What Age Should a Child Stop Wearing Pull-Ups? | Our Full Guide! 

 November 8, 2022

By  Jaycen Mag

Key Takeaways

  • Kids should stop wearing pull-ups as soon as they are developmentally ready and have gotten wetting in control.
  • Children need pull-ups to use the toilet or for potty training.
  • Using pull-ups is harmful after the child doesn't need them anymore.
  • Overnight potty training is possible; it only requires patience and consistency.

Join in, and let's analyze that question from the developmental readiness perspective. You’ll see when the kids should leave diapers, pull-ups, and nappies and use the potty or the toilet.

Little boy portraying a success

What Age Should a Child Stop Wearing Pull-Ups; Developmental Readiness?

What do you look for to determine if your child is prepared to leave pull-ups? You'll notice the following readiness signs.

  • The child follows simple directions. Like when you serve tea to guests, the child picks the cups. At that moment, you calmly tell them, give them to mom, or place them on a table, and they do that. It could also be a willingness to share toys. 

  • A child can stay dry for at least two hours. That means they are gaining some control of bowel movements and bladder control.

  • Showing interest in using a potty or wearing underwear. If your child's potty is in your bathroom and sometimes they tag along while you're doing your business, they may show interest in using it early. Some grow fond of the little underwear in their closets.

  • They sit on the potty chair. They may think it's an ordinary chair, but this is a good sign.

  • They say or give signals when they have soiled their diapers.

But pediatricians say many children are ready physically and emotionally to start toilet training between 12-24 months.

Tip: Every child grows at their pace and when they'll stop using diapers varies substantially. If you potty-train them too late or earlier, the child will have delays. But since the timing for each child varies, look out for those indicators.

When Does a Baby Need Pull-Ups?

Usually, parents switch from using baby diapers to pull-ups as children become more active. That's around age two. But new generation pull-ups come with small sizes accommodating the transition from diapers between seven and twelve months. 

That's for a good reason. Why? Most parents agree that pull-ups are more comfortable for active babies and babies with sensitive skin, and are a good fit for potty training. So it's around that age that they use pull-ups because‌ most babies are ready for potty training then.

When toddlers understand potty usage, a pull-up helps them to sense more independence. And it's convenient for parents in case of accidents. 

Some parents like pull-ups because some toddlers are easier to handle while standing. Children can fuss with typical disposable diaper tabs during changing times. That makes changing toddlers take ages.

Pull-ups are convenient, just like underwear. They come in sizes of toddlers between 12 months and five years. But the choice is yours when to make the switch. Here are signs that your baby is ready for potty training.

A child sleeping in bed

At What Age Are We Doing More Harm Than Good With Pull-Ups at Night?

There's no age in the child's early development that pull-ups do more harm than good. At five and above, the child is already toilet trained. However, some parents prefer using pull-ups and disposable training pants because of the laundry that comes with frequent bed wetting.

But ‌the answer depends on the child. Some children are dry in the morning and don't need to wear diapers by four. Others have required pull-ups at eight years. But if you have toilet-trained them already, give them time. It's a habit that most will outgrow.

Nighttime pull-up pants are handy for a child with nighttime accidents, even though they are potty or toilet trained. 3-5 year-olds don't like wearing diapers.

Is Overnight Potty Training Possible; Can I Train My Toddler?

Nighttime potty training is possible for a kid, and it will be easier for the kid who's already had daytime potty training.

Nighttime potty training presumes that your child already has an evening routine because a routine is everything. For one, a daily or evening routine gives your child a thinking pattern. 

A routine also helps children to relate to parents and toys and acquaints them with their family's everyday life. It even reduces tantrums.

So, in the evening, a child's routine would be: feeding, watching an educational fun video, spending time with guardians, a bath, and then off to bed. Here you can introduce potty training.

A child sleeping in bed

Tips on What to Do for a Potty-Trained Child Who Bed wets

If your child wets the bed, teach them to go to the bathroom's potty before hopping into bed. If they cry and throw a tantrum, see what is causing it and solve it firmly and gently. As the training continues, help the child understand how to listen to the body while sleeping and respond using the potty. With time, use the toilet.

Avoid punishing them if they've not achieved developmental maturity. Punishments for wetting increase accidents and damage their confidence, while patience reduces regression. So be patient while retaining the following tips.

  • Wearing night training pants. There are disposable training pants these days.

  • Remove any used training pants and wear new ones, even without spoilage, to avoid infections.

  • Use protective rubber sheets for their mattress.

  • Reduce the expectations and keep up with the potty training.

  • Finally, be patient with accidents.

Also, consider a no-drink policy past 7 pm or limit liquids at night. That’s because children still have small bladders. Waking the child up to pee in the middle of the night will help. This training might take time but pays off in the long run. 

But the good news is that some reach a certain age, like 6 or 7, and ask you for nighttime toilet training. Sometimes the child won't like or have any need for it. But encourage them and be very motivational with it. You can give them much attention to promoting nighttime potty training. 

Tip: The trick with a child's routine is being consistent and firm.
Mother hugging her child close up

Why Is My Fully Potty-Trained Child Wetting the Bed at Night?

Your child still wets the bed at night because their urinary system isn't mature enough to hold up. Many children sleep heavily, and waking them up won't work. And at that moment, you wake them up, and they throw a tantrum immediately.

But be firm while waking them up, and don't give in to their demands because you are the one who knows what's good for them. That's because the child sleeps for about 12 hours, and they haven't developed enough muscle to hold up urine for that long.

Boys will have difficulty staying dry overnight because of increased wet sheet tendencies. But most children's bedwetting stops at seven years.

Common Mistakes Parents Do While they Potty Train

Being able to use toilets is the parent's joy and a massive achievement for any child. But here are mistakes parents make as they potty train

  1. The first mistake is forcing day or night training when the child isn't developmentally ready. Kids grow at their own pace. Observe the developmental giveaways showing that they are developmentally prepared to potty or toilet train.

  2. Kids are ready, but the parents have stressful times. It may seem far-stretched, but divorce, vacations, or other out-of-the-ordinally movements aren't the best emotionally for the child to start toilet training. Let them wear pull-ups until the atmosphere clears up.

  3. Treating accidents like a great deal. Soiling the bed is not good, but the child needs time to outgrow it. The least a parent could do is have patience with their child.

A father and daughter smilling


1. At What Age, Should a Child Be Done With Night Potty Training?

My child's pediatrician says a child should do potty training for 3-5 years. They should be ready for toilet training by 18-24 months to use pull-ups and cloth diapers. But between ages 3 &5, the child should begin toilet training because they are developmentally ready.

2. How Do You Potty Train a Child at Night?

To do nighttime potty training, ask them to use it before bed. That means after everything in their evening routine, build in the practice of using the potty before bed. Be patient with baby accidents.

3. Should a Four-year-old Be Night-Potty-Trained?

A four-year-old could be potty or toilet-trained, but that depends on the kid. Most children take time before they have a dry night and a dry bed by morning. Some children can go up to 8 years before they learn to hold or wake and use the potty at night.

4. Should You Wake Your Child to Pee at Night?

You can wake your child to pee at night after overnight potty training, and they are still bed-wetting. But the kid can wear diapers or pull-ups until they outgrow wetting. 

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