To Pull up or Not to Pull Up?

Updated on May 10, 2011
A.M. asks from Albuquerque, NM
25 answers

I started potty training my 2 1/2 yr old son a week ago. He got the hang out going pee in the potty in about 4 days. In the last 5 days he has only had one accident and it was during our first outing, we went to Toys R US. He seems to have anxiety about using pottys other than his own. So... we have not been leaving the house at all to avoid accidents. I am considering using Pull Ups when we go out but am not sure if this is a good idea bcz I have heard that they feel too much like a diaper. My 2nd issue is that he does not want to go poo in the potty he waits until nap time or bed time when he has a diaper on to go poo...not sure how to correct his issue.

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answers from Phoenix on

Both of my girls were afraid of potties that weren't "theirs". So I bought a traveling fold up potty seat at Walmart- It was Elmo and we used it at home and folded it up and put it in a gallon size ziplock bag when we left the house. This way they were sitting on the same seat no matter where we were and it was not as much to carry around. I agree with most of the other posters that the pullups prolong potty training. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

I remember bringing the potty chair in the van, also. Avoids having to use the public restroom until they are more comfortable.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

I agree, we never used pull ups. It did not take long before my son was comfortable using a public bathroom, but from day 1 of potty training we always carried a potty with us in the car. Early on they can't wait 5 minutes for you to get to a rest stop or a gas station. The second he says potty, we pull over and he pees in the potty in the car. It is also really handy when we go visit family that lives in the middle of nowhere. We might have to drive 20 minutes to find a public bathroom, lol!

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answers from Los Angeles on

If you use a pull up he will probably just go whenever it is on. One of my kids would literally wait until we put a pull up on for nap to poop also. The only thing you can really do is wait until you can get him to go poo on the potty and then praise him like crazy for it. When my 3rd child was potty training, we had diapers for over night in the diaper drawer still and one day she took her panties off, laid a diaper out open on the floor, squatted, and crapped on it. I was like, you have got to be kidding me LOL! I think it just takes them a little longer to want to poo on the potty and any splashing that might occur may freak them out also (happened with my 1st).

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Provo on

Oh heavens no!! They are just a more expensive diaper that you can pull up and down. Try cloth trainiers.

Blueberries are the ones that I have used for my son when we had our first attempt. He wasn't ready, but the trainers were amazing! He could feel all the wetness, looks like underware, and can be pulled up or down.
They have a hidden layer of a waterproof material called PUL it's what cloth diaper users use to keep the mess in. I'm a cloth diaper-er and i've never had a leak with it.

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answers from Youngstown on

I did not do pull ups with my kids. I went right to big boy underwear. I didn't want my kids to use them as diapers. My older boy would poop in his diaper too,eventually I stopped putting on a diaper period. One day he pooped his pants while a friend of mine was over and he hid in the playroom and after that he never did it again. My secound child is a whole different in nightmare! I wouldn't do the pull ups.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Tulsa on

I did it because we were traveling and I didn't want a mess in the car. She instantly loved pullups and lost all incentive to potty train. I do not recommend them.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Milwaukee on

Avoid the pull-ups! I WISH I did.

Waste of TIME and MONEY!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Springfield on

Do you use a little potty seat? We used one for the first couple of weeks (though my son was older), and I would bring it in the van with us. He actually did very well and did not need it, but I thought it might help if he was ever upset and didn't want to use a public restroom.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Pull ups confused my daughter. I would put a diaper on him before I would a pull up

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answers from Houston on

I used pull-ups with my DD for about 3 weeks (maybe a package and a half). They are the reason why she trained and has NEVER had an accident during the day OR night.
She has been potty trained for about a year and a half....(she will even hold it when I say 'hold on!!!! we gotta get to the store!!!'.....

No, pull-ups are not bad for ALL children.

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answers from Johnstown on

NO PULL-UPS! They're a glorified diaper and make the child NOT want to go potty. You need to carry extra clothes with you, but he will eventually have to break down and use another potty at some point in time.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Boston on

I agree, pullups feel no different to my son than a diaper...he'll be 3 soon. I have him wear underwear rather than pullups because he can actually feel the wetness. He hasn't started going poo in the potty yet either, I'm not going to push it... just encourage him and I'm sure he'll get there soon.

Cloth diapers do work well for potty training but, are expensive to start up. At this late in the game, just stick with underwear and diapers...unless you don't mind spending the $ to try cloth diapers. is a great place to order from.

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answers from Los Angeles on

I vote to NOT pull-up.

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answers from Boca Raton on

Nope. to me, pullups are a crutch


answers from Daytona Beach on

We bought the cheapest diaper ever, my kids wore them for just a few days and BAM! no more diapers.


answers from Dallas on

Pull Ups are no different than a diaper except they are a pain because you can't easily take them off so you end up with a mess. When I worked in childcare I hated it when parents put their children in them.

I recommend reading Everyone Poops to your child.

Good luck! : )



answers from Albuquerque on

Avoid Pull ups! And look for the quarterly pottytraining class at for other options and strategies. Good luck!



answers from Phoenix on

Bring a potty with you in your car. I take a potty with us in the car with wipes and an old milk jug filled with clean water (for rinsing) just in case my son (age four) or daughter (age three) needs to go when we are on the road and they don't want to use the public bathroom (or we don't have access to one). Perhaps your son will be agreeable to using his own potty in the car? I have one in the car at all times. My kids never liked pull ups. Good luck.



answers from Oklahoma City on

Pull ups are to teach your child to pull underwear up and down. And to protect clothing and floors from accidents. I used them and think it's silly to expect a child to only go potty when they have on underwear. If they need to go and go to the bathroom regularly then they won't just go in the pull ups because it's convenient.



answers from Phoenix on

I would avoid the pull-ups. The are diapers that pull up and down and are harder to clean up from when there is a mess. Use underwear with the plastic covers if you need to instead. When using the public restrooms you may want to bring along some sticky notes to cover the sensor for the automatic flusher. Personally I think it's good to get the kids used to using the public restrooms, maybe with the seat covers from home as some have suggested. That may make it seem more familiar. My kids did just fine without them though. I knew a lady who had a potty in the car to use that got out of hand. Her child was 8 and still afraid to use the publlic restrooms. They were Christmas shopping in the mall had to go out to the car to use the potty and then go back in the mall. They would be at dance class and they would have to go to the car... Not sure what they did about school. I was really shocked that her kid had that much of a fear. Basically, if you don't make it a big deal, then your kids won't either. Maybe try to point out the similarities between your toilet at home and the public ones to show him that they're treally not that different. Have lots of patience with the potty training. Maybe use a sticker or reward chart for the pooping and the thicker cotton undies. Have him help pick them out. I wish you lots of luck!



answers from Detroit on

I would agree that for the most part, pull-ups are too much like diapers and they may make your son think it is okay to go in them. However, every kid is different and my daughter seems to be the exception to the rule. She's 3.5 and we finally got serious about potty training a little over a month ago (she had been extremely resistant until then - then we just went "cold turkey" and she's done great since then). She was also anxious about using the "big potty" out in public, so I would put a pull-up on her just in case, but she still would not pee in them. She had already been telling me at home when she had to go and when we happened to be at McDonald's one day she told me she had to go. I told her that she would have to go on the big potty and she said "Okay!" And she was fine with it! She even seemed to realize that it really wasn't a big deal. So now she doesn't wear a pull-up at all, except for overnight to bed - and even then it's always been dry in the morning. She is still having some issues with not doing #2 on the potty, but she will go in her pants or a pull-up, either way.



answers from Kansas City on

IMO, I think pull ups are a glorified diaper. I did not use them at all with my daughter when potty training her. He will get the hang of it you only started a week ago, it took my daughter 3 weeks and she got the hang of it and was doing 1 & 2 just fine no pull ups or diapers. Good luck !!



answers from Portland on

Hi A..

I agree with previous posters: in my experience as a nanny and preschool teacher, Pull Ups is "magic underwear" for little ones and very confusing.
I'd use underpants as much as possible, and offer a diaper for outings. Children can differentiate between diapers and underpants, but PullUps are too ambiguous and I've seen them prolong toilet learning.

Younger children may often wait to use poop when they are wearing a diaper. This is really, really common. There are plenty of youngsters who don't get comfortable with pooping on the toilet until they hit their 3's or so. Please don't worry-- know that he *will* eventually get it. Kids sometimes have to feel proficient with using the toilet for urinating before they can become comfortable enough for the sphincter muscles to relax, so be sure to keep toileting times low-stress and just let him go at his own pace.

Good luck and I wish you plenty of patience. This is one of those learning times that require plenty of it!

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