

In addition, training pants allow you to change your baby or toddler’s diaper while they are still standing as a child this age may no longer wish to lay down to have their diaper changed.

Wondering about when your baby goes poo? Pooping Pull Ups can certainly be a problem, but thankfully, training pants can be ripped down the sides for easy removal so you won’t have to worry about pulling your baby’s poopy training underwear up and down (phew!)

Cost

Bear in mind that Pull Ups, Easy Ups, and other training pant types may cost a significant amount more than traditional diapers. Check the price tag and the amount of Pull Ups you get versus the amount of diapers you get for the same price to see if the switch is really worth it.

When to Switch From Diapers to Pull Ups?

Although there isn’t one set time when you should switch from Pull Ups to diapers, many moms and dads find that the best time is when their baby is bigger, moving, and getting ready to begin potty training. Other parents may simply consider the look and design of Pull Ups better for comfort for their crawling or walking baby.

No matter what the reason, rest assured that you can switch from a diaper to a Pull Up (and back again) at any time…there really aren’t any rules when it comes to transitioning! 

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What Age Can Babies Wear Pull-Ups?

Is 1 year old too early for Pull Ups? Actually, your one-year-old can absolutely wear Pull Ups. Even a baby a little younger than this can wear Pull Ups if they are big enough.

As previously stated, most training pants start in bigger sizes, such as size 4. So, while you won’t be buying training pants for your newborn any time soon, it is still possible for smaller babies to be wearing Pull Ups at a younger age.

Pull Up Diapers: The Downside

Though you may think Pull Ups are necessary for kiddos that are potty training, the truth is that training pants of any sort may actually hinder your toddler’s potty training process. 

The reason for this is that Pull Ups and other training pant types feel and function so much like diapers that it may make it hard for your baby to distinguish the difference between the two. Thus, you may notice your baby or toddler using the Pull Up like a diaper rather than like underwear. 

To change this, you may consider putting your little one in regular underwear, training underwear (not training pants), or even with no underwear or diaper at all when potty training to help the training process go by faster. 

BIG ELEPHANT Toddler Potty Training Pants- 100% Cotton Unisex Baby Pee Underpants 10-Pack, 3T

When to Switch to Pull Ups? It’s Really Up to You! 

As mentioned, when you should switch from diapers to Pull Ups is really up to you. By considering the aforementioned factors such as comfortability, practicality, cost, and sizing, you should be able to determine whether or not diapers or Pull Ups are best for your baby on your own. 

We hope this has helped! 

FAQs

Can I use Pull-Ups as diapers?

You can absolutely use Pull Ups as diapers. Just remember that they won’t have tabs, so you’ll need to rip them down the sides of your baby has a bowel movement. 

Can My 1 Year Old Wear Pull-Ups?

Your one-year-old can absolutely wear Pull Ups. Even a baby a little younger than this can wear Pull Ups if they are big enough.

Maria Wilcox

Former instructor with an M.A. in Education turned grateful stay-at-home mama to one, I look to share helpful insights related to babies, toddlers, kids, and families for the benefit of real people just like you.

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