Doctor Betti
Dr. Betti Hertzberg Ressler is a Board Certified Pediatrician on staff at Miami Children's Hospital. Dr. Hertzberg developed the toilet training video "Let's Go Potty." She is the co-author of "The Doctor's Book of Home Remedies for Children."

Pull-ups vs. Training Pants

Question: Do you have any recommendation on the use of pull-up vs training pants? - Rose

Answer: As you are aware, there are many thoughts on how to go about potty training. With regard to pull-ups, they are wonderful inventions. Because of their similarity to diapers (materials they are made of, as well as expense), they may be second in line to training pants that are more like real underwear.

Depending on what is more comfortable for your child and yourself, you may want to try both. Pull-ups may seem like a good alternative when trying to achieve nighttime dryness. My suggestion is to take him or her shopping and allow your child to pick out the underwear (style, color).

Because toilet training is a major milestone, give your child as much control as is possible. Picking out their underwear (although it may seem insignificant to mom or dad ), is a major decision at this stage. Picking out a potty seat is also a major decision that can give your toddler more a sense of control. If one has already been bought, have your toddler decorate it with stickers. You'd be surprised at how different "MY POTTY" is, or "MY UNDERWEAR."

Get used to doing lots of laundry! Whether in pull-ups or cotton training pants, expect accidents. This is all part of the learning process. If accidents occur, change your child without using negative reinforcement.

Reinforce a positive attitude which will encourage your child, allowing him or her to gain confidence in this major milestone.

Good luck potty training!
Dr. Betti

Also see:

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  • Ask Dr. Betti your questions

    This information is not intended to be a substitute for visiting your pediatrician. If you or your child has specific concerns, you should see your doctor for a diagnosis and treatment.