Best Pull Up Diapers: A Mom's Guide (2020 Guide)

Choosing The Best Pull Up Diapers: A Mom’s Guide (2020 Guide)

When your toddler is ready to transition into a pull up diaper, you know you’re in the home stretch of being done with diapers since potty training is right on the horizon!

But just like diapers, not all pull ups are the same.

Some get the job done much better and are more comfortable for your little one.

Read on to learn when your baby is ready to make the change to a pull up, which pull up you should consider, and all about how they work in regard to absorbency.

Pull Up Diapers GuideWhen Do Babies Need Pull Ups?Why You Need a Pull Up DiaperHow Absorbent Are Pull Ups?Important Features to ConsiderChoosing The Right SizeTips for Introducing Pull UpsCan You Make Your Own?Best Pull Up DiapersWrapping Up

When Do Babies Need Pull Ups?

There are a few reasons why babies need to transition into pull ups.

First, the main reason parents switch over to them is because they are ready to start (or are already in the midst) of potty training.

Pull ups mimic the look, feel, and fit of underwear, they just offer the absorbency of a diaper.

A baby may also need to use a pull up if they have outgrown the largest diaper size.

Generally, the the time your baby is two or two and a half years old, they will be ready for a pull up, in either aspect.

Why You Need a Pull Up Diaper

Again, there can be multiple purposes of a pull up diaper.

Pull ups are primarily used in conjunction with potty training.

They help little hands get used to pulling them up and down to use the potty.

They get them used to the feel of “underwear” as well, since they are less bulky and lighter than standard diapers.

They also provide support in case trainers have an accident, which happens pretty often when they start the process.

Pull ups are also used during nap time and over night when potty trained children are still working on their continence for extended periods of time, like going to bed.

How Absorbent Are Pull Ups?

Pull up diapers will certainly absorb wetness and keep solids passed in place, but they aren’t as absorbent as traditional baby diapers.

Because they are used for potty training purposes and on older children that are starting to have a handle on their bodily functions, the diapers shouldn’t contain soiled material for a long amount of time, or leakage can occur.

Parents who put their children in pull ups for nap time do it as a safeguard because their children tend to use the potty before and after naps.

Overnight use can be a bit touch and go because the expectation is that children will get up to use the potty while wearing one, but this doesn’t always happen to those who are learning, so the occasional wet sheets and jammies occur, but not often if you choose the right pull up—this is key to avoiding constant laundry.

Get the right fit and the right brand!

Important Features to Consider

Pull up diapers have some key features. They include:

Stretchy Sides. The stretchier the better. This ensures little fingers and thumbs can get a firm grasp on them to pull them up and down.

Comfortable Closings. Pull ups with rouched leg holes help little ones feel more comfortable while wearing them. They don’t harshly cut into thighs, leaving marks.

Absorbent. Pulls ups are designed to be lighter and thinner, but they can be absorbent enough to combat tough leaks. Quilted panels help trap moisture and keep it locked in place.

Informative Label. Look for pull ups that have age and weight specifications on the package. Many are labeled 2T, 3T, and so on. This will help you choose the perfect pull up for your toddler.

Tear Away Sides. Pull ups should be easy to take off. Great ones allow you to simply rip their sides, so you can avoid the clumsy step and dance of getting your toddler to step out of their soiled diaper.

Choosing The Right Size

Toddlers need to wear things that fit just right.

So, choose a size that does not sag or gap, even as your toddler walks and plays to help prevent leaks.

A general rule of thumb is to put your toddler in a pull up that coordinates with their current pant size.

If you notice pants are starting to get snug, then size up in the pull up.

Tips for Introducing Pull Ups

If you slide a pull up on your baby, they’re bound to notice something’s different!

The bulk, weight, and puffiness of a diaper is totally gone. Plus, add in the pressure of potty training—if you don’t present them properly you could be setting yourself up for disaster.

While some toddlers welcome this change, it can be scary for others.

So, when introducing pull ups, follow these tips to make the transition easy and effortless:

Emphasize the concept of independence. Tell your child that you’ve noticed they like doing things on their own. Branch off into going to the bathroom by themselves. This is a great time to show them the pull ups and explain how and why they are used.

Focus on awareness. Talk about feeling wet and messy, and letting someone know it’s time for a change. You can also start to award stickers when your little one tells you before they go, after they go, and when they try to make it on the potty.

Practice pulling. Manipulating a pull up can take some time and coordination. Be patient and slowly wean your little one off helping them pull the training pants up and down. The only way they’ll get better and stronger is doing it themselves, with limited help.

It’s potty time! The whole point of moving toward pull ups is to potty train. Explain to your toddler what potty training is and how the pants will help them. They’ll learn the pants actually have a purpose and an end goal in mind, and that they won’t be wearing them long term. Sit your toddler on the potty every half hour, and be sure to reuse the pull up if it’s not soiled. Your toddler will understand they should not mess in them, but put their bodily functions in the potty.

Can You Make Your Own?

Of course you can!

I never went that route because I found pull ups to be ultra-convenient and affordable.

But, some moms who use cloth diapers want to continue on with their diapering tradition.

Here’s a general overview of how to do this!

First, select your fabric (many moms choose organic fabrics that are soft and safe) and pre-shrink it.

Next, use a pattern and cut the middle panel out.

Then, using your pattern, mark and trim to accommodate your baby’s measurements. Center everything and pin.

Finally, stitch the legs from the inside out.

If you’re not super handy with sewing, a pattern is a must. There are also step by step tutorials online that can visually walk you through the process.

Not sold on sewing?

Here are some awesome pull ups that will help your toddler through this training process!

Best Pull Up Diapers

#1. Pampers Easy Ups

Pampers Easy Ups (click here to check the price on Amazon) help your toddler gain their independence as they grow.

Their pull ups have lots of features that sets your toddler up for success right from the get go.

They boast a 360 degree stretchy waistband, so they’ll grow accustomed to the feeling of underwear and will get used to pulling up and down at potty time.

The pull ups are also designed with a dual leakguard barrier, so leaks get stopped where they happen the most-around the rear, up the back, and around the leg holes.

They can be worn for up to 12 hours, so they will be appropriate for overnight use, not just daytime. This is because their leak protectors contain a strong gel that is designed to hold 30 times its weight in liquid.

They are very soft, and mimic the feel of cotton underwear. Plus, their tear away sides help getting diapers off a snap.

And they come in fun designs, so your toddler will be excited to put one on.

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#2. Huggies Little Movers

Huggies Little Movers (click here to check the price on Amazon) is another great brand to check out if you’re in the market for pull ups.

Their slip on diaper pants come pre-fastened. So, they’ll protect like a diaper on the inside, but will feel and look like underwear on the outside.

Their fit is slim and trim, and ultra-stretchy to accommodate running, walking, lying down, and playing at all sorts of angles.

They come in sizes that fit all kinds of children and generally run in four stages: size 3 (which accommodates toddlers 16-28 pounds), size 4 (22-37 pounds), size 5 (27 pounds and up), and size 6 (35 pounds or greater).

The pull ups are made of a high absorbency, so they are fine for nap and even overnight if your toddler starts to utilize the bathroom before bedtime.

They too boast fun designs that will motivate little learners to want to wear them and use the potty on their own.

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#3. Seventh Generation Training Pants

Seventh Generation’s Training Pants (click here to check the price on Amazon) are great for the eco-conscious parent, or baby with hypo-allergenic needs.

The pull ups are free and clear from all types of hazards that could come in contact with their baby’s bottom and other gentle areas. So, expect no fragrances, lotions, latex or chlorine processing.

They are easily to get on and off, and also pull up and down because they are stretchy and they boast tear away sides.

Their core offers an abundance of protection and the pants are lightweight.

There’s also leak barriers built in, so you don’t have to worry if taking a long car trip or traveling.

Their design is simple and classic, and can be worn by either gender.

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#4. GoodNites Bedtime

Bedwetting is a common occurrence, even after your kids are potty trained.

In fact, it impacts one in six kids between the ages of 4 and 12.

So, it’s smart to have a different version of pull ups on hand.

GoodNites Bedtimes (click here to check the price on Amazon) help keep sheets dry and embarrassment at bay.

Designed with fun super heroes, the bedwetting pants mimic the look and feel of your kids’ day to day underwear, just not the absorbency.

The brand’s claim to fame is offering 40% more protection than other leading brands. It has 5 layers where boys need it most, and it also reduces odor, so accidents away from home can remain private and personal.

The pants also have a double leg barrier to stop leaks, and plenty of stretch to accommodate movement overnight.

They are sold in various sizes and can accommodate a child of up to 125 pounds, until bedwetting gets under control.

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#5. Pull-Ups Learning Designs

Pull-Ups, the originator of “pull-up” pants, is a great brand (click here to check the price on Amazon) for little learners.

Their training pants are reliable and are very absorbent,offering extra protection around the areas where boys need it the most.

They are designed for day or night use, so there’s no need to purchase additional overnight diapers/training pants.

Your toddler will learn how to slip them on like underwear, and then even pull them open at the sides (they secure like velcro) to promote self-changing eventually.

The pants are soft and stretchy, and comfortable to wear.

Available in all kinds of characters and sizes, your toddler will learn how to use the potty in style and in peace.

If they still aren’t alerting you to when they’ve “done the deed,” rest assured you’ll know.

The pull ups will fade in the front when wet and when your child is in need of a change.

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#6. Nature Babycare Eco Pull Ons

Nature Babycare’s Eco Pull Ons (click here to check the price on Amazon) are a favorite among parents.

A more environmentally friendly pull up, the pants have no oil-based plastics that rub against your toddler’s skin.

Their main absorbent ingredient is fluff pulp, which is grown in Swedish woods and has been awarded the FSC tick of approval for responsible forestry.

Other layers have also been composed of renewable resources (like sugarcane), so every time you use one, you can feel good about gain peace of mind in regards to the environment.

The diapers are soft and cloth-like. They aren’t bulky and they allow your curious toddler to roam around freely.

The sides are also stretchy and tear away for everyone’s convenience.

Another great feature of the diaper is the use of a GM Free cornstarch film. This serves as a leakage barrier. It’s just as effective as plastic, with added health benefits.

Plus, the pants are fully compostable.

These are an eco-chic mommy’s dream! Wear them day or night to fight off wetness and leaks.

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#7. Babyfriend

Babyfriend’s washable training pants (click here to check the price on Amazon) are perfect for the baby who is transitioning from cloth diapers.

They are available for boys or girls, and they are designed in fun and festive colors and patterns to make the transition more fun.

The pants are sold in packs of five and are comfortable, like underwear. However, they are a bit more waterproof than standard underwear. So, they are ideal to put on toddlers who are nearly done with mastering the potty training process.

They are especially helpful at nap time and great when moms remove overnight diapers or pull ups once potty training has come to an end.

They offer a little more support and give their wearer confidence.

They are easy to pull up and down and are sewn well, so they remain durable after wearing and washing.

They are great for eco-conscious parents and toddlers and children with allergy issues.

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Wrapping Up

When your baby is ready to step into a pull up, it will be a bittersweet experience.

Your little one is no longer that little, and is ready to take on the challenge of exercising control over their body.

Pull ups help them through this process, make potty time more fun, and always keeps kids dry and comfortable.

The information above and pull up reviews are bound to help you, as a parent, through this transition period.

You too will feel informed, confident, and ready to take on the next chapter in your baby’s life!


Hi there, I'm Kate! I started Maternity Glow to be a place for new and expecting moms to come to for practical pregnancy advice, parenting tips, and baby care tricks.

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